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

Luya, 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 Luya 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.

[Cover page.]


[p. 1]


Luya is a barrio situated on the southern part of the town of San Luis. It is about 5½ kilometers from the poblacion. Its name was derived from a kind of tropical plant with pungent aromatic rootstock. No information could be secured why the place was so-called by that name. The place has been called by that name since the Spanish period.

The barrio includes the sitio of “Labak” which means a low place. It may have been established during the Spanish period.

The original families were the families of de Villa, Corales and Badillo.

The different persons who became tenientes of the barrio as remembered from the earliest time to date were Mariano Calanog, Aguido Badillo, Marcelino Comia, Manuel Carbonella, Timoteo Lasala, Santiago Anoyo, Felipe Comia, Sotero Badillo, Juan Ilao, Tomas Corales, Brigido Magsino and Dionisio Boongaling. No so important accomplishments of these persons could be remembered. At present, Emerenciano Comia is the barrio lieutenant. He was already the barrio lieutenant when the Japanese attacked the Phil. on Dec. 8, 1941.

No sitios are now depopulated or extinct within its territorial jurisdiction. Historical sites, structures, buildings and old ruins cannot be found in this place.

An important fact that took place in the barrio during the Spanish occupation was the evacuating of some people from the towns of Taal and Lemery to this place. Two of these persons were known by the names of “Kapitan Ramon” and “Kabezang Lucio.”

At the coming of the Americans, these people were abused by the Macabebes. These Macabebes were the persons who were on the American side. They came to the place looking for the Filipino revolutionists and in their search, they made jokes on the women. It was also during this period when the people were ordered to go to Banoyo. This they called “suna.” This was sometime in the year 1899.

During the Japanese occupation, the people of the barrio did not suffer much from the ferocity of the Japanese soldiers. They did not go away, although in many places, people evacuated. Lack of food was not felt so much because the people planted many different kinds of crop. The barrio was reached only for one time by Japanese soldiers although there were many in the nearby barrios. At the time when the Japanese soldiers reached the place, they got 9 big cows from the barrio people.

[p. 2]

In 1945, after the liberation of American troops in our country, a school was opened with one teacher to teach. There was no permanent building, so schooling was done in a private house. Later in 1947, a temporary schoolhouse was built by the Parent-Teacher Association of the barrio.

II Folkways

The people of the barrio have many traditions, customs and practices within their domestic and social lives. They have their traditions, customs, and practices on birth, baptism, courtship, marriage, death, visits and festivals.

Birth: When a mother gives birth to a child, they kill one or two chickens. The lives of the chickens are the substitutes for the lives of the mother and child. The mother does not take a bath until a month has passed since her delivery. Magazines or newspapers are used as pillow of the baby so that he will become intelligent.

Baptism: The newly-born child is christened at the church or at home which is called “buhos-tubig.” After the ceremony, the sponsor gives the child to the mother with the lighted candle. The lighted candle is the child’s guide in his life.

Courtship: A man who courts a lady helps the parents of the woman in their work. The man has to fetch water, get water and plow the fields. The “pasagad” system is common in this place. This is a practice in which the man has to invite many fathers and plow the field of the parents of the woman. The parents of the man will take fish to the woman. This is called “pa-isda.” If the parents accept the fish, it means that the love of the man is accepted but if they return the fish, it means to say that the man’s love is rejected. If the fish is accepted, the parents of [the] woman will summon for the parents of the man. They will talk about the marriage of the two. Before the marriage, the man has to give a dowry.

Marriage: During the wedding, the parents and relatives of the man are the hosts and hostesses while the parents and relatives of the woman are the guests.

[p. 3]

The newlyweds, upon reaching the stairs, are met by some persons carrying dessert and water. While the two eat, someone throws uncooked rice at them. They do this so that the couple will be happy and prosperous. When all the people have eaten, they have the “sabugan.” This “sabugan” is the giving of parents, relatives and friends of remembrances to the couple. But the most common here is money. After this, the couple goes to the man’s house. Upon reaching the bridegroom’s house, a pot is to be broken so that the couple will have many children. The couple has to return to the woman’s house after 4 days. If the woman returns before the 4th day, she will not be a good daughter-in-law.

Death: It has been a practice of the people of the barrio to watch the dead especially at night. They say that a very big bird called iki may come and steal the dead.

When the dead is leaving the house to be taken to the cemetery, no person is allowed to look out of the window. The persons carrying the coffin should not stop at the yard.

Persons living in the house where someone died recently should not pile the dishes while still on the table after eating, not until the 8th day has passed. [The] Piling of the dishes on the table may cause death to other members of the family.

Visits: People pay visits to their relatives and friends who are sick and to mothers who gave birth to a child. In their visits, they carry with them something to eat.

Festivals: Persons who will celebrate parties such as baptismal, birthdays, wedding, and others are helped by the neighbors in their work or in the preparation for the occasion.

The people of the barrio have their myths, legends, beliefs, interpretations and superstitions. Their belief about the first man and woman is Biblical. The first man was Adam (Adan). From Adam’s body, Bathala (God Almighty) got one of the ribs and made it Eve (Eva).

The moon, according to the old barrio folks, is a blacksmith. This blacksmith did not like his work because a blacksmith is always near the fire and it’s too hot. He wished he were a woodcutter. But when he was a woodcutter, he could feel the heat of the sun while cutting wood. Because the sun is hot, he did not like also his second work. So, he wished he were in a place where he could not feel the heat of the sun and fire. He had his wish. He was changed

[p. 4]

to a moon. That’s why we could see a face of a man in the moon.

A person should not take a bath when the moon is in wane because sickness may come to him.

The people of the barrio have also their popular songs, games and amusements. Their songs are the kundimans, sinalibis and top tunes. They have a way of singing called palasintahan. Palasintahan is a term used when a man and a woman have a contest in singing. A man and a woman singing in this way have to answer each other’s song. The one who cannot give an answer will be the loser.

Men of the barrio amuse themselves by serenading. During Lent days, their way of amusement is by singing the “Passion.” [The] Passion is a book resembling the Bible.

Puzzles and riddles are well-known by the barrio folks. They have many of them and due to their greatness in number, only a few can be stated here. Here are examples of their puzzles and riddles.

 1.  When the lake dries,
      The heron will dry.
 2.  A grain of palay,
      A very big house
      It can occupy.
 3.  Two little birds,
      Always sitting
      On two small twigs.
 4.  If you touch the sun
      A maiden will run
5. Its abdomen is white
Its back is red
It has a tail
But has no head.

Answers to the above puzzles are 1 and 2, lamp, 3, earrings, 4, spider web and 5, leaves of the bunga palm.

Knowledge of proverbs and sayings is one of the many characteristics possessed by the people of the barrio. Here are some of the proverbs:

1. Courtesy gains all and costs nothing.
2. One today is worth two tomorrow.
3. I count him braver who overcomes his desires than him who conquers his enemy; for the hardest victory is victory over self.
4. Light is the task when many share the toil.
5. Every task can be accomplished by patience and industry.
6. Practice thrift or else you’ll drift.
7. An honest man’s word is as good as his bond.

[p. 5]

8. Doing nothing is doing ill.
9. A sleeping shrimp is carried by the current.
10. A friend in need is a friend indeed.
11. Kind hearts are more than coronets.
12. When angry, count ten before you speak; if very angry, count a hundred.
13. A rolling stone gathers no moss.
14. Speech is silver but silence is gold
15. All doors are open to courtesy.
16. Who so keepeth his mouth and his tongue
Keepeth his soul from troubles.
17. Three helping one another bear the burden of six.
18. In the sweat of thy face shall have eat bread.
19. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man may lay down his life for his friends.
20. He lost the game, no matter for that
He kept his temper and swung his hat
To cheer the winners with a laugh.

People of this place have different methods of telling time. The most common is by the position of the sun, moon and stars. They can also determine the time from the crow of cocks at night and by their use of clocks and watches.

Respectfully submitted:


1. Leonocio Salazar
2. [Sgd.] Francisco Corales
Notes and references:
Transcribed from “History and Cultural Life of Luya,” 1953, online at the National Library of the Philippines Digital Collections.
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