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

Tugtug, 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 Sabang 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 the 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 - - - - - - - - Folkways
Part Three - - - - - - - Other Information
History of the Barrio Tugtug

At the time of the arrival of the Spaniards, there were already organized centers of culture and population known as sitios. They were Pulong Maliit and Pulong Malaki. The settlements were believed to have been in existence long before the discovery of the Philippines by Magellan. The dates of establishment of the sitios are not known.

The Spanish history of the barrio began after the settlement of the poblacion when a Spanish soldier passed by the place one day. He saw a group of young men and women dancing the native dance called “subli.” Because he had not seen such a dance, he stepped to inquire what the natives were doing. The reply was, of course, in the dialect, “They were nagtutugtugan.” The soldier repeated the answer, “Tugtugan.” Since that time on, the barrio has been called Tugtug. The original family of the place was Jose Aguila and his wife, who was also the first barrio lieutenant. Then, he was succeeded by Leon Lagaya, Potenciano Mendoza, Felipe Lagaya, Camilo Gonzales, Calixto Mandocdoc, Cristiano Lara, Rufino Bayanin, Mariano Lara, Basilio Dimaculangan, and Marcelo Mandocdoc, who is the incumbent Bo. Lieut.

Some unusual events happened in the history of the barrio. There was a time when the locusts destroyed all the plants of the barrio and the less energetic were about to leave the community. The stout-hearted came to their rescue and convinced them not to leave the community for good. Several robberies coupled with murders occurred during the Spanish regime. Since that time on, there was peace and order in the community. However, during the Spanish Occupation, the people were always in constant fear of two enemies. The Japanese soldiers were the masters of the community and they could get anything they wanted – food, work animals, laborers, and any personal belongings could be theirs by word of mouth. There were bands of roving guerrillas from different sections of the province and even outside the province who were as cruel and ruthless to their fellow countrymen as the Japanese savages. Liberation came on March 20, 1945 and new hope surged in the minds of the people. The U.S. Army gave almost every male in the community a kind of work at the Sub-Base “R” to make both ends meet.

After World War II, which was a rehabilitation period, the old Tugtug School was demolished and in its place, a new 4-room building stands in its place. Similarly, two more imposing buildings, the Home Economics and the P.T.A. Buildings were added to this community. The Mayor, Dr. Bonifacio Masilungan, the Bo. Lieut., Marcelo Mandocdoc, and the community did a lot in the realization of the buildings which so many people envy.

Part One – History

1. Present official name of the barrio - - Tugtug

2. Present name of the barrio –

a. Present – Tugtug
b. Past – Tugtug
c. Derived from the word “Tugtug”
d. Names of the sitios included:
1. Pulong Malaki
2. Pulong Maliit

3. Date of establishment – no data available.

4. Original family – Jose Aguila and his wife.

5. List of tenientes from the earliest time to date:

 a.  Jose Aguila e.  Camilo Mendoza i.  Mariano Lara
 b.  Leon Lagaya f.  Calixto Mandocdoc j.  Basilio Dimaculangan
 c.  Potenciano Mendoza g.  Cristiano Lara k.  Marcelo Mandocdoc
 d.  Felipe Lagaya h.  Rufino Bayanin

[p. 2]

6. Story of old barrios or sitios within the jurisdiction:

a. Pulong Malaki got its name from the numerous houses and people living in the community.
b. Pulong Maliit got its name from the number of houses and people as the name indicates.

7. Data on historical sites, structures, buildings, old ruins, etc. – No data available.

8. Important facts, incidents or events that took place:

a. Spanish Occupation – locusts destroyed all the plants and the people nearly left the place in search for greener pastures.
b. Robberies coupled with murders occurred during the same period.
c. American Occupation up to World War II – Peaceful, although the people did not enjoy economic prosperity.
d. During and after World War II – Tension ran high for the people were between two masters, the visible and invisible governments, the Japanese who could get anything by orders and the guerrillas, the invisible government who could out the Japs in their tyranny and bestiality.
e. Destruction of lives and property during wars:
Except for the palay and work animals, which the Japanese appropriated for themselves, lives and properties were secure.
f. Measures and accomplishments toward rehabilitation and reconstruction following World War II –
In place of the old Tugtug School, which was demolished, a new imposing building replaced it. Similarly, the H.R. and P.T.A. Buildings were built much to the surprise of the neighboring barrios. The water supply from the poblacion has reached this community and now the school and the community enjoy potable water.
Part Two – Folkways

It is beyond doubt that verbal information from the oldest available person in the locality is so far the best available data that can be made of records for the past. Those who are interested to know about the folkways of the people of the past may have a glimpse of this report received from information personally gathered from the best available persons in the barrio of Tugtug. This brings us back to the time when the Philippines was under the Spaniards, the earliest information of which dates back as early 1880.

Courtship, which [from] time immemorial up to the present begets everybody’s interest, was most interesting in the earlier days. At that time, the parents where the principal concern in courtship. Arrangements were made between parents of interested parties. The young man, instead of offering his proposal to the young lady, did it indirectly by serving the parents of the girl for an indefinite period the minimum of which was two years, but in the majority of cases, the length of service often terminated at the end of six years. That period of service was a keen observation to the interested party as to character, industry, line of ancestry, respect, and other traits that were considered necessary by the parents and relatives of the lady concerned. If during the period of observation, the young man became luckily successful, arrangements for marriage where undertaken in the presence of close relatives, the most prominent of which where the grandparents. The man's parents took charge of all entertainment made. Gifts where always expected during Christmas in forms of kalamay, meat (pork, quarter, half, or a whole pig already slaughtered) or special foods as shrimps and crabs which were usually given by the dozens. Documents for the dowry, which was either asked or voluntary, were prepared as approved by the girl’s parents. In most cases, dowries appeared as property bought by the parents of the bride from the parents of the groom. They were prepared ahead of marriage.

Various superstitious beliefs came along with marriage. Among them were the following:
1. Either the bride or the groom stepped on each other’s feet during the ceremony.
2. Rushing out of the door after the marriage trying to leave the partner behind.
3. Throwing rice at the couple while arriving from the church.
4. Breaking pots while the bride departs for the groom’s house.
5. Requesting a woman with the most number of children to carry the clothes of the bride to the in-laws’ house.

[p. 3]

6. Prohibiting the bride to look back while on the way to her husband’s house.
7. Returning to the bride’s house at the earliest hours of the morning in order not to be overtaken by the singing of the birds on [the] treetops.
8. Knotting abaca after the marriage.

Of equal pertinence to the above superstitions the different practices with reference to child delivery.

A woman, after delivery, is immediately served three tablespoonful of rice which was prepared in a pot where in care was taken to avoid the rise from boiling over.

The newly born babe was given juice from a clean piece of cloth. The mother, who had just delivered, stayed on a bamboo bed where she was heated for nine days. She was never allowed to call her hair until after nine days. She was attended and cared for by the barrio “hilot” for the above number of days. At the end of one month, or any other day after one month after delivery, both mother and child were bathed with warm water by the same woman.

Baptismal parties where celebrated at the earliest possible time so that the child was taken to the nearest church for baptism. Sponsors, in order to be qualified, should be at least 18 years of age and should know the principal prayers as ordered by the Catholic priest.

Accordingly with deaths, there were plenty of peculiar practices unknown these days among these were:

1. All the relatives of the deceased were prevented from preparing leafy vegetables until after nine days.
2. Detaching [the] part of the flower where the corpse was laid and replenished after nine days.
3. No sweeping of the floor was allowed in the house of the deceased for nine days.
4. Avoidance of the piling of unwashed dishes while removing them from the table during the praying parties.
5. Remnants of the fourth day preparation were not allowed to stand till the ninth day.

No one could fail to be impressed with the seriousness they took in complying with the above mentioned practices.

I could continue citing more practices of the past with reference to various activities and beliefs of the people. During the month of May, novenas were always observed until after the fall of a heavy rain, enough to enable seeds to sprout. At the close of each novena, there was much merrymaking as managed by any one who voluntarily took charge off the management for the merrymaking.

People where entertained by primitive dances called “subli” and “hangangayaman” dances which were successfully performed only by extraordinary dancers.

Music was provided bike crudely-made instruments suited for the purpose. Lizard skin was among the principal materials devised for such instruments.

Talented men, instead of singing the popular songs we have today, created their own melodies and dances; the pandango was very common those days.

Information proved that people of the past were not as free as people today. Because of that fact, people said less. Children were punished for making comments, thereby depriving them of the liberties we now enjoy.

Now, we live in a day when men and women are talking of discovering all sorts of new controls in birth, diseases and so many other sorts of things that had not been dreamed of by the people of the past. If we are wise, we discover new ways of dealing with the old questions because they have been stirred by strange forces and circumstances as books, magazines, radio, etc. We find that the lives of the people of the past were far lagging behind.

In those days, the belief in witchcraft was as strong as our belief in science today. In this particular barrio of Tugtug, it was believed that there was a female witch that lingered around the barrio.

[p. 4]

She was identified as Juanang Ilaya with the red shirt. This was how she became a witch.

Juana was the wife of a farmer working in the field quite far from her home. She used to take her husband’s lunch to the field every day when her husband was at work, but one day Juana met her husband on the way. Believing that he was her real husband, she went with him as advised, but unluckily before she knew it, she was taken to an unidentified place. Since then, Juana vanished from her real husband who was anxiously waiting and waiting for her at the farm. The poor husband, patient but tired of waiting, then thought of going home. His loving wife, Juana, was gone, but where did she go? Nobody knew. She must have lead a life of mystery, vanishing from the sight of men. Thus, Juanang Ilaya was bewitched and now, she is still the common tool to frighten children.

Disease, contrary to science, was believed to have been caused by some evil spirits [such] as [the] patianak, iki, asuang and nuno; and failure to comply with some vows which had been thought out and planned. Quack doctors were the ones consulted and made to cure (of course) sicknesses of all kinds since there were no doctors available in the community. In case these quack doctors failed to cure the sickness, then the last resort of the people concerned was to conduct novenas in honor of the saints they think best [such] as San Vicente, San Rafael, San Diego, San Jose, etc. They even made pilgrimages to the towns where the saints they selected were supposed to be the patron saints. Attending masses through vows were also believed to be a kind of cure for some illnesses. In case misfortunes befell some people of the past, their contention was that it was the will of God or such was their fate.

[The] Birth of twins was also believed to be caused by some practices which the old people prohibited the young ones to do, [such] as eating twin bananas or corn. At present, there are two twins in this barrio. The older twins, 13 years old, are Maria Gonzales, Grade V and her twin sister by the same name who is in Grade VI. The younger twins, about four years old, are a boy and a girl.

There was one who gave premature birth to triplets in 1941, but because they were only seven months old, they did not survive.

There were other beliefs regarding the occurrences of storms. It was believed that storms were caused by the movement of San Lorenzo, the one who took charge of the wind.

People of the past were kept in total ignorance and it was only after the American occupation that the Filipinos began a new life. As an outgrowth of this interest, industry and thrift were developed in the people’s minds coupled with the various sayings. Among them were the following:

1. Hindi nag mama-ibigin ang walang tinanim.
2. Bago ka pupula sa ibang uling, ang uling mo muna’y siyang papahirin.
3. Ang nag-iibig [iigib?] ng gabi ay mag-aagwanta sa kati.
4. Ang nalura nang patingala ay sa kanyang mukha natama.
5. Ang tao bago may gagawin, makapito munang pag-isipisipin.
6. Naiiwan ang saya ay hindi ang dasa.
7. Ang hindi lamang nababago sa tao ay ang tabas ng mukha.
8. Nasa tao ang gawa, nasa Diyos ang awa.
9. Sa maliit na dampa nagmumula ang dakila.
10. Ang mahusay na pagsunod ay nasa nag-uutos.
11. Ang bibig na nasasarhan ay di papasukin ng langaw.
12. Ang mahinahong pangugnusap sa puso’y nakakalunas.
13. Ang masunurin sa magulang, lumalapit ang kayamanan.
14. Ang anak na di paluhain, ina ang patatangisin.
15. Ang kahoy, hanggang malambot, madali ang pag-aayos
Kung tumaas na’t tumayog, mahirap ang paghutok.
16. Ano mang gawain ng tao, mahirap ang magpakatao.
17. Ang hanap sa bula, sa bula rin nawawala.
18. Madaling maging tao, mahirap ang magpakatao.
19. Ano mang tibayin ng piling abaca ay wala ring lakas kung nag-iisa.
20. Ang toong ay sumasabog sa pagkalagot ng buklod.
21. Munti man ang gusi, kung buo’t matibay
Daig ang malaking basag na tapayan.
22. Ang maliit na umpisa, malaki ang hangga.
23. Ang palay ay hindi lalapit sa manok
Ang bato sa suso’y hindi hahandog.
24. Ang magandang asal ay kaban ng yaman.

[p. 5]

25. Ang tapat na kaibigan, sa gipit nasusubukan.

Puzzles and Riddles

1. Mag-inang baka, nag-anak ng tig-isa, ay ilan? Tatlo.
2. Minsan isang araw ay may namaril ng ibon sa aming manggahan. Nagkataong ang aming kabayo ay nakatali sa puno ng mangga. Nang makarinig ito ng putok ay siya’y biglang nagtakbo. Di nakaligaw. Ano ang itinakbo?
3. Sa tatlong ibong nakadapo na binaril, iisa ang natamaan. Ilan ang natira?
4. Isang araw ay nagpatay ng baka sa aming nayon. May kainitan ang araw noon. Hindi maisipan kung saang lugar papatayin ang baka. Kamayan-mayan ay pinagkasunduang dalahin ang baka sa puno ng isang malaking mangga at doon pinatay. Ang katunayan, saan kaya inurakan ang baka?

1. Walang puno’y walang ugat, hitik ang bulaklak.

2. Isang butil na palay, sikip sa buong bahay.

3. Nanganak ang hunghang, sa tuktok nagdaan.

4. Apat na sundalo, pulos biak ang ulo.

5. Sumugat sa akin nguni’t siya ang iyakin.

6. Sinampal ko muna bago ko inalok.

7. Bahay ni kaka, hindi matingala.

8. Sinamba ko muna, bago ko nililo.

9. Hinigit ko ang ay-ay, nagmura ang may bahay.

10. Puno’y asiw, sanga’y bungliw, bunga’y gatang, lama’y lisay.

Part Three – Other Information

No information regarding this matter is available.

Respectfully submitted:
Notes and references:
Transcribed from “History and Cultural Life of the Barrio (of Tugtug),” 1953, online at the National Library of the Philippines Digital Collections.
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