Ayao-Iyao, Lemery, Batangas: Historical Data Part II - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore Ayao-Iyao, Lemery, Batangas: Historical Data Part II - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore

Ayao-Iyao, Lemery, Batangas: Historical Data Part II

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



[p. 5]

the members of the family, same with the close relatives, mourn for one year or any length of time they wish to. On the first anniversary of the death, people come again to pray for the departed. Before the day comes, the family reminds the immediate members of their relatives of the date. The members of the family can wear colored clothes which they have kept unworn for one solid year.

Myths, Legends, Beliefs, Interpretations & Superstitions

In the beginning, men on earth had many superstitions, legends, and beliefs. Even here in our country, men have also different customs, beliefs, and histories. Their customs since the days of foreign domination have been kept and practiced until now by some, especially in remote regions. These customs, although degrading, will never decline, it will need years to renew our inborn traits. Beliefs of ancient men are disapproved by science. But in this gradual change, there exists more wonderful beliefs in men. In the history of men, much has been published. For every year, there will be more written records of men and nations in our era.

Many many years ago, Ayao-Iyao was a part of the town which had no name. There lived only two families and their homes were far apart, the reason why they were seldom in company. Their children did not know each other. Each of these families had a young man and a young lady. One day, the sons father visited the lady's home. It so happened that the lady was in the river, so her parents greeted the visitor. They had a nice conversation until they formed an understanding that their homes be placed near each other. Their parents agreed, too, that their son and daughter be married. The lady protested and because of her anger, she lost control and shouted, "I do not like," which means "Aayaw ako," hence, Ayao-Iyao.

Superstitious Beliefs

1. It is bad for the bride-to-be or the fiancée to fit the wedding gown before the wedding day for it means that the marriage will not be realized for she will meet an accident before the wedding day.

2. It is bad to look back when attending any burial ceremony for it means that another person from the same family will die.

3. It is bad to leave when somebody is still eating. It means that the one who left will meet an accident. To avoid this, turn the plate clockwise before leaving.

4. When a relative of yours dies and the candle is lighted, shake it outside the window so that all relatives of the deceased will smell the candle and will learn of the death news.

5. If a large coffin is used, another member of the family will die soon.

6. The belief that if a rooster gets loose and faces the stairs, it will win in a cockfight when taken to the cockpit.

[p. 6]

7. If a child plays with a comb and puts it in his mouth, his teeth will easily decay and will have toothache for life.

8. Whatever is done on the first day of the year is likely to prevail throughout the year.

9. The fear of eating twin bananas for fear of bearing twin children.

10. Allowing children to sleep in the kitchen near the stove will marry old maids or bachelors.

Popular Songs, Games and Amusements
Popular Songs

These songs were popular during the olden days. They were sung from generation to generation in this barrio.

Coconut Plant

I’ll teach what is to be planted
The coconut tree cannot be easily destroyed
The bosom is for fuel, the leaves for the wall
And the fruit of this is the best for food
And the husk can be pressed
And the cleaning clothes during Palm Sunday
The oil is for the lamps, for the light of Virgin Mary
The young leaves of this are so useful
When Palm Sunday at the church
At nearing the altar it will be sanctified
And when leaving the church, the holy water becomes its name.

Nena at Pablo

Here comes the boat from Sumong
With Nena for vacation
With Garambola shirts and her tapis is garambol
Her handkerchief is bito-bito
And her clothe is leron-leron.

Here comes Pablo the Spaniard
Who brought a mandolin as big as an ore
Upon reaching the home and played with a queer tune
And then began to play with a pandango dance.

Puzzles and Riddles

1. My pig in the farm grows fat without food.
2. Wood that becomes water, water that becomes clay, clay that becomes stone, stone that becomes one peso.
3. Krus, krus when you see, but krus is not its name.
4. There, there but you cannot see.

Proverbs and Sayings

1. Those who do not mind from where they came cannot reach their destination.
2. Knowledge is wealth.
3. A man of words lacks action.
4. If there is a will, there is a way, if you store something, you can expect something in return.

[p. 7]

5. Good deeds reap success.
6. For all good things, there is always criticism.
7. A man who believes in tales has no mind of his own.
8. What price is grass, if the animal to be fed is already dead?
9. Anything far is near, if one strives to reach it.

Methods of Measuring Time

1. When the cock crows early in the morning, it is 4 o’clock in the morning.
2. When the cricket makes noise during sundown, it is 6 o’clock in the evening.
3. When the sun shines, they say it is 6 o’clock in the morning.
4. When the sun is overhead, it is 12 o’clock noon.
5. When the sun sets, they say it is 6:00 in the evening.

Other Folktales

This legend or folktale has been told by many people and they considered it a true story. The story has been told from group to group of people enjoying the brightness of the moonlight. The story is very popular among the children of the barrio.

Why the Tamarind is Sour

Many years have elapsed, in one lonely and segregated village there lived a family. This family was the most prosperous and contented on during that time because a beautiful woman belonged to the clan who was the wonder of many people. The reputation of this family was not only confined to the village but also to surrounding towns. The daughter of the couple was well-known because of her beauty. Another thing which made this family very popular was the tamarind tree, which was considered to be the source of sugar during those days. This tree became their source of wealth since many people from different countries visited the place and paid great sums just to buy this kind of fruit which was reputed to be the sweetest.

No wonder, the pretty lady had many suitors. Among a number of her lovers, the girl had a favorable and strong admiration towards Lino. She kept this thing within herself only. Lino was her playmate during her childhood days. On the other hand, her parents did not like her to marry anybody from the village. They wished her to marry someone outside the village because of the belief that suitors from other places belonged to wealthy families.

One day, Lino met the girl secretly under the tamarind tree, expressed his sincerity and promised her everything. He pleaded that his love be reciprocated.

“Can you not feel the sincerity of my love for you?” he asked as they were alone. “Trust me, my dear, and I will be your slave till death.”

[p. 8]

The girl answered jokingly, but somewhat true. She said that she would love him when the tamarind fruit became sour and if [the] time came, she would accept his pleadings.

“You are too cruel,” Lino answered back with a flush of redness in his face.

“But this is the truth,” the girl returned, smilingly. The conversation was finally cut off by the unexpected arrival of her parents who had been watching them.

When night came, the couple summoned their daughter to select the man she wished to marry. But the girl refused. She insisted that she was young yet and if she was to choose, she would prefer a man from the village. To this, her father objected bitterly and insisted that he wanted a man outside the village to be her bridegroom.

Without her knowledge, her father summoned all her suitors to come. She was surprised to see them in her house the following morning. In this formal gathering, her father emphatically made known to all present that he liked Bakling to be his son-in-law, he being the richest lover who came from a neighboring village. Thereupon, he bid the others to leave and announced the marriage to be held immediately.

Upon learning [of] her marriage as planned by her father, she broke into tears for she never loved Bakling. Although he was rich, she had no feelings towards him. She loved Lino still than anybody else. But she could not refuse her father. What she did then was to ask mercy from God to save her from being married to Bakling.

After many days, the wedding to Bakling came. It was the biggest nuptial affair to be seen in the village. Every villager was busy preparing for this grand celebration. When they were about to be solemnized, an old woman appeared at the chapel and begged for alms. The old woman was in shabby clothes with [a] cane to support her frustrated body. Very hungry indeed, she asked for food, but she was driven [out] like an animal. She begged again and when she was refused to be given mercy, she asked for a tamarind fruit to satisfy her hunger. But the proud father became mad that he laid hands on the old woman till she stumbled on the hard pavement. The old woman slowly stood up and bade him and said that from that moment, the fruit of this tamarind tree would become sour. Upon hearing this, he let his dog free and commanded it to chase the old woman. While the dog was eating the flesh of the old woman, lightning flashed, with [a] violent downpour of rain and thunderstorm and total darkness. There was panic around. [The] Thunder grew stronger and stronger. At this moment, the tamarind tree caught fire and immediately disappeared. Her parents were eaten by the raging fire. The people of the village were scared and finally scampered home. From that time on, the fruit of the tamarind tree became sour. Lino soon arrived, bringing with him a sour tamarind and told his loved one that [the] time had come for him to ask for her hands. She smiled happily as she met him and told him once more to wait till the tamarind fruit became sweet. But Lino knew she was joking. There were speechless moments and only their eyes conveyed their feelings. They were married and lived happily ever after.

Submitted by:

Barrio Committee Chairman


Notes and references:
Transcribed from “History and Cultural Data of the Barrio of Ayao-Iyao” 1953, online at the National Library of the Philippines Digital Collections.
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