Cumba, Lipa City, Batangas: Historical Data Part II - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore Cumba, Lipa City, Batangas: Historical Data Part II - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore

Cumba, Lipa City, Batangas: Historical Data Part II

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



[p. 7]

day, baking across a region where the land was level and the soil seemed to be very fertile. Besides, there was running across the place, a brook whose water was cool and clean. Fish of different kinds lived in the brook. They became mindful of the divine gifts, so they did not hesitate to adopt the place as their new home.

The days that followed where days of hard work. They began constructing new homes, tall trees where cut down, the land was cleared, cultivated and planted. Then came the days of hoping for the bountiful harvest. Great was very light when after the harvest season, they found that their efforts where more than rewarded.

The years passed away. The people lived in abundance and at the same time the population increased. But in the course of time, the people noticed that a change what's going on within their midst. Four reasons they knew not what, be observed that the region became lower and lower. It had gone down so low that during the rainy season, the farms remained flooded. The crops were destroyed. Once again, they suffered the hardships that they had in their former homes.

One they, the people of the place met in a meeting in order to remedy the situation. In the course of the discussion, an old man, who was the oldest and supposed to be the wisest among them, stood up and told his friends that in his opinion, the goddesses of rain and agriculture who we're living in a cave in Mount Makiling could probably help them out of their trouble. It was finally decided that the help of these two powerful beings be solicited. Valuable gifts where collected and finally a group of trusted persons went on a pilgrimage to Mount Makiling to pay homage and deliver the presents to the two goddesses.

It did not take them in long time to find the key of the two beings. They knocked at the door of the cave. It opened and finally they we're face-to-face with the goddesses we were looking for. They bowed low in their presence, give their gifts and lastly, they presented their troubles and asked for their help. There was silence in the cave. The two goddesses began to disappear. The door of the cave slammed and the people were left outside. Then a voice was heard. It said, “My dear friends, your wish is granted. You may go back to the land of your choice. Henceforth, no more flood will drown your crops. You will always have good harvest and your people will live in peace and contentment.”

The pilgrims returned home. To their surprise, they found that the low level land that they had before became rolling lands. Everywhere in the region, the people cried “Cumba-Cumba,” that is to say that their lands became rolling. True to the promises of the goddesses in Mount Makiling, no more floods drown the crops. They usually had plenty of harvests and the people enjoyed living in the place.

Later on, three travelers came to the place. They were met by the wisest and oldest members of the place. When asked as to the name of the region, the old men unknowingly said, “KUMBA-KUMBA.” The travelers, for no reason whatsoever, cried at the top of their voices, “KUMBA, KUMBA, KUMBA. This barrio of “KUMBA.”

[p. 8]

Ever since that time, the place was called “CUMBA,” meaning a place of rolling lands. Not long after this, the Spaniards recognized “CUMBA” as the official name of the barrio which is now a distinct part of the City of Lipa.

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(A Myth)

In the barrio of Cumba, there once lived a poor farmer named Alberto. He had a wife and four children to support. For years, he was a tenant of a rich man. In spite of his hard work, he was hardly able to harvest enough rice to support his family. Poor Alberto was really troubled by the ever-growing and increasing needs of his family.

As usual, he labored on his farm. He plowed the field, planted the seeds, cared for the plants and watched them grow and bear fruits. One day, sometime in the latter part of August, he visited his rice field that was turning yellow with ripening grains. He was attracted by a tall plant with two big heads. Upon close examination, he was surprised to see a big grain of palay having an unusually long spine. He picked the grain and brought it home. All the way home, he was thinking, wondering and talking to himself.

He said, “Perhaps, this grain or rice possesses a virtue. Perhaps, this is the answer to all my prayers. Who knows that this grain will give me luck? So, I will keep it.”

He put the grain of rice in a clean stoppered bottle and requested his wife to hide it. At the same time, he told her to keep their possession of the grain a secret.

The rice field was harvested. Alberto and his wife were very glad to find out that the harvest in their field was very good. During the succeeding years, they harvested more and more rice. Once, they visited the grain of rice in the stoppered bottle and to their amazement, they saw that it had enormously grown bigger and the spines became exceedingly longer than before. After a while, they agreed that their good luck was attributed to the grain of rice that they possessed.

Alberto continued to be a farmer. His yearly harvest became bigger and bigger. They began selling the rice that they harvested and with the money, they bought the land of their landlord that was being sold little by little. In the long run, Alberto’s family was considered the wealthiest family in the community.

Alberto remained a tenant up to the time of his death. He lived contentedly and happily during his old age. The secret of the grain of rice was kept. After the death of the couple, nothing was known of it. However, the people believed that the couple must have possessed something that brought them their good luck. Otherwise, they would have remained to be poor as they used to be.

1. God is the Creator of all things in the world and guides their destinies.
2. The life hereafter. They believe that when a person dies, his soul will go either to heaven or hell depending upon his actuations while living.

[p. 9]

3. Miracles and extraordinary happenings.
4. The power of magic to perform things.
5. That ghosts and spirits though unseen by the eyes of men lure and tempt people.
6. That talismans have some effects on the lives of men.

SUPERSTITIONS – The following are some of the many superstitious beliefs of the people of Cumba. According to them, these superstitions have been proven true by the many instances that happened and experienced by the people in their daily lives.

1. Do not point at the young fruits. Otherwise, the fruits will rot and fall down.
2. Plant mongo the day following a starry night. This will make the mongo produce a good yield.
3. When going out at night, you will meet a black cat just below the stairs, you had better return home for you will meet bad luck on the way or to the place where you are going.
4. Plant bananas when you have just eaten. In that way, the banana plants will bear big and long fruits.
5. A maiden who sings while cooking will surely marry a widower.
6. When a spoon or fork drops on the floor while eating, a visitor is coming.
7. When you palm becomes itchy, this is a sign that you will have money in the near future.
8. A white butterfly or moth hovering near you will bring you good luck while a black butterfly is a sign that some of your near relatives died or are in trouble.
9. When a comet is seen in the sky, either prosperity or hard times, possibly war or pestilence, will come. This depends upon the position of the comet’s tail.
10. The howling of dogs in the late hours of the night is a sign that somebody in the neighborhood will die.


The people of Cumba love songs, games and amusements. They have those things as a form of relaxation from their daily work and on special occasions. The following are some of them:

1. They love the native kundimans.
2. Mothers love to sing the lullabies when they put their babies to sleep.
3. The old people, especially the males, are fond of fandango, subli, and abaruray which are forms of native dances.
4. Children love to play hide-and-seek, ball games, running races, luksong tinik, and piko.
5. Swimming is done in the deep water in the brook during the dry season when the weather is very warm.
6. Catching quails by nets especially made for the purpose is a common pastime of the farmers, usually after the harvest season.
7. Huego de Prenda is played by ladies and young men when opportunity permits.
8. Huego de Anillo is a common amusement in barrio fiestas.
9. Card games and checkers (dama) are also common.
10. Cockfighting is best loved by the older members of the barrio.

[p. 10]

It is a grain of rice that fills the whole room.
Here it comes but you cannot see it.
It is a deep well that is guarded with [a] bladed steel.
It goes to a distant place without moving.
It's trousers are rolled up to the knees, be it sunny or rainy days.
I have a friend. You can find him wherever I am.
It carries a house wherever it goes.
I have a pig in my kaingin. It grows fat without eating.
A silly lady bore a child. The baby came out at the head.
It is well-dressed in its early age, but takes off its clothes when it grows older.
1. A santol tree will never bear a guava fruit.
2. A stone will never go near a snail.
3. Whatsoever is planted, so you will reap.
4. A man in need takes hold even to a thorny vine.
5. A rolling stone gathers no moss.
6. He who never looks back at the place where he started,
Will never reach his destination.
7. Drop by drop wears away the stone. 8. A man of words and not of deeds, is like a garden full of weeds.
9. A sleepy shrimp is carried by the current.
10. If the water is quiet, be sure that it is deep.

Time is measured in terms of minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, years and centuries. A calendar is used in telling the particular day of the month of the year. Times during the day are determined by the use of different types of timepieces. In their absence, the following are used to suggest time:

(a) The Sun –
1. Sunrise is considered six o’clock in the morning.
2. Sunset is considered six o’clock in the evening.
3. When the sun is overhead, it is regarded as 12 o’clock noon.
4. Bukang-Liwayway is six o’clock in the morning.
5. Takip-silim is six o’clock in the evening.
6. Hampas-Tikin ang Araw is almost five o’clock in the afternoon.
7. Disperas suggests two o’clock in the afternoon.
(b) The Chickens –
1. The crowing of the roosters at night suggests the different hours of the night.
2. The time when hens lay their eggs is between nine and ten o’clock in the morning.
3. The time when chickens go to their roosts is six o’clock in the evening.
(c) The Flowers –
The opening of the flowers of [the] patola is said to begin at four o’clock in the afternoon. When the country housewives see that the flowers of [the] patola are opened, they stop working and begin to feed the pigs and chickens and lastly prepare the evening meal for the family.

[p. 11]

(d) The following native terms are used to suggest time:
1. “Madaling araw” means dawn.
2. “Tanghaling Tapat” is twelve o’clock or midday.
3. “Disperas” is two o’clock in the afternoon.
4. “Hampas Tikin ang Araw” means almost five o’clock in the afternoon.
5. “Animas” is eight o’clock at night.
6. “Hating Gabi” means twelve o’clock at night or midnight.
7. “Bukang Liwayway” means sunrise or six o’clock in the morning.
8. “Takip Silim” refers to six o’clock in the evening.


N O T E :

No written records are available in the community. Almost all the data embodied in this manuscript are secured through interviews and conversations with some of the old and enlightened people of the barrio of Cumba.


1. Some of the old and enlightened members of the barrio for supplying data and needed information.
2. Mr. Felix Zara, Miss Remedios Lorzano, and Miss Petra Lanto, all teachers of Adya-Cumba Elem. School, for gathering data and information.
3. Mr. Simon S. Metica, Head Teacher of Adya-Cumba Elem School, for the organization and preparation of the manuscript.

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Notes and references:
Transcribed from “History and Cultural Life of the Barrio of Cumba” 1953, online at the National Library of the Philippines Digital Collections.
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