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

Malagonlong, Lipa City, Batangas: Historical Data Part II

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



[p. 7]

2. Fixing the terms of the marriage called “Bulungan.” The parents of the lady will call for the parents of the young man. The terms of the marriage are revealed for the consideration and approval of the parents of the young man. Among these terms are the following:
a. Dowries – These are in the forms of money, a parcel of land, work animals, a house to be repaired or constructed, or any other things that the whims and caprices of the lady and her parents may think about.
b. The kind of wedding party to be given. In almost all cases, the parents of the bride-to-be desires a wedding party that is big enough for all those who will be attending to be served and fed to their satisfaction.
c. The date of the wedding is fixed. The kind of wedding ceremony is also agreed upon.
When the terms are favorable to the young man’s side, the marriage is continued. If not, the young man will have to quit no matter [if] he likes it or not. However, there are cases when the lovers elope because of the inability of the young man to abide by the terms of the Bulungan. In some cases, neither the dowry nor the wedding party is asked by the lady’s parents. The responsibility for the marriage and all the prerequisites for the same are given to the parents of [the] bridegroom-to-be.

When all the terms agreed upon in the bulungan are fulfilled to the satisfaction of the lady’s parents, the wedding ceremony will be done. The ceremony is done by any of the following: the priest, the pastor, or the justice of the peace. After applying for the marriage license and making the necessary contract with the approval of the parents of both parties, then all is set for the celebration. In the majority of cases, the ceremony is done by the priest or the pastor for according to the belief of the people of the barrio, the marriage will not be binding and lasting unless it is performed by the apostle of God.

The following steps are followed in the marriage:
1. Filing the necessary application and making the marriage contract in the Office of the Local Civil Registrar.
2. Marriage intentions will be recorded in the book of the church where the marriage will be solemnized.
3. In the case of the Catholic Church, the marriage intentions will be announced to the public. This announcement is usually done after the High Mass for three consecutive Sundays.
4. If no claim or opposition to the marriage is filed, the marriage will be done in the morning of Monday after the third announcement is done.
5. The marriage ceremony is done according to the procedure of the church officiating it.

There are times when there is no need for announcing the marriage. This is called “Disposada” in which case the marriage ceremony is done in any day of the week but it is commonly celebrated on either Thursday or Saturday. It must be understood that all the expenses incurred during the procedure will be borne by the parents of the bridegroom.

[p. 8]

THE WEDDING PARTY – A party called “Baysanan” or “Kasalan” is given in the house of the bride. Friends and relatives of the bride are invited. They are supposed to be the guests of the bridegroom and his relatives and, therefore, are to be accorded the services that are due to them.

The wedding party is usually a happy occasion. There are dancing and singing aside from the rare food and drinks that are served to the visitors. After the party, the bride will transfer to the house of the bridegroom. Sometimes, the bridegroom is allowed to go with the bride while there are cases when the parents of the bride object to this practice, in which case the groom is left behind. But you may be sure that the groom will follow his bride sooner or later. Sometime after the wedding, the newlyweds will live with the parents of either side. Then they will have a house of their own.

DEATH – The death of a person is a great loss to his family. It is believed that when a person dies, his soul separates from the body, that it will go to heaven or hell. The dead body is regarded as sacred. Below are the common practices and customs relative to the disposal of the dead:

a. Burial – The dead is usually buried within twenty-four hours from the time of his death. In some instances, the body is embalmed for a desired length of time after which the burial takes place. Before burying, the body is dressed in his finest clothes. It is placed in wooden coffins and then taken to church for the last ceremonial rites. That toll of the church bells often announces the parking of a soul. From the church, the body is taken to the cemetery for burial. The kind of interment varies according to the ability of the family of the deceased to pay for the services of the rites. It is the custom of the people of the barrio to join the interment. This is done in order to show their love for the dead as well as their sympathy to the bereaved family of the deceased.

Ceremonies Given to the Dead:
1. Mourning – This lasts for a period of nine months or a year. Black clothes are worn during the period of mourning.
2. A nine-day novena – Prayers are said for nine consecutive days. These prayers which are said in the evening at the house of the dead are done for the salvation and quiet repose of the soul of the person who died.
3. Fourth-day Service – A midday prayer is said. People of the barrio come to the house of the dead to join in the ceremony. Food is served to all those who come.
4. Ninth-day Service – Same activity as in the fourth day.

During this period of nine days, aids in the form of money which are called “Pakandila” are given to the widow and orphans of the deceased as a sign of sympathy and help to them.

5. Sometimes, a 30th or 40th day service is given to the dead.
6. After a period of nine months or probably a year, the period of mourning will end. A nine-day novena precedes this service which is known as the “Babaang Luksa.” At noon of the ninth day of the novena,

[p. 9]

a prayer will be said for the quiet repose of the soul. Again, the people of the barrio will come to join the services. Food will be served after the prayer. From this data, the widows, orphans and relatives of the deceased can wear colored clothing.
7. Masses called “Misa de Requiem” are said from time to time in the belief that in so doing, the soul of the dead will rest in peace.
8. All Souls’ Day, which usually falls on Nov. 2, is set aside to remember the dead. During this day, the people go to the cemetery to visit the graves of their loved ones. Prayers are said, candles are lighted, and wreathes are placed on the graves. These things are done to show their love and respect for the deceased.

VISITS – Visits and family reunions are common. A visitor is welcomed in every home and is received with great hospitality. Family reunions are often done on Christmas Day and on celebrations like birthday parties, wedding parties and anniversaries. These reunions are characterized by great enjoyment and feasting together where foods of different kinds are served.

FESTIVALS – The most common festival is the “Flores de Mayo.” Every day, during the month of May, there is an “Hermana” or “Hermano” who is in charge of the offering of flowers to [the] Virgin Mary. A party is given in the house of the hermana or hermano every afternoon. At night, the people will congregate in the barrio chapel for the flower offering. After the ceremony, there will be fun and merriment. This is the happiest time of the year, particularly to the young men and women. The festival is almost always culminated by the holding of the barrio fiesta.

PUNISHMENT – Minor disputes among the barrio folks are settled within the barrio. The settlement is made in the presence of the barrio lieutenant and some influential men of the barrio. Offenders are punished to the satisfaction of both sides. Major offenses are turned over to the proper authorities. In this case, the punishment that is commensurate with the gravity of the offense committed is given after due process of law is given to the offenders.


(A Legend)

Many, many years ago, the barrio of Malagonlong was party covered with green and tall trees. A little brook that has been flowing in the eastern part of the barrio was quiet because the water flowed quietly and slowly along the grassy beds.

The grass that grew along the banks of the brook was very good food for the animals. As such, many people went there to cut grass. These people often sat down to rest on a big flat stone that was on one side of the brook.

[p. 10]

One day, while a man was cutting grass, he happened to see a beautiful maiden sitting on the stone. She was lovely and beautiful. The man desired to talk with her. To his astonishment, the lady disappeared. The disappearance was so sudden that the man could not tell where she went. Time and again, the man saw the lady but as before, she disappeared from his sight when he tried to talk with her.

At first, he kept this a secret. At last, he lost his patience and revealed the secret to his neighbors. The news spread like wildfire. Many people went to the brook to see the pretty lady on the rock. Many of them testified to the truth of the news. The beauty of the lady filled the hearts of two men who saw her with a desire to catch the lady and have her for their own.

One day, these two men went to the brook to accomplish their plan. Fortunately, they saw the lady. She was sleeping in all her loveliness as she laid on the big flat stone. Slowly and cautiously, the two men went near her. They were about to hold her when the lady woke up. Perceiving their bad intention, she became very angry. She jumped to her feet and kicked the big stone and then disappeared. The big stone made a big rolling sound as it fell on the quiet water of the brook. Much to the astonishment of the two men, the brook which flowed slowly carried the big rock as it flowed. The stone made a great noise as it rolled along the brook’s bed digging the rocks underneath and breaking the banks of the brook as it rolled along. On and on the big stone rolled until it reached bigger bodies of water and finally to the sea.

From that time on, the course of the brook became rugged. Big stones gathered on the bed. Rapids and falls appeared. Because of these, the once quiet brook became noisy as it flowed along its rugged and stony course. The sound made by the break was loud and long so that it could be heard at a great distance. Everybody who happened to pass by the barrio noted the loud noise. Finally, it was decided to name the brook as Malagonlong Brook. True to its name, the brook which had been quiet once upon a time, became very noisy and remain such to this very day.

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BELIEFS – The people of Malagonlong believed that:
1. There is a God who created all things on earth.
2. Every person has a soul. That the soul parts from the body when a person dies and that the soul goes to either heaven or hell depending upon the person’s actuations when he was living.
3. There is another life hereafter.
4. Ghosts and other spirits, though unseen by mortal eyes, wander on earth to tempt and lure people.
5. Magic and divinations work wonders.
6. Miracles are outward manifestations of the powers and spirits of those from which these miracles emanate.
7. Talismans of some sort are still useful to the owners.

[p. 11]

SUPERSTITIONS – The following are some of the most common superstitious beliefs of the people of Malagonlong:

1. When a lady sings while cooking, she will marry a widower.
2. When a black butterfly hovers around you at night, a near relative of yours met some misfortunes or perhaps died.
3. A horseshoe seen on your left side while walking through a crossroad will bring you good luck.
4. Crickets singing in the house at night foretell the coming of the visitors.
5. When a lizard crosses your way, it will be better for you not to continue on your journey or trip for bad luck will befall you.
6. When a child combs his or her hair at night, the parent will be sick or probably die.
7. When a farmer has a haircut on the day he planted his seeds or palay, the palay will not grow well.
8. A comet seen in the sky foretells good or bad times depending upon the position of its tail.
9. When the veil of the persons who are being married falls, it is a sign that the mates will face hardships in the course of their married life.
10. When many fireflies are found fluttering in a tree at night, some ghosts of malignant spirits are wandering in the neighborhood of the gree.
a. Songs:
Native kundimans.
Lullabies sung by mothers as they put their babies to sleep.
The young people are fond of modern song hits.
b. Games and Amusements –
Native dances like fandango, abaruray and subli.
Huego de anillo and huego de prenda.
Outdoor games like catching fish, quails and other birds.
Different kinds of card games.
1. It is round, white, and full of gold. – egg.
2. It has a face and two hands. It tells the time. – clock.
3. Its trousers are folded to the knees, be it a sunny or rainy day. – chicken.
4. My sister’s house has only one post. – umbrella.
5. It has no root and no stem yet it is always blooming. – stars.
6. It carries its house wherever it goes. – turtle.
7. It has many eyes but it cannot see. – pineapple.
8. A grain of palay that fills all the room. – lamp.
9. What is it that goes to a place without moving. – road.
10. My aunt gave birth. The baby came out from her side. – corn.
1. An early bird catches the worm.
2. A barking dog seldom bites.

[p. 12]

3. Slow but sure goes far in a day.
4. Bend the tree while it is young.
5. He who never looks back at his starting place,
Will never reach his destination.
6. A person can be judged by his words and actions.
7. The water is deep when it is quiet.
8. Don’t leave for tomorrow what you can do today.
9. Like is like a wheel that goes up and down.
10. Drop by drop wears away the stone.
The time is measured in terms of seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, years, etc. Calendars are used to tell dates. Clocks, watches and radio announcements are used to tell the particular time of the day. In the absence of these modern methods of telling time, the people use the following to remind them of the particular time of the day:
a. The Sun:
The rising of the sun suggests 6 o’clock in the morning.
When the sun is overhead, it is 12 o’clock noon.
The setting of the sun suggests 6 o’clock in the evening.
b. The chickens are also used to tell time:
The crowing of roosters suggests various times at night.
Roosting time for the chickens suggests 6 o’clock in the evening.
The time when the hens lay eggs suggests the time between 9 and 10 o’clock in the morning.
c. By the use of flowers:
The opening of the flowers of the patola denotes 4 o’clock in the afternoon.
d. Expressions denoting time:
Disperas – two o’clock in the afternoon.
Hampas tikin and araw – About three o’clock in the afternoon.
Tanghaling tapat – twelve o’clock noon.
Hatinggabi – twelve o’clock at night, midnight.
Madaling araw – four o’clock in the morning, dawn.
Bukang-liwayway – sunrise.
Takip-silim - sunset.


NOTE: No record whatsoever is available in the community. The facts and materials used in this manuscript are gathered through interviews and conversations with the eldest persons of the barrio.


1. Mr. Pedro Estolano and Miss Inocencia Andal, both teachers of Malagonlong Barrio School, for the gathering of data.
2. Mr. Simeon S. Metica, Head Teacher of Adya-Cumba Region of which Malagonlong is a part, for the compilation of the data and preparing them in manuscript form.


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