A novena is offered to the Almighty by the neighbors and kin of the deceased. This, they say, would help the soul of the dead one to enter easily the portals of heaven. This novena is ended by a party where eats and drinks are served. And then goes the one whole year of mourning. The long mourning is terminated after a year by another frame party, or novena. The well-to-do families prepare and serve the best off foods during this day of the last mourning.
The people of the community are noted for their love of home. Nevertheless, they love adventure. They go to distant places in search of fortune but deep in their hearts, kindles always the light found in the lines of Van Dyke’s immortal poem “There’s No Place Like Home.” They roam and they wander far and wide, but they always return home to renew old friendships. This visit or homecoming is often done during the Christmas season, which lasts from December 25 to Jan. 6.
During this Christmas visit, the youngsters kiss the hands of the older kin and relatives. The usual greeting is “Merry Christmas” and returned, the elders reply with a “God bless us all and may we see many more Christmases.” Gifts are given to the young children. Food and drinks are served to the grown-ups and adults. They eat and drink to their hearts’ content.
Commonly, this Christmas visit paves the way for the healing of old feudal wounds and bringing reconciliation to individuals who have long misunderstood each other.
Fiestas, religious in nature, are often celebrated. Of the religious festivals, the most colorful is the patron saint’s day celebration. This fiesta is the concern of the whole community. The poor and the well-to-do share together in the expenses incurred during the celebration. Almost every home is prepared and ready to receive guests. There is plenty of merrymaking, dances, games, eats, and drinks.
Early in the morning, the people flock to the community chapel to hear the mass. The young and the old, the poor and the rich, display their best clothes during the occasion. The band goes around heralding the celebration of the glorious day. In the afternoon, the traditional religious procession goes along. The patron saint and all the other saints in the community chapel are with the procession. The chanting of prayers and the band make the affair colorful. The merrymaking is culminated by a community ball. Here again is another free-for-all affair. The gallant young men and sweet lassies, together with the
old folks of the community mix up the merry-go-happy affair.
Punishments commonly administered in the community are parental in nature. Their causes are disobedience to elders, lack of respect, and negligence in attending to simple errands usually given to young children by their parents. The punishments vary in severity depending upon the offense or mistake committed. Sometimes, it is a long sermon by the father or the mother to the erring child. If the offense is somewhat grave in nature, the parents resort to the use of the rod in order to save the child. A piece of bamboo stick is the most common instrument for spanking, although in some cases, a mother’s slipper serves the purpose.
The mothers give more sermons and punishments to their children than the fathers do, but the children are generally more afraid of their dads than of their mas.
11. Myths, Legends, Beliefs, Interpretations, Superstitions.
Why Duhats are Black
Long ago, there was only one duhat tree in the Philippines. The owner was a rich, kind, and helpful woman. She was always ready to give succor to the needy whenever they approached her.
She was alone and had to resort to taking care of her plants. She found pleasure in attending to her garden with much care so that her plants were healthy and heavily laden with fruits. She had almost every kind of plant but the duhat tree was the most conspicuous in her orchard. It bore the heaviest load of big, red fruits. It was during this time when the duhat was in season that the old woman suddenly fell ill and, after a few days, died. This was a great loss not only to the people she had helped but also to the plants she had tended very dearly. Gradually, all the plants withered and finally died except the duhat tree. Because it was a single tree, it withstood the loss of the human care but it seemed to share the grief felt by the other plants. Instead of the red fruits that the people used to see growing on it, they saw very black ones.
Since that time, whenever the anniversary of the woman’s death comes, the duhat treeis laden with black fruits instead of red ones.
The Origin of the Sampaguita
The sampaguita is the national flower of the Philippines. The word sampaguita is said to have been derived from the words “sumpa kita” or a pledge, the sweet words of endearment used by the people in love. Once, there were two hearts who vowed that they would be true to the end. The man failed to live up to his pledge. The disappointed girl took a dagger which her lover had given her as a sign of their love [and] killed herself with the words “sumpa kita.” From out of her grave, there grew a plant with dark green leaves and white flowers. The flowers were very fragrant. The people called the plant sampaguita which they coined from the words “sumpa kita,” the last words of the dying girl. Thus, we can see that the whiteness and fragrance of the sampaguita denote a love which is true and pure to the end.
Superstitious Beliefs1. If one’s right palm is itchy, he will have a fortune.
12. Popular Songs, Games and Amusements
Ang Bayan Kong Pilipinas
1. Juego de Prenda
2. Patintero o Tubigan
3. Hide and Seek
2. Folk Dance
4. Picnics and Excursions
13. Puzzles and Riddles
1. Walang paa’y lumalakad at sa hari nakikipag-usap. – Liham
2. Narito na si kaka, may sunong na dampa. – Pagong
3. Tumatayo walang paa, lumuluha walang mata. – Kandila
4. Dalawang magkumpari, mauna at mahuli. – Paa
5. Bangka ng hari, pauli-uli. – Duyan
6. Sa araw ay bumbong, sa gabi ay dahon. – Banig
7. Paru-paru kung bata, bulate kung tumanda. – Kibal
8. Uka na ang tiyan, malakas pang sisigaw. – Kampana
14. Sayings and Proverbs
2. Ang taong masipag habang buhay ay may palad.
3. Sa gipit nasusubukan ang matapat na kaibigan.
4. Madali ang maging tao, mahirap ang magpakatao.
5. Ang tao hanggang mayaman, marami ang kaibigan.
6. Kung ano ang bukang-bibig, siyang laman ng dibdib.
7. Ang bayaning masugatan, nag-iibayo ang tapang.
8. Di man magsabi’t magbadya, sa gawa nakikilala.
15. Methods of Measuring Time
2. By the positions of the moon, stars and constellations in the sky.
3. By the crowing of the cocks at night.
4. By the ringing of the church bells.
5. By the beginning of the school session, recess and dismissal.