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

San Jose, 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 San Jose 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.]

H I S T O R Y    A N D    C U L T U R A L


of the

B A R R I O    O F    S A N    J O S E

Respectfully submitted by:


[p. 1]

Formerly, San Jose was a part of the big barrio of Tunggal, derived from the flower named “katunggal.” The old folks said that there were many flowers of this kind in this barrio. Later, this big barrio was divided into two, namely: Tunggal, which is the eastern part, and San Jose, which is the western part. No data could be secured why San Jose was separated from Tunggal and why it was named San Jose as it is now.

San Jose, the official name of the barrio, lies on the provincial road. It is accessible to all means of transportation available in the locality. It is more than a kilometer long. It is about three kilometers from the Poblacion and six kilometers from the nearest intersection of Mozon from Bauan, Taal, and Alitagtag. There are ravines on the north, separating the barrio from the barrio of Sampa, and on the south which separates it from the barrio of Talon.

The barrio is divided into two sitios called “Labak,” which is the western portion of the barrio, and “Ibabaw,” which is the higher eastern part overlooking the Balayan Bay.

The date of establishment is unknown, but according to the informer, who is now eighty-seven years of age, this barrio was already a separate barrio when he was born. The first families who occupied this barrio were the Siscars, Bonsols, and the Cornejos.

The “teniente cabeza,” now called the “teniente del barrio,” is selected from time to time by the head of the town together with the people of the barrio. The “teniente del barrio” from the earliest time to date are the following: Ramon Siscar, Bernardo Magsino, Bernardo Bonsol, Remigio de Claro, Martin Leyba, Eulalio Siscar, Posidio Siscar, Vicente Cornejo, Julian de Castro, Raymundo Cornejo, Alfonso Cornejo, Vicente de Castro, Artemio Capule, Feliciano Bonsol, Emilio Bonsol, Agapito de Claro, and Felipe Marco.

During the Filipino-Spanish War, Filipino revolutionists camped in “Looban” in the northern part of the barrio which is a kilometer away from the main road of the barrio. These revolutionists were headed by Lt. Bernardo Magsino.

During the American occupation, a school in Tagalog was opened in a private house under a teacher who was called “Maestrong Jacinto.” After three years, English courses were taught in the same house, lasting for about two years.

[p. 2]

Grades I and II were taught by the present vice-mayor of the town of San Luis, Victorio Lasala. Later, a school was built about a kilometer away from the barrio of San Jose. Here, Grade Three was taught.

During the Japanese occupation, people in this barrio were not much disturbed by the Japanese soldiers. Only some chickens and fruits were asked by these soldiers from the barrio people. Farmers were told to plant cotton, so that people could weave their clothes. But, during the shelling of the Japanese in Durungao by the Americans in Butong, some houses were destroyed due to the dropping of shrapnel. People in this barrio stayed in their hiding places. After the battle, a Japanese straggler was caught in the ravine in the northern part of the barrio under the leadership of Feliciano Bonsol, the “teniente del barrio” at that time. This soldier was turned over to the U.S. Army headquarters in Lemery.

[p. 3]



When a mother is giving birth, there are the midwife and a man called “salag” assisting. Very seldom is a doctor hired to assist. Only when the mother has difficulties in the delivery. It is so believed that in order that she will not take hardship, a wooden spoon called “sandok” is put on the back of the midwife and the middle part of the head “bunbunan” of the mother is blown. After giving birth, chickens are killed, and neighbors are invited to eat. This is done because the people said that it is a means of giving thanks for the mother and child being fine and well. The lives of the chickens substitute the lives of the mother and child.

When it is the first child, the mother is given a part of the “inunan” which is being eaten raw, wrapped in a buyo leaf so that she will be strong and will not get sick. She is given three spoonful of newly-cooked rice without drinking. After dressing, the baby is given by the midwife to one whom she thinks is intelligent or well-to-do, believing that the child will be like him or her, as the case may be. The baby is carried to the mother’s side. A magazine or a thin book is used as the baby’s pillow. The baby is given sweet or bitter liquid as purgative.

The baby’s “inunan” is put in a bamboo tube or a dipper. This is buried under the stairs or in the yard east of the house. The first diaper used by the baby is not washed but buried, claiming that the baby will be neat as he grows old.

[The] Mother drinks hot water with some roots or vines and leaves until she has not taken a bath. She remains unbathed for about three weeks. Her body is heated with a stone wrapped in a “sambong” leaf. The mother takes a bath with hot water which is a conglomeration of different roots and leaves of wild trees. This is done to make the mother healthy and strong.

Baptism is sometimes done at home or sometimes in the church. When done in the church, the godparents rush the baby out of the church after baptism takes place, believing of something good to come. Presents are given by the godparents to the child. These are sometimes in the form of money or jewelry or clothes, etc. To make the celebration glamorous, the parents of the child send some of the food to the house of the godparents as termed “pabandeha.”

[p. 4]

The selection of the godparents is done mostly by the godparents of the baby. It is seldom done by the father or mother of the baby.

A man courting a lady serenades her sometimes. He visits her every other day or once a week. He sends her love letters. He, or the other members of the family, serve in the girl’s home as chopping wood, getting water from the brook or plowing the field, worked by the parents of the girl. Parents or relatives of the man bring fish to the house of the girl. If he is accepted, the fish is received and distributed to the relatives of the girl. When the girl rejects the fish, these are returned.

When the girl has accepted the man, the girl’s parents tell the man to let his parents come to their home. Then, they will talk about the plans for the marriage. This is called the “bulungan.” The date for the marriage is fixed, the sponsors are selected, and whether there will be a grand party or none at all is agreed upon.

During the marriage, all food and other things to be used in the party are brought by the parents and relatives of the groom to the bride’s house. The sponsors and the grandparents of the bride are given some of the food prepared. This is called the “sabit.”

Before going to the church, the bride and the groom are given silver money. Mostly, they put this money inside their shoes. This is done so that they will have money always as long as they live.

After the marriage ceremony, the two candles used by the newlyweds are twisted together and kept. As soon as they reach home, they are served with sweet and a glass of water so that they will live in harmony. After the food has been served, then comes the “sabugan.” The bride and the groom sit themselves on the opposite ends of the table. The relatives of the bride give their gifts to the groom and vice-versa. Then, the groom gives his share to the bride and she transfers to the groom’s house. She is accompanied by the groom’s relatives. The groom is left in the house of the bride and follows later on.

Some marriages are done without the consent of the parents. The couple just elopes and go directly to the Justice of the Peace, who administers the ceremony.

[p. 5]

When somebody dies, people come to the house and pray for the soul of the dead. Candles are lighted. People give alms to the dead. They watch the dead day and night. As soon as the coffin is brought down from the house, a dipper filled with water and a broom are thrown downstairs. People pray for the dead for nine consecutive nights and on the ninth day, food is prepared for everybody who comes to pray. When the dead is below seven years old, prayers are done only for four consecutive nights. And on the fourth day, food is served also. They are always in mourning, wearing black clothes for a year. After one year, the lowering of the veil is performed. This time, those in mourning change their black clothes with other kinds at the middle of the prayer.

Many people, friends and relatives accompany the corpse to the cemetery. People who come near the grave get a lump of soil and throw it into the grave. They say that it is “pabaon.”

People are used to visiting friends and relatives who are sick. They bring with them food or other kinds of presents to the one concerned. The visitors come to visit the sick person, food is prepared by the owner of the house. Cigarettes and soft drinks are offered.

No grand festivals are held as fiestas, except baptismal, birthday, thanksgiving, and wedding parties. Neighbors and relatives need not wait for a formal invitation. They help in the preparation for the party.

The most common punishments of the parents to their children are scolding and whipping.


(1) When a cat washes his face, facing the door, there is a visitor to come to the house.

(2) When the flame under the cooking pot is noisy, money is expected to come to the house.

(3) When someone bites his own tongue, somebody is talking about him.

(4) When the right ear is itchy, someone is talking good of you; but when it is the left ear that is itchy, then it is the reverse.

(5) When the palm is itchy, you expect to have money.

[p. 6]

(6) It is not good to take a bath on Friday for misfortune will come to you.

(7) It is not good to cut your fingernails on days with “r.” It is not good to cut fingernails at night, or sweep the house at night, for personal belongings might be swept out.

(8) When a woman is on the family way, she is not allowed to lie down across the floor because it is believed that the baby will lie also across the womb, and there will be hardship in the delivery.

(9) Both man and woman do not wear ties or put around any string when the woman is on the family way, because it is believed that the umbilical cord will coil around the baby’s body.

(10) When the newly-born child cries aloud for the first time, his godparents-to-be are believed to be from a far place but, when it is low, then the vice-versa.

(11) When brothers or sisters are allowed to marry in the same year, they are believed to be sacrificing their lives and properties. One will always try to overpower the other.

(12) When somebody in the family is dead, they do not sweep or clean their houses until a certain time, believing that they are going to sweep the lives of the remaining members.

People believe that sicknesses are caused by wind, rain, heat of the sun, and changes of the weather. Sometimes, sicknesses come from the ground and rivers. This is believed to be as “nuno.” Sometimes, people are sick of the following:

(a) “Atupiling” – symptoms are headaches and dizziness.
(b) “Gahoy” – symptoms are headaches, vomiting and frequent bowel movements.

These sicknesses are cured by massaging the forehead, abdomen, and back of the neck with a piece of chewed betelnut, buyo, lime, ginger, and garlic, by any person who has been sick of these mentioned sicknesses.


 (1)  Lullaby (4)  Boanerjes Serenade
 (2)  Rice Planting Song (5)  Kundimans
 (3)  Meadow Butterflies
 (1)  Softball (4)  Mah Jong
 (2)  Basketball (5)  Playing cards
 (3)  Ping-pong (6)  Cockfighting
[p. 7]
A. Naririto na may sunong na baga.
(Here it comes with a ball of fire on the head.) – Rooster
B. Kung nalilimutan ay nadadala, ngunit’t kung naaalala ay naiiwan.
(When you forget it, you carry it; but when you remember it, you leave it.) – Amor Seco
C. Hindi tubig, umaagos, hindi kampanilya’y tumitingting.
(It is not water but flows, it is not a bell but rings.) – Agustin
D. Naririto na nguni’t hindi mo nakikita.
(Here it comes but you do not see it.) – Wind
E. Sinampal ko muna bago ko inalok.
I slapped him first before I offered him.) – Tamarind
F. Apat na umaga, nilalang ni Kristo, dalawa sa tanghali, sa hapon ay tatlo.
(God created it, four in the morning, two at noon and three in the afternoon.) – Mankind
G. May isang puno ng balite, may dalawang kabayong nakatali, isa’y pula, isa’y puti, labindalawa ang sanga, apat ang bulaklak at pito ang bunga.
(There is one balite tree with two horses tied to it, one is red and one is white, it has twelve branches, four flowers and seven fruits.) – World, sun and moon, 12 months, 4 weeks and seven days
H. Bahay ng sibil, libot ng pusil.
(The house of the soldier surrounded with rifles.) – Papaya.
I. Iisa ang ulo, ang mata’y tatlo.
(It is a head with three eyes.) – Coconut fruit
J. Mata’y kong lingunin, nguni’t hindi ko abutin.
(I always look back but I cannot catch up.) – Ears
K. Isang balong malalim puno ng patalim.
(A deep well full of sharp objects.) – Mouth
L. Isang butil ng palay, puno ang buong bahay.
(A grain of palay can fill the whole house.) – Lamp… Light
M. Bumili ako ng alipin, mataas pa kaysa akin.
(I bought a slave who is taller than I am.) – Hat
N. Isa ang pinasukan, tatlo ang nilabsan.
(I entered in a hole and went out in three holes.) – Undershirt
O. Dala mo, dala ka, dal aka ng iyong dala.
(You carry it and it carries you.) – Shoes, slippers.
[p. 8]
A. Cleanliness is next to godliness.
B. Politeness is to do or say the kindest thing in the kindest way.
C. An honest centavo is better than a stolen peso.
D. Honesty is the best policy.
E. A sleeping shrimp is carried by the current.
F. An early bird catches the worm.
G. It is better late than never.
H. You can see the hole of the needle, but not the hole of the axe.
I. If you plant nothing, you harvest the wind.
J. Obedience is the mother of success, the wife of safety.
K. The wisdom of the young comes from the old.
L. Of what use is the grass when the horse is dead.
M. Continuous droplets of water can wear out even granite.
N. To walk rapidly is to fall heavily.
O. The mountain does not go to the man but the man to the mountain.
P. A rolling stone gathers no moss.
Q. An hour too soon is better than a minute too late.
R. Still water runs deep.
A. Clock or watch.
B. Sun, moon, and stars.
C. Crowing of cocks mostly during the night.
D. Patola flowers.
E. Sunflowers.









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