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

Lipa City, Batangas: Historical Data Part II

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



[p. 17]

8. A black cat, a lizard, a rat, or a snake seen crossing the way is a sign of bad luck and one should not continue his journey.

9. If the bride puts her wedding trousseau before the date of the wedding, bad luck will befall her.

10. When one’s foot hits an object soon after coming down the stairs, there will be danger on the way.

11. When dogs howl in melancholy tones at night, ill fate will befall someone in the neighborhood.

12. When a married woman eats twin bananas, she will give birth to twins.

13. When one dreams that one of his teeth fell, somebody in the family will die.

14. When a comet appears in the sky, war or famine is coming.

15. When a girl has white spots on her fingernails, she is not a constant lover.

16. When a cat wipes its face, a visitor is coming.

17. When a young girl sings before a stove or fire, she will marry a widower.

18. When a hen cackles at midnight, an unmarried woman is giving birth to a bastard child.

19. In building a new house, the owner puts coins as one-peso, fifty-centavo, [or] twenty-centavo pieces while erecting the posts of the house. The coins are placed at the base of the posts.

20. When a wife is on the family way, the husband should not mend the floor of his house or other parts of it which need hammering or tying, because the wife will meet hardship in delivery.


1. Most Filipinos believe in sorcery and magic charms. Among these sorcerers are the “Aswang” who assumes the form of a dog, cat, bird, or other animal and eats human flesh; the “Manggagaway” who injures people by his devilish power; the “Mangkukulam” who causes people to die or to be sick; the “Patianak” who sucks the entrails of the babies by means of his elongated proboscis; and the “Tigbalang,” who takes various forms to deceive his victims. They believe in the magic powers of certain charms or amulets, notably the “Anting-anting,” a universal amulet of the Filipinos against iron weapons, and the “Gayuma,” a love charm of the Tagalogs.

2. They are believers of auguries and divination.

3. They believe and practice palmistry and card-playing (Baraja) to foretell fortunes.

4. They have oracles and soothsayers who can foretell the future and interpret both bad and good omens.

[p. 18]


There are several kinds of dances found in Lipa City. They had some cultural significance and they revealed the temperament of our people. Prior to the coming of the Spaniards, Lipa was already noted for its aristocracy and pomp and this had much to do with the songs, dances and rhythms of our folks. Our customs and traditions gave rise to variations in the manner of executing the dances, dance steps, and arm movements. Among the famous dances are the “Lanceros” and the “Rigodon.” These two dances were introduced by Louis XIII’s court and were later brought by the Spaniards to the Philippines. They have been adopted locally in our big balls during the town fiestas. As told by the old folks, the dancers were in pairs selected from well-to-do families of the city. The dancers were dressed in satin and brocade with glittering jewelries. Men wore “barong Tagalog” with diamond buttons and their shoes were also studded with diamonds. These revealed the richness and aristocracy of “Villa de Lipa.” We have also the “CariƱosa,” handed down from generation to generation; the “Subli,” a dance in honor of our patron saint or the Holy Cross; the “Bati,” a dance of cultural significance performed by the blooming damsels of aristocratic families to give entertainment to Spanish officials. The “Pandango,” which originated during the pre-Magellan days, was also practiced by our ancestors, and up to the present time, this dance is common among our rural folks. This dance was performed by newlyweds, friends and relatives of the bridegroom or by the father of the bridegroom.

The dances mentioned above are characterized by the modesty and refinement of Maria Clara. There is little bodily contact. The most common contact is joining hands. These dances reveal the high culture of Lipa even before the coming of the Spaniards. They have the peculiar combination of Spanish and oriental movements. Our contact with the Spaniards for more than three centuries influenced our music, songs, and dances. As a result, most of our dances lost their natural texture and absorbed some of the western influence.

The Kundiman was common in the days of old. Formerly, it was a war song, but now it has become a love song. It is characterized by sadness and lament. Its tender appealing quality makes it a very appropriate expression of love. The music reminds us of the music of Malaya from where our great, great grandparents came. It best reveals the characteristics of our people, their sorrows, their romantic nature, and their tenderness. This song is typically Filipino and it is very distinct from any other song of the same type in the world. It has been said that the Kundiman is the Filipino contribution to world music.

Other songs brought here by the Spaniards, but which are still in existence, are the following:

[p. 19]

1. Las Orielas de Pasig
2. Viaje Rodondo
3. Duo de la Africa
4. Duo de Corona
5. La Trompeta
6. El Paypay
7. Pascual Baylon
8. Mi Ultimo Mals
9. Anillo de Hierro
10. Las Rutas
11. Maria Clara

Some songs which were composed by our local composers during the American Regime and which are still popular today are:

1. Amor
2. Sa Dakong Sikatan
3. Bayan Ko
4. Nasaan Ka Irog
5. Madaling Araw
6. Anak ng Dalita
7. Kundiman ni Abdon

A favorite amusement of the past was the “Orijinal.” This was a favorite pastime. It was usually performed in gatherings and reunions. It is similar to our operetta of today. Several persons took part in reading the “Orijinal.” Sometimes, passages were sung with action, instead of being recited.

Cockfighting is a common game in Lipa played by our men of all classes. The game originated from the Mexicans. The rooster was perfected already by the Spaniards. Other amusements are the “sungka,” the “sipa,” which was inherited from the Spaniards, and the “supo.” Later, other forms of games were played by our ancestors.

We also have the “Juego de Frenda,” inherited from the Spaniards’ loyalty in entertaining guests at parties, and “Juego de Anillo,” a game of rivalry performed in connection with fiesta celebrations. Other popular games among the children are the “Santapayanan”; “Hungkoy,” with a bolo, the defeated one to act as a servant; the “Himbabao,” which resembles our “Hide and Seek.” We also have the “Pata,” played by the old and young in rural districts. These games and amusements still exist and are practiced by the people of Lipa.

[p. 20]


 1.  May ulo, walang tiyan
      May leeg, walang bayawang.
 2.  Sa init ay sumasaya,
       Sa lamig ay nalalanta.
 3.  Iisa ang kinuha
      Ang natira ay dalawa.
 4.  Buto't balat
       Nguni't lumilipad.
 5.  Takbo roon, takbo rito
       Hindi makaalis sa tayong ito.
 6.  Hayan na, hayan na
       Hindi mo nakikita.
 7.  Hinila ko ang yantok
      Nagdilim ang bundok.
 8.  Malalim kung bawasan,
      Mababaw kung dagdagan.
 9.  Naligo ang kapitan,
       Hindi nabasa ang tiyan.
10. Tinaga ko sa gubat,
       Sa bahay umiiyak.
11. May puno walang sanga,
      May dahon walang bunga.
12. Nakaluluto'y walang init,
      Umaaso kahit malamig.
13. Walang ngipin, walang panga,
      Mainit ang hininga.
14. Aso kong puti,
      Inutusay ko'y hindi na umuwi.
16. May tatlong dalagang nagsimba,
      Berde ang suot ng una,
      Puti ang pangalwa, pangatlo ay pula,
      Nguni't nang magsilabas sila,
      Ay pare-parehong mapula.
17. Baboy ko sa kaingin
      Tumataba'y walang kain.
18. Munting tampipi,
       Puno ng salapi.
19. Buka kung hapon,
      Kung umaga'y lulon.
20. Tangnan mo ang buntot ko
      At sisisid ako.
21. Itapon ang laman,
      Balat ang pinagyaman.
22. Aling mabuting retrato,
       Kuhang-kuha ang mukha mo?
23. Isang batalyong sundalo,
      Iisa ang kabo.
24. Bunga na, namumunga pa.
25. Matanda na ang puno,
       Hindi pa naliligo.
26. Hindi hayop, hindi tao
      Tatlo ang ulo.
27. Ate ko, ate mo,
      Ate ng lahat ng tao.
28. Lumalakad ang bangka,
       Ang piloto'y nakahiga.
29. Tubig na pinagpala,
       Walang makakuha kundi bata.
30. May alaga akong hayop,
      Malaki pa ang mata kaysa tuhod.

[p. 21]

31. Alin sa mga ibon
      Ang di makadapo sa kahoy?
32. Maputing parang busilak
      Kalihim ko sa pagliyag.
33. Heto na si amain
      Nagbibili ng hangin.
34. Gintong binalot sa pilak
      Pilak na binalot sa balat.
35. May katawan ay walang mukha,
      Walang mata'y lumuluha.
36. Isang pinggan,
      Laganap sa buong bayan.
37. Mataas kung nakaupo,
      Mababa kung nakatayo.
38. Hindi hayop, hindi tao,
      Nguni't takbo ng takbo.
39. Iisa ang pinasukan,
      Tatlo ang nilabasan.
40. Lumalakad, walang paa,
      Tumatangis, walang mata.
41. Aling kahoy sa gubat
      Ang nagsasanga'y walang ugat.
42. Puno'y layu-layo,
      Dulo'y tagpu-tagpo.
43. Malayo pa ang sibat,
      Nganga na ang sugat.
44. Heto na ang magkapatid,
      Nag-uunahang pumanhik.
45. Nang wala pang ginto,
      Ay doon nagpalalo
      Nang magka-ginto
      Ay doon sumuko.
46. Dalawang bolang sinulid,
      Umaabot hanggang langit.
47. Limang magkakapatid
      Laging kabit-kabit.
48. Habang iyong kinakain,
      Lalo kang gugutumin.
49. Naligo si Isko,
      Hindi nabasa ang ulo.
50. Tinaga ko sa puno,
      Sa dulo nagdurugo.
51. Nagsaing si Kapirit,
      Kinain pati anglit.
52. Sa ibabaw ay ararohan,
      Sa ilalim ay batohan.
53. Una'y banal
      Ikalwa'y matakaw,
      Ikatlo'y daldal.
54. Munting hayop-hayopan
      Malinis ang dinaanan.
55. Ang kabayo kong si Alasan,
      Hindi nakain kundi sakyan.
56. Hindi pari, hindi hari
      Nagsusuot ng sari-sari.
57. Pag bata'y C,
      Pag tanda'y D.
58. Putukan ng putukan
      Hindi nagkakarinigan.
59. Alin bunga ang hindi nakakabit sa puno?
60. Alin pera ang hindi magasta
      At hindi maihulog sa alkansiya?
61. May kamay, walang paa,
      May mukha, walang mata.
62. Dalawang kamay,
      Hindi magkapantay.


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