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

Pinagtongulan, Lipa City, Batangas: Historical Data Part IV

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



[p. 22]

On the ninth day, the praying ceremony is also done at noon before lunch. Food or lunch is also served during the day if the family can afford. All those who come to the ninth day praying ceremony eat their lunch before they go home. The praying is again repeated on the 30th day if the deceased is a female and for the male, it is on the 40th day. At the end of one year after the date of death comes the “babaang luksa” or “laglag luksa.” This means that this is the day when mourning clothes will begin to be worn anytime the members of the surviving family likes to do so. Another practice in connection with deaths is that the surviving members of the family are to take a bath only on the fourth day after the date of death.

E. Visits, Festivals, and Etc.:

It has been the custom of the barrio people to drop in the neighbor’s house once in a while during the week. This visit usually takes place on Sundays or during holidays when they are free from daily routine work. At least once a year, especially on Christmas season or during barrio fiesta, the members of the family who are residing in other places come to visit their folks. During the Holy Week, distant but close relatives come to their folks for a wholesome visit.

During All Saints’ Day, the people visit the cemetery and pray there before the tomb of their departed loved ones. They bring with them wreaths and candles are lighted all through the night. During the night of All Saints’ Day, the cemetery is in festive mood. There seems to be competition among the different makes and shapes of wreaths.

Other visits are also done or made to someone who is critically sick, especially if the sick one is a close relative. Those making the visits bring with them some present in the form of food and fruits for the sick.

[p. 23]

Festivals and celebrations in this barrio take the form of [a] barrio fiesta. Another celebrated occasion observed in this is the end of May every year. The month of May is recognized as a gay and happy month when flowers are in abundance and in bloom. Thirty-one families are given one day each as “Hermana” which means that the assigned family for the day is to gather flowers and decorate the altar in the barrio chapel. During the day, the celebration starts with the ladies making or tying petals of flowers into small bundles with a pointed short stick. These tied petals are them put together on banana stalks in beautiful designs and shapes, which are usually done by good designers. Food is also served during the day off the “Hermana.” The last day of May is always assigned to the so called “Hermana Mayor” or, if she happens to be a lady, she is called “Capitana.” it is usually a grand day for all the young men and women. If the Capitana can afford, there is [a] string band to furnish the music. At times now, the loud speaker and amplifier are used for the whole day. The day’s activity is terminated by the religious procession at night. Ladies and gentlemen are in their best May dresses. Sometimes, after the procession, a literary musical program is held, and lasts until about midnight.

Another important event is the barrio fiesta celebrated always every second day of January. Almost every house is set for this gala affair. Homes are decorated with beautiful curtains. Streets are decorated with paper flags and buntings. Bands of musicians are hired for the music. Pigs, cows, chickens are butchered. There are games and other exhibition activities. Sometimes, there is the “Huego de Anillo” participated in by men riding on fine and fast horses. The

[p. 24]

young folks organize themselves into a club and always try their best to hold an annual fiesta dance. Sometimes, when funds permit, a stage show or zarzuela is held on the night of the fiesta or on the eve of the fiesta. Masses are celebrated in the local barrio church. The happy day is concluded with a procession participated in by everybody who is Catholic and pious.

Christmas is another event happily celebrated in this place. The people butchered their pigs, cows, and chickens when they are being visited by their faraway folks. Children go to their ninongs and ninangs to extend their Christmas greetings. During this season, members of the family, especially those in far places, are once more in reunion and happily extend to each other the best wishes for a Happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year. Children are almost every day in their fine clothes. Season lasts until the Three Kings Day. Children are usually very happy during this season, for they are being given gifts in money or in kind.

II. Myths, Legends, Beliefs, Superstitions and Interpretations

Origin of the World

[A] Long time ago, there was no heaven and earth. One Sunday, God created the world. At first, the earth was without form. The water and the land were of the same level. Darkness was upon the face of the deep. God the Son found out that the earth was not a good place to live in. He told His Father that there was darkness everywhere. The water and the land were at the same level. It was not a safe place wherein to stay. Lastly, they decided to complete the world. They created the sky. On the following day, that was Monday, the land and water

[p. 25]

were separated. Some lands were made higher. For further protection for those who would live on the earth, mountains and hills were also created. Between the mountains and hills, small and large river beds were formed. Thus came the rivers and the lakes. The vast space occupied by the water as it was separated from the earth became large bodies of water. We call them now the oceans and the seas. At first, the earth was bare. On Tuesday, They created the trees and all other kinds of plants. Various kinds of animals were also created. On Wednesday, They created the sun, the moon, and the stars to provide light for all They had created. Thursday came and some more animals were created. Birds were created, and also the fish that lived in the deep sea.

When They had created the world, They wanted that someone must be living on earth. A man superior to all animals. So, Friday came and Adam was the first man created. After giving him life, he was allowed to live on the earth. For some time, Adam was lonely. They made him sleep and took one of his ribs. Out [of] Adam’s left ribs, They created [the] first woman on earth. They gave her life. When Adam awoke from his sleep, he found his companion. He was to have Eve by his side.

Other stories tell that the world was originally a mass of earth cast by God out to the vast open space. When this mass of earth hit the hard surface, it broke and other pieces were thrown out far. These small pieces of earth grew bigger and bigger in the midst of bodies of water. They are now what we call islands. The big piece of earth that was left became the big mass of land and they are now the big mass of land called [the] continent.

[p. 26]

Origin of the Earthquake

One day, a woman gave birth to a handsome baby boy. He was named Bernardo Carpio. As he grew older, he entered different schools. He was able to acquire a little education. During his boyhood days, he showed signs of being strong. As years went by, his body was developing. His body was in good physical shape. He had developed great muscular strength that no one in his place would dare match him in any kind of physical combat. In almost all of his fights, he became the victor. He later enlisted in the army. He showed great physical power by conquering and subduing every human being on his way. He was then finally considered as the strongest man on earth.

But Bernardo was not contented with his victories. He went on an adventure. He went far and wide looking for anyone who would dare match his strength. Instantly, he saw an angel. The angel went into a cave. He bravely followed the angel. As he was about to enter the cave, he was caught by two great moving stones. Caught between the two big moving stones, he could not get away. With all his physical power and muscular strength, he tried his best to move the stones. As he was wrestling with the two great stones, the earth quaked. He gave one hard blow to the stones and it fell to pieces as the earth shook. Every time he moved his body, there was an earthquake that we on earth fear most.

Rubber Shoes (Superstition)

Many persons believe that using rubber shoes will bring disease and fever, or may affect the sight. It is due to what they say that the feet perspire when kept in the rubber shoes for a long time. Such undue perspiration is always associated with chills which are accompanied by

[p. 27]

fever in its first stage and will surely grow and become [a] serious kind of sickness. Of course, there is no truth in the belief. It is just another misconception.

The First Man and Woman
(Adopted from Kalaw’s Five Perspectives of Our Ancient Morality)

At the beginning, there was but sky and water. The water was irritated by a blue bird called “Tigmamanukin,” [it] rose so high it menaced the sky with its angry waves. Bathala, the creator, cast giant rocks into the water and these later became the mass of wide lands. In one of these Tigmamanukin, the bird, paused to rest.

The union of the land [and] sea produced the bamboo, a segment of which came to rest at the feet of Tigmamanukin. The bird, full of curiosity, pecked at the cane and broke the bamboo. Great was his surprise to see the first man emerge from the internode, and from another the first woman, all in fairness. To all these, he said, “Ba!” from which came the word “babae,” meaning woman. The woman admired the man’s vigor and beauty, exclaimed, “La!” from which came the word “lalake.” The two were amazed at the beauty of creation and together they said, “Ha!” From this came the word “Bathala,” meaning god, creator of all [that] was formed.

Now, seeing that the woman refused to unite herself with the man, alleging that they were brothers, Bathala caused the union by causing a strong earthquake. Only in this manner was the first woman united to the first man. From that time on, the earth was populated.

(How to Plant)

The old folks believe that when you are planting bananas of some fruit trees, you ought not to look up. Looking up will mean to make the plant grow very high before it bears fruits. So, one is to sit down and the plant will bear fruits although it is not very high.

[p. 28]


Many, many years ago, the people said that this place was a very thick forest. There were tales and stories known about this forest.

During those early days, there were two caves by the lower part of the present Bulalakaw Falls. One of the caves was by the eastern part and the other on the western part of the spring. From these caves, the people said that [a] big fire was seen coming out every night. The fire was, at times, as big as a jar. The fire could be seen by midnight or during the early part [of the] month of May.

Those brave ones who at times watched for the fire called it “Bulalakaw,” meaning a bright light or star. The fire at times would rise up and fly to the west going to the mountain of Makulot. Since then, every time the fire came out, the people would exclaim, “There is the Bulalakaw out again!” As the time went on, the spring became bigger and bigger. It grew into a big waterfalls. At present, it is called the Bulalakaw Falls. The falls are at present a nice one, and it is often visited by those who are outing. It is a good picnic site. The people of this place are washing their clothes in this spring. Others are getting their drinking water from this spring also.


It was the belief of the old folks that if a family of white chickens was found in the forest, it means hidden treasure.


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