Durungao, San Luis, Batangas: Historical Data - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore Durungao, San Luis, Batangas: Historical Data - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore

Durungao, San Luis, Batangas: Historical Data

Historical Data graphic
Historical data from the National Library of the Philippines.
Full transcription of the so-called “Historical Data” for the barrio of Durungao in the Municipality of San Luis, 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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At the base of a mountain, southeast of the town of San Luis, lies a small barrio with its present official name as Durungao. This barrio is about two and a half kilometers south of the barrio of Calumpang and the narrow road which connects the two barrios makes Durungao accessible to such means of transportation as jeeps, calesas and carts only.

At the slope of the aforesaid mountain, not facing the main barrio, there is a spring which comes from underneath a big stone at the foot of a big tree. When the people of the community want to get water from this spring, they ascend the mountain and, from the summit, they look beyond the spring (dinurungawan ang batis). After descending slowly the opposite slope, they will finally reach the spring. Hence, the barrio was named Durungao.

Formerly, this barrio was named Putol. It was a small barrio and its small narrow road stopped abruptly after a length of about a kilometer. Thus, [that] the road was cut or discontinued (putol) gave a name to the whole barrio.

There are no sitios included within the territorial jurisdiction of the barrio.

According to an estimation by old folks, the barrio was established about the year 1703. The families of Jose Artillaga and Mariano __________ “Cabuyao” were the original settlers of this place.

Like other barrios, the people of the community selected a head for a certain term. During the olden times, this head of the community was called “cabeza” but nowadays, he is called the “Teniente del Barrio.” The following is a list of cabezas and tenientes of Durungao from the earliest time to the present:

 (1)  Domingo Sambuan  (2)  Rufino Artillaga (3)  Francisco Salcedo
 (4)  Martin Carandang (5)  Basilio Comia (6)  Basilio de Leon
 (7)  Eustaquio Amurao  (8)  Cayetano Amurao (9)  Celedonio Medina
(10) Ignacio Artillaga(11) Alfonso Catapang (12) Demeterio Mendoza
(13) Aniceto Martinez(14) Martin Medina(15) Andres Catapang
and (16) Elias Artillaga

At the summit of the Durungao Mountain, there is a huge smooth stone which marks the place where the Americans first hoisted their flag. That was when the Americans gained victory over the Filipinos in their battle on this mountain. This is considered a historical site of the barrio.

No important event took place in the barrio during the Spanish occupation. But after the defeat of the Spaniards, many Spanish soldiers retreated to this place. These soldiers lived with the barrio folks as servants, but without pay. They served their masters faithfully until their deaths.

During the American occupation, a battle was fought on the Durungao Mountain. At that time, three Filipino headquarters were stationed at this barrio under the command of Capt. Mariano Aseron, Lt. Gregorio Salazar, and Tenienteng Tura. (No record was available as to the real

[p. 2]

name of the last commanding officer.) The Americans were victorious in this battle. It was during this time that the Americans first hoisted their flag at the summit of Durungao Mountain. Dreadful events followed. The Macabebes burned the whole barrio which caused a great deal of destruction of the properties of the people of the community. The women whom they chanced to meet were abused.

During World War II, that was in the year 1942, the barrio was occupied by Japanese soldiers under the command of Capt. Murai. Ammunition and food supplies for the soldiers were brought to this barrio. Foxholes were dug along the road of the community and in the Durungao Mountain. When the Americans arrived in Lemery in 1945, they fired at the Japanese soldiers on Durungao Mountain. There was firing of cannons on both sides for six hours. Bombs were dropped on the Durungao Mountain and this forced the Japanese soldiers to retreat.

During the nine months’ stay of Japanese soldiers in this place, there was forced labor among the barrio folks. Men and women, both young and old, were forced to work in the fields and plant cotton. The people neglected their farm work, such as rice and corn raising, because of their fear of the Japanese. As a result, the people suffered from lack of food and cassava or camoteng kahoy became the staple food of the people of the community during that time.

There were destructions of lives and properties during wars especially in the periods 1896-1900 and 1941-1945. During the period 1896-1900, no record was available as to the number and names of Filipino soldiers who were killed and captured in the battle on the Durungao Mountain. It was during this period also that the whole barrio was burned by the Macabebes, which caused a great destruction of the properties of the people. The women were also abused.

During the period 1941-1945, three persons from this barrio were killed by the Japanese. They were Lauro Catapang, a promising sugar technologist of the barrio, Martin Medina, the barrio lieutenant during that time, and Felix Apedra.

There was an accomplishment toward rehabilitation of the barrio following World War II. It was the reconstruction of the road from Calumpang to Durungao during the term of Mayor Felix Aseron, the incumbent mayor.


Birth – When a mother gives birth to a child, the father or any member of the family dresses a chicken at the same moment the child is born. They say that the life of the chicken killed is in exchange for the life of the newborn child. The meat is cooked and eaten by the mother.

When the “hilot” bathes the newborn child, she places some silver coins, a pencil, a piece of paper and a beautiful flower, especially a red rose, in the basin of water to be used. They believe that this will make the child grow into an intelligent and beautiful person.

Baptism – Before a child is baptized by a priest, there is

[p. 3]

a pre-christening rite done first at home. This is called “pagbubuhos.” The pre-christening rite is officiated by the supposed religious head of the community. He pours a little amount of water over the head of the child and gives it a name, at the same time murmuring a prayer. After several weeks or months or sometimes years have passed, the child will then be baptized by the priest. The “pagbubuhos” is usually done if the child is born weak or if the parents desire to have a party on the day of baptism.

Courtship – A man in love with a woman begins courting her and making home visits. If he thinks she is his “one and only,” the courting sometimes lasts for several years. He tries his best to win the love of the lady and the admiration of the parents. During his courtship, he helps serves them by helping in the household duties and in the work on the farm. He gives them presents (mga regalo), usually fish, meat, or vegetables or anything that will satisfy the needs of both the young lady and her parents.

When the man has gone through a successful courtship, they are engaged to marry. He stays in the house of the bride-to-be and he is supposed to be a member of the family circle. He serves them patiently day in and day out. The people of the barrio call this period “pangangasawa.”

Soon, a date for the marriage is fixed by the interested parties. They call this “bulungan.” In this “bulungan,” every detail concerning the marriage is discussed, especially the dowry (bigay-kaya or bilang), the wedding party, whether it will be an elaborate one or a simple one, the bride’s wedding outfit and other accessories and the sponsors or witnesses. Of course, all the expenses will be shouldered by the man’s family.

Marriage – The marriage ceremony is officiated by a priest or sometimes by a justice of the peace. It is usually solemnized in a church and the wedding party is held in the house of the bride. As soon as the newlyweds reach home, they wait for a person to throw grains of rice and salt over them, before they go upstairs. They believe that this practice will make them successful husband and wife. When they reach the door of the house, another woman serves the couple a dish of sweet (kalamay). The people believe that the eating of the “kalamay” will make the couple live together harmoniously. In the afternoon, when the party is about to end, there is a “sabugan.” The groom and the bride sit opposite each other before a table and in front of each of them is a plate. The relatives and friends of the groom put their wedding presents on the plate of the bride while the relatives and friends of the bride put theirs on the plate of the groom. The newly married couple offers them cigarettes in return. After the sabugan, the money is counted and the groom gives it to the bride. The bride then leaves her husband and goes to the house of her in-laws. The groom is left in the house of his in-laws and stays with them overnight. The next morning, the man goes to his home to stay with his beloved wife. After three days, the couple can return to the house of the woman.

Death – When a person dies in the community, nearly all the barrio folks visit the dead and pray for the forgiveness of the sins

[p. 4]

he committed while living. They watch over the dead the whole night through and bury him the next day in the town cemetery. For eight consecutive nights, the people of the community pray for his soul with the members of the bereaved family. On the fourth day, as well as on the ninth day after the death, there are prayers for the eternal repose of his soul every now and then during the whole day by different groups of women. Food is served to the people who come to pray. On the thirtieth day, prayers are said again. All the relatives mourn for the death of the person. At the death anniversary, there are prayers again for his eternal rest. The people call this “babaan ng luksa.” All the relatives in mourning take off their black clothes and change them to the clothes with gay colors. Food is served to the people.

Festivals – The people of the community celebrate Fiesta de Mayo, but not every year. An “hermana” is selected for the celebration. The flower offering is done in the evening, after which the “hermana” entertains her guests with a party and dance at her home.


The Taal Lake region is a scene of beauty with its rivers and mountains. At the center of the lake is Taal Volcano. Its eruption on January 27, 1911 caused much destruction to the neighboring towns. About one thousand four hundred lives were lost.

As to the origin of Taal Lake, it is said that there once lived in one of the forests of Batangas a fairy. This fairy used to take walks. One day, when the fairy was taking her customary stroll, she met a horrible giant named Taal. Attracted by her beauty, the giant asked her to marry him. The fairy, abhorring the giant’s ugliness, answered that she would rather die than marry such an ugly giant. Then, she ran away and tried to escape, but the giant ran after her. The fairy came to a cave and prayed God to protect her. God, taking pity on the poor fairy, saved her. The giant became angry because he failed to get the fairy. He dug a path leading to the cave where the fairy was hiding. Water rushed in from around the cave and thus, Taal Lake was created.

The origin of Taal Volcano is a continuation of this story. The fairy became frightened because the cave in which she was hiding was already surrounded with water. She prayed and prayed for help and at last, her prayer was answered. A tree was transformed by God to a banca and she was ordered to embark. She did what she was told to do. When she was already on the shore, she was seen by the giant. The giant became mad. He followed her but soon, she was out of sight. He returned to the forest, the former dwelling place of the fairy, and burned it. He thought that the fairy had returned to her former home. Great fire and smoke was created. Great places of rocks rolled down the mountain side. This was the first eruption of Taal Volcano.

Popular songs, games and amusements –
a. Pandango
b. Subli
c. Sabalan

[p. 5]

Puzzles and riddles (Mga Palaisipan at Bugtong)

(1) Isang biging (butil) palay
Sikig sa buong bahay. – (ilaw)
(2) Hinila ko ang baging
Nagkagulo ang matsing. – (ulakma)
(3) Dalawang batong mabilog
Malayo ang abot. – (mata)
(4) Ang baboy ko sa kaingin
Tumataba’y walang pakain. – (kalabasa)
(5) Apat na mahabang tao
Pulos biyak ang ulo. – (haligi)
(6) Dala mo’y dal aka
Saan ka man pumunta. – (bakya o sinelas)
(7) Habang iyong kinakain
Lalo kang gugutumin. – (purge)
(8) Ako’y nagtanim ng saging sa tabi ng birhen. – (kandila)
(9) Isang batalyong sundalo, iisa ang kabo. – (bituin at buwan)
(10) Takbo roon, takbo rito, hindi makaalis sa tayong ito. – (duyan)
Proverbs and Sayings (Salawikain)
(1) Pag di ka lumingon sa pinanggalingan
Ay di makararating sa paruruonan.
(2) Ang kasipaga’y kapatid ng kayamanan.
(3) Kung anong laki ng anunang,
Ay siyang laki ng guwang.
(4) Pag maaga ang lusong,
Ay maaga ang ahon.
(5) Kung ano ang iyong tanim,
Ay siya mong aanihin.
(6) Hutukin ang kahoy hanggang malambot, sapagka’t pag ito’y
Lumaki’t tumayog, ay mahirap man din ang iyong paghuhutok.
(7) Pag masipag ang hintuturo,
Nag-uuyayi ang nguso.
(8) Pag pinukol ka ng bato,
Tinapay ang iganti mo.
(9) Walang birheng matimtiman,
Sa matiyagang mangundiman.
(10) Ang mga balita’y bihirang magtapat,
Kung magtutuo ma’y marami nang dagdag.

Methods of measuring time; special calendars – When a clock or watch is not available, the people usually tell the time by the position of the sun. They also determine the time by the crowing of the roosters, especially at night. When the patola flowers open, it is four o’clock in the afternoon and when the leaves of the acacia tree close, it is five o’clock in the afternoon.

[p. 6]


Once in the days of old, the parrot was king of the forest. All the birds and beasts that lived near him were under his rule. As parrots always do, he clung with his bill and claws and went from branch to branch.

King Parrot made a law that when he was asleep, all his subjects should be quiet.

One day, Mother Quail was cryingly searching for the king. Shortly after, she found him sleeping. She cried louder, thus she awoke King Parrot. His round eyes stared at her. This frightened Mother Quail because she remembered the law. However, she still had the courage to approach the king and cited to him her apprehension. The king gaged [gazed?] at the weeping Mother Quail. In the King’s opinion, he could not forgive the quail for the bold act she had said.

“Our dear King,” began Mother Quail sadly.

“What and why did you disturb me from sleep when you already know there is a law?” asked the King angrily.

“Pardon me, O superior King, I dare come and disturb you to file a suit against the slayer of my pretty and healthy children,” denounced Mother Quail with tears in her eyes.

“What did you say?” asked the King shockingly. [shocked]

“Yes, our King, the cruel deer killed my children.”

“Where were your young ones that such disaster happened?”

“In my nest, dear King.”

The King called one of his guards and told him to look for the criminal. When the deer came and was asked why he killed the baby quails, he politely explained.

“I did not kill them intentionally, O King,” began the deer in a trembling voice. “But due to my great fright of the loud hooting of the owl on top of the tree, that I thought it was the voice of Death, I ran so swiftly that my feet were almost not touching the ground.”

The King sent for the Owl. “Why did you hoot very loudly on the top of the tree?” asked the King.

“I hooted loudly because the Big Ant heavily stung my anus. I thought it was a flying arrow of a cruel hunter that hit me.”

Immediately, the King sent for the Ant. When the King asked her why she stung the Owl’s anus, she said that she was resting under a tree, having been tired of storing up food for her young, she suddenly felt something fall heavily on her which caused her waist to break. She then looked up and knew the Owl had dropped his waste.

After realizing the pitiful situation, of the ant, the King thought deeply and then proclaimed the whole content of his passion in regards to the case filed before him.

“In my thorough study of what every one of you has done, it’s proper and wise to impose punishment upon you all,” said the King.

The weeping quail again cried bitterly as she heard the King’s words. She feared the King might punish her severely for she broke the law.

“You, Deer, from now on, your main horns will be branched and your home will be the thick and thorny forest so that you can never go out, for if you do, you’ll be shot by everyone who sees you.”

[p. 7]

Having heard the decision of the King, the Deer quickly stepped out and went into the woods.

“You, Owl,” pointed the King, “being the source of this trouble, you’ll grasp your food in the dark and you’ll sleep in the day.”

The Owl turned sadly away when he heard the punishment. Next, then, the King called upon the Mother Quail.

“From this time on, you will make signs of call wherever you are, so that you may be safe from any disaster.”

Mother Quail was waiting for the other words of the King when suddenly, he turned to the Ant and gave her [his] decision.

“Big Ant, because you have been rash and hasty in dealing with the Owl, who had innocently thrown waste on you, you shall remain with a broken waist and you’ll always drag the hind half of your body.”

After giving his last sentence, King Parrot again clung with its bill and went from branch to branch, while Mother Quail and Big Ant left unhappily shaking their heads as if they were not contented with the King’s decision.

From that time on, the deer has [had] branched horns, its home is in the thick forest; the quail makes calls; the owl hunts its food at night and sleeps in the day; and the ant has a broken waist.


Minsan, nang unang panahon, ang loro ay siyang hari ng gubat. Lahat ng ibon at ibang mga hayop na naninirahang malapit sa kanya ay nasa ilalim ng kanyang kapangyarihan. Siya ang napagkaugalian ng mga loro, siya ay pangunyangungyapit at palipat-lipat sa mga sanga.

Ang Haring Loro ay nagtakda ng isang batas na kung siya’y natutulog, ang sinuman sa nasasakupan ay tatahimik.

Isang araw, si Inang-Pugo ay nag-iiiyak at hinahanap ang hari. Hindi nagtagal at natagpuan niya ito’y natutulog. Napalakas siya ng iyak na siya tuloy ikinabulahaw ng hari na kasabay ang dilat ng dalawang mabibilog na mata. Si Inang-Pugo ay natakot sa gayang anyo ng Haring Loro sapagka’t naalala niya noon ang batas. Gayunma’y malakas pa rin ang loob na humarap at nagtapat ng kanyang kaapihan. Walang kisap ang hari nang pagmamasid sa kaharap na lumuluha. Sa palagay niya’y hindi niya mapapatawad si Inang-Pugo sa ginawa nitong kapangahasan.

“Mahal naming Hari,” ang malungkot na simula ng Inang-Pugo.

“Ano, at bakin mo ako ginambala sa pagkakahimbing gayong alam mong may batas?” ang pagalit na sambot ng Haring Loro.

“Patawad po ako, O kataas-taasang Hari. Mangahas po akong pumarito at gambalain kayo sa pagtulog upang magharap ng sakdal laban sa berdugong sumawi ng malulusog at magaganda kong anak,” lumuluhang paliwanag ni Inang-Pugo.

“Ano ang sabi mo?” pagulat ng Hari.

“Opo, aming Hari. Pinatay po ng berdugong usa ang aking mga bunso.”

[p. 8]

“Saan naroon ang iyong mga inakay at nangyari ang gayong kapahamakan?” usisang muli ng Hari.

“Sa aking pugad po.”

Tinawag ng hari ang isa niyang taga-tanod at ipinahanap ang salarin. Nang dumating ang usa at tanungin ng Hari kung bakit kanyang pinatay ang mga batang-pugo ay marahan siyang nagpaliwanag.

“Sila po’y hindi ko kinusang pinatay,” ang nanginginig na simula. “Sa malaki ko pong takot sa malakas na palahaw ni Kuwago sa dulo ng isang kahoy na ang isip ko po’y tinig ni Kamatayan, ay nagtatakbo na po ako na halos hindi sumasayad ang aking mga paa sa lupa.”

Ipinatawag ng Haring Loro ang Kuwago.

“Bakit ka pumalahaw sa dulo ng kahoy na siyang ikinatakot ng usa?” tanong ng Hari.

“Napasigaw po ako ng malakas sapagka’t pinag-itingan ni Hantik ang aking puwit. Ang akala ko po’y isa nang palaso ng isang mamamaril ang tumama sa akin.”

Madaling ipinatawag ng Haring Loro si Hantik. Nang mapaharap sa Hari ay sinabi ng Hantik na, samantalang siya’y namamahinga sa lilim ng punongkahoy, dahil sa matinding pagod sa paghahakot ng pagkain sa lungga ng kanyang maliliit na anak, ay biglang-bigla niyang naramdamang may bumagsak na mabigat sa kanyang katawan na siyang ikinabali ng kanyang bayawang. Siya’y tumingala at nakita niya’y si Kuwago.

Nag-isip ang Hari, at pagkatapos ay ipinahayag ang linalaman ng kalooban.

“Matay ko mang timbangin ang ginawa ng bawa’t isa sa inyo ay nararapat kayong magkamit ng parusa,” ang paliwanag ng Hari.

Ang namimighating si Inang-Pugo ay muli na namang napakalakas ng iyak nang marinig ang pahayag ng Hari. Natatakot siyang baka lapatan ng mabigat na parusa sa ginawang paglabag sa batas.

“Usa,” ang panguna ng hari. “Simula ngayon ay magsasanga-sanga ang iyong sungay at ang tahanan mo’y ang pinakamasukal na kakahuyan na hindi ka maaaring lumabas sapagka’t babarilin ka ng bawa’t makakita sa iyo.”

Pagkarinig ng Usa ng hatol sa kanya ay madaling umalis at pinunta ang kagubatan.

“Ikaw naman,” ang baling kay Kuwago, “na siyang pinagmulanng usaping ito ay sa madilim ka kakapkap ng iyong pagkain at sa buong maghapon ka matutulog.”

Lumisan agad si Kuwago sa pasiyang kanyang narinig. Isinunod namang hatulan ang Inang-Pugo.

“Ikaw, buhat ngayon ay huhuni at tuwing oras, saan ka man naroroon, upang mailagan mo ang kapahamakan.”

Naghihintay pa ng idurugtong ng Hari si Inang-Pugo, nguni’t tinawag agad at Hantik at siya namang binigyang-pasiya.

“Hantik, sa kawalan ng hunus-dili sa isang walang malay na kuwagong umipot sa iyo ay mananatiling bali ang iyong bayawang, gayunding hihilahin mo ang kalahati ng iyong katawan.” Pagkasabi ng huling kataga ay nagpangunyangunyapit na naman ang Haring Loro sa mga sanga. Samantalang sina Inang-Pugo, na wari’y hindi nasiyahan sa pasiyang narinig nila sa kanilang Hari.

Simula noon ay nagsanga-sanga ang sungay ng usa at ang tahana’y sa masukal; humuni ang pugo; ang kuwago’y dumudulang ng pagkain sa gabi at sa araw natutulog; ang hantik ay bali at maliit ang bayawang.


17. Information on books and documents treating of the Philippines and the names of their owners – No books and documents treating of the Philippines are available in this community.

18. The names of Filipino authors born or residing in the community, the titles and subjects of their works, whether printed or in manuscript form, and the names of the people possessing them. – The name of the author is Enrico Hernandez. The title of his work is “Panawagan” in manuscript form. It is possessed by Bernardo Carandang.

Respectfully submitted:

[Sgd.] (Miss) Crispina G. de Gracia

[Sgd.] Meliton H. Aseron

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