Batangas Town, Batangas: Historical Data Part V - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore Batangas Town, Batangas: Historical Data Part V - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore

Batangas Town, Batangas: Historical Data Part V

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



[p. 29]

3. Serving refreshments to those who come to mourn.


1. All members of the family get together during Sundays, Christmas, Easter, Weddings, Funerals and Birthdays.
2. During parties, gifts are given to parents. Godparents give gifts to their children.
3. Holding [a] feast in connection with baptism. The whole family, including friends and relatives, attend.

The Spaniards enlivened the social life of the people by introducing numerous fiestas, holidays, and other forms of amusements. The town has its patron saint in whose honor a colorful fiesta is held annually (January 16 of every year). Other fiestas are celebrated in honor of the principal saints, great historical events, and birthdays of popes. The fiesta is characterized by gay music, feasting, display of fireworks, religious processions, and theatrical performances. Christian holidays are occasions for merriment. Among these holidays are January 1 (New Year), the Holy Week, celebrated with “pabasa” or the chanting of Christ’s Life and Passions, and the cenaculo, a stage play portraying the Lord’s sufferings; November 1 “Todos Los Santos” (All Saints’ Day), Christmas, including its misa de gallo (early morning mass) and the glamorous Noche Buena (Holy Night).

Gay parties celebrate birthdays, baptisms and weddings, picnics and excursions, moonlit haranas (serenades), card and parlor games, such as juego de prenda, tres siete and outdoor sports, as swimming, boat racing, patintero, juego de anillos, sipa (native football) in which rattan is used. Among the masses of the people, the chief form of amusement is cockfighting, usually held during Sundays and fiestas. Cockfighting was a pastime in Palawan even prior to the coming of the Spaniards. As a gambling vice, it was introduced by the Spaniards from Mexico. It was legalized and taxed by the Spanish government for the first time in 1779. It became a source of large revenue, but created national vice.

Gambling is another common but objectionable form of recreation because it does bring good results to an individual.

[p. 30]


1. Taking off the hat or making the sign of the cross when passing a church or a cemetery.
2. Saying the family prayers at Angelus time.
3. Making the sign of the cross at the stairway before leaving the house.
4. Going to church on Sundays and other holidays.
5. Praying before and after sleeping.


Family Solidarity
1. Show respect for elders, parents, relatives, godfathers and godmothers, by kissing their hands to their foreheads after prayers, after the Angelus upon returning home.
2. Greeting elders and old acquaintances with polite terms, such as kang, aling, mamang, po, opo.
3. Reserve father’s seat at the table. Every member of the family sits at the same place during the meal.
4. Not interrupting or taking part in a conversation between elders.
5. Giving gifts to his folks after a trip, at Christmas time and on special occasions such as weddings, christenings or birthdays.
6. Asking permission to leave the house to attend social functions.
7. Caring for the aged and sick; not answering back; recognizing the authority of the oldest brother or sister after the death of both parents.
8. Coming home before dark or telling parents where one is.
9. Being courteous in all speeches.

[p. 31]


The ancient BatangueƱos had many superstitious beliefs, a great deal of which remains to the present day. Among the beliefs are as follows:

1. When a young girl sings in front of a stove while cooking, she will marry an old widower.
2. When a hen cackles at midnight, an unmarried woman is giving birth to a bastard child.
3. When a pregnant woman cuts her hair, she will give birth to a hairless baby.
4. When a cat wipes its face with its paw while facing the door, a visitor is expected in the house.
5. When a girl has white spots in her fingernails, she is not constant in love.
6. When a comet appears in the sky, war or famine is imminent.
7. When a person dreams that one of his teeth falls out, somebody in the family will die.
8. When a married woman eats twin bananas, she will give birth to twin babies.
9. When a snake called “saw” stays in the house of a man, he will be rich.
10. When a moon is new and a fisherman goes fishing, he will have plenty of catch.
11. They believe in life after death. Man to them is composed of an ethereal body and an eternal soul. After death, the soul travels to another world to receive its due reward or punishment.
12. They believe in the sorcerers, or witches who practice black magic against their victims. Among these sorcerers are the aswang, who assumes the form of a dog, cat, bird or other animals and eats human flesh; mangkukulam who causes people to die or be sick by pricking a toy with his magic pin; mangangaway who injures people by his devilish power; the magtatangal whose head separates from the body at night and floats in the air and returns to the body at dawn; the tianak who sucks the entrails of the babies by means of his elongated proboscis; and the tigbalang who takes various forms such as a dog, a horse, or an old man, to deceive its victims.
13. They believe in the magic powers of certain charms or amulets. These are the anting-anting, universal amulet against iron weapons; the gayuma, love charm, etc.
14. They also believe in oracles or soothsayers who foretell the future and know both the good and bad omens.

[p. 32]


1. "Ang damit na hiram
Kung di masikip ay maluwag."
(Borrowed clothes are
either tight or loose.)
2. "Madali ang maging tao
Mahirap ang magpakatao."
(It is easy to be born.
It is hard to become a man.)
3. "Lumaking parang kawayan
at walang kasaysayan."
(He is growing like the bamboo tree
But not brought up properly.)
4. "Mabaho man ang daliri mo
Di mo maipalamon sa aso."
(Your finger may be rotten
But you would not feed it to the dogs.)
5. "Diman ibiguin
Huwag mong hiyain."
(You may not like him
But do not humiliate him.)
6. "Ang marahang pangungusap
Sa puso'y makalulunas."
(Soft words
Comfort the heart.)
7. "Ang di marunong makiugali
Walang kabuluhang umu-oi."
(He who ignores good customs
He will return without benefit.)
8. "Ang bayaning masugatan
Nag-iibayo ang tapang."
(A brave man who is wounded
Becomes still braver.)
9. "Ang di magsapalaran
Hindi makakatawid ng karagatan."
(He who will not venture
Can never cross the seas.)

[p. 33]


In the town of Batangas, there is an island known as Verde Island. In this island, there is a deep ravine known as “Tinalunan.”

This island was formerly inhabited by a family with a young son who lived in a small hut. It so happened that a rich couple with a daughter came to live there, too. The two families got acquainted with each other. The children became friends. They became playmates and treated each other like brother and sister.

After several years, the little boy had grown up to be a handsome man and the little girl, an attractive young lady. They continued to care for each other; but now in a different way. Their relationship as friends had changed into sweethearts.

One day, they made an agreement that each one of them would reveal this matter to their parents. Both of them did, but the girl’s parents refused to give consent for the man belonged to a poor family. The girl became disappointed and she decided to run away from home without knowing where to go. Upon learning what the girl had done, the young man also left his home. Fortunately, they met again and they decided to leave the island, but there was no way of doing so without passing the deep ravine not far away from their homes. Because of their disappointment, they finally decided that they would jump into the ravine inasmuch as they could not enjoy the sweetness of their love. So, with eyes closed, they jumped together.

Since then, the place was called “TINALUNAN.”

[p. 34]

PART III – Other Information

Information on books and documents treating of the Philippines and the names of their owners:

1. Philippine History of Fernandez & Benitez
2. Philippine Government by Arturo Tolentino
3. Outline of Philippine Government by Ernesto D. Bohol
4. Outline of Philippine History and Government by Enriquez
5. History of the Philippines by Benitez
6. The Filipino Way of Life by Camilo Osias
7. The Philippine Revolution by Teodoro Kalaw
8. Philippine Saga – A Pictorial History of the Archipelago Since Time Began by Prof. H. Otley Beyer and Prof. Jaime C. de Veyra
9. Philippine History and Civilization by Zaide
10. History of the Philippines from the British to the Present by G. Zaide

These books can be found in the Batangas South Elem. School Library.

I. Works of Mr. Lazaro Mercado:
1. Bantugan (Translation)
2. Pusong Wasak
3. Ang Konduktor
4. Tagumpay ng Dakilang Pagmamahal
5. Nasawing Pagibig
6. Dakiliang Kaibigan
1. Bunso Ko
2. Nalimot Mo na Ba?
1. Mutya ng Gintong Masa
2. Mga Pusong Dakila
3. Martir na Babae
1. Dapat Bagang Makipagkalakalan ang Pilipinas sa Hapon?
2. Dapat Bagang Sundin ang Magulang sa Pagpili ng Kasintahan?
II. Works of Mr. Francisco Atienza
1. Maling Himala
2. Bisa ng Matuwid
3. Bunga Ng Pagkainggit
4. Madugong Kasalanan

[p. 35]

5. Nang Naghiganti ang Pari
6. Nagbayad Ang May-utang
7. Mga Purong Matiisin
8. Mahiwagang Luha
9. Bangkay Ng Mga Taksil
10. Pagot Na Pagasa
11. Nakamatay Na Larawan
12. Sino Ang Dapat Sisihin?
13. Sa Laut Ng Buhay
14. Sa Dati Ring Landas
15. Ikinasal Na Birhin
16. Nabigong Kaligayahan


1. Hikbi ng Sanggol
2. Ang Pasko
3. Ako Man Ay Nahirag
4. Kung Bakit Ko Mahal Si Ina
5. Ako'y Magsasaka
6. Ang Buhay Ng Tao

7. Ang Sipag
8. Ang Tunay Na Bulaklak
9. Ang Tunay Na Tao
10. Ang Pasko Ng Mahirap
11. Ibigin Ang Sarili
12. Paaralan - Sa Pagpipinid Mo

The above poems and plays are in manuscript form and they are in the possession of the author.

Works of Mr. Magno Buenafe:


1. Banaag na Laya
2. Takipsilim Na Maliwanag
3. Nasaan Ka Irog
4. Ng Muling Magbalik
5. Dugo ng Dugo
6. Patawad
7. Sa Lumang Libingan

8. Luha! Luha! Luha!
9. Nagdilim Sa Katanghalian
10. Pagkatapos ng Hirap
11. Ako ang May Sala
12. Sa Libis ng Nayon
13. Ang Simoy ng Hangin sa Kaparan
14. Lihim ng Isang Ina

The above plays are in manuscript form and the author has them.

Works of Mr. Jacinto Borbon:


1. Parusa at Awa
2. Nabigong Pag-asa
3. Hindi na Nagisip
4. Mabuhay ang Paaralan
5. Tatlong Bituin
6. Bunga ng Nalantang Bulaklak
7. Kwintas ng Ginto
8. Mga Ulila
9. Mangangawil sa Natihan
10. Mahalagang Hiyas
11. Mga Purong Dakila
12. Taga Pagligtas
13. Patama-tama
14. Sa Dalawang Landisin
15. Mga Labi ng Panahon
16. Tiklog at Bukas na Kasaysayan
17. Laging Laan
18. Balong Dalaga
19. Dakilang Kayamanan
20. Dakilang Kasaysayan
21. Nalantang Bulaklak
22. Enginiatis
23. Mga Buko ng Panahon
24. Mga Labi ng Digmaan

These plays are in manuscript form and they are at present in the possession of the author.


Notes and references:
Transcribed from “History and Cultural Life of the Poblacion (Batangas Town),” 1953, online at the National Library of the Philippines Digital Collections.
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