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January 4, 2018

Bolbok, Tuy, Batangas: Historical Data

Full transcription of the so-called “Historical Data” for the barrio of Lumbangan in the Municipality of Tuy, 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.]

Batangas History wishes to advise the reader/researcher that may be inevitable errors in the transcription of the documents for the poblacion as well as barrios of the Municipality of Tuy because the original documents were either typed using poor typewriter ribbons or poorly scanned. Many of the pages, therefore, were very difficult to read.

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HISTORY AND CULTURAL LIFE OF BOLBOK AND ITS NEIGHBORING BARRIOS

Bolbok was formerly called Tuyontuyon, having for its parts the sitios of Agta, Maligtong, Bica and Sukol.

Why the name Tuyontuyon was changed to Bolbok is better explained by the story of a local farmer who drove his fatigued carabao off for a drink one warm day and found the brook empty but for a few drops of water which was insufficient to quench the thirst of the tired animal. He prayed hard to his God that water may come out and, providentially, it bubbled up. In his ecstasy and delight, he shouted, “Bolbok,” the Tagalog word for bubbling water. News of bubbling water spread like wildfire. Soon, everybody referred to the place as “Bolbok.”

Original Families – According to information gathered, the first family was composed of twelve brothers and sisters, Ciriaco, Baro [unsure, blurred], Eugenia, Manuela, Patricio and Andres, all surnamed Rodriguez. The next families were Hernandez, Ramirez, Alicaway, Arce, Andulan, Lopez, Gomez, de Sosa and Bautista.

Tenientes del Barrio – The following were the tenientes del barrio in their chronological order:

1. Victorio Capacia
2. Placido Alicaway
3. Andres Capacia
4. Miguel Dulutan
5. Doroteo Semana
6. Tomas de [unreadable]
7. Moises Gervasio, from 1945 to present

Data on Historical Sites, Structures, etc. – None of importance except [the] present school site and the building thereon built mostly with governmental funds and [the] inhabitants of the place.

Important Facts, Incidents, or Events that Took Place –

a. Spanish Regime – As history has compiled for us, the early inhabitants of the barrio were so afraid of the early settlers, not because they were cowards but because they could not understand the Spanish language. There was at that time a very beautiful woman, the daughter of the supposed head of the barrio. The Spanish alferes fell in love with her and resolved to have her by hook or by crook. Unfortunately for

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the young lady, she was never attracted to the alferes. The alferes did not like this and sent his soldiers to take her. Because of her refusal to go with them, she was beaten and while they were walking beside the river, she jumped and never came out again. It was believed that she died under the water and her corpse was not recovered because a “buaya” ate her up.

World War II came. There was not so much loss or destruction of lives and property despite the atrocities committed by the Japanese in other parts of the country.

PART II – FOLKWAYS

On Courtship – It is a common practice among the people of this barrio to live up to the practice of courtship. The man cannot overstep the parents of the girl. He sends an emissary to talk to the girl’s parents. He takes with him food, drinks and other delicacies from time to time. He sees to it that he is always present in helping the parents of the girl in the farm, in the house and in everything. If the man is acceptable, he is told to bring his parents along. The parents come with drinks, food, cigarettes, and other specialties together with the teniente del barrio and other influential persons of the barrio. If the parents of the girl are not so choosy, and they approve of the young suitor, everything is easy and they do not demand much. The wedding date is set after the usual preliminaries and after voicing out their little demands. This part is called the “bulungan.” Such demands range from repairing the house of the parents, buying certain materials for the girl, a little “salu-salu,” etc. But if the young suitor is unacceptable, they usually demand the impossible things beyond the reach of the boy’s parents. Aside from material demands, the man’s parents demand service from the boy, his parents and his relatives. Sometimes, the duration of the services lasts from one to twelve months or more. In the course of this, if the parents find something undesirable, the marriage may yet be cancelled or postponed.

On Marriage – Coming from the church, the newly-married couple rushes to kiss the hands of the parents and more often, the bride weeps together with all the relatives, especially on the bride’s side.

Then comes the most substantial part, the eating. The best preparation is given to the relatives of the bride. Her parents and everyone related to her are

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served first and provided with the closest of attention. Absolute humility on the part of the man and his relatives must prevail continuously.

After the eating, the newly married couple is told to sit opposite each other with a platter in front of them. The relatives of both parties are supposed to put in a certain amount. If the relatives of the girl, for instance, puts in a ₱5.00 bill, the relatives of the man do the same or put in a bigger amount and so on and on. Sometimes, when newly married couple is able to amass a fortune by this way, especially when the relatives of both are quite well-off.

Baptism – Right after the birth of the child, the father goes to the house of the would-be sponsor, usually bringing a certain present with him, to announce to the person chosen that he or she would be the sponsor for the baptism of the child. To delay the announcement could be a ground for refusal to act as sponsor. Thus, for reasons of delicacy, the announcement is properly done.

The announcement does not entail that a prompt baptismal ceremony shall be held. In most cases, especially if the child gets sick or in danger of death, a ceremony called “buhos-tubig” is performed. An old man in the barrio is invited to perform the ceremony, with the chosen sponsor acting as the same. There is a little drinking and a little eating.

Comes the baptism proper, the one perform inside the church. On the eve of the day set for the baptism, the parents of the child bring to the house of the sponsor a precious present called “sabit,” which is usually a whole “lechon” or a dozen chickens, cigarettes, wine, bread, coffee, sugar, chocolate or anything valuable. Sometimes, the sponsor returns half of the said present, but this is done with utmost courtesy.

The sponsor scents the child the baptismal gown and pays for the church fees and after the baptism presents the child with a present called “pakimkim,” consisting either [of] a certain amount of money or jewelry. There are occasions when the sponsor runs into debts when subjected to certain circumstances.

All or some of these customs and traditions may sound queer to some, yet for those concerned, they are cherished portions of their lives. Down the ages, these customs and traditions have been adopted by this group of people and they will continue adhering to them till the wee hours of their lives. They have been

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inherited from our ancestors. They will soon be left a legacy to the coming generation.

SUPERSTITIOUS BELIEFS

Marriage:

1. The bride must not try on the wedding dress prior to the marriage, otherwise the marriage shall not be continue.
2. To insure prosperity and security, the bride and groom must have money in their pockets at the time of the marriage.
3. In any wedding ceremony, the party who desires to be the ruler and the family must do either one of the following actions: a. Step on the foot of the other party at the time of the ring ceremony; b. Press tightly the hand of the other party at the said part of the ceremony; or c. Be the first to ascend the ladder leading to the house where they will first go after the wedding ceremony.
4. To insure happiness throughout their married life, the couple upon ascending the stairways of the house must before [being] given anything else, be fed with something sweet. It could either be a sweetened cake or pie or any dessert.
5. In going to the house of the groom, the bride must not be accompanied by any member of the family, otherwise she will not know how to deal equally and fairly with her in-laws.
6. In order that the newly married couple may be blessed with many children, pots, plates and other chinaware are to be broken after the wedding ceremony.

Baptism:

1. The sponsors must see to it and make sure he goes out of the church ahead of anyone with the baptized child, to insure a bright and prosperous future for the godchild.
2. In order that the godchild may inherit the good traits of the godparents, the latter must breathe on the child while the child is being baptized.

For a Woman on the Family Way:

1. A woman on the family way must not stand at the doorway, otherwise, she shall undergo a difficult delivery.
2. If a woman sews her clothes on herself, she stands the danger of having a child with closed buttocks.
3. If she goes under the house on a late afternoon, she must get out of it directly without looking backwards, otherwise, she shall undergo a painful delivery.
4. The woman on the family way must avoid walking over a rope and her husband must avoid wearing cravats, otherwise, the umbilical cord of the child shall be coiled around its neck.
5. To insure a prompt and painless delivery, the midwife must put a ladle at her back.



In Planting:

1. To insure a progressive harvest, the sleeve of the planter must be allowed to fall down.
2. The grains or seeds to be planted must be removed or brought to the field at midnight in order that these plants would not be easily destroyed by animals.
3. A man who gives away a part of the seeds kept for planting (binhi) stands the risk of having a very poor harvest.
4. While planting banana stalks, the planter must avoid looking up in order that the plant may not be tall.

In Taking a Bath:

1. A person who takes a bath on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays stands the risk of getting ill seriously.
2. A person should not take a bath on a month which has 31 days, otherwise he shall get crazy.
3. If the moon is on its last quarter, a person bathing while the moon is moving will become seriously ill.

In Traveling:

1. A person walking who meets either a black cat or a black butterfly on his way should not continue his journey for bad luck awaits him.
2. One should not leave if there is someone dead in the house or in the neighborhood.

During the New Year:

1. A person travels on a New Year’ Day, he is sure to keep on traveling the whole year through.
2. The night before New Year’s Day, one should pay all his debts, otherwise he runs the risk of incurring debts the whole year through.
3. The snakes are believed to be very poisonous and fierce, likewise with animals on New Year’s Day, so that one should not enter the forest on that day.

Any Monday in August: Everyone should try to be patient and should avoid going out of his house on any Monday in August because persons are believed to be highly irritable and animals very wild on the day.

Buying a Pig:

1. In buying a pig, one must drink at least a glass of water while tying the pig at home, in order that the pig may grow up healthy.
2. In order that the pig make keep on staying in a fixed place, the first waste matter given out by the pig must be buried under the stairway.

POPULAR SONGS, GAMES AND AMUSEMENTS

The barrio people are never found wanting in games and amusements of various sorts. After a heavy day’s work

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in between a heavy day’s toil, they find time to relax and amuse themselves.

Among the favorite games in the barrio are piko, luksong tinik, laglag panyo, San Pedro, skipping rope, patintero, sulot-sulot bandol, haba-haba linta, habiling galang, pen-pen, lilum araw, pintarong matsin and betaken for the children and for elder ones, such games as indoor baseball and volleyball prevail.

A favorite amusement of the barrio consists of cockfighting. Although cockfighting is enjoyed by them in an improvised cockpit, the barrio people enjoy it a lot.

METHODS OF MEASURING TIME

The people of the barrio have a unique and strange way of foretelling time. They find no use for clocks, for watches or for any other instruments. They simply have to look at the position of the sun and by its position, the barrio farmers shall know what time it is. Another method of telling time is to listen to the crowing of the cocks, especially at night.

RIDDLES

1. A beautiful lady eating her body. (candle)
2. The house of the lord surrounded by swords. (pineapple)
3. A beautiful lady sitting on a tree. (cashew)
4. I pulled the string, the monkey sang. (bell)
5. Brown inside, brown outside, three little back people live inside. (chico)
6. In the middle of the sea, there is a red taxi. (egg)
7. When I went to the window, I saw a peso. (moon)
8. What is a hanging heart? (mango)
9. If you are a good speller, spell dry grass in three letters. (hay)
10. Wherever I go, I carry my own radio. (mouth)
11. What runs without feet? (water)
12. What is shining like gold? (sun)

PROVERBS AND SAYINGS

1. Not all that glitter is gold.
2. The tongue is not a blade, but it cuts deep.
3. A rolling stone gathers no moss.
4. Never leave for tomorrow what you can do today.
5. Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.
6. When opportunity knocks, grasp it whether it be business or pleasure.

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7. Time is gold.
8. Health is wealth.
9. Behind the clouds, the sun is still shining.
10. Patience is the best remedy for every trouble.
11. Patience is bitter but the fruit is sweeter.
12. The longest way round is the shortest way home.
13. The best hearts are the bravest.
14. Faults are thick where love is thin.
15. No man can serve two masters at the same time.
16. Oft a little morning rain foretells a pleasant day.
17. Some days must be dark and dreary.
18. Perseverance may fail nineteen times but it will succeed in the twentieth.
19. The best preparation for good work tomorrow is good work today.
20. One day is worth two tomorrow.
21. Every day is [the] best day of the year.
22. If you would be successful, stick to one thing.
23. A brave and gentle character is often found under the humblest garb.
24. Strike when the iron is hot.
25. It is easy to make a good fire of another man’s wood.
26. A good face is a good letter of recommendation.
27. A word to the wise is enough.
28. Old friends are best.
29. A stone that may fit in the walls is not left by the way.
30. Whoever climbed never falls.
31. Take things by the smooth handle.
32. A barking dog seldom bites.
33. Persuasion is better than force.
34. He gives doubly who gives quickly.
35. He liveth long who liveth well.
36. He never makes a friend he who never makes a foe.
37. Wonderful things are hidden away.
38. Make hay while the sun shines.
39. No one knows what he can do until he tries.
40. Choose an author as you would choose a friend.
41. Be on your guard when people flatter you.
42. He that would govern others must first govern himself.
43. Keep cool and you can command everybody.
44. Ask your purse what you shall buy.
45. Speech is silver but silence is golden.

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CONCLUSION:

This, then, is the sum total of this history of these barrios, which while it may be rich in language is nevertheless part of the history itself. Its humble beginning, the intricacies of nature with which Providence has endowed it with, and the idiosyncrasies of its people, all these are kept as a precious record dear to the heart of every inhabitant. The years may come and the years may go, men may change and re-change, but these treasured record shall remain as they are.



Compiled by:

Mr. ANDRES MARANAN [unsure, blurred]

Mrs. FELISA K. FILEMON [unsure, blurred]

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Notes and references:
Transcribed from “History and Cultural Data of the Barrio of Bolbok and Its Neighboring Barrios,” 1953, online at the National Library of the Philippines Digital Collections.

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