Barrios Inicbulan, Rizal and Durungao, Bauan, Batangas: Historical Data Part III - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore Barrios Inicbulan, Rizal and Durungao, Bauan, Batangas: Historical Data Part III - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore

Barrios Inicbulan, Rizal and Durungao, Bauan, Batangas: Historical Data Part III

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



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The children having grown into adolescence, a young man who fell in love with a girl asked his parents and an old man in the community to be his spokesmen in the courtship of that girl. The young man did not speak directly to the girl as is done nowadays. The man sent his relatives carrying gifts consisting of the biggest available crabs, fish, and the fattest fowls. If that first gift was not rejected nor returned, that meant a sign of encouragement for the Romeo, who then sent his second gift. If the second gift was not rejected either, he could consider himself practically accepted.

Then, with the old man hired as spokesman and a group of old relatives, the young man went to the girl’s house. He was left outside the fence until the girl’s parents bade him to enter. The man entered the gateway and remained just across the threshold until the parents urged him to come up. He then climbed the stairs very slowly, remaining on the top steps until the parents invited him to come forward. He would then walk inside and stand in a corner where he was told to sit down. He would then sit down, his head meekly bowed, and talked to the parents about the weather, the crops and about everything, except his real business for coming. In the meantime, the girl would be nowhere in sight. Usually, she was inside the small room or “silid” while the ceremony was taking place in the sala. Then, [the] spokesman started the courtship in representation of the young man, and only then should the girl be asked by the parents to get out from the silid and then would be seated at the corner of the sala without saying a word, usually shedding some crocodile tears, while her parents and the representatives of the young man talked and bargained as to the area of land to be given as “bigay-kaya” by the man’s parents to the prospective couple, as well as how many sacks of rice and how many pigs and chickens would be slaughtered in the wedding party, and as to who would be the sponsors of the wedding. On the wedding day, the couple walked to town escorted by an entourage that clapped their hands on the way accompanied by the gay music of violins and guitars. They stayed in the house of an acquaintance in the town [called] “tuluyan” were foods were served. The church ceremony took place early the next day. Then, they walked back to the barrio accompanied again by the playing of guitars and violins. After food was served, a mat was spread over the threshold “harapan” on which the bride stood and sang some “awit” accompanied by the “ravel.” The people would throw the “sabug” or gifts of money on the mat. This was the counterpart of the present “sabangan” or “sabugan.” The bride gathered the money. She was escorted to the house of the bridegroom by a big party in the midst of singing and shouting. This was called the “dapit” or “dapitan.” The bridegroom, however, was left in the house of the bride that first night. He had the consolation, at least, of meeting his

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bride only on the following day.


It was lamentable that when a person got sick, he was treated by an “arbulario” or witch or quack doctor. A weird ceremony was conducted for the alleged purpose of pacifying the evil spirit that was supposed to cause his ailment. The “arbulario” usually attributed the sickness to the “nuno.” Having asked the patient if he recalled having sat under a tree or commented about some objects in the field or ravine, then [he] would order the preparation of foods like chickens, eggs, and rice cakes which were placed in a basket, taken at midnight to the place where the “nuno” was supposed to have been offended by the patient, in order to pacify his wrath. Meanwhile, as could be expected, the disease got worse and worse and usually the patient died. And considering the poor sanitary conditions as well as the ignorance of the people about hygiene, the sanitation of the other people also got infected.

The corpse was wrapped in mats and blankets attached to a bamboo pole and carried by two men on their shoulders to town. It was taken to a “tuluyan.” A public coffin was not buried with the body because it was returned to the church to be used again and again for other funeral corteges.

Nine days after the burial, pigs and chickens would be slaughtered and a big feast was prepared called the “siyaman,” where a prayer was said for the salvation and peace of the soul of the departed. The family of the deceased would not care to sell their belongings or to borrow money at usurious rates of interest, just to comply with the religious obligation. After one year from the death of the deceased, a much bigger feast was held called the “babaan ng luksa” or “wakasan.”


The people were noted for their hospitality. They slaughtered chickens and cooked eggs and everything better than what they ordinarily ate when they had no visitors. The visitors showed their courtesy by calling “tao po” while at the foot of the stairs and would not enter unless told “tuloy po” by the host. The visitor did not fail to say “good morning,” “good afternoon,” or “good night,” as the case may be. A visitor took off his hat and if he had a bolo at his waist, he took it off and placed it at the door.

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The only festival held in the past was when the patron saint of the town or “Poon” was brought to the barrio and kept at the barrio public house called the “tuklong.” The “Poon” was taken to the barrio after the mass on Sunday up to the following Friday of the week. Every day and night, the native religious folk dance called “subli” was held continuously, in honor of the patron saint. Visitors who came from other places kiss the patron saint. The only place where food was served was in the house of the “cabeza de barangay.”

Pandango-han was held in social gatherings. Woman and man would debate on some subjects by means of awit and rhyming verses, with the accompaniment of guitars or ravels.


When a crime was committed and no one would tell who was the culprit, the people employed a method called “peyon” in determining who the criminal was. A winnower “bilao” was suspended on a pair of scissors. Then, a succession of names was asked as to who committed the crime. When this winnower did not move upon the mention of any name, it was interpreted to mean that person was innocent; however, if it moved upon the mention of a name, that that will be unfortunate for that person, because whether he was or was not the real culprit, he would be placed in a “pangao,” that is, with both hands and feet clapped in two pieces of wood.

Then, his hands were tied up together at the back called “balato” and taken to the town authorities.

Compare our present way of life to that of the past and we shall realize how many things there were for us to be thankful for.

Historical Sites, Structures, and Ruins

I. Inicbulan

Two centuries ago or more, Inicbulan was only inhabited by ten small families. Needless to say, their manner of existence was [a] far easy one since they depended only on their own toils and other natural offerings. Through gradual increasing of the number of people, the one-man road was widened to such an extent that carts and carromatas were driven to and from the remotest barrio to the town. A few children of the better-to-do families were able to get schooling from the town and for a short period of time became the sources of information

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on how to start schooling in the barrio. A considerable number of children were good enough to be the reason for building up a small house as an educational institution made of nipa and wooden grass. Not long since thereafter, the people were less ignorant and found it necessary to build up a small hut for their worshipping house commonly called “tuklong.” Because of the slight progress of their living, they deemed it compulsory for themselves to ask funds from the government for the repair of the narrow and uneven road so that transportation facilities would be available and [the] school building be changed to a bigger one for larger accommodation. Their desires and longings were sought. They lived much better until the outbreak of World War II.

During the four long years’ occupation, anticipation of misfortunes and dreadfulness retarded the continuous progressive living and hampered the improved education of the children. Five men were killed as suspected guerrillas; Taboc Bridge was dynamited; cattle and hogs and other sources of living were stolen. Hostilities did not reign for so long until later, the barrio was liberated. The latter part of the year 1945 marked the date of starting a new life. The awakening of the hearts and souls and the revival of the hampered education of children came as post-liberation efforts.

Although the location of this barrio is quite hilly and in a forest, it is often visited by tourists when it comes to [the] drowning of sorrows and worries. Quezon City has its Balara, ParaƱaque has its Aristocrat Beach Resort, while Inicbulan has its Igiw Falls naturally alluring, providing both washing and comfortable swimming.

As it could be seen, Inicbulan does not have so many ruins ever since its recognition as a barrio. The Taboc Bridge was, after a short lapse of time since liberation, reconstructed through the Relief and Trade Rehabilitation Administration of the United States. The old school building was torn down and stronger buildings were built, thus increasing the grade school until the people became proud of having an elementary school. The worshipping houses (tuklong) were even changed to a commodious one made of quality wood and galvanized iron. The road was finally reconstructed by the use of American grader, so much so that the people found it easy in going out and coming in; the availability of transportation made it easy for the farmers to transport their excess products for outside consumption.

II. Rizal

In comparison with other remote barrios, Rizal is far different and it is quite ridiculous to say that it had undergone three stages of changing its names. At its earliest date of establishment in the year 1773, it was called Calao. It was during that time that only nine families in-

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habited the place. Later, the name was changed to Talisay, derived from a big talisay tree. In those days, it was very hard to travel to that place because one should have to sacrifice walking over a rough and stony road and keep sight on the way as snakes often blocked the travelers. Since the earliest inhabitants could not help themselves in such a miserable state, they decided themselves to cut down the tree that made the road so dark and narrow. As the number of people in this barrio increased to a larger number, they began to get conscious of their weaknesses and shortcomings. Their reason for sticking together with the neighboring barrio was to practice symbiotic relationship, upholding their rights and interests, believing that they could live better with unity. True, as could be seen from their achievements. A chapel was built with strong materials and a bridge was built in “but-uhan.” When it came to education, they were not far behind others. From the past to the present, children of this barrio have attended school in Inicbulan Elementary as they are among the contributors and sacrifices in building this institution of learning. Although barriers and other hindrances remain not overcome, the people of this barrio are living happily and peacefully except during the occupation. Nothing was ruined except the “but-uhan” bridge, but quickly reconstructed and the ascending road in but-uhan was improved so that it is now easy for motor vehicles to get in the barrio.

III. Durungao

This barrio was established in 1700. This place is much more very mountainous than Inicbulan and Rizal since it is located just at the foot of Cutmoon and abounding in two deep ravines at its east and south. It has three sitios, namely Guintuan, northern; Pandayan, middle; and Abilo, southern. This barrio was at first inhabited by people with [the] strongest capabilities since the earliest family name that existed was “Boongaling.” In passing, let it be said that the people in this place are much far behind in the source of civilization as most of them are yet ignorant of social affairs.

The fastest road to this barrio is so ascending and stony. However, due to the influence of the inhabitants, they were able to secure appropriations from the government, thereby making the road accessible to vehicles. At present, the people are living in a moderate and progressive manner, free from lawless interruptions.


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