Gelerang Kawayan, San Pascual, Batangas: Historical Data - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore Gelerang Kawayan, San Pascual, Batangas: Historical Data - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore

Gelerang Kawayan, San Pascual, Batangas: Historical Data

Full transcription of the so-called “Historical Data” for the barrio of Gelerang Kawayan in the Municipality of San Pascual, 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.

[Note to the reader.]

At the time when this document was created, the barrio of Gelerang Kawayan was still a part of Bauan rather than San Pascual. The latter did not become a separate municipality until the year 1969, after the passage of Republic Act No. 6166.
Historical Data

[p. 1]



As one enters the barrio next to Ilat, he could see the view of a beautiful panorama that is enriching in experience. The tall, green bamboos that proudly pierce the sky add some beauty to the place. This is the barrio of Gelerang Kawayan.

But Gelerang Kawayan is not the original name of the place for several years. This was heretofore called Pook ng Sigay.

Later on, the barrio people as well as the passers-by noticed the bamboo trees that line the path of the entire barrio. Everywhere, bamboo trees were seen like barbed wire entanglements that protected the Pook ng Sigay. They then preferred to change the name of their pook into Gelerang Kawayan. What a nice name which really fitted to the place!

The barrio of Gelerang Kawayan has at present [a] 1167 population including the Pook of Gelerang Kawayan, which was formerly called Pook ng Cupang. You will be induced to live in this peaceful place. The bamboo leaves wave gently as if welcoming everyone. Peace of mind and soul can be obtained in this barrio. You will hear only the sweet murmurs of the sweet breeze as it passes through the bamboo leaves. People here are very industrious and understanding. They move as only one. Try to live in this place of blessing and you’ll find what is life.


There is no information to be secured from the oldest of the place as to the data when the barrio was established. But they said that the barrio was established since the town was called Bauan. Every family in this place has a parcel of land for his house and small gardens. Like other places where people own their lands and homes. These well-to-do families have big parcels of land where they get their daily living.

The barrio was originally inhabited by several families which may be considered the root of the present generation.

[p. 2]

They were the ancestors of the present people of the barrio. The most popular was Cabesang Severino whose descendants were the wives of the Magbojoses and the Punzalans. One will be surprised to find out that most of the people possess the Magbojos and Punzalan family names. It is worth mentioning that there are families whose father and mother have the same family names.

Next to these two families is the Boongaling family, but very few males possessed in this family. Besides these families already mentioned, there were still other families but their descendants were not as many as the two families mentioned above. Below is the list of original families who were the origin of the present families of the barrio.
 1.  Severing Magbojos  6.  Telesforo Boongaling
 2.  Manuel Magbojos  7.  Benito Torres
 3.  Vicente Punzalan  8.  Miguel Garcia
 4.  Lazaro Punzalan  9.  Miguel Garcia
 5.  Severo Punzalan 10. Hilarion Azucena

[A] Man with [a] strong personality and leadership leads the rest of the people. During the past and up to the present, men of this kind sprang out from this barrio to lead the barrio people and make the place a worthwhile place to live in.

Here is a list of barrio tenientes from the past to the present, who with guidance and leadership, make the place peaceful and orderly. These barrio lieutenants of Gelerang Kawayan could settle troubles and misunderstandings among the people through their explanations and fair decisions. Seldom are such cases brought to the municipal court.

Among the present tenientes as Manuel Magbojos. It was during 1814 when he administered the barrio. Then, he was succeeded by Nicomedes Punzalan, another man who was a root family of this barrio. His term did not last very long and [he] was followed by Marcelino Punzalan in 1882. He was then followed by Telesforo Boongaling in 1910 under the presidency of Higino Marasigan. Next to him was Eleuterio Boongaling who served the barrio for 5 years. There were successive changes of the barrio lieutenants under the administration of President Benito Cusi. Damaso Cusi followed Eleuterio Boongaling in 1920; Felipe Dagdagan in 1925 and Honore Azucena in 1930. Because of the good policy of Felipe Dagdagan, he was again appointed barrio lieutenant in 1935, still under the presidency of Benito Cusi. Later on, Dionisio Punzalan succeeded in 1938.

[p. 3]

When the name “President” was changed to “Mayor,” Atty. Godofredo Brual was elected and Wenceslao Borromeo was appointed barrio lieutenant.

After a year, in 1941, when the war broke out, Jacinto Magbojos became the barrio lieutenant. He continued his services during the Japanese Occupation. There constant changes of mayors during this critical period. Atty Godofredo Brual was succeeded by Atty. Francisco Madlangbayan, then by Atty. Alberto Leynes, and lastly by Atty. Jose Dimaculangan. But the teniente del barrio was not changed. The school was not destroyed by the Japanese soldiers though this became a Japanese center and people lived peacefully during this regime through the ways and means done by this man. Liberations came, and still Jacinto Magbojos led to the best of his ability. It was due to his untiring efforts that made him stay too long in the service. Jacinto Magbojos is a man worth remembering because he always extended a helping hand to his barrio mates any time in need. These services lasted until 1952, and because he had served the position for such a long time, he gave up the position to rest. Although he was out of service, still he is very willing to help for the sake of his barrio.

After the election, Mayor Daite appointed Dionisio Punzalan. He remains as barrio lieutenant to the present day.

The leaders of this barrio, as well as the people, have mutual understandings that make the barrio a peaceful place to live in.


During the Spanish occupation, the barrio people always lived in fear of the Spanish officials who treated them harshly. The people were forced to pay taxes which were not within their reach.

When the Americans came, they had been relieved of the oppressions. The American officials only asked the people to help with the insurrection. Schools were opened and education was given free to all the barrio folks.

The Second World War came and there were many evacuees from the poblacion and other towns like Batangas and Lipa. They came to live with their relatives. After a few months, many of the families went to their homes and some went to father barrios.

[p. 4]

The Japanese had done so many barbarous atrocities which the barrio people could never forget. The ransacked all the houses and took all the things they wanted. Because the people were cruelly treated, most of them left their homes and lived temporarily in distant farms. They built small houses and lived there unhappily until the Americans came on March 8, 1945.

Since the barrio did not live near the Army Base, the people engaged in ice cream vending and majority of the men earned much money. They began to buy enough clothes and build new houses. Some engaged in business and they progressed very much.

With the coming of the Americans after World War II, the people had a great interest in sending their children to school. There are now many high school graduates here, which [is] unlike in the past when only 3 families sent their children to higher schools.


Customs and traditions are established ways of doing things, handed down from generation to generation. Certain ways which were found to be right or advantageous or convenient were preserved and used as patterns of conduct. Customs and traditions govern not only our acts but also our thoughts, our beliefs and our ways of living. Customs and traditions tell us what to do and how to do it in the usual way. Some customs are good and some are bad. Some are reasonable and some are foolish and ridiculous. But they control us just the same. The following customs ensure social approval, and this brings peace of mind to us and the happy feeling that our fellow beings think well of us. On the other hand, violations of customs bring about unpleasant results, such as being laughed at, loss of honor, or other mishaps. And customs and traditions are often strengthened by superstitions.

[The] Following are the customs and traditions the people of our barrio, Gelerang Kawayan, adhere to:


Marriages are arranged by the parents of the prospective bridegroom and the prospective bride. Except in a few cases, the parents do not interfere with their daughters’ choice of a mate provided he can support a family.

A dowry is usually given by the parents of the bridegroom.

The prospective bridegroom must render manual service to the girl’s parents. He chops firewood, fetches

[p. 5]

water, cleans the yard, and does the other chores in the home. The bridegroom or relatives of the groom must repair the girl’s home. The servitude lasts after the marriage.

During the wedding ceremony, as soon as the couple had said their “I dos,” they immediately attempt to step on each other’s feet. The explanation for this seemingly discordant note injected into the otherwise solemn rite is twofold. It is supposed to bring good luck to the newly-married pair and at the same time, it determines who shall be the boss in the new household. If the woman succeeds in stepping on the bridegroom’s feet first, she is allowed to handle all money matters and more or less dominate her husband. If the husband is more agile, he holds the purse strings and may become reckless with expenses.

After the wedding rites, the bride and bridegroom are met at the stairs and rice is thrown at them. As soon as they are in the house, the couple kneels and kisses and hands of all related elders.

The wedding party is always held in the house of the bride. The expenses are borne by the groom’s parents and all relatives of the groom do the serving in the party.

Immediately after everybody has eaten came the “sabogan” or the raising of money. The couple sits on opposite sides of a table with two plates in front of them. An elder manages to call everyone in the house to give immediately his “sabog.” Those related to the bride give their gifts to the groom and vice-versa. The collected “sabog” is turned over by the bridegroom to the bride.

Then, the “lipatan” is witnessed. On the way, the bride is cautioned against looking back at her parents’ house. It is believed that a bride who manages to look back on her way to her new home will readily go home to her mother’s home in case of a quarrel. Before going up the boy’s house, the bride is made to drink sweetened water and some dessert, supposedly to give her [a] sweet disposition.


A pregnant woman must not stay under the house after sunset lest she sleeps during the delivery.

When somebody is pregnant in a house, no visitors will stay at the door lest the delivery will be difficult.

Immediately after delivery, the mat where the mother is confined is rubbed all over with ginger. It is believed that this practice will prevent the mother from getting sick.

[p. 6]


There is always a party during a baptism. The kind of party served depends upon the financial condition of the family. The godparent shoulders the church expenses. A gift is always given to the baby by the godparent.


It is believed that if the deceased is a mother and has left behind her several small children, she will visit them always. To offset this horrible possibility, before the grave is covered, the surviving children are passed over the open hole.


The people of the barrio are very hospitable. During the fiesta, everybody is welcome in their homes. Poor and rich have something to serve. The table is loaded with suman, bread, sweets, fruits, wine, meat, etc.


There are still beliefs and superstitions which majority of the people of our barrio still believe. However, most of the young generation do not believe in these superstitions.

The superstitions are about heavenly bodies, plants, animals, and other phenomena. These are some of the beliefs the old people of our barrio believe.

1. When the clouds move south, a storm will come.
2. The comet with its rays pointing downward means war, epidemic, or starvation.
3. Anyone who crosses a road and sees a horseshoe will meet with good luck.
4. When a black butterfly enters one’s home, it is the sign of a death of a nearest relative.
5. When the owl hoots at night, it means someone will die.
6. When the hens cackle at dawn, that means there will be a fowl epidemic.
7. At meal time, when a fork drops, a male visitor will come, and [if] a spoon, a female visitor will come.
8. To a merchant who meets a ground lizard on his way means bad luck.
9. If a ground lizard is found in a house being constructed, no matter if it is still half-finished, it will not be continued for the family will meet all misfortunes throughout life.

[p. 7]

10. A cat washing the face at the door is a sign of a coming visitor.


Besides traditions, customs and superstitions, the barrio folks have their own ways of spending their leisure hours. Some are interested in playing baseball, sipa and pool. They play pool not betting with money but with candies. The winner gives the candies to all the children who cheer him in the game. Other forms of amusements are “dama,” “sungka,” playing cards and “tres siete.”

They are interested in hearing radio broadcasts of their neighbors and reading newspapers like “Bagong Buhay.” Others read Tagalog magazines and comics, Liwayway, Bulaklak and Filipino comics.


1. May ulo walang buhok, may tiyan walang pusod. (palaka)
2. Pagsipot sa maliwanag, kulubot na ang balat. (ampalaya)
3. Maputing parang busilak, kalihim ko sa pagliyag. (papel)
4. Esteremengulis magkabila’y tulis. (talukab ng alimasag)
5. Bumili ako ng alipin, mataas pa sa akin. (sombrero)
6. Kuwalta ng kura, ay hindi magasta. (panot na pari)
7. Hindi pa mailibing ang patay, pagka’t buhay pa ang kapitbahay. (pisak ng mata)
8. Araw at gabi ay pinarurusahan, nguni’t di nagdaramdam. (lupa)
9. Kay liit, kay pandak, kay layo kung sumibat. (palaso)
10. Hindi hayop, hindi tao, tanongin ng buong mundo. (relo)
11. Gayong maabot na ng kamay, ginamitan pa ng tulay. (sipit)
12. Pag bata ay nagtatapis, kapag tumanda ay naglililis. (labong)
13. Tubig ko sa digang, di mapatakan ng ulan. (tubig ng niyog)
14. Hindi naman bulag, hindi makakita sa liwanag. (paniki)


1. May taynga ang lupa, may pakpak ang balita.
2. Ang hanap sa bula ay sa bula rin nawawala.
3. Ang katotohanan kahit na ibaon
Lilitaw din pagdating ng panahon.
4. Pag patak ng ulan, tutubo ang labong
Makikilala mo ang gagawing bongbong.
5. Kapat ang tao’y nag-iinusinti,
May inaakalang ibig mangyari.

[p. 8]

6. Ang kahoy hangga’t malambot, madali ang paghutok
Kung tumigas na at tumayog
Mahirap na ang paghutok.
7. Ang tubig na matining, tarukin mo at malalim.
8. Kung tunay na tubo, matamis hanggang dulo.
9. Kaya nga’t ang tao ay nanghihinaw,
Ay marumi ang kamay.
10. Ang unti-unting patak, sa bato ay nakabubutas.
11. Kapalaran ko ma’y di ko man hanapin
Dudulog, lalapit kung talagang akin.
12. Lumalakad ang kalabasa
Naiiwan ang bunga.
13. Pag may hirap, may ginhawa.


Some of the most common ways of telling time in primitive ways are:

1. The rooster crowing.
2. The position of the sun.
3. The position of the stars.
4. The length of the shadow.
5. The cigarette being smoked.

Reported by:

Mr. Francisco Farol

Miss Clemencia Torres

Mrs. Bernardina M. Manalo

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