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

Adya, Lipa City, Batangas: Historical Data Part II

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



[p. 8]

can be heard from under the stones when long periods of rain will come. Likewise, when the rainy days are about to end and bright weather will come, the same music can be heard. It is now a common belief of the people of Adya that the dwarves that once inhabited the woods now dwell under the twin stones and unseen by mortal eyes, they continue their frolics and merrymaking. At the same time, they serve to tell the people of the place of the approaching and ending of the rainy weather. This, they know by the music that they hear from under the twin stones.

- - - - - -

Once upon a time, there lived a lovely maiden named Daga. Her name signifies virginity or purity. She was the much loved daughter of a certain Maguinoo.

Daga fell in love with the Great Sun and consecrated her virginity to him. One warm, sunny day, Daga took a bath in the clear water of a secluded spring. After bathing, she fell asleep in the shade of some tall bamboo trees. While she was sleeping, a ray from the sun descended and made love to her. Though a virgin, she conceived and not long after, she gave birth to a handsome boy. There was great rejoicing and laughter among the birds and flowers in the woods when the boy was born.

Because of this, Daga’s father became very angry. He drove her away and at the same time, change her name by inserting the word [syllable] “LA,” meaning male, between DA and GA so that it became DALAGA. This, he did to remind Daga that she had brought shame and dishonor to their family.

Stricken with fear and in sorrow, Daga parted with her baby. She went to the secluded spring and on its bank built a temporary home. There, she bitterly wept her sad fate. Her only consolation was the knowledge of her purity and without losing hope that someday, somehow, her name would be cleared, her purity would be acknowledged, and that her parents would accept her back in her home again.

One day, the sun became extremely hot. Dalaga clasped her baby in her arms as if to protect him from the hot rays of the sun. They, she lay down on the soft grass. As night fell, she was fast asleep. Great was Dalaga’s grief when upon awaking, she discovered that her baby was gone. All her efforts to find the baby became fruitless.

Sometime after this, Dalaga returned to her parents. At first, they were very angry, but being told in a dream that their daughter was as pure as ever, they finally decided to accept her at home and gave her the love she once enjoyed. Her name became cleared and her purity being established, she became the pride of the community. She retained the name “DALAGA” which means maiden. Such was the origin of the world “DALAGA.”

It was further told that an eagle snatched the baby of Dalaga as she was sleeping near the pool. The eagle carried him away to the wilderness of some distant land. There, he grew up. At the age of twelve, he was known to perform miracles and in his later years, he established the kingdom of “BATHALA.”

[p. 9]


Like the people of almost all places, the people of Adya believe in many things. Some of these beliefs were acquired as a result of teaching while others came about as a result of experiences. The following are among them:

1. The people believe in God as the Creator of all things and as the power that guides the destinies of man.
2. They believe that a person has a soul and that his soul parts from the body when he dies.
3. They believe in the life hereafter – that when a man dies, his soul will go to either heaven or hell depending upon his earthly actuations.
4. Some people believe in the power of [the] anting-anting.
5. Some people believe in ghosts and witches who assume various forms and wander in the neighborhood at night to frighten and lure people.
6. The people believe in miracles of some sorts.
7. They believe that when a comet is seen in the sky, either hard times or prosperity will come depending upon the position of the comet’s tail as seen in the heavens.
8. The people believe that the position of the new moon as seen in the sky foretells the kind of weather that will come. They believe that when the crest of the new moon is tilted to its side, there will be much rain while when the moon is erect, sunny days will be forthcoming.


Many superstitious beliefs abound in the locality. According to information, these superstitions were proven to come out true. For this reason, it seems quite difficult to have these beliefs disregarded by the people. Among these superstitious beliefs are the following:

1. That in planting rice, corn or any cereal, the first three seeds or hills should be planted with eyes closed. This is done so that the birds will not see the fruits while they are ripening. Hence, they will not be destroyed.
2. That within four days from the date of marriage, either side of the married party must not sweep the house and surroundings [and] not burn the garbage therein. Otherwise, the married couple will often have misunderstandings and quarrels at times may result to separation.
3. That if mongos are planted the day after a starry night, the crop will have a good harvest.
4. That if you point to a young fruit, particularly those fruits which grow in vines, the fruit will rot and fall down.
5. When dogs howl at night, someone in the neighborhood will die.
6. When crows alight on a dried branch of a tree near a house and keep crowing and crowing, a relative of one of those who are living near is dead.
7. When in eating, a spoon or fork falls, visitors are coming.
8. While walking through a crossroad and you happen to see a horseshoe on your left side, such thing is regarded that the finder will have good luck.

[p. 10]

9. When going on an errand, or in some business undertakings, and a lizard crosses your way, bad luck will befall on you.
10. Plant bananas when you have just eaten. This will insure fat and big fruits. Likewise, the planter must never look up at the top of the banana plant that is being planted so that the banana plant will not grow very tall.


Among the most popular songs are the kundimans and the lullabies that mothers sing while putting their babies to sleep. They also find joy in seeing native folk dances like the “Pandango” and “Subli.” Modern dances and song hits find appeal among the younger set. Various games like “Huego de Prenda” and card games are played in gatherings. During barrio fiestas, “Huego de Anillo” is very common. Outdoor games like hide-and-seek, wrestling, ballgames, swimming, and catching quails are very common. Piko and luksong tinik are very common among the girls. Cockfighting is a common amusement among the elderly people. Some people spend their leisure hours in listening to stories told by other people, listening to radios, and in reading books, novels, and coridos.


The giving and answering of puzzles and riddles is one of the most common forms of amusements in which the people of the barrio indulge in. This is mostly done in family gatherings before bedtime and in informal gatherings where intimate people assemble. Even the old people participate in this form of enjoyment. Sometimes, the riddles and puzzles are so perplexing that much thinking is needed before the correct answer is given. Below are some of the puzzles and riddles:

1. It has no root and no stem, yet it is ever blooming.
Answer – A starry night.
2. It is a bamboo bucket in the daytime and a broad leaf at night.
Answer – a mat.
3. My sister’s house has but one post.
Answer – umbrella.
4. It is but a grain of rice yet it fills the whole room.
Answer – lamp.
5. I planted a lemon tree, in the middle of the sea;
Many longed to pick it, but to only one will it be.
Answer – lady.
6. A spear is still far yet the wound is already opened.
Answer – mouth.
7. You are far; I am near; because of it, we understand each other.
Answer – letter.
8. It points skyward when young and to the ground when old.
Answer – bamboo.
9. I have a friend who is very true to me,
You will find him wherever I may be.
Answer – shadow.
10. My aunt gave birth, the baby came out from her side.
Answer – corn.


When at times you happen to talk with older people, you will be surprised that in most cases, you will hear them give short expressions that are full of truth and wisdom. These are proverbs and sayings. Perhaps, their truths have been proven so many times so that they become a part and parcel of their every day speech. Here are some of them:

1. He who believes in hearsay has no mind of his own.
2. Birds of the same feather flock together.

[p. 11]

3. A santol tree will never bear a guava fruit.
4. A man of words and not of deeds,
Is like a garden full of weeks.
5. Drop by drop wears away the stone.
6. A bird in a cage is worth two in the bush.
7. A house that is small if inhabited by people,
Is better than a mansion if inhabited by an owl.
8. A man who is in great need, clings even to thorny vines.
9. There is no strong cupboard when the cat is inside.
10. There is no saintly maiden to a constant lover.
11. He who walks slowly seldom gets deep thorns.
12. If you plant something, you will surely reap something.


Time is measured in terms of minutes, hours, days, weeks, months or years depending on the length of time that is to be measured. The usual length of the day is twenty-four hours – twelve hours for the daytime and twelve hours for the night. Within the day, the time is also measured. There are various ways of telling time. In the absence of a watch or clock, which is the modern way of telling time, the people have the following to suggest a particular time during the day:

1. The crowing of the roosters during or before sunrise suggests dawn or four o’clock in the morning.
2. The rising of the sun known in the dialect as “Bukang Liwayway” denotes six o’clock in the morning.
3. The time when the hens lay eggs in the morning is believed to be from nine to ten o’clock.
4. When the sun is directly overhead or in the middle of the sky’s dome, it is twelve o’clock at noon which is locally known as “Tanghaling Tapat.”
5. Disperas stands for two o’clock in the afternoon.
6. The opening of the flowers of the patola is believed to be four o’clock in the afternoon.
7. “Hampas-Tikin ang Araw” denotes about five o’clock in the afternoon.
8. “Takip-Silim” or twilight stands for six o’clock in the evening.
9. “Hating Gabi,” which is the local name for midnight, stands for twelve o’clock at night.
10. The position of the sun as it goes from east to west also gives the people a means by which they can tell the approximate time of the day.


Once upon a time, there lived a poor couple. They had an only son named Juan. Being the only child in the family, Juan was much loved by his parents. Though poor, he could have all the things that his young heart could desire.

At the age of seven, his mother tried to teach him the alphabet but she failed. He was sent to school but it was of no use. He hated books and had no interest in studying. All that he wanted to do was to

[p. 12]

do was to go around the barrio and play with the other boys of his age. So Juan grew up without a proper education.

Time rolled on. Finally Juan, who was not by nature a very bad boy, realized the need of helping his aging parents. He persuaded his father to buy a carabao for him to take care of. A carabao was bought for him.

The people wondered why Juan’s carabao grew fatter and fatter as the days rolled. They had good reasons for wondering because, as everybody in the neighborhood saw it, Juan’s carabao was always tied under a tree. Juan did not feed it as other people did. In fact, even a little trace that the carabao was fed could not be seen in the place. And yet, the animal lived and grew fat, even fatter than the animals that were being properly cared for by their owners.

How did Juan take care of his carabao? It was very simple. It was true that Juan did not feed his animal during the daytime. But at night, when all the people were asleep, the animal had a good time eating the fresh green grass that grew in the pasture nearby. Though the pasture was surrounded by a strong stone wall fence, Juan’s carabao could enter it. Unknown to anyone, Juan dug the ground under the fence on one side of the pasture. Thus, every night, the carabao, led by Juan for the first few nights and later on by necessity and habit, went to the pasture alone and ate all it could, returning to the house at dawn while everybody was still sleeping.

But one night, the carabao was caught in the pasture and at the same time the entrance was discovered. Juan had to cut grass as others did if he wanted his carabao to live. His poor animal grew thinner and thinner every day. Finally, he decided to kill the animal. All that was said was done. He ate the meat and dried the hide.

One day, he started to market to sell the hide. On the way, he saw two strange-looking persons at a distance. Believing that they were robbers who, in those days, often waylaid people and robbed them of their wares, Juan climbed a tall tree that grew along the roadside. He took the roll of hide with him up in the tree. The robbers came and rested under the tree where Juan was hiding. He was terribly frightened. His whole body trembled. Unluckily, he lost hold of the hide. Down it fell with a great noise. The robbers were afraid. They thought that the sky fell down on them to end their bad work. They ran away as fast as they could to hide in the thick forest which was far away.

When the robbers were gone, Juan descended the tree. He was very thankful for not being seen by the robbers. To his surprise, he saw an earthen jar beside the hide. He opened the jar and what do you think did he see? It was full of shining gold. He got the jar and brought it home together with his carabao hide.

Not long after this, a great change was noted in the life of the poor family. A new and big house was built in place of the old and leaking hovel. The family brought every piece of land that was being sold in the neighborhood. The family rapidly prospered to the amazement of their neighbors. Finally, they were regarded as the wealthiest and the most altruistic persons in the community. As to how they got rich, nobody knew. The secret of the carabao hide and the jar of gold remained sealed in the household of Juan’s family.

[p. 13]


No written records of any kind are available in the community. For this reason, a great many obstacles and setbacks were encountered in the preparation of this manuscript. Almost all the data embodied in Part I was secured through conversations and interviews with the enlightened and old persons of the barrio. The data gathered in these interviews were recorded, studied, and then consolidated and treated so as to have the “History and Cultural Life of the Barrio of Adya.”
1. Some of the enlightened and old members of the barrio for supplying the data.
2. Mr. Julio Sarmiento – Teacher in Adya-Cumba Elementary School, for gathering data.
3. Mr. Simon S. Metica – Head Teacher, Adya-Cumba Elementary School, for organizing the data and preparing them in manuscript form.



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