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

Antipolo, Lipa City, Batangas: Historical Data Part II

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



[p. 6]

During that time, Japanese snipers were lurking in the countryside. An American camp was placed in the present Antipolo school for mopping operations. This camp was just up of the Antipolo brook, where a Japanese straggler was seen and shot dead by the American guards. Slowly, the activities of the people showed signs that normal life was restored. The people, up to the present time, are conscious of their welfare although they are living in a period when prices of commodities are very high.


HOLY WEEK TRADITION – It has been a traditional practice in the barrio of Antipolo that during Holy Week festivities, the people go to town very early in the morning on Easter Sunday to witness the “Daguit.” This yearly celebration is celebrated with zeal and splendor.

Two large groups of devotees each follow the flower laden carrozas of the Resurrected Christ and His Sorrowing Mother, which start from opposite directions and meet at a given point designated as “GALILEE” some hundred yards from the church. Here, the black veil, which signifies darkness that wraps the world at Christ’s death, is then removed from His mother by a supposed angel from heaven. From above the Galilee, angelic songs can be heard singing the “ALLELUIA” which signifies joy. The procession is thus merged into one and then proceeds to the church for mass.

COURTSHIP – Courtship as observed in the barrio of Antipolo during the last days of the Spanish rule:

Early in the evening, the suitor went to the maiden’s house and, as he stepped over its threshold, he humbly went [down] on his knees, crossed his arms over his chest, and, his head bowed low in [a] sign of respect, said, “Mano po.” (Your hand, sir.)

The maiden’s father or mother answered, “Kaawaan ka ng Panguinoong Dios. Tindig ka at umupo.” (God bless you; rise up and have a seat.)

The parent then called the maiden from her room and told her to offer her visitor cigarettes or to pass the buyo plate. She did so, and sat down near her parents. The conversation ran along impersonal subjects until the psychological moment of the proposal. In a voice he tried well to control, the young man began thus, “Kung mamarapatin…” (If I may be considered worthy…)

[p. 7]

This was his petition for the maiden’s hand in marriage.

Then, the maiden told him to ask “palay” from her parents, it meant consent on her part.

He then returned the next morning with fuel and water for the household, and the same evening, he came with his parents and a few prominent persons of the locality. He formulated his proposal once more. Using the quaint phraseology of asking for “palay,” the maiden’s parents gave him the palay if his suit had won their favor and consent. If they told him they had no “palay” dry enough for pounding, he knew that he was being given the lemon in a very polite way. This part of the ritual was called “pagpapakilala.” (Making oneself known.)

When the maiden’s parents had given the “palay,” the visitors went home happily, leaving the suitor behind to work in the household for a period of seven days, during which time his character and personal habits were under observation.

Early in the morning after the “Pagpapakilala,” the maiden’s father asked the young man, “Why are you working here? Who asked you to work here?”

“Ang sarili ko pong kalooban,” (My own free will) the young man answered. This was the sign that he had chosen for himself.

On the seventh day, the maiden’s parents told the young man to ask his parents to come over to discuss the coming marriage. Once together, the maiden’s father told the man’s parents: “Your son is working here; is there anything you want?”

“We are at your orders. If there is anything yet undone, we are ready to do it,” he is answered.

The talk then centered on the dowry or the “bilang” or “bigay kaya,” which takes the form of either money or household goods. The girl’s parents insisted that they required a dowry only to give the new couple an economic basis on which to start their new life. If the man’s parents believed the dowry was excessive, they frankly said, “Hindi po naming kaya.” (It is beyond our means.)

When the two parties had finally come to an agreement, they took the next step, which was the “Pamulungan,” when the parents and friends of the young man went to the maiden’s house with seven roosters, four hens, and three bottles of coconut wine. On this occasion, they talked, ate and drank, the man’s parents acting as host in the maiden’s house. When all those arrangements were over, the young man went on a round of visits to the houses of the

[p. 8]

maiden's near relatives to announce the wedding day and feast is always held at the girl’s house.

MARRIAGE – A wedding is a rare occasion in this barrio second to the village fiesta which comes but once a year. On this wedding day, people from the nearby village come in their Sunday clothes to witness the marriage.

The bridesmaid looked small in her borrowed bridal gown. She limped in her sister’s high-heeled white shoes which was now a little yellowish from long disuse. The pointed toes hurt her feet, but she tried not to show the pain.

The groom looked funny in his brother’s ill-fitting white cotton shirt. This was the same suit his uncle had worn, four years ago. He had never worn a suit before. The starched collar and the black bow tie were choking him and he felt he was being roasted.

The barrio folks looked on approvingly as the bride and groom came down from the bride’s house. An aunt sat by the window, seemingly immune to the gaiety outside. Her eyes were red from crying. She always cried when any of her nieces married.

When the newlyweds arrived from the church, spectators craned their necks like watching an exciting game. As they got off the cart gaily bordered with split coconut fronds formed into arches, they rushed to the house. [The] One who won the race dominated the other. That was village superstition. When a man and woman were joined in wedlock, whoever reached the stairs first after the marriage ceremonies would be the master of the home.

Then, they were blessed by their respective in-laws, giving them some advice concerning married life. There was a small table on one side of the sala placed between two chairs reserved for the newlyweds. As they took their seats, two candles were lighted simultaneously. Curiously, the guests looked on. All seemed to be secretly wishing the two candles would last; it would be a good omen for both long lives. The crowd formed a square and the bride and the groom, barefooted, danced on the mat with the accompaniment of a violin, a guitar or an accordion. The ninong pulled his wallet and drew a five-peso bill and threw it at the dancing couple. The ninang followed suit with some silver coins and, soon, the guests were doing likewise, cheering and applauding at every shower of money.

[p. 9]

LEGEND – LEGEND OF THE FIRST MAN AND WOMAN – The origin of the first man and woman is found in the most ancient or our chronicles. It runs thus:

At the beginning, there was nothing by sky and water. The water was irritated by a blue bird called “TIGMAMANUKIN,” rose so high it menaced the sky with its angry waves. Bathala, the creator, the Architect, to appear [appease?] TIGMAMANUKIN, cast giant rocks into the water and these later became the islands. In one of these, the bird paused to rest.

The union of 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 from one internode emerge the first man, and from another, the first woman. The man, upon beholding the woman, all fairness, said, “Ba!” From which the word Babae, meaning woman [came]. And the woman, no less admiring of the man’s vigor and beauty, exclaimed, “La!” from which the word Lalake, meaning male [came].

The two were amazed and awed at the beauty of creation, together said, “Ha.” From these joint syllables, the word “BATHALA,” meaning God, Creator of all, was formed.

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

SUPERSTITIOUS BELIEFS – Combing your hair when the sun is setting is a sign that you will be an orphan.

When the star is near the moon, it has been said by the old that somebody will elope.

When a cat is washing its face, it will rain.

While cooking and the fire laughs, a visitor is coming.

Do not sing while cooking because you will marry a widower.

Do not pile the plates after eating when there is a dead person in the house because some relative or other person in the house will soon die.

Whenever you see a black butterfly, it is said that a relative of yours died.

[p. 10]

If you are going to a certain place and you suddenly meet a snake, that is a sign of bad luck.

While sleeping and you dreamed that a house is burning, it is a sign that a relative of yours will die.

At night, and you suddenly see a star with a tail, there will be a war.

If you are going to plant a papaya seed, let it first pass through a long bamboo tube so that the fruit will be longer and bigger.

POPULAR SONGS – The following are the popular songs prevalent in the community:

Kundiman, Tagala, Mahal Pa Rin Kita, Nasaan Ka Irog, Madaling Araw, Anak Ng Dalita, Paki-usap, Kundiman ni Abdon, Ang Maya, Huling Paalam, Sa Dakong Sikatan, Basang Sisiw, Bayan Ko, and Halina’t Mag-aliw.

PROVERBS – Before you do or say a thing

Reflect over it seven times.

The anger which you feel today
Keep and hold for tomorrow.

He who seeks counsel
Is seldom hurt.

He who keeps his mouth shut
Is freed from trouble.

If you do not want to get hurt
Follow in the footsteps of the ancients.

Before uttering a word
Look before you and behind you,
Otherwise quite thoughtlessly
You might find yourself friendless.

If you do not want to feel shame
Do not promise more than you can
Accomplish; for should a talkative
Tongue speak evil of you,
A wound on the face you will have received.

If he who walks very fast
Usually stumbles and falls;
Then will not he who keeps running
Fall and hurt himself the harder?


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