Ambulong, Tanauan, Batangas: Historical Data Part II - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore Ambulong, Tanauan, Batangas: Historical Data Part II - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore

Ambulong, Tanauan, Batangas: Historical Data Part II

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

Ambulong, Tanauan, Batangas: Historical Data PART II


[p. 6]

(f) Battle of Liberation: Sometime in March, 1945, when the town of Tanauan was partially liberated, a contingent of American liberation troops was quartered at Bañadero in the house of the incumbent Judge Modesto Castillo of the CIR. When the evacuees knew about this, they returned to their homes. A few days later, hundreds of evacuees from other towns went to Ambulong hoping it to be their sanctuary in the meantime. Then came the most critical period. A large number of Japanese stragglers retreated from Talisay, setting all the houses along the way on fire. They killed three men and two women. The news reached Ambulong and all the people became panicky. The people were just beginning to evacuate again when the Japanese stragglers came. The American soldiers stationed at Bañadero began to shell the Japanese with their 105 howitzers. There was a wild rush of people to the seashore. The Japanese soldiers, believing that it was futile for them to fight although they did not have a tint of decision to surrender, mixed with the civilians. When the Americans knew of this tactic, they immediately ceased firing and gave time for the non-combatants to separate from the Japanese soldiers. The Japanese proceeded to Wawa. They were encountered by the guerrillas who were then bivouacked in the area. With the excellent support of the American shelling, the guerrillas were able to drive the Japanese, killing two of them during the encounter.

8. Destruction of lives, properties and institutions during wars:

(a) 1896-1900: There was no destruction of lives except those who died in sickness. The destruction of properties was great. During the revolution, many houses of Ambulong were burned by the Spaniards and a number of animals were taken.

(b) 1941-1945: Two women and three men were killed, and nine houses were burned by the Japanese. Useful trees were cut down by the Japanese for their own use.

Measures and accomplishments toward rehabilitation and reconstruction following World War II:

The Weather Observatory was reconstructed through the aid from the U.S. government. Roads were improved and the bridges were reconstructed. More school rooms were constructed, and the barrio chapel was rebuilt. [The] Agriculture and fishing industries were improved. Fishermen now use motor boats instead of sailboats. More people are now engaged in commercial business. The standard of living of the people is changed so much that many are sending their children to schools and colleges and universities in Manila. Different puroks were organized.


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

a. Birth:

When a child is born, the neighbors, relatives and friends of the family visit the mother. Usually, the parents of the newly-born child are satisfied if the newly-born baby is a boy.

[p. 7]

b. Baptism:

A few days after a child is born, a temporary baptismal party is held, called “huhusan.” Friends and relatives of the godfather are invited to the party. In return, these invited bring with them gifts and contributions, usually in the form of drinks. In most cases, when the newly-born child is a boy, the father chooses the godfather; when female, the mother. The “buhusan” is conducted by a man who knows a simple form of baptismal ceremony. After about a year, the godfather of the child goes to church for [the] real baptism. He provides the child the baptismal garment and pays the baptismal fee.

c. Courtship:

A young man courting a woman gives his utmost courtesy and politeness to the parents of the woman. The man is very civil and courteous in words and action in his dealings with the woman’s parents. In politeness and in affectionate intercourse, they are very extravagant, addressing love letters to each other in terms of elaborate expressions of affection. A suitor renders his personal services to the woman by helping in the fields.

d. Marriage:

[The] Marriage custom during our early generation is interesting. The father of the young groom-to-be, after having been notified by his son of his engagement to a certain woman, would go to the parents of the young girl to make arrangements for the forthcoming marriage. Under this arrangement is the fixing of the bride’s dowry, spending almost a whole night before any agreement is reached. The parents of the girl disposed of their daughter in a sort of business-like way. It was finally decided that he would give a certain piece of land or a number of animals, or a house or all of them. The wedding day was set about two or three weeks later.

The young girl is informed of her forthcoming marriage. She then spends a busy day of preparation. Relatives and friends of the bride come to help and advise her. As the wedding day approaches, she adorns herself. On the other side, the relatives of the groom help him. They contribute rice, chickens, pigs, fuel and other things. Bundles of firewood are distributed to the relatives of the bride.

Then comes the wedding day. Marriage is solemnized with [a] religious ceremony. The bride’s veil is lifted. The remainder of the day is spent in eating and merrymaking. When afternoon comes, the bride is escorted to the house of the groom. She bids farewell to the relatives, sisters, brothers, and parents with tears. The groom stays in the house of his in-laws, and after three days joins his new wife.

e. Death and Burial:

It is a common practice of the natives to dress the deceased person elegantly. Mourning before the burial composed of the members of the family shutting themselves in the house for a few days and abstaining from amusements. Black dress is a sign of mourning among the natives.

f. Festivals:

The barrio fiesta is held always on the last day of May, marking the last day of “Flores de Mayo.” Every house has ample preparation for the visitors, but the biggest preparation is done in the house of the “Hermana Mayor.” A mass is held in the chapel early in the morning of the fiesta. Bands are hired to furnish the music. On the eve of the fiesta, there is a band concert. In the aftermath of the fiesta is held the procession. After the procession follows the floral offering done in the chapel.

[p. 8]

g. Punishments:

Minor offenses are arranged through extra-judicial proceedings. For example, a young man commits an immoral act against a woman. He would be summoned by the teniente or by the “matanda sa nayon.” The offender is told to lie down flat on a bench and is beaten several times. In some cases, the offender is made to pay a certain sum of money as indemnity.

10. Myths, Legends, Beliefs, Interpretations and Superstitions:

a. Legend of a Forest that Became a Body of Water:

A very long time ago, there lived in beautiful maiden in a forest near the shore of Taal Lake. She had no companion at home. She maintained her living from the fruits, vegetables and other foods which the forest could provide. Her house stood in the place where fishermen passed by. The fishermen were kind and generous to her. They gave her fish and offered her some help. In return, she was hospitable to everybody. Everybody was interested in conversing with her because of her hospitality, kindness, and above all, beauty. She's in a very attractive tone so that many became fond of her. She had many lovers but to her, love was nothing. [A] Hundred years went fast and this maiden remained as beautiful and attractive as ever. She did not grow old in appearance. The fishermen regarded [her as] an enchanted human being or a goddess of the sea. Whenever she got sick, the fishermen could not catch any fish.

Time went on, and finally the maiden fell in love with a young man. The man visited her every night, and they had passed many happy moments. One moonlit night, she went walking along the shore. She saw a man and a woman talking together. She found out that the man was no other than her lover. She cried with deep grief and in the course of her disappointment, she commanded the sea to have its largest waves. The sea roared its high waves violently, engulfing the trio until they are all drowned. The great water extended up to the forest.

This is the story of the legendary forest which became a part of Taal Lake.

b. Beliefs and Superstitions:

1. The people believe in the existence of [the] “tianak,” “tikbalang,” “kulam,” and “asuang.” The asuang is the most dreaded. It is, according to the people, a person who, because of [an] ailment, assumes other forms like that of a dog, a carabao or a pig, when he rooms at night in search of prey, particularly sick persons or expectant mothers. The “mangkukulam," through near words, inflicts injury on his victim. The "tikbalang” is a harmless being, but when he takes fancy on someone, he will lure him to his place and make fun of him. The people also believe in [the] “nuno” which, they say, live underground. When offended, the “nuno” inflicts injuries. Urinating and sitting on the ground which happens to have [a] “nuno” living under, are ways of offending the “nuno.”

2. Acquisition of a black cat at night is a sign of [a] bad omen.

3. When a crow breaks the stillness of the night with its sound, some ill fortune will happen.

4. When the dogs sound their melancholy howl at night, somebody will die.

5. If a cat rubs its face with its paw, or when a house lizard produces a sound near the door, some visitors are coming.

6. Dreams are interpreted in the opposite.

[p. 9]

7. The people believe in the presence of sea nymphs at night. Fishermen say they actually hear the song of strange ladies of the sea. However, they say, the music vanished when they tried to locate it.

11. Popular Songs, Games, and Amusements:

a. [The] Popular songs of the people are the kundiman, balitaw, and the danza.

b. The pandango, the subli, and the kutang-kutang are the popular native dances.

c. “Pata,” a counterpart of bowling, is one of the popular games among the natives. Other amusements are cockfighting, playing cards, serenading, and dancing.

12. Puzzles and Riddles:

1 – Sinampal ko muna bago ko inalok. – sampalok

2 – Walang sala'y iginapos, niyapakan pagkatapos. – sapatos

3 – Bumbong kung araw, kung gabi'y karagatan. – banig

4 – May dalawang magkaibigan, unahan ng unahan. – paa

5 – Isda ko sa Marabeles, nasa loob ang kaliskis. – sili

6 – Pagsipot sa sang-maliwanag kulubot na ang balat. – ampalaya

7 – Dala ko, dala ko pa rin siya. – bakya

8 – Lumalakad walang paa, tumatakbo ay walang humihila. – bangka

9 – ang buhok ni Adan, hindi mabilang-bilang. – ulan

10 – Isang balong malalim, punong puno ng patalim. – bibig

13. Proverbs and Sayings:

1 – Mataas pa sa kalabaw ang Langaw na dumapo sa likod ng kalabaw

2 – Kapag may sinuksok ay may madudukot.

3 – Magpakahaba-haba man ang prusisyon, sa simbahan din ang urong.

4 – Ang, lumakad ng matulin kung matinik ay malalim.

5 – Hindi lahat ng kumikinang ay ginto.

6 – Kung Anong taas ng iyong lipad, siyang lagapak kung bumagsak.

7 – Pahirin mo muna ang sariling uling bago pahirin ang ibang uri ng.

8 – Kung maliligo sa tubig ay umagap nang hindi abutin ng tabsing sa dagat.

14. Methods of Measuring Time, Special Calendar:

The ancient method of measuring time was by the leaves of the acacia tree. When the leaves of the acacia faded, it was four o'clock in the afternoon. Leaves of the madre cacao, when they faded, designated four o'clock in the afternoon. This form of measuring time was used in the absence of the rays of the sun. The race and the position of the sun were used in the daytime when not cloudy. At night, they used to

[p. 10]

detect time by means of the crowing of the cocks and through heavenly bodies.

There was no special calendar during the ancient times.


15. Information on books and documents treating of the Philippines and names of their owners:

Domingo Tuico, Sr., a former revolutionary leader, has some documents about the revolution, but were destroyed as an aftermath of the Second World War.

16. Names of Filipino authors born or residing in the barrio:

There is none.


Resource Persons

Mrs. Filomena Garcia y Silva120 years old
Mrs. Maximina Perez y Carandang100 years old
Mr. Florencio Ansiado83 years old
Mr. Enrique Lunzaran73 years old
Mr. Marcelo Zumarraga73 years old
Mr. Victorio Ortiz73 years old
Ms. Isidro Suarez60 years old

Information Gathered By:

Mrs. Aurora T. VelascoTeacher
Mrs. Felicisima S. de la Peña"
Miss Pilar Perez"
Miss Paula L. Guevarra"

Assisted by:

Mr. Domingo Tuico Jr.Local Resident
Mr. Agapito M. Tuico"
Mr. Maximo L. Llarena"


Mr. Jose PlatonHead Teacher


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