Natunuan, San Jose, Batangas: Historical Data - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore Natunuan, San Jose, Batangas: Historical Data - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore

Natunuan, San Jose, 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 Natunuan in the Municipality of San Jose, 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.


District of San Jose

Tugtug, June 1, 1953


The following persons whose names appear below provided the teachers concerned with the local history of each barrio.

1. Anus ---- Angel Suarez and his wife

2. Lalayat ---- Geronimo Javillo

3. Natunuan ---- Jose Gonzales, Juan Comia and the late Pedro Hernandez

4. Sabang ---- Casiano Briones


5. Tugtug ---- Cornelio Aguila


[p. 1]


Part One--------------------History
Part Two--------------------Traditions, Customs and Practices in Domestic and Social Life
Part Three--------------------Other Information

History and Cultural Life of the Barrio

One of the remotest barrios in the municipality of San Jose, about seven kilometers away from the poblacion, in its western part lies the barrio of Natunuan. It has a vast plain, a rough road, [a] few creeks and a brook that dries up during the long dry season.

Its name originated from the word “Natuno” or from the murmuring brook that intersects a creek which produces a harmonious flow along its way.

It was established sometime in the seventeenth century, soon after Malaking Tubig became a municipality. This barrio was annexed to it and became one of its barrios. This barrio was grouped into three sitios namely: Sampal, Kurus, and Pasublein. These were densely populated long ago on account of their nearness to the brook whereby the settlers bathed and washed their clothes. But, after the construction of a road from Bauan to San Jose, some of the inhabitants left their homes and settled along the roadside.

The first inhabitants or families which are the ancestors of the present inhabitants were the following: Casanova, Gonzales, Comia, and Hernandez families. These families, in early times, formed their own government under one chieftain or datu. Their government was very common to the early Filipinos. They had one sovereign whose power over them was absolute and ruled over each and all its members in the territory.

During the Spanish era, this place was peaceful for the people had a common will and purpose that bound them even to the present time. When the Americans came up to World War II, the people were in complete peace and were free from worry and hunger. Their plains were carefully cultivated and yielded sufficient harvest for the people. Such [a] gift of Divine Providence was a blessing to these people. However, during the occupation years, the people were quite disturbed although this barrio was quite far from the poblacion.

List of tenientes from the earliest time to date:

 1.  Jacinto Aguila 6.  Pedro Hernandez
 2.  Anastacio Hernandez 7.  Mariano Karaan
 3.  Jacinto Casanova 8.  Lorenzo Hernandez
 4.  Filomeno Comia 9.  Fernando Casanova
 5.  Juan Comia10. Lorenzo Hernandez

Part ---------- Two

Traditions, Customs, and Practices in Domestic and Social Life:

10. Customs and Practices:

a. Birth
Before the birth of a child, the husband prepares different kinds of fuel that are hard woods. These pieces of wood are to be kept burning in a pot in the cellar where the wife lies down for at least one week. The delivery is usually attended by the so-called “hilot” or midwife. The midwife usually stays with the family until the baby is born. She bathes the baby and dresses him. After the birth of the child, she makes routine visits to the mother twice a day for at least one week. After 18 days, the mother is ready to take a bath. The husband gathers medicinal

[p. 2]

leaves such as malarayap, galamay-amo, sambong, etc. These leaves are boiled in a big new pot. This will be made to stand overnight and in the following morning, it will be put over the fire again and about ten o’clock, the wife is ready to take a bath.

After the bath is over, a hot stone is made ready for the so-called “saklab.” The mother is wrapped in a blanket and stands with feet apart. The midwife then puts the stone between the feet and pours [a] little water every now and then over the hot stone. The mother will feel the heat of the stone and will perspire very much. When the perspiration is beginning to flow, she is taken out of the heating system and allowed to lie down. The midwife dries the perspiration with a soft clean towel.

b. Baptism
After the safe and normal delivery of the child, the parents think of baptizing the baby. The child is then taken to church for the baptism.

Usually, when the parents are well-to-do, there is a baptismal party wherein the relatives, neighbors, and friends are invited. However, when the parents are poor, the baby is just taken to the church to be baptized without a party.

When the baby born is sickly, they do not take the child to church at once but request someone to baptize the baby right away in their house. The moment he gets well, he is taken to the church for baptism.

c. Courtship
Courtship during the early days was very much different from the courtship nowadays. Such courtship was indicative of the high respect our ancestors had for our women which we have to emulate nowadays. Suitors of yesteryears were very well-behaved. They took off their hats even if they were still several meters away from the girl’s house. When they went upstairs, they were careful not to make any noise. Before they entered the house, they showed courtesy by saying “Good night” behind the door in a very modulate voice. Then, they would sit on the floor or on the bench without uttering a word. The girl would then sit opposite the suitor without saying a word, too. They just looked at one another, but perhaps with meaningful looks. While the suitor smoked his cigarette, the girl continued with her work as knotting abaca or mending clothes. While the silent courtship was going on, the girl’s parents stayed in the next room immediately behind the wall or stayed in the same room where the courtship was going on where the suitors were within their immediate sight.

Usually, the man helped in the work done in the girl’s house, although there was no assurance that he would be the lucky choice of the parents. After long and patient services, sometimes it took a year or more before the parents approved of their daughter’s marriage.

When both parties could not agree on the giving of the dowry or on the preparation of the feast, or if there occurred a misunderstanding between the parties, then they separated again. When the parents of the man were not tactful, the long services of their son became useless. The young man had to look for another, one in whom the magnetic needle of his love would remain stable.

d. Marriage
With regards to marriage, some practices of the past are still gloriously practiced today. When both parties have agreed on the marriage of their children, then they talk over the date when they are wedded. They consult some old persons who are supposed to know the lucky dates for marriages. Then, they talk of the sponsors and the wedding feast. When all have been decided, the prospective bride and groom and parents of both parties buy the necessary apparel and jewels to be used.

[p. 3]

The ceremony is usually solemnized by the parish priest. When the ceremony is over, the couple rushes out of the church. Each one of them likes to go ahead of the other. When they reach the bride’s house, the couple kneels before the girl’s parents. Sometimes, there is dancing, singing, and other forms of entertainment at the wedding. At about one o’clock, when the feast is almost over, they have the so-called sabugan, wherein the relatives of both parties give their gifts in cash or in kind.

After the sabugan is over, the bride is taken to the groom’s house on horseback or she just walks to his house if it is near or no available transportation is at hand. All the utensils, tableware, and all that were used at the feast are brought back. The groom is left at the bride’s house where he helps in some household work. He goes home the following morning to see his wife.

e. Burial
The dead in the past were just taken to the cemetery rolled in mats. There were no coffins during the olden days.


Under No. 10, no data available. The oldest men in the barrio cannot furnish us any data or information regarding the above.

Beliefs and Superstitions about Marriage

People believed that
1. That two candles to represent the couple must be burned before the altar and that, as they are burning, they should be twisted together so that the couple will not separate.
2. That the breaking of the pot when the couple arrives at the house means the birth of many children.
3. That it is bad to marry in the month of February.
4. That it is bad to marry when the moon is small.
5. That it is bad for the sweethearts to be going around or visiting places when they are not yet married. Accidents may befall them, they say.


People believed that
1. That it is bad to go somewhere else when there is a dead person nearby.
2. That when the members of the family cry, they must see to it that not a tear falls on the deceased.
3. That on the fourth night, the spirit of the dead visits his or her house.
4. That when we small the scent of [a] lighted candle, when actually none is burning, a relative of theirs may be dead.


People believed that
1. When prospective mothers eat twin bananas, they will surely give birth to twins.
2. That birth marks are due to the likes and dislikes of either the father or mother for certain kinds of food.
3. It is bad for mothers on [the] family way to wear necklaces or anything around the neck because this may cause the baby’s umbilical cord to wind around his neck.


1. It is not good to do manual labor on Good Friday.

[p. 4]

2. When a black butterfly enters your house at night, it is a sign of a bad omen.
3. When one dreams of the black cross, it is a sign of a bad omen, too.
4. It is good to plant trees during [a] full moon.


Others under No. 11 --- No data available. The oldest man in the barrio cannot furnish us any data.

12. Popular Songs and Games ---- Amusements

a. The popular songs are:
1. Huling Awit
2. Lulay
3. Ang Dalagang Pilipina
4. Ako’y Anak ng Dalita
b. Popular Games:
1. Baong for girls
2. Gurmay for boys
3. Sunda-sundaluhan
4. Baka-bakahan
5. Piko
6. Sintak
c. Popular Amusements:
1. Subli
2. Pandanggo
3. Balakatak
4. Storytelling by old folks
5. Chess

13. Puzzles and Riddles:

1. Tintang puti, plumang bakli, papel na berde, ang nasulat ay pawang babae. – Nga-nga
2. Tubig sa digan-digan, di mapatakan ng ulan. – Niyog
3. Isang pirpir na kahoy, may kulay, may bohol. – Sigarilyo
4. Bata pa si Pepito, maalam na manakbo. – Bilot
5. Wala sa lañgit, wala sa lupa, ang dahon ay sariwa. – Dapo
6. Ang inusong ay buhay, ang nag-usong ay patay. – Balag
7. Manok ko sa parang, napula’y natapang. – Sili
8. Baras ng kapitan, di malakdawan. – Ahas
9. Baka ko sa Maynila, abot dito ang uñga. – Kulog
10. Hindi Linggo’y hindi pista, laging may bandila. – Saging
11. Isang babaeng may korona, kahit saan ay may mata. – Pinya
12. Aling dito sa mundo, ang ngalan ay Isko. – Iskuba

14. Proverbs and Sayings:

1. Ang taong masikap ay daig ang maagap.
2. Di man kita ang apoy, sa aso matutunton.
3. Kapag may sinimpan ay may aasahan.
4. Kapag naiiatang ay maiihakbang.
5. Ang bagoong takluban man ay pilit aaliñgasaw.
6. Ang naniniwala sa sabi-sabi ay walang bait sa sarili.
7. Walang sisira sa bakal kundi rin ñga ang kalawang.
8. May taiñga ang lupa, may pakpak ang balita.
9. Kung hagisan ka ng bakal, gantihin mo ng tinapay.
10. Ang gawa sa pagkabata, ay dala hanggang tumanda.
11. Batang mapagtanong, maagang dumunong.
12. Kung ano ang bukang bibig, siyang laman ng dibdib.
13. Magbiro ka na sa lasing, huag sa bagong gising.
14. Ubos-ubos biyaya, pagkatapos ay tuñgañga.
15. Taong sa mabuti galing, sumama man ay gagaling din.
16. Kahoy mang babad sa tubig, sa apoy huag ilalapit, kapag nadarang ng init, sapilitang magdirikit.
17. Ang taong kulang sa hiya, walang halaga ang wika.
18. Ang sakit ng kalingkiñgan, damdam ng buong katawan.

[p. 5]

15. Methods of Measuring Time:

In the olden days, people had their own methods of measuring time. They had no clocks but had the following means of telling time.

1. By looking at the position of the sun and stars.
2. By observing the flowers of the different kinds of plants.
3. By the crowing of the roosters.
4. By the songs of some forest birds as the calao, cuckoo and dives [doves?].

The calendar used by the people is the one made by Honorio Lopez Jr. It is their special calendar.


The Three Sisters

Once upon a time, there lived three sisters. They lived in a big house. They did nothing but take care of their hands. They rubbed their nails and kept the chance and smooth. They we're very proud of their hands.

One day, they took a walk near a mountain. Soon, they met Rosa, the daughter of their laundrywoman. One of them said, “Look at Rosa’s hands. How rough and brown they are.” Another sister said, “Rosa, keep your hands at your back. Do not show them to us. We do not like ugly hands.” The third sister said, “You should be ashamed of them.”

Rosa did not know what to do. She wanted to cry. By and by, an old woman passed by. She was carrying a heavy pack of clothes. She said, “Please help me carry these clothes pretty girls.”

The three sisters turned their backs and responded, “We shall hurt our hands.”

Rosa ran immediately to help the old woman. She helped her climb the hill. On top of the hill, a light appeared and the old woman disappeared. In her place, a shining person appeared. She was an angel. The angel smiled and said, “Thank you Rosa. You have the most beautiful hands in the world. Beautiful hands are those that help.”

Then, she disappeared.

Respectfully submitted by:


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