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like the booming of thunder. It was the voice of God. It said, “What have you done to your mother, Pedro? You, evil woman and you, Pedro, you will both be punished for this. You will become smaller and smaller. I bid you to crawl… crawl… crawl. Don’t stop crawling until you have found the heart of that holy woman.”
The lovers felt themselves growing smaller and smaller. They could not defy the wish of God. They became the first house lizards.
To this day, house lizards go to the ground every evening. There are still some who think that they are kissing the ground. But they are still looking for the heart of a loving mother which the evil woman threw out of her window many years ago.
POPULAR SONGS, GAMES AND AMUSEMENTS
The people are generally industrious. No single day of the week is spared for idleness. Majority of the men are farmers and at times they deal in buying and selling cattle. On the first day of the week, they go to the neighboring barrios and, sometimes, to Mindoro and Lubang Island where they purchase domestic animals. The animals are then brought to Taal on Saturday and to Manila to be sold. They usually spend two days away from home for this venture and very rarely for a week. The remaining days are spent on the farm, tilling the soil and feeding the animals. At noon when the sun is hot, the farmers meet in the village barber shop. The play the guitar, each one humming songs to amuse himself. They talk on the ways to improve the farm production and at other times argue on matters pertaining to their current trade. At night, they listen to radio broadcasts. No number in the radio programs is of great interest to the people than those which centers on the political questions of the government, issues of the Korean War and America’s new political administration.
Personalities of the Philippine movies from the lowliest extra actor to the most distinguished and popular are very familiar to the people. This is so because on Sunday, a day of rest and relaxation and the pressure of work is light, the people go to town and see the shows. Love for Tagalog novels is developed. The elders find pleasure in hearing stories from Weekly Bulaklak, Liwayway and Ilang-ilang read by the young people. New songs are not strange to the barrio folks, so that one is not surprised to hear songs of the latest hits. To the place, playing cards is a means of recreation. Cards are not played for the benefit of one and prejudice to others. Money is not used as a medium of change because it is the pride and joy of winning a game that interests the players. Roosters are taken care of as fighters and not taken to the cockpits for bets. These pets are sold at prices in varying amounts depending upon their availability. They laugh, shout and jump as their cocks leap ferociously upon the other. That is real happiness which everybody seeks and hopes to find.
The game is played by two competing teams. Each team is composed of five or more players. One is the center player and the rest are basemen. A rectangular figure is drawn on the ground with lines as bases drawn across the figure perpendicular to each length. The bases
traversed by the center line form rectangles where the runners can move about freely before attempting to cross the bases. There are as many lines as there are basemen. A center line is drawn between and equidistant to any point on the sides. The basemen are distributed to the bases and the center player takes his post on the center line.
The opposing team assembles in front of the home base and passing each base at the signal, taking care not to be tagged by either the baseman or the center player. When the player reaches the free territory behind the last base, he returns to his home base and passes all the other bases in the same manner. Upon reaching the free territory, he announces a home and the other players return and assemble in the free territory preparatory to another hit. The team scores one. They then take turns when a player of the first team is tagged. Each baseman and the center player take the posts vacated. A baseman and the center player can tag a runner only when he is on the base and on the center line from home to the last base, respectively. A runner is not free to go out of the boundary line and doing so will turn to another inning. The number of innings played is agreed upon by the captains of each team. The team that makes more homeruns [is] the winner.
In front of the home base and back of the last base are free territories. That is, the players can go near the catcher without being tagged, but is tagged when caught trying to cross the home and last bases.
Two teams play the game. The teams are composed of [an] equal number of players which depend on the agreement of the two captains. Each has a home, fifteen meters away from the other. At the side of each home plate is the prison, about five meters from each home base, where players who are caught are kept. The start of the game is announced by either captain. A member of either team runs to any direction. He is called bait. A player of the opposing team runs after the bait. The player bait’s team runs after the second runner. A player who gets away later than the member of the other team is the catcher. A runner tagged by the catcher is kept in the prison hall owned by the team where the catcher belongs. When all players of one team are imprisoned by the other team, it is declared [the] loser. A prisoner cannot play until after his co-members set him free. He can be saved by his co-members when in the course of the game; he is touched by his teammate without being caught by the guard. He again becomes a player.
A group of boys or a group of girls can play this game. Runners are selected by luck. The loser becomes the catcher. A member of the group holds an empty can of milk and throws it to any direction he desires. As the catcher runs for the can, all the members of the group hide. The catcher places the can on the spot designated and looks for every member of the group. When a catcher sees a member, he says “pong” with the name of the member seen and then steps on the [missing word, likely “can”]. The player seen becomes a dead player. The catcher remains until after he had seen all the members. A dead player becomes active and hides again when a player not yet seen kicks the can. A catcher is relieved of his post by the player first seen.
Ikaw man ay pantas, ikaw ma’y bihasa
At sa patuuran ay lubhang balita ka
Ano ang sa talbos payapang bumunga
Sa malaking bunga’y talbos ay bumuka? …. Pinya
Sa pinankasulok looban ni Elsa
May isang halamang nakapagtataka
Masdan mo’t sa wari’y may isang prinsesa
Kusang nakalikmo umupo sa tasa …. Kasoy
Sa boong magdamag ay siya kong gabay
Nasa isang tabi pagsikat ng araw
Di lubhang malaki at ang bisang taglay
Pagsapit ng gabi’y sumikip ang bahay …. Ilaw
Lagi kong kasama, laging kaakbay
Sa tuwing umaga sa aming bakuran
Kahima-himal sandaang kalabaw
Iisa ang tali isa ang tagikaw …. Walis
Doon sa malayo’t masaganang nayon
Payapang tumira si Ester ni Pitong
Anong isinaing at itinanong
Payapang bumula kahit walang gatong …. Sabon
Sa boong palibot sa boong paligid
Sa harap at likod ng bahay ni Enes
Ngayo’y bumubuka wala namang bibig
Hayu’t ngumingiti ng boong tahimik …. Bulaklak
PROVERBS AND SAYINGS:
Magpakahaba-haba ng prosesiyon
Sa simbahan din ang urong.
Pag lumakad ng matulin
Kung matinik pa ay malalim.
Ang taong di nalingon sa pinanggalingan
Di makararating sa pupuntahan.
Pag binato ka ng bato’y
Gantihan mo ng tinapay.
Bayuhin mo na ako sa lusong
Huag lamang sa dagat itapon.
Walang maghuhulong ng binalot
Sa taong natutulog.
Ang isang puno ng mangga
Ay hindi mamumunga ng papaya.
Ang walang hirap mag-ipon walang
Wala nang kasaysayang kinapas na damo
Kapag namatay na ang iwing kabayo.
Walang matimtiman at dakilang birhen
Sa di sumasawa sa pananalangin.
METHODS OF MEASURING TIME:
Time is measured in many ways. During the rainy season, especially when the sun could not emit its rays, time is determined by flowers of the “patola.” The flowers of the patola open at four o’clock in the afternoon. At night, there are several ways of measuring time. Chickens crow at regular intervals. First at ten o’clock, then at twelve, at two, at four and the last at six in the morning. After the last crow, the chickens begin to fly their roost. The rising and setting of the planet Mercury is another way of measuring time. It rises at four o’clock in the morning at sets at nine o’clock in the evening. During the day, time is determined by the position of the sun. It is believed to rise at six o’clock and to set at six o’clock in the afternoon.
The farmers have a queer way of forecasting the amount of rainfall in each month. The first twelve days of January according to the farmers correspond to the twelve months of the year. The daily amount of rain during the first twelve days of January foretells whether the other months of the year will be dry or rainy. Some farmers keep records of the climatic condition of each of [the] first twelve days, so as to know the best time for planting and possibly harvesting.
[Sgd.] Antonio Marco
PART I | PART II