Nasugbu (Poblacion), Batangas: Historical Data Part IV - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore Nasugbu (Poblacion), Batangas: Historical Data Part IV - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore

Nasugbu (Poblacion), Batangas: Historical Data Part IV

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



[p. 19-20 missing.]

[p. 21]

Traditions, Customs and Practices in Domestic and Social Life, Birth, Baptism, Courtship, Marriage, Death, Burial, Visits, Festivals, Punishments, etc.

A. Social and Domestic Life:

1. Showing respect to elders, parents, relatives, godparents by kissing their hands after prayers, upon leaving or returning home, upon meeting on special occasions, and after arriving from the church.

2. When addressing their elders, the word “po” or “ho” is always used.

3. Elders are given preference at [the] table and anywhere.

4. Asking permission from parents before accepting any invitation or going to some place.

5. Accepting meekly any reprimands or scolding from the old folks.

6. Recognizing the authority of the eldest brother or sister upon the death of the father or mother.

7. Taking off the hat or making the sign of the Cross when passing a church or a cemetery.

8. Making the sign of the Cross before going downstairs.

9. Praying together at Angelus time.

10. Saying a short prayer when a funeral passes by.

11. Visiting sick relatives and helping to care for them.

12. Going to church on Sundays and other Holy Days of Obligation.

[p. 22]

B. Birth

1. It is the father’s duty to bury the placenta of the newborn baby.

2. The placenta is placed in a glass so that the child will possess white teeth.

3. When burying the placenta, the midwife advises the father to keep quiet while doing so, so that they baby will not be a crybaby.

4. The umbilical cord should be placed in the safe place so that the child will not become a problem child when he grows up.

5. Right after birth, the parents of the child notify the godparents-to-be.

C. Baptism

1. A child who is in danger of dying receives his first baptism called “buhos tubig.” This is done in the house by an old person. Usually, the real godparents act as sponsors.

2. The child is baptized in the church by the priest. The sponsors shoulder all the expenses of the baptism, such as buying the baby’s attire, paying the fee in the church, transportation and, sometimes, the hired musicians.

3. The godparents also give gifts in the form of jewelry or money. This gift is called “pakimkim.”

4. The parents of the child, in return, send a roasted pig or delicious foods to the sponsors, which is called “sabit.”

5. Racing to the door after baptism is done by the sponsor so that his godchild will be tops in all his undertakings.

6. Babies, after Baptism, are carried by the sponsor to the house accompanied by a band.

7. Upon reaching the house, the sponsor throws coins so that the baby will have a prosperous life.

[p. 23]

D. Courtship

1. When a man is attracted to a certain girl, he serenades her.

2. After making himself known to the parents of the girl, he begins his nocturnal visits whereby he airs his heartthrobs and desires.

3. He also writes love letters and sends flowers or gifts to his lady love.

4. He invited the parents of the girl to a party or picnic.

5. When a man is accepted by the girl and her parents, they call for the parents of the man and they have what we call “bolongan.” They agree on the wedding and set aside the date.

E. Marriage

1. Parents must sanction the marriage. Couples who marry against the wishes of their parents are liable to be disinherited. Furthermore, they are cursed by their parents to have endless sufferings in the married life.

2. The family of the groom is expected to shoulder all the expenses of the wedding.

3. The bride provides hersekf with her trousseau.

4. The family of the groom prepares the food in the home of the bride though it may be far. This is what we call “baysanan.”

5. The feast is held in the house of the bride. The lavishness depends upon the social standing of the couple being married.

6. After the wedding ceremony, the couple goes to all their relatives to kiss their hands and receive their blessings. They also receive gifts to help them start their new life.

7. Usually, the bride goes with the family of the groom after the feast and the latter is left with the bride’s family. This is done so that they will know how to deal with their in-laws.

[p. 24]

F. Death

1. A priest is called to administer the last Confession and Extreme Unction to the dying.

2. The dead is dressed in his wedding dress or best clothes.

3. Friends and relatives send flowers, money, or any form of help to the bereaved family.

4. The family of the deceased slaughter a pig and serve the people who pay a visit or help in preparing the food.

5. The relatives, neighbors and friends keep vigil for one night.

6. Prayers are said for nine consecutive nights. After the prayers, they play games to console the bereaved family. This feast is called “Pagsisiyam.”

7. The relatives of the dead wear black dresses for one year and they abstain from dancing and merrymaking.

8. After the mourning period, the family celebrates a feast which is called the “babang luksa.”

9. The last wishes of the dead are followed faithfully so that the family will not be haunted.

G. Burial

1. Relatives and friends go with the funeral.

2. The younger members of the family are made to kiss the hand or are carried across the coffin so that they will not be haunted.

3. Caution is taken not to drop tears on the corpse because this may cause another death in the family.

4. Ants or flies seen on the corpse should not be mentioned for they will surely increase in number.

H. Visits

1. Visitors are allowed to eat first.

[p. 25]

2. Entertaining visitors when holding forums and assemblies.

3. Serving sweets and drinks to visitors.

4. When visitors arrive at the same time they are eating, they invite them to join them at [the] table.

5. Callers give their due respect to the owner of the house by not entering the house without being told to do so. They also give the necessary greeting to the owner of the house.

I. Festivals

A. Christmas

1. A family reunion is held at Christmas. They exchange gifts. Small children go to their godparents and kiss their hands. They receive gifts in return.

2. The people hear the midnight mass and have their “noche buena” afterwards.

B. New Year

1. New Year’s Eve is celebrated by having a get-together in the family. After the midnight mass, there is usually a “Media Noche.” Pansit or palitaw is served because these mean [a] long and prosperous life.

2. Children make bamboo cannons and they go around making a lot of noise.

3. Houses are cleaned very well to greet the New Year. Debts are paid and they refrain from making new ones. Well, the people turn over a new leaf.

C. All Saints’ Day

1. Masses are said for the dead.

2. Wreaths, candles are taken to the cemetery. Tombs are cleaned and repainted.

3. Housewives prepare rice sticks, cakes and puspas.

4. At night, groups of people and children go around to ask for alms. They sing from house to house and receive suman or money.

[p. 26]

D. St. John’s Day

1. People hear mass on this day.

2. Both the old and young people take a bath in the river.

3. People have their haircut on this day so that they will have abundant and nice hair.

E. Easter and Lent

1. During Lent, people refrain from dancing, sing song hits and the like.

2. Several homes have the “pabasa.” The passion of Christ is recalled by singing.

3. On Palm Sunday, people bring palms to church to be blessed by the priest. Blessed palms are kept in the homes for they are used against lightning and thunder.

4. On Holy Friday, the “Siete Palabra” is held to commemorate the seven last words of our Lord. Some people go to the beach and they have what we call “penetencia.” They inflict all sorts of punishments on their bodies like whipping, dragging and the like.

5. On Easter Sunday, we have what we call “Hallelujah.” Some young ladies also dance the “bati.”

6. On Easter Sunday, when the bells announce the resurrection of our Lord, children are told to jump as high as they could so that they will grow tall.

F. Feast of the Patron Saint

1. A year’s preparation is done. Houses are repaired. Pigs are put in pens. Desserts are made.

2. Misa Dalmatica is held in the morning. People from different towns come and attend the fiesta. As many as four bands go around the town. At night, there is a procession, wherein religious and curious people participate. Firecrackers costing hundreds of pesos add to the highlights of the affair.

3. Shows, fairs and games could be seen everywhere.

[p. 27]

4. All houses are opened to visitors. Food is served lavishly.

G. May Festivals

1. Ladies decorate baskets with flowers and offer them to the Blessed Virgin Mary. Songs and prayers are said in her honor. Merienda is served afterwards. This is what we call “alayan” or “bulaklakan.”

2. At night, there is a procession wherein the town’s beauties participate. This is what we call “Sta. Cruz de Mayo.”

Superstitious Beliefs

I. Marriage

1. When a couple comes home from the church after the wedding, they are given sweets so that they will enjoy marital bliss.

2. When a wedding and a burial arrive at a church at the same time, the newlyweds will die soon.

3. Caution should be taken in putting the veil on the couple so that it will not fall off. This would mean early death or separation.

4. The bride must not fit on her wedding gown or else her wedding shall not be continued.

5. After the wedding ceremony, the friends and relatives of the couple throw rice and money to insure prosperity and security for the newlyweds.

II. For a Woman on the Family Way

1. When a woman is on the family way [and] she sits by the door, she will suffer in her delivery.

2. A woman who is on the family way, when going up the house, should go upstairs directly without stopping so that she will not suffer during her delivery.

3. The husband of the woman on the family way should not repair their house because his wife will suffer in delivery.


Notes and references:
Transcribed from “Historical Data of the Municipality of Nasugbu,” 1953, online at the National Library of the Philippines Digital Collections.
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