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

Wawa, Nasugbu, Batangas: Historical Data Part I

Historical Data graphic
Historical data from the National Library of the Philippines.



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.

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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:
Lawit na ParangTalisay
Punta FuegoBalaytigue
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 RoldanAbdon Maranan
Demetrio BistoTomas Fernandez
Juan VillafrancaRoman Garcia
Fortunato MilitarPablo 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


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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