Guinhawa, Tuy, Batangas: Historical Data Part I - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore Guinhawa, Tuy, Batangas: Historical Data Part I - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore

Guinhawa, Tuy, Batangas: Historical Data Part I

Historical Data graphic
Historical data from the National Library of the Philippines.



Full transcription of the so-called “Historical Data” for the barrio of Guinhawa 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.

[p. 1]


The barrio recall Guinhawa was named centuries ago by the natives and had come to be popularly remembered under the same old name. The natives being Tagalogs, head adopted the Tagalog generic term “guinhawa” to the place, which means ease and comfort. By its location, the barrio is a low-lying plain bound to the east, south and west by rivers which enable the barrio folks to secure water very easily for household means, catch fish & shrimps, raised fresh vegetables and fruits that maintain them almost throughout the year. Do them, such nearness and availability of needs add much comfort to their farm life compared with other distant barrios, hence, they came to call it such.

It is divided into two sitios, Molino and Siniguelasan. The site now called Molino centers around a deep river where once upon a time, Don Felix Araullo – the rich owner – put up a water wheel to run a mill. This may still be found although not in good running condition. The other part came to be called Siniguelasan due to the abundant sineguelas plants around the place.

Oldest of the families that originally cleared the place are the Madrigals and Dimapindans. The oldest “teniente del barrio” was Cristino Madrigal, succeeded by his son Igmidio. Of their descendants, we find Lorenzo Madrigal, Eusebio Bauyon and Estanislao Muñoz as the active “teniente del barrio.”

During the pre-Spanish period, the place was a thicket and hunting ground for wild boar and deer. When the Spaniards came, it was cleared and was converted into a connecting link to the town until finally, roads were constructed and improved as they are now by be Americans.

It being very near the roads, it was practically left unmolested by the Japanese during World War II. Except for occasional passing soldiers on their way to town, the place was barely disturbed then. Even when the Americans came, the barrio folks remained peaceful although hard-up in family needs.


Like most Tagalogs, the barrio folks are conservative. They live simply and observed much of the early customs and practices of Catholic life. Marriage is a much respected institution that is not so easily entered

[p. 2]

by young boys and girls without family approval. In most cases, family choice or matching among their children, paves the way for an early marriage. Wooing is be done through services rendered by the prospective groom by splitting wood, providing water, plowing fields, harvesting grains and other errands that the girl’s family demand. Should be proved helpful and industrious, if date is set for the wedding, usually in one of the days of May – where in the groom shoulders all expenses – church fees, wedding gown, wedding feast and with a dowry as desired.

After ceremony, custom demands that the bride shall move to the house of the groom, but the groom shall have to stay one night in the bride’s house. They believe that this practice keeps the bond longer during the married life of a couple.

As soon as a child is born, the baptism follows within forty days after birth, and a godparent is selected among the intimate friends or relatives who is most preferred with the belief that the child, being a godchild, would grow up much like the godparent. A Catholic baptism is always sought and ordinarily, a “lechon” is sent to the godparent as an offering of the new “compadre,” which puts the two into an implied closer relationship than before.

Whenever a member of the family dies, he is given a solemn burial. However poor the family is, the barrio folks put in enough cash to finance the funeral expenses – which include [the] coffin, burial fees, and the “siyam na araw.” The latter consists of nine days celebration. The first being the date of death. In the evening, people stay overnight to guard the deceased. At the same time, young boys and girls find a way of beating the tedious hours of passing the night awake by playing cards, “juego de prenda,” and storytelling while the older folks pray continuously for the dead. At midnight, some food is served like bread and coffee. Then regularly, every evening, relatives call for nine days at the house of the deceased to pray together and remember the soul of the faithful departed. On the ninth day, special preparation, usually enough for the whole day, meals are served and to top the occasion, march sweet and desserts are offered late in the evening, to all those who come to join the praying.

Among these barrio folks, there are various superstitious beliefs which have taken root in their minds, and are still being practiced now some of these are the following:

(1) On business trips, if one meets a black cat or a lizard, it means a bad omen; it may mean a loss on a business deal or one may need an accident.

[p. 3]

(2) Friday yes a bad day for planting, bathing, weddings and visiting as it always bring bad luck to [the] persons concerned.

(3) During a wedding ceremony, if the ring and coins fall, the newly married couple will surely separate within a short time.

(4) Eating together in a group of 13 is bad as one will soon die among the group.

(5) To pay debts in the afternoon, especially at sunset, is bad, as the debts keep on piling; sometimes, people claim this practice makes money roll faster, and one will be found penniless for a long period.

(6) If a member of the family dies and his limbs remain soft and flexible up to burial time, someone will follow soon.

(7) And while the deceased is still in the house, it is bad to sweep as the members of the household will die one after the other.

(8) When dresses are ordered cut and sewed, the seams must be always uneven to bring plenty of income rather than debts.

(9) In weddings, when plates or pots are broken, it denotes many children during their wedded life.

(10) If a cat wipes its face in front of the stove, a visitor will surely come.

(11) If a young lady sings while cooking, she is bound to marry a widower.

(12) After the wedding ceremony, the groom and the bride rush to go out of the church and the one who goes out ahead, shall be the dominating figure throughout the married life.

(13) Make the sign of the cross before going downstairs.

(14) Sweeping at night makes the family poor.

(15) It is hard for an unmarried woman to get married when she sings in front of the stove while cooking.

(16) When dogs moan, the people in the place will die.

(Pag tumatahol ang aso ng pahagulhol sa tapat ng isang bahay ay mamamatay ang isang tao sa pook na iyon.)

[p. 4]

(17) When an owl enters a house, all persons living in that house will die.
(Pag nakapasok ang kuwago sa loob ng bahay ay mamamatay ang mga tao sa bahay na yaon.)

(18) When a child always cries, the mother will die early.
(Kapag nag-iiyak ang bata, mamamatay agad ang ina.)

(19) It is dangerous to travel far when a neighbor or a relative is dead.
(Huwag maglalakbay ng malayo kung may patay sa kapitbahay o kamag-anak at mapanganib.)

(20) Someone will elope when the hen cackles at night. (May magtatanang dalaga kapag pumutak ang inahing manok sa gabi.)

(21) You will have money when your palm gets itchy. (Kapag nangati ang palad ay magkakaroon ng kuwarta.)

(22) When two brothers marry in the same year, one of them will die early.
(Kung mag-aasawa ang magkapatid ng sukob sa taon ay madaling mamamatay ang isa.)

(23) When the eyes of a pig killed in a festival are open, many visitors will be coming.
(Kapag mulat ang pinatay na baboy sa isang handaan ay maraming panauhing darating.)

(24) It is very dangerous for a woman or a man to leave the house often when he or she is soon to be married. (Malapit sa panganib ang isang kakasaling mag-aalis ng bahay.)

(25) It is bad to fit the matrimonial clothes because the marriage ceremony will be discontinued.
(Huwag isusukat ang barong pangkasal nang di pa oras na kasal sapagka’t hindi matutuloy ang kasal.)

(26) The place where the carabao lies the whole day is the best place to construct a house.
(Ang lugar na hinihigaan ng kalabaw ay magaling pagbahayan sapagka’t malamig.)

(27) Persons with big ears live longer.
(Ang mga taong may malalaking taynga ay mahaba ang buhay.)

(28) Do not enter a cemetery when you have a wound for it will not be cured at once.
(Masama ang pumasok sa kamposanto kung may sugat at hindi agad gagaling.)

(29) Sweet is given to the newly-married couple before they are allowed to enter the house so that the relationship of the two will be as sweet as sugar.
(Pinakakain ng matamis ang bagong kasal bago pumanhik ng bahay upang tumamis ang [part of page folded, not scanned]

[p. 5]

Mrs. Purificacion A. Malabanan

Abaruray Musical Sheet
1. Abaruray, abarinding, isauli mo ang singsing,

At kung di mo isasauli, magagalit ang may-ari.

Ringginding, ginding ang sinta ko’y wala rito, ringginding,
Ringginding, ginding nasa kabilang ibayo, ringginding,
Ringginding, ginding kaya di naparito, ringginding,
Ringginding, ginding walang sasakyang kabayo.

2. Abaruray, abarinding, isauli mo ang suklay,
At kung di mo isasauli, magagalit ang may-ari.


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