Bagumbayan, Tanauan, Batangas: Historical Data - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore Bagumbayan, Tanauan, Batangas: Historical Data - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore

Bagumbayan, Tanauan, 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 Bagumbayan in the City of Tanauan, 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.

[p. 1]


1. Present official name of the barrio: Bagumbayan.

2. Popular name of the barrio, present and past; derivation and meanings of these names. Names of sitios included within the territorial jurisdiction of the barrio:

The name “Bagumbayan” was derived from “Bago bayan, kita na kuartel” uttered by an Ilocano spy of the insurgents during the dark days of the Guardia Civil.

3. Date of establishment: 1798.

4. Original families: The Castillo family.

5. List of tenientes from the earliest to date:

Victoriano Piamonte1910-1915
Roman Castillo1916-1919
Apolinario Castillo1920-1924
Santos Prenda1925-1927
Sinforoso Castillo1928-1930
Estanislao Sicat1931-1937
Eusebio Piamonte1938-1940
Venancio Parducho1941-1945
Gavino Piamonte1946-1949
Estanislao Lirio1950- to date

6. Story of old barrios or sitios within the jurisdiction that are now depopulated or extinct: None.

7. Data on historical sites, structures, buildings, old ruins, etc.: None.

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

(a) During the Spanish occupation:
Men were forced by the Spaniards to work, and the people were required to pay heavy taxes.
(b) During the American occupation to World War II:
Nothing very important is worth mentioning.
(c) During and after World War II:
(1) During the Japanese occupation, Bagumbayan became the temporary residence of the people of the town.
(2) Japanese soldiers abused some of the women, especially the good-looking ones.
(3) Men were forced to work in the camps.
(4) Many men joined the guerrilla organization.

9. (a) Destruction of lives, properties and institutions during wars:

(1) 1896-1900 – None.
(2) 1941-1945 – Five persons were killed by the Japanese soldiers and the total loss of property was estimated at ₱15,000.00.
(b) Measures and accomplishments toward rehabilitation and reconstruction following World War II:

[p. 2]

(1) Construction of stronger and bigger homes.
(2) Repair and construction of the barrio road.
(3) Modern methods of planting have been introduced.
(4) More sanitary toilets were constructed.


10. Traditions, customs and practices in domestic and social life:

a. Birth:

It is the custom of [the] expectant mothers in this barrio to deliver their first child in their parents’ home.

b. Baptism:

After a child has been baptized by the priest, the godfather or godmother, as the case may be, rushes at once to the door of the church with the aim in view to outrun the others. The child, it is believed, when he grows up, will become active.

c. Courtship:

A young man, before he enters the house of the girl, will kiss the hands of the elders as a sign of courtesy. When the young man is seated, the girl sits at a little distance away from him. In the course of their conversation, the mother will stay in one corner of the room and does something as mending clothes or reading any vernacular paper. In this way, the young lovers will have no chance to talk about love. The man will then bid goodbye to the mother very much displeased.

d. Marriage:

When a young man is engaged to a young woman, a date is fixed for the betrothal. This is agreed upon by both parties concerned. Each party, failing to comply with the proposed observance can cut or postpone the marriage. This betrothal usually occurs on the first full moon of the year. Relatives and members of the young man's [family] would be held responsible for all the expenses to be incurred during the celebration, except for a small donation from the bride’s parents and relatives.

Comes now the day of the wedding ceremony. The bride’s family has but a little power to invite relatives and friends to the wedding. The groom's side does all the kinds of invitation. The choice for the sponsor to the bride rests on her desire. But mostly, the selection of sponsors would come from the choice of the groom’s parents.

There yes also in time when the parents of the bride do all the asking. They may accept or reject any proposal coming from the bridegroom’s party.

Before can be accomplished, certain donations should be first handed to the bride’s party, like donating a carabao with a cart, a house for the newlyweds, a residential lot for the house and a certain amount of cash to start a living. Any of these conditions can be chosen and agreed upon by both parties. Failure on the part of the bridegroom to obtain a certain amount of money or things asked for, is enough to postpone the marriage, and both a bride and groom have no right to continue their proposed marriage.

The newly married couple, in coming out of the church, is offered a glass of water and before going up the stairs of the bride’s home, they are compelled to drink. This symbolizes coolness of the mind in making decisions as husband and wife.

When the wedding ceremony is being solemnized, both

[p. 3]

parties watch intently the lights of the two candles for the bride and the groom, the light being the symbol of life. If both lights burn continuously and brilliantly, both will live longer. One whose candlelight fades earlier has the shorter life of the two.

After the dinner in the bride’s home and the plates are being cleaned, relatives of the bride purposely break some to foretell offspring. Things are packed securely in containers and when the bride transfers to the house of her new in-laws, these earthly possessions such as cooking utensils and kitchen materials are brought with her, symbolizing abundant life.

In coming down the stairs, the bride stands upright above the first step while relatives sprinkle water. Rice grains are sown at the base of the stairs to symbolize wealth and happiness. The bridegroom is left in the house of the girl for a week and does all the work in there, like farming, cutting wood for fuel, fetching water from the well and tending the farm animals. After a week, the two are united.

The newly married couple, after having been reunited, make visits to the relatives of both of them who, in turn, give a certain amount of money or domestic fowls as the part of their starting point of livelihood.

There are times when the newly married couple comes from the church riding on horseback, escorted by relatives of both sides while superstitious believers chant and shout on the way, heralding the news of the day.

While chanting along the way, white flags at the end of the sticks are stuck on the top of their saddles. Roses are sown along the way, symbolizing abundance, peace and love through all the years of married life.

e. >Death:

When someone is dead in the house, the members of the family in the house are not allowed to sweep either the floor or the yard. After the deceased has been brought downstairs for burial, they throw a pot of water to the ground as a sign of good omen.

f. Burial:

Before the dead is placed in his resting place, all the members gather around the coffin to take their last glance of the dead. The babies are brought across the coffin so that the deceased will not visit the children.

11. Myths and Legends:


Not long after Tanauan was conquered by the Spaniards, most of the people lived in the town. At that time, the town was surrounded by thick forests which served as a hiding place for outlaws. Night after night, these outlaws attacked the headquarters of the Guardia Civil; stole their guns and other supplies. The Spaniards could not think of a way by which they could evade them. Their guns and other supplies where being lost and their enemies were increasing in number.

[p. 5]

16. Other Folktales:


As Ambo was planting bananas in his piece of land, a strange fear came open. Once in a while, she cast a glance at the big balete tree that grew not more than twenty meters away.

Many stories about this tree were told by the village people in those old days. For example, they told of strange noises heard there at night. Sometimes, people said that they saw lights in it. It seemed that people often heard the sound of merrymaking at midnight when there was not even a single house within a kilometer of it. These same persons also told of people disappearing in the fields, and nobody knew who where they went.

Two years passed, Ambo went to the banana plantation together the fruits of the bananas he had planted. He walked through the plantation, but he saw not a single bunch ready to be gathered. He went home in anger

“Impossible,” he cried. “Maybe somebody has been stealing my bananas. I will find out even if i have to watch in this field all night.”

At twilight, after supper, he went to the field and hid himself behind a thick bush. He had not been there long when he caught sight of somebody gathering his bananas. He stood up and drew his bolo. With his bolo cleaning in the dim light of early evening, he rushed after the thief.

He was surprised to see that the thief did not run away. Ambo stopped and stood still as he stared at the beautiful girl dressed in pure red. She was the most beautiful girl he had ever seen.

“You have been stealing my bananas,” he said.

“Oh, I came together only a bunch. Now that I know you are the owner of the bananas, I wish to ask permission,” replied the girl.

She came close to him. He could not move a muscle as she came closer. She stretched a beautiful hand to Ambo. Then, when she had touched him, he fell into a deep sleep.

When he woke up, the banana plantation was gone. The balete tree was gone too. Instead, he and the girl were in front of a big house. Light streamed out of the window and the sound of laughter floated distinctly in the silence of the night. “This is our house,” she said. “We are having a celebration. Please come in.” He could not be persuaded to come in for at that time, he remembered that his mother was waiting for him.

She came close to him and caught his hands. Then, together, they went in and sat among the laughing women and taking all kinds of foods. He ate and laughed and drank, and sang and danced. Everybody was friendly to him.

The girl persuaded Ambo to stay. But as he remembered his mother, he would not stay. No sooner had he uttered something, he fell into a deep sleep again. The world seemed to spin around you. When he came to his senses once more, he found himself in his plantation again. It was still early evening. The girl was gone. He went home and told his mother of his wonderful adventure. Stories of [a] were told by his mother and it was believed that this was “Mariang Ilaya.”

[p. 6]


Once upon a time, there lived in the barrio of Bagumbayan a widow with two children. In order to distinguish her from other Marias, she was called Mariang Ilaya. She loved her children so much that she worked hard in order to support them. She was a very beautiful widow. Men still and always fell in love with her. Whenever a suitor would propose to her, her answer was that she was already contented to live alone. Suitors persisted, but Mariang Ilaya remained as adamant as ever until one of them became demented.

One they, the mad men went to the widow’s house again. He found out that Maria was not there. She was getting some water. This madman saw the children, and upon seeing them, he had thought that these children were the cause of Maria’s refusal to marry him. He caught the children and put them in a cave in the mountain.

The poor woman returned but the madman was not there anymore. She did not see her children meet her. She went into the house, but her children were not there. She called and called, but there was no answer. Unable to find them, she went to the forest and searched for them. She went far, very far, so far that she reached the abode of a witch. The witch caught her and turned her into a witch also. Being a witch already, she still had the thought of her lost children. She could not forget them. The supernatural power bestowed upon her made her travel everywhere searching for her children.

Since that time, it was said that she was often seen appearing before a crying child because she thought the child was one of her children.

This believe is still existing today not only in one place but in all the barrios. Being the belief from grandfather to grandson, one can tell a crying child that Mariang Ilaya is present and if he will cry and cry, she will get him. When the child hears this story, he stops crying it once.

This story has been told and retold to children that Mariang Ilaya becomes the terror of the children.


In the olden times, there lived in a remote barrio at the edge of the woods a mother win a son. The boy was the apple of his mother’s eyes until he grew up to manhood, caring nothing for their livelihood. The always pampered the thought that life was a go-easy excursion.

He spent all his time leisurely. He indulged in gambling, or else in a drinking spree the whole day and stayed at home only to eat or rest. At night, he always came home late. Then, he would wake up his poor mother to set the table for supper. Of course, at that late hour of the night, he could be served only with cold rice (bahaw). He would scold his mother for such cold meals. Sometimes, when he came home drunk, he would beat his kind and forgiving mother. The mother would do nothing but wept and prayed to heaven.

The occurrence happened continuously for quite a long time with the mother’s fervent prayers that heaven might intercede to end her misfortunes. At last, in a sudden burst of temper, she shouted her prayer to heaven with tearful eyes that she would be happier to see if her son would be transformed into a bird. Heaven granted her wish immediately.

In a moment, a big black bird flew out of the window into the dark night. The surprised mother was petrified. Then, she heard only the sorrowful and repenting echo of that bird, as if to articulate the word “bahaw,” meaning cold rice.

[p. 7]

That was the last time the mother saw of her ungrateful and cruel son.

Up to this time, during the wee hours of the night, there could be heard from the forest that deep and mournful cry of the bird, calling sonorously, “Bahaw! Bahaw! Bahaw! Bahaw!”


17. Information on books and documents treating of the Philippines and the names of their owners: None.

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 persons possessing these: None.


Notes and references:
Transcribed from “Report on the History and Cultural Life of the Barrio of Bagumbayan,” 1953, online at the National Library of the Philippines Digital Collections.
Next Post Previous Post