Wawa, Nasugbu, Batangas: Historical Data - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore Wawa, Nasugbu, Batangas: Historical Data - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore

Wawa, Nasugbu, Batangas: Historical Data

Full transcription of the so-called “Historical Data” for the barrio of Wawa in the Municipality of Nasugbu, Batangas, the original scanned documents at the National Library of the Philippines Digital Collections not having OCR or optical character recognition properties. This transcription has been edited for grammar, spelling and punctuation where possible. The original pagination is provided for citation purposes.
Historical Data
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Part One: History

1. Present official name of the barrio – Wawa

2. Popular name of the barrio, present and past – Wawa
Names of sitios included within the territorial jurisdiction of the barrio:
Muntingbuhangin Kinabaklasan
Natipuan Panutsutan
Lawit na Parang Talisay
Punta Fuego Balaytigue
Kay Valintin
The people of these sitios are predominantly from Wawa. As Wawa is fast becoming thickly populated, many of the inhabitants have migrated to the neighboring coastal sitios. It could, therefore, be easily surmised that the habits, customs and traditions of Wawa and the different sitios are almost the same. They are in constant intercourse with each other.

3. Date of establishment – Latter part of the Spanish regime.

4. Original families –

According to the old folks, the earliest inhabitants of the barrio came from the town of Taal, which town is said to be the oldest settlement in the province of Batangas. As far as could be remembered, the earliest people were Felix Balboa and his family. The present inhabitants are but a conglomeration of different people from the neighboring towns.

5. List of tenientes from the earliest to date –
Alejandro Roldan Abdon Maranan
Demetrio Bisto Tomas Fernandez
Juan Villafranca Roman Garcia
Fortunato Militar Pablo Bolimtian

6. Story of old barrios or sitios within the jurisdiction that are now depopulated or extinct. – None

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7. Data on historical sites, structures, buildings, old ruins, etc. –
Wawa Pier – Constructed in 1936
Warehouses (for storing sugar made in the Sugar Central at Lumbangan)
School buildings.

8. Important facts, incidents or events that took place –

Events – Wawa played an important role during the Spanish revolution. Many of its male inhabitants rallied to the cause of the revolution and became members of the revolutionary forces that fought the Spanish forces. Of those Spanish veterans, Sebastian Morales is still living. During the Japanese occupation, Wawa and Natipuan also became bases for guerrilla activities against the enemy forces. Probably in confirmation of the role it played, the American forces landed on its shores to liberate Southern Luzon. This took place on January 31, 1945.

Education – During the Spanish rule, the Cartilla was the principal source of the education of the people. As they did not show much interest in it, not much improvement was felt in their cultural lives. When the Americans came, no new improvement was immediately introduced and the children had to go to the town of Nasugbu for their schooling. In 1930, however, a semi-permanent school building was built on the present site now occupied by the Wawa Elementary School, but was destroyed through naval bombardment by American warships.

Politics – Conscious of the political importance of the barrio, some of its inhabitants have participated actively in local politics and had occupied important positions in the local government. Leon Lagos was elected Vice-Mayor of Nasugbu in 1940 and became the Municipal Mayor in 1946 to 1947. Constancio Enriquez was also elected Vice-Mayor, while Carlos Bolintiam was elected Municipal Councilor in 1947 and held office for four years.

9. Destruction in 1941-1945 –

Destruction of lives, properties and institutions took place during the period covering World War II. Guerrillas who actively took part in the liberation of the locality suffered losses in lives. The pier, which was constructed before the war, became a total loss as a result of action by both [the] USAFFE and Japanese forces. The school building was completely

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demolished by naval gunfire during the landing of the American troops. At the same period, the warehouses for storing sugar were also destroyed by shells coming from the invading American warships.

Rehabilitation –

Wawa is fast being rehabilitated. The school building, which was a total loss, was reconstructed with the aid of the American War Damage Commission. Houses which were lost were rebuilt. Steps are being taken to rehabilitate the pier. [The] Congress of the Philippines has tried several times to appropriate amounts for its reconstruction.

Part Two: Folkways

Traditions, customs, and practices in domestic and social life –

Birth -

Birth in Wawa is now a mixture of the modern and old methods. Physicians and nurses point with pride to the increasing number of women who enter the hospitals or place themselves under their care, in order to give birth. As a matter of fact, the newspapers print stories of the rise in accommodations in maternity wards. But the number of women giving birth through [the] modern and scientific way, when compared to the total number of wives and mothers in the country, would show that many women still give birth under the same conditions which were obtained during the days of their great-great grandmothers. A woman’s delivery was assisted not by a doctor or a licensed midwife, but by the hilot, an unlettered obstetrician, usually old and who a few minutes before, was called by a nervous father, might have been feeding pigs or cleaning some fish.

The “hilot” – In most cases, the hilot is a woman past middle age. She depends on local herbs, native concoctions brewed for a delivering mother. While the woman goes through her first pains, the hilot asks the husband or some member of the family to look for this or that kind of grass or leaves. When the baby has some difficulty in coming out, the hilot uses here muscles to force the child out. Once the baby is delivered, the hilot applies the herbs to staunch the bleeding. Using a pair of sharp scissors, she cuts the umbilical cord

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of the baby, applies a concoction in the cut end and ties it with a thread or a rag on whose cleanliness you could not depend upon. Some hilot use lycopodium powder which is purchased from a drug store. Others use scrapping from coconut shell. Give the baby or the mother dies at the hands of the hilot, the ignorant folks at tribute it to “talaga ng Diyos” (God’s will). The hilot escapes blame since she has delivered hundreds and not one before this died. If mother or child survives, however, it is one more feather on the hilot’s cap and another argument against those who would question her fitness.

Taboos – Here in Wawa, a pregnant woman has to submit to many taboos or prohibitions. A pregnant woman becomes fond of the fruit of a tree, the rest of the fruit of that three turns sour. Sometimes, if the tree has to bear fruit again, the fruit comes out dwarfed. Some trees are even supposed to die when a pregnant woman takes a fancy to it. As soon as the baby comes out, the hilot throws it into the air and catches it. Called “sawan,” the art is supposed to enable the child in later life to stand dizzy heights.

Duties of the father – The father has some difficult duties to perform when his child comes or is about to come. The burying of the placenta (inunan) is the duty of the father. As soon as the placenta is out, the hilot delivers it to the father, who goes to the yard, digs a hole and dumps it in. The placenta before being buried he is placed in a coconut shell big enough to contain it. It is believed that the placenta, when placed in a container much too big, makes the child greedy when he grows up. Books, pencils or any article connected with education are buried with the placenta to make the child a wise man. It is usually buried in a place where water falls so as to make the child endure severe cold. The father of a first child is supposed wash the rags used in the delivery. This act means things: (1) it is proof that he admits being the true father of the child (2) it is a sign that he has reached a stage of responsibility.

The First Bath – The first bath after delivery calls for much preparation and ceremony. The mother does not take a bath until a number of days have passed, and when she does it, it is some bath. Various barks and roots are purchased. These are boiled in a vat of water until the water becomes black with the mixture. The fragrant black water is then poured slowly over the body. The mother could not touch cold water and she has to use hot water for a period of time. After the bath, the mother is given a special meal. Sometimes, a chicken is killed and prepared for her.

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Life and Death – When a woman who has been married for a long time is still without a baby, she is asked to go to Obando, a town in Bulacan, whose patron saint (Sta. Clara), is believed to endow all her worshippers with fertility. In front of the altar, the woman seeking a child must dance (any kind) and pray for a baby.


The people of Wawa attach the greatest importance to baptism. A couple will be plagued with worried from the time their baby is born until it is baptized. It is believed that an unbaptized baby is a child of the devil and that if it dies, it will go straight to hell. Sometimes, unbaptized babies become sick frequently. When the child is sickly or is failing in health, a pre-baptismal ceremony is performed. This is called the “buhos tubig.” A ninang and ninong are hastily selected and water is poured over the infant’s head. Soft drinks and light meals are served. This ceremony is followed by the church ceremony if the child survives. The idea is not to have that infant died without any rites at all. Usually, an old man is asked to perform the buhos.

It is the obligation of the godparents to carry the child from the church to the parents’ house. No one else can do the job. Entertainment is held in the baby’s house and everybody has a good time except possibly the poor parents who have to buy the drinks and food. A “litson” (roasted pig) is given the sponsors by the parents before the baptism. This practice is called the “sabit.” The act is reciprocated by the ninong or ninang by leaving a kind of gift locally known as the “pakimkim.” It may be in the form of money or valuables. The practice of having a brass band accompanies the baptismal party to and from the church is pretty widespread.

Duties of the Sponsor – To most people, to be a sponsor is simply a social obligation. After the baptism, one does not have to worry anymore except during Christmas when the child shows up to kiss the sponsor’s hand and to accept a gift, either in cash or in goods. The ninong or ninang becomes a second father or mother to his or her godchild, and in some places, he or she spends for the child’s schooling.

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As in most rural places, courtship in the barrio has a touch of the old and the antiquated methods. If a man wants to court a certain woman, he tries to win her friendship in the first place. He frequents the girl’s house, tells stories, cracks jokes and goes to picnics with her at times. The man plans parties and invites the girl. After winning her friendship, the man sends a love letter and his visits become more frequent. Sometimes, the man is very timid and he has to keep a third person always in company. He makes arrangements through him and when they come to final terms, they decide to settle down. At times, the parents of the girl become [an] obstacle to them. The parents, for one thing, love their daughter so much that they would not like to give her away in marriage. Here, the padrino comes into play. The boy’s parents seek the help of a close relative whose approval of the match had been previously obtained. After much parleying, the parents’ consent is at last secured and the final preparations for the marriage get under way.


When the two parties decide marriage, the boy’s parents are asked to make a visit to the girl’s house. The terms and damage of the coming wedding are laid down before the “mamamaysan” as the boy’s parents are commonly called. This procedure of making the marriage arrangements is locally termed “bulungan.” When all the terms laid down by the girl’s parents become acceptable to the other party, the month, day and even the hour of the ceremony is selected and approved by all. It is the belief in this place that weddings should not take place when there is no new moon. Bad luck will accompany the newlywed couple the rest of their lives if this is disregarded.

On the eve of the marriage, there is much merrymaking in the girl’s home. Cattle, pigs, chickens and, most probably, goats are slaughtered on the night preceding the lucky day. There are songs and music which can be heard until the wee hours of the morning, when everybody gets up for the coming celebration. The couple and their attendant friends proceed to the church in any conveyance made available by the boy’s relatives or “mamamaysan.” The way back home is usually done on foot as they are accompanied by a band hired for the purpose. On nearing the bride’s home, firecrackers are fired to add to the din and noise made by the

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homecoming party from the church. The couple is met at the gate by showers of flowers and raw rice. The newlyweds then proceed to kiss the hands of the elder “mamamaysan” and “binabaysan.” On the wedding feast, care is taken in the seating arrangements of those who will partake of the wedding meal. The “binabaysan” or the girl’s relatives are seated on the choicest chairs and are served the best of the preparations. They should not be offended even in the slightest degree, otherwise the party becomes a complete failure. When all have taken their share of the food, the “mamamaysan” get ready for the “lipat,” which term means the transfer of the bride to the groom’s house. When the start for the “lipat” is made, jars and pots are thrown to the ground to break them into many pieces. This will mean the birth of many children to the couple. The groom should not follow the bride to his house till the next day.

The old practice of offering lavish entertainments and serving the best of foods have proven detrimental to the start of the young couple’s married life. They live a good part of their married life in debt as they sometimes shoulder a part of the marriage expenses. But, the saying, as the tradition is, so the traditions are, cannot be left behind no matter how poor the “mamamaysans” are. So the saying is, so the saying goes.


Despite the infiltration of modern civilization, death in Wawa is still accompanied by many beliefs, traditions, superstitions and taboos. When a person dies, his neighbors come to help in the washing and dressing [of] the body. The members of the family are not to do this work. When the body is finally dressed (usually the best dress is reserved for this eventuality), it is placed on a bed which then is arranged in a place in the house accessible to all would-be visitors. As interment usually takes place on the day following death, there is a need to keep a twenty-four hour watch over

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the body. Neighbors, friends, and relatives come to take part in the night vigil. Some merrymaking is done to keep everybody awake. There is a belief that some supernatural power may spirit the corpse away if not watched. Locally, this is called the “pulawan.” In the meantime, the coffin is constructed by volunteer carpenters. As relatives from far and near come to share the sorrows of the bereaved family, some chickens and most often pigs are slaughtered to feed them. On the day of interment, a brass band is hired to accompany the hearse to the church and cemetery. The body is brought down the house feet first. This way, his soul will easily find its way to heaven.

When the body is removed from the house for burial, everything used by the deceased during his illness should go down with him. This is done by making use of the nearest window. The clothes worn at the time of death are placed in the coffin with the body.

For nine consecutive nights after burial, prayers are said for the repose of the dead. No house cleaning is done until after the fourth day. On this day, friends and relatives are invited and special prayers are said, after which food is served. On the ninth day or “siyam na araw,” pigs and fowls are again slaughtered for the same visitors served on the fourth day. It is a common practice in this place to outdo each other in this celebration. Some spend hundreds of pesos for this particular day alone. There are also those who would go into debt willingly just so his barrio folks would say that his “pasiyam” is something unusual, something extraordinary.

For one whole year, the members of the bereaved family wear black especially in public. When the day of the demise comes, another celebration called “laglag luksa” or “babang luksa” is held. They can discard their mourning clothes and soon can appear in public in their ordinary dresses.

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Songs both modern and old are sung in this barrio. Serenading is a common pastime of the young men and it can be concluded that the populace is music-minded. However, a song which is dear and close to the hearts of both young and old, men and women alike is the one which tells of the life of the fisherman. This is a fishing barrio and the sea is their only means of livelihood.

Awit ng Mangingisda

Lunes ng umaga, ako’y handang mamalakaya,
Buslo’y bitbit at daladalahandang mamalakaya
Maghapon akong sinama, di man sinalat ng isda,
Ang naisip kong ginawa, umuwi ako’t nahiga.

Mga bandang tanghaling tapat, nagising ako’t nagulat
At ang naisipan niyang palad, tumupa ng muli sa dagat.
Sa pagtupa ko’t paglusong, ang tubig ay nag-inalon
Kaya pala ito’y gayon, lahat ng isda’y nagpupulong.

At ang kanilang pinagpulungan, viva ang haring pawikan
Orador na unang una ay ang isdang bikuda
Bidbid ang ikalawa ang siyang niyari sa hunta
Ang kagawad nila’y pating, kung maningin ay umaangil
At ang isdang aligasin, tagahakot ng buhangin.

Ang kanilang pinaka papa ay ang isdang lumba-lumba
Pagka’t ito ay bihasa, hindi mahuli sa dala
Ang alimangong sakang nagpatayo ng simbahan
Ang alimangong bato nagpatayo ng kumbento
Ang nahirang nilang pari ay ang isdang kanduli
At ang sacristan nitong pari ay ang isdang salingasi.

Alamang at hipon nahuli sa pulong
Sa kanilang inurong-urong naalisan tuloy ng tungkol
Umuwi ng pipisik-pisik, dala ng matandang galit

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Ang kanilang napagsapit, napasukan ay yangit.

Proverbs and Sayings

1. Ang mahusay na pagsunod ay nasa pag-uutos.
Full-hearted obedience depends on him who commands.

2. Ang hipong tulog tinatangay ng agos.
A sleeping shrimp is carried away by the current.

3. Ang marahang pangungusap sa puso’y nakakalunas.
Soft words comfort the heart.

4. Buti pa ang di mangako kaysa pangakong binigo.
Better not to promise than promise and not do.

5. Madali ang maging tao, mahirap ang magpakatao.
It is easy to be born, it is hard to become a man.

6. May tainga ang lupa, may pakpak ang balita.
The earth has ears, rumors have wings.

7. Di man magmana ng ari, magmana lamang ng ugali.
One needs not inherit riches if he inherits behavior.

8. Maghasik ka ng hangin, bagyo ang aanihin.
Sow the wind and you will reap the whirlwind.

9. Mahirap ang umakyat, masarap pag nasa taas.
It’s hard to climb, but satisfying when up.

10. Ang masunurin ay kapatid ng tagumpay.
Obedience goes with success.

11. Sabihin mo ang iyong kasama at sasabihin ko kung sino ka.
Show me your companions and I’ll tell you who you are.

12. Ang lahat ng masamang bagay ay may hangganan.
All bad things have their ends.

13. Mapalad ang nagbibigay kay sa tumatanggap.
It’s blessed to give than to receive.

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14. Walang makararating sa itaas na di nagdaan sa labak.
We begin from the bottom when going up.

15. Kung saan may nagwawalis ay may dumi.
Where a man sweeps, there must be dirt.

16. Ang babaing malinis, mahirap man ay karapat-dapat na igalang at ibigin.
A girl who is sweet and pure, though she is poor, is worthy to be loved.

17. Ang malinis na pag-iisip ay nakikita sa gawa.
Clean thoughts manifest themselves in clean deeds.

18. Ang malumanay na sagot ay nakakawala ng yamot.
A soft answer turneth away wrath.

19. Ang taong di nagrereklamo ay siyang pinagpapala ng Dios.
Those who don’t complain are God’s best lambs.

20. Mabuti pa ang mahirap na tahimik kay sa mayamang maraming kagalit.
Rather be tranquil though poor than rich but in trouble.

21. Magaling ang mayroon kay sa wala.
It is better to have something than to have nothing.

22. Sa labanan makikilala ang bayani.
It is in the fight that the hero is recognized.

23. Ang maghangad ng kagitna, lahat ay nawawala.
He who seeks much gain, will lose even his own.

24. Ang taong mapagpili, ang natatapatan ay bangi.
A choosy person chooses poorly in the end.

25. Mabuti pa ang mamatay ng lumalaban kay sa tumakbong walang karangalan.
It is better to face danger and die, than to turn back and run.

26. Ang taong matulungin ay may kakamtang langit.
He who helps his fellowmen will be compensated for in the end.

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27. Sa pagsasama-sama ay mayroong lakas.
In union, there is strength.

28. Mapagpala ang magbigay kay sa tumatangap.
It is better to give than to receive.

29. Ang taong magdaraya, ang sarili ay napapariwara.
He who intends to cheat often cheats himself.

30. Walang nagkamit ng kayamanan ng walang tulong ang kasamahan.
None can achieve wealth and comfort without the help of others.

31. Ang buhay ng tao ay nanggagaling sa sariling pawis.
A man lives by the sweat of his brow.

32. Ang may sinuksuk ay may titingalain.
If you have planted, you will have something to harvest.

33. Ang taong masipag ay laging masaya.
The man that keeps busy is happy.

34. Ang itinanim ay siyang aanihin.
As ye sow, se ye shall reap.

35. Pag may hirap ay may ginhawa.
We can’t have any gain without work or pain.

36. Ang nawalang pagkakataon ay di na muling babalik.
Lost opportunities are never found again.

37. Ang kahirapan ay mabuti pa kay sa ninakaw na kayamanan.
Poverty is better than stolen wealth.

38. Ang katotohanan ay magaan.
Truth is light.

39. Ang taong laging marumi ay parang bulok na karne.
A man who is not neat is like a piece of rotten meat.

Notes and references:
Transcribed from “History and Cultural Life of Wawa,” 1953, online at the National Library of the Philippines Digital Collections.
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