Magalang-galang, Bauan, Batangas: Historical Data Part II - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore Magalang-galang, Bauan, Batangas: Historical Data Part II - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore

Magalang-galang, Bauan, Batangas: Historical Data Part II

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



[p. 7]

9. Building a new road connecting Patogo, [a] sitio of Santa Maria and Colvo, which could be reached now by jeeps under the leadership and management of the ex-barrio lieutenant of Colvo now Municipal Councilor Mr. Leoncio Cabral, one of the most civic-spirited citizens of our country nowadays.

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Head Teacher

10. Common traditions, customs and practices in domestic and social life.

The people of Magalang-galang have unique customs and traditions which are still practiced by them up to the present time. For instance, they still believe that the souls of their departed dear ones come on Halloween night to visit and dine with them. Thus, they prepare “eats” and light candles in the early hours of November first for their arrival, besides prayers and devotions which are the common forms of offerings. The people doubtless believe also that the souls come on the fourth day after death to see that all the members of the family are in unison, that is, those who were not able to take care of the sick or attend the burial. The prayers and festival offered on the fourth day serve to deliver the deceased from his sins so that the travel to the Great Beyond will be a prosperous one.

B i r t h

The Magalang-galang folks have many forms of practices in domestic and social life. In birth, both human and animal, they usually fire a gun as a form of salvation from [the] labor pains of the mother. The folks, especially the old ones, still practice giving names to newly-born babies as those which are contained in Honorio Lopez’s calendar, which they consider as their Bible. The parents select the name specifically stated on the day of the child’s birth because they opine it to [be] the truly Christian unlike the modern practice of giving names which are selected from any source. As to baptism, it is still a common practice that the sponsor provides the baby with shoes and clothing including the cap, because it is their belief that when anybody dies, he will be naked without those. When a pregnant woman happens to be the sponsor of a child to be baptized, the baptism is postponed until she has given birth, the idea being that the two babies will rival each other.

[p. 8]

C o u r t s h i p

Before a man begins to court a woman, his parents consult first a sort of oracle, which the people popularly call “pagrado” in the dialect. It is to determine the fate of the man and the woman in case they are married. If it happens that the would-be couple would not prosper after marriage, the courtship is discontinued. If the contrary is true, the man’s parents bet all to win the damsel’s love. They have several kinds of presents for love such as crabs and cakes, etc.

M a r r i a g e

In a marriage ceremony, the groom is told to get in and to go out of the church first so that he will not be overpowered by the bride in the event that they are already married. Both the bride and the groom are not to leave their homes on the days preceding their marriage because it is a common belief that evils may befall them.

D e a t h

They have many beliefs about death. For example, it is taboo to say something on seeing an ant crawling on the dead’s body. If anyone happens to tell something about it, there will be countless numbers of them. It is forbidden to sweep any part of the house or the yard until after the fourth day is over or to sing or dance, until the time for such prohibition has passed. When anyone dies, the door is closed immediately after the remains are brought down the house and water is poured over the ladder to prevent another death from the members of the family.

B u r i a l

To free the grave of water if it happens to have it, one of the diggers drink a little amount of the water inside the grave. The holding of festivals in honor of the dead is esteemed as a solemn occasion. The poor family is sometimes compelled to borrow or sell property to meet the expenses. So, while it is costly to live, it is sometimes more costly to die.

11. Myths - The folks of Magalang-galang do not have so many stories told from yesteryears because they talk little and think less. Hence, only the following is often told.

The Origin of Magalang-galang

According to the old people of this locality who furnished me with a bit of information regarding the name of their barrio, the legendary name Magalang-galang was derived from

[p. 9]

the early attitude of the inhabitants to the Spaniards whom they treated with utmost hospitality, kindness and courtesy; hence, the name Magalang-galang was given. It has been the official name up to the present time. The place was once very backward in civilization which was brought about by the very hilly and less fertile soil and the fact that only a few families thrived there. The people depended on small agriculture as [a] means of livelihood besides simple trades. The people’s chief concern has been easier water facilities up to this date.

B e l i e f

They believe that when anybody dies, the body returns on the fourth day after death and that they can see the real body of the dead.

They believe in life after death. They believe in some underworld power as the cause of the sickness and that doctors do not have a way of curing the sick. They believe in crows flying near the house as signs of bad omen.


1. A black butterfly unexpectedly seen hovering inside the house means death of a relative.
2. Crows flying near the house mean reports of bad omen.
3. A snake met on the way is a sign of good fortune.
4. A lizard seen on the way means ill foreboding.
5. Dogs barking at midnight on the eve of New Year means war or some calamity.
6. Neighing of horses on the eve of New Year brings news of plentiful fish time; sounds of the cow mean prosperous harvest.
7. Small boys playing toy guns will mean future revolution.
8. A “bayawak” entering the house is a bad fortune.
9. The smell of burning candles means death of a faraway relative.
10. Sitting on pillows means [the] occurrence of boils on one’s body.


1. It is prohibited to sweep any part of the house or the yard when anyone dies until after the fourth day is over.
2. It is bad to cut fingernails on such days as “Martes” and “Biyernes” to call them in the dialect or those which contain “r.”
3. It is prohibited to comb one’s hair at night.
4. It is not [a] good practice to make a ladder with [an] even number of steps.

[p. 10]

5. Not to sing in front of the stove.
6. Not to cook malunggay when someone is dead or until the fourth day is over.
7. One is not allowed to act as sponsor in [a] baptism if she is pregnant.
8. Planting during a full moon.
9. Making coconut oil during the approach of a high tide.
10. Not giving seedlings away until after the owner has planted his own field.

Their Ideas About Eclipses, Birth of Twins, Sickness

During an eclipse of the moon, people say that some animal is devouring it. They resort to the idea that anybody who is going to give birth on that particular month of the eclipse will pass a critical stage of delivery. Married women hate to eat twin bananas for fear twin babies may be born to them. They fear to take a bath of Friday or on the last quarter after the full moon for fear that a dangerous sickness may befall them.

12. Popular Songs –

1. Don't You Go!2. Halloween Songs
3. X'mas Carols

Games and Amusements –

1. “Subli, a kind of amusement offered to a Saint.
2. “Sabalan,” an amusement during the “pasyon” time in which two or more persons excel in their knowledge of the Book of the Christians in which the life and tribulation of Our Lord Jesus are contained.
3. “Pandango,” a common dance.
4. Serenade
5. “Estukada” or fencing.
6. “Dioditso”
7. “Corrido” (Awit)

13. Puzzles and Riddles (English Translation)

1. (Mat) – A tube in the day and a leaf at night.
2. (Lamp) – A grain of rice fills the house.
3. (Watch) – It is neither animal nor man but we consult it.
4. (Bridge) – Afraid of one, but not of two.
5. (Candle) – When I kill it, still it leaves.

14. Proverbs and Sayings

1. He who believes in tales has no sense of his own.
2. Look first before you leap.
3. He who cannot obey can’t hope to command.

[p. 11]

4. A pampered child is reared in vain.
5. If you plant, you will likely harvest.

15. Methods of Measuring Time, Special Calendar:

A. Measuring Time –

1. The roof’s shadow.
2. Opening of the “patola” in the late afternoon.
3. Closing of the acacia leaves in the late afternoon.
4. Alighting and crowing of cocks at night and other night birds.
5. The cross or southern cross and other stars at night.

B. Special Calendars –

The 24 consecutive days of January beginning from the first (“bilangan” in the dialect) which is used as a planting calendar among farmers.

16. Other Folktales –

“The Legend of Colvo”

Once upon a time, there sprang a little barrio by the name of Colvo. People say that the original name was derived from the local word “olbo,” which means a pen in which animals, especially pigs, are kept. From that time, the place was popularly known by that name because it was surrounded by mountains which had been formed like a pen.

One early bright morning, the goddess of the mountains went down the river to fish. And because it was [a] full moon, she expected to have a big catch. But unfortunately, after dragging her net out of the silvery water several times, she was very much disappointed to find dry leaves and sticks in her net. She then cried out loudly in angry tones and said that she would never let the water flow down from the mountains anymore. From that time to the present, the rivers and brooks of Colvo remain devoid of cool water and the people began to get water from the wells miles away.

“Ang Alamat ng Colvo”

Noong unang panahon ay may sumipot na isang maliit na bukid na kilala sa pangalang Colvo. Sangayon sa mga unang taong nanirahan doon, ang pangalang Colvo ay hinango sa salitang “olbo” na ang kahulugan ay “kulungan” ng mga hayop na tulad ng baboy. Simula na nuon ay pinanganlan na nilang Colvo ang pook na yaon dahilan sa nababakod ito ng mga bundok na animo’y isang kulungan ang pagkakaayos.

Isang malalim na madaling araw, ang Diyosa sa kabundukan

[p. 12]

ay lumusong sa ilog upang mangisda. Sapagkat kabulugan ng buwan nuon ay buo ang pag-asa ng Mahal na Diyosa na manghuhuli siya ng maraming isda. Nguni’t salungat sa tuna yang nangyari, wala siyang nahuli sa kanyang dala maliban sa mga tuyong siit at mga layak pagkaraang ihagis niya ang dala nang maka-ilang ulit. Napasigaw ang Mahal na Diyosa nang buong lakas at nagngingitngit, at sinabing hindi na niya padadaluyin ang malinaw na tubig na nanggagaling sa bundok. Buhat nuon, ang mga ilog at sapa sa Colvo ay nanatiling walang tubig magpahanggan sa oras na ito at ang mga taga-roon ay nagsimula nang kumuha ng tubig sa mga balon na lubhang malayo.
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PART III – Other Information

17. Information on books and documents treating of the Philippines and the names of their owners. – None.

18. The names of Filipino authors born or residing in the community, the titles and subjects of their works, whether printed or in manuscript form, and the names of persons possessing these. – None.


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