MUNICIPALITY OF TAYUM, Historical Data Part IV - Philippine Historical Data MUNICIPALITY OF TAYUM, Historical Data Part IV - Philippine Historical Data


Municipality of Tayum



About these Historical Data

[p. 28]

dishes, and spread out as for an ordinary dinner with guests. Some coconut, cigars, and betel-nut "ma-ma" are also to be presented. When set, the sorcano will take a "dinca" (tapis), wave it against the four cardinal directions calling, "Umaycayon,..." Gathering into a ball the "dinoa," he places it at the head of the feast. No talking is permitted until the feast is cold. If this is done in the house, a piece of meat and some rice is put into a coconut shell and placed behind the door for the "pilay" and "bulsec" who will be ashamed to eat together with the rich sprits. The meat will then be re-cooked with spices and salt and eaten by those present. If the sickness is caused only by fatigue, overwork, [or] bad nutrition, the patient will ordinarily get well after partaking of the meat.

Other offerings to spirits consist of a plate of sticky rice set on a bamboo woven plate like a cone, and on top of the cone is placed an egg, hard boiled and cleaned, to which is added a cigar, some "ma-ma" and a piece of cloth, all of which are set up on a bamboo stand at the entrance io the village. This is very seldom seen now.

4. CAIBAAN or Dwarfs

People believe that the anthill "bonton" is the home of little people called "Caibaan." Children are forbidden to go near the "bonton" lest they touch any of the things of these unseen little people and they get sores. When children get sores, parents bring them to a woman, supposed to be a friend of the Caibaan, and with water and the leaves of a bush called "agbaggotot" (one bearing black berries the size of a bean), would wash the sores or "gaddil" until they get well. Sometimes, it is necessary to offer these Caibaan an offering consisting of oil, tobacco, betel nut, and whatever the "friend" likes. In the morning after offering these, the oil is taken to be applied to the sores.


In erecting the corner post of a house, some owners put in money in the hole before cementing the post. This may be like the cornerstone they place in permanent buildings.

As soon as the floor is finished, the carpenters and the family eat at least one meal on the new floor. In case an accident happens before such a meal is eaten in the new building, the project will be discontinued.

And when the whole house will be finished, a dance will be held on the new floor, and this is the "padap-or."


Lightning, said to be the sparks of the flint of Angngalo, [who] was believed not to strike a house where vinegar was kept in open dishes.

Thunder was told to the children as the sound Angngalo made when he rolled stones in the riverbed above.

Rain was called "isbo ni Angngalo," and it looked like it if the rain passéd over a roof of cogon.

[p. 29]

The appearance of a Comet was an omen announcing war or pestilence. The Halley's Comet that was visible in Tayum for many nights in 1910 was the biggest one ever seen. But World War I did not begin until 1914 and it was felt in the Philippines only in 1917.

Eggs under roost when there is an earthquake are supposed not to hatch into healthy chicks. Hence after an earthquake, eggs are all sold.

A sneeze ("ba-en"} of a person, worse still if it be a pig, in front of a person is supposed to announce danger where that person is going. If the sneeze is behind, especially when repeated, it means "Go!"

A snake or any black bird, as the crow, crossing the path from right to left, indicates some trouble ahead. But if a snake coming from the opposite direction meets a merchant, the merchant considers it good fortune.

Gamblers do not like to give off tips when they go to their joints. It is considered bad luck if one gives away a part of the money he brings with him to the joint.

Fishermen think that if they first meet a man on the way to the river, they will get much; but if a woman or a girl, bad luck.

Expecting guests is one of those commonly connected with omens. It is a known fact that Ilocanos and natives here are very hospitable. One always hears the invitaton "Mangantayo!" (let's eat) when we visit someone eating. And they mean it if you will gladly partake of what they have. But if the guest is rich, something special must be prepared. The following omens are considered reliable for such occasions.

If the fire in the stove spurts while cooking, expect new guests.

If the cat wipes its face with its paws, expect rich guests, (The believers in this omen do not consider the fact that a cat always wipes its mouth, and is pointed as an example for children to follow.)

The following song expresses announcements of guests:

"Tec-Tec" cona diay saltec diay siroc ti bautec. "Apo adda can cumangpet"
"Cac-cac" cona diay cannaway diay siroc ti catuday. "Apoaddacan sumangbay TEKTEK," says the house lizard staying under the bamboo walls.
"Madam, it says there will come some guests which are women."

a sangaili a ba-baket,
a sangaili a lal-lacay.

CAK-CAK says the heron "Under the catuday" tree; "Sir, there will come to our house, guests who are men."


The natives and the people of the past generations were more a singing people than those of today. Out in the open fields, while riding on the carabao, paddling the raft downstream, or keeping watch over the cornfields or rice fields

[p. 30]

which are ripening, one always heard someone here, someone there, singing as if answering each other. These antiquated songs are now forgoften in these times of phonographs and radios. A few of these "songs of old" are quoted here.

Song of the Frog

Gak, galigaligak.
Agrudoca ta agdigosac.
Aglayusca ta aglangovao.
Gak, gali-gali-gak.
(English Translation)
Gak, gali-gali-gak.
Rain so I can take a bath.
Flood, so I can swim.
Gak, gali-gali-gak.
1. Kitaem cad diay bituen, Nagsinamar ti nasileng. Adda pay casil-si-
2. Kitaem cad diay bulan, Nagsinamar ti narangrang, Adda pay narangrang —
3. Kitaem cad diay init, Nagsinamar ti nasakit, Adda pay nasac-sa-
Leng, Tay balasang nga ic-Culibeng,
Rang, Tay balasang nga io-Caoayan.
Kit, Tay baba-I nga is-Sinait.
1. Oh, look at the Star,
Its rays are shiny. There's one more shiny, The lady is Culibeng.
NOTE: Culibeng is in Tayum
2. Oh look at the moon,
Its rays are bright,
There is one brighter,
The lady in Caoayan.
NOTE: Ladies and other people from Caoayan, Ilocos Sur, go to Abra every year to harvest.
3. Oh, look at the sun,
Its rays are painful,
The woman in Sinait.
NOTE: Sinait is far away from Tayum. For one fo marry so far away from home was looked upon with scorn.

ASI PAY DI CABSATCO — Note the local color of the song

1. Asi pay di cabsatco A naala nga soldado
2/ Marba coma diay bantay Ta magaburan diay baybay
Napan nagararciaio Diay paraangan ti palacio,
Ta barent makitac pay Di cabsatco no dipay natay.

[p. 31]

1. Oh pity my brother, "He was conscripted to the army,"
He went marching on drills * In front of the palace.
2. I wish the mountains (that separate Abra from Vigan) would fall down
and cover the sea * Hoping to see * My brother if he's not yet dead.
It will be noted that the native old songs used only a five-note scale and were nearly all the same strain, sentimental music, even a comic song as the following song which can be sung to this melody:
Ay adi, adi balasang, O sweet, sweet lady,
Ibagbagamto man ah ken ni inam,
No cayatnac a manugang,
Ta cayatco nga catugangan.
Please tell your mother some time
If he likes me for a son-in-law.
For | like her my mother-in-law.
Nabayag din nga inay-ayatca, I loved you long time already
Ta sabongca a naipangpangrona;
Ala cadin aginnayatta
No mayatca inta agassawa,
For you are a flower so rare;
Oh please let's love each other
And if you like we shall marry,
. . . . . . . . . .
No sagaysaymo ading, nataraki A comb for you, ading, how nice:
Nacalupcupan ti buronci,
Nagngipen ti sinan ragadi,
Nagtampoc ti bato ti pingki.
It is covered with bronze,
It has teeth like the saw,
And encrusted with flint stone.
Tinto met ading aritosmo And for your earrings, ading,
A bitinbitin dayta lapayagmo,
Cacaisuna nga iduldulinco;
Tay maymaysa unay a candado.
Which will hang from your ears,
There is some keepsake I'm keeping
That is only one "candado" (a lock).
Adda met, ading, pagcuentasmo, You'll also have a neckchain, dear,
A mabayagen nga iduldulinco;
Nabayagen nga inur-urnongco
Dagitay dongdong nga limapulo.
That I've been keeping a long time.
It took me long to gather together
Fifty big "dongdong" (pots) for beads.
Dica maringgoran ti curusmo Don't bother what cross you'll get
A bitinbitin dayta cuentasmo
Dua nga aldaw ni Apo Gorrio
A nangsanggap tay dua nga toroso.
Which will hang from your necklace,
For it took Apo Gorrio two days
To make a cross out of two big logs.
. . . . .
Into met, ading, no aganactan,
. . . . .
And when we shall have a child, dear,
Iti bunga ti ayan-ayattan,
Adalantanto a di badbaduan
Ta di maan-ano tay urbon ti nuang.
Which will be the fruit of our love;
We shall teach him not to wear clothes
That it will be healthy as the colt.


Each generation has another set of love songs. The songs of old were sentimental in tune and in expressions. The love songs now are the song hits learned from phonographs and the radio and retaught by note to those who are not yet biessed to have such modern music makers in the home.


The old people used to sing songs with words of double meaning, and they sang them in times of merry making and usually under the influence of "basi." They are not fit to be preserved, so better omit them all.

[p. 32]


During the Lenten Season, one hears singing groups in many houses. The Passion of Our Lord written in verses and stanzas of almost equal length fit into more than two time-honored sorrowful melodies that can be sung into voices by many people. The hook known as "pasion" is the Life of Our Lord Jesus Christ translated by an Ilocano native of Batac, and edited by an Augustinian and published by the Santo Tomas University Press.

Another set of songs is one called "Sudario." It is supposed to be the "dung-aw" {mourning) of Our Blessed Lady on the death of her Son. The author and origin is not known, and the copies are only copied — before by hand, and lately by typewriter or mimeographed. Hence there are variations.

One typical "Ilocano" song during Lent is the "Lectio." The liturgical lessons from the writings of Prophet Jeremias are sung outside of the church services in different tunes. In houses where the Lectio is sung, there is surely served some binubudan (a form of fermented rice) or coffee. The song is usually sung in Latin, although others sing it in Ilocano, but it seems to be a most popular Lenten song in Ilocandia.

When novena prayers are said in private homes, almost all people join n the "Virgen Divino" (in Spanish) which are interspersed with the decades of the Holy Rosary, and in the "Gozos," which tell of the glory of the saint. Novenas usually end in a song called "Alabado."

Christmas songs are sung by groups singing from house to house from Christmas to [the] Epiphany. Those singing groups usually receive a present, as money, rice, eggs, chickens, tobacco, etc. from the owner of the house.


The story of the Legendary Hero "Lam-ang" was also known here and sung by some minstrels of old. Since the story mentions the Amburayan River as the principal place of the exploits, the song was not of local origin.

Other songs known as "Sarzuelas," which are usually sung by two — a handsome young man and a beautiful young woman — in family feasts as an interlude to the dancing, have all come mostly from Ilocos Sur. Among the most popular were the "Pamulinawen," which almost all Ilocanos of the older generation sang; the "Por Dios, ca Pipi...," the "Dungdungoencanto unay, unay * Inindayonencantot sinamay,"; the "Manang Biday, tumamdagca man..." popularized by the recording of Leon Pichay's excellent singing; the "Agtaltalon ti cagagapumi * Paluero met ti pangguedanmi..." popular just in the transition period between the river rafts to the buses now carrying passengers between Bangued and Vigan. All were imported.

There were old people gifted with the art of making poetry at "impromptu" occasions. They either sang their verses to a tune known as "agverso" or in deciamation style known as "daniw."

Many local composers made only adaptations of songs already known or put in new words to popular tunes. One ingenious poet produced a song glorifying good spinsters. That was TATA PIO in the song BABBAKET. The

[p. 33]

author, not knowing how to read notes, asked the young musician, Mr. Macario Alvernio (now dead), to write the melody for him; and in that way it was preserved to this day. The presentation of the song in action met with great applause in many of the colleges under the Holy Ghost Sisters.


BARO, Manang Biday tumamdagcaman, D'ta ventana icalumbabam,
Takitaem toy kinayawam, Matayen no dime caasian.
BIDAY, Siasinnoca Nga agbasaobasac, D'tajardinco a minuyo ngac?
Ammom ngarud a balasangac, Sabong ti Lirio di pay nagucrad.
LACAY, Disdinnovs Nga aglabaslabas Dita jardin a minuyongac?
Pumanawcan, dica agtactac, Ta dicanto ket di matagtagbat!
BAKET, Ay, lacay, dica agcasta; Ta pungtotmo epepem; ala!
Tacadawyan ti baro dayta, Bumatog batog, dimacataina.
Sica, Biday, inca ipudno
No aniana ti gandatyo?
Itoy baro a sisasango,
Tapno ammomit' cananakemyo.
Ti panggepco, Ama, napudno,
Ken ni Biday puon toy biagco;
Incario a dungdungoeoto
Nga ingganat' tungpal toy biagco.
Ay, Tatang, pacawanennae,
Ta diac ammo, naicawaac.
"Kitaento," castat kinonac;
Ngem ta met fa cunam ti sursurotac.
Ala ngarud, agrubbuatcayon!
Dagitay sab-ong saganaenyon:
No mano cadissot' talon,
Taburretes, vaca, ken tacong.
Nay, Baro, umasidegca man
Ta incam kenca panecnecan,
No pudno ti incam mangegan
A panggepmo itoy balasang?
Intay amin a padapada,
Paragsaken ti panagboda
Dagitoy dua nga annacta
Satay to agsala ti La Jota.


"BURTIA" is the Ilocano for puzzles as well as for riddles. Simple ones are expressed in only one or two sentences. Here are one-sentence riddles.

1. Agpbitbitin nga uging, (Hanging charcoal.)
2. Agpbitbitin a lagangan. (Hanging pot rest.)
3. Agbithitin nga iwet. (Hanging eel.)
Longboy fruit
The following are two-sentence riddles:
4. Balay ni Santa Inis
Napunno ti batbatonis.
House of St. Agnes
Full of buttons.

[p. 34]

5. Balay ni Santa Ana,
Napunno ti carcaramba.
House of St. Anne,
Filled with jars.
6. Agtugtugaw diay anacna,
Agdurdur-as ni inana.
The child is sitting,
The mother is still crawling.
7. Agsabong, uneg ti lubong;
Agbunga, uneg ti daga.
It blooms in the world;
It bears fruit inside the earth.
8. No umulog dutdutan,
No umulin castilan.
Going down it's hairy,
When it goes up it's Spanish white.

Suggestive riddles:

9. ASIN asino ngata
Tay nagsurong a señora?
Ammom, ammom ngata
Ta na ipasco nga imbaga.
"Asin" is shortened “Asino” (Who)
Who is that lady who came up river?
For I've already told you. ASIN (salt)
It is "Tibur" (urn) but not a jar.
10. TIBUR, di met burnay;
CIO, di met bugaw.
It is "Tibur" (urn) but not a jar;
"Cio" but not to drive chickens away.

Here is a three-verse riddle:

11. Payac ti culibangbang;
Polvos ti balasang;
Puso ti baro.
Wing of butterfly;
Powder of lady,
Heart of a young man.
(The betel leaf
The areca nut
and the lime.)
- Mama (Betel nut)
Some are gifted with [the] ability to make riddles. One of them was Tata Pio (Don Pio Balamaceda y Belmonte), whose riddles were published in the magazine "Amigo del Pueblo," 1916 Oroquieta, Manila, in 1931.
Aniat bunga a cas tabas ti cajita?
Nagbuoc ti cas la siit ti ukisna;
Bukelnat panirbien, pangbaliw ti kita
Tapno maisurot ti kinalabbasitna.
What is the fruit like a wallet?
Its rind has hair like thorns;
Its seed is useful for coloring
To become like its color red.
- Achuete (For coloring food.)
Maysa a bunga a kitanat' nalabbasit
Caparis ti butinggan a tamatis:
Ti cayona agramut managsaringit,
Ti ubet ti bungana cas nagbotonis.
It is a red fruit like the small
variety of tomatoes;
Its trunk has roots that sprout
And its fruit has like a button.
- Mansanita


In 1934, Hon. Lino Molina published in a pamphlet entitled "Aoid oenno Daan a Pagsasaotayo” a collection of Ilocano Proverbs. Here are some of them:
1. No cayatmo ti maisalacan,
Ti bilin ti Dios inca agtungpal.
If you like to be saved,
Obey the commandments of God.
2. Nasaysayaat ti agulimec,
ngem ti agsaol' dakes.
Better be silent
Than to use bad words.
3. Ti awid nga "intono cua ken dica pay"
Agsabong biig a liday,
Aghbungat biig a paay.
The habit of "By and By"
Blooms in all sorrow
And bears no fruit.

[p. 35]

4. Ti pili a pili
macapilit tacki.
Who tries to select (minutely) discriminately
Usually selects the worst.
5. Ti agcawes ti saanna a cucua
iti dalan labusanda.
Who wears not his own clothes
May be unclothed in the road.
6. Ti kinabacnang nalaca a masapulan;
ti nasaysat a nakem, saan.
Riches is easy to find,
But goodwill, not.
7. No sigsiguden ti ag-Siñor,
awan ti adu nga dunor.
One who asks pardon early,
Does not get many wounds.
8. Ti adda a oadawyan,
narigat nga idianan.
What is already a habit
Is hard to forget.
9. Uray marba toy barco,
no di la ket mabuong toy suaco.
Even if the boat is wrecked, if my
Pipe be not destroyed.
10. Tisao, isu tirupa. Your word is your face.

It will be noted that the above are distinctively Ilocano in origin.

The URBANIDAD was a pamphlet containing rules of good conduct, but it also contained proverbs. It was arranged in stanzas of four verses each. Very few copies of that pamphlet (can be found) still exist.

Dagiti dumngeg ti sermon
Isuda ti ayan ti bunobon;
Rumusing, agbungadanton,
Paluomda nga agnanayon.
Who listens to sermons
Are those who have seed,
They sprout and bear fruit,
An everlasting treasure.
Tata Pio published this in the Amio del Pueblo for 1932, on page 327.


Tunggal Tao annong ken rebbengna unay, agayat iti llina cas maipaay;
Ti Tao nga agayat iti llina, nadayaw ken nadalus ti panagbiagna;
Ti Tao nga addaan Daya a cuna, di manaor ket ti Tacaw caariecna;
Ti Tao nga sidadalus nga agbiag, agbutent iti Dios ket di agpalangguad;
Ti Tao nga agbuteng ken Apo Dios, amin a panagayatna sidadalus;
Ti Tao nga managan natalingenngen, contribucionnat lli dina utangen;
Ti Tao nga managan iti nasudi, amin a linteg dinanto masupadi.
Ti makipagili nga nasingpet, awantot maipabasol a cumpet.
No aniaman ti wangel ti lli, itedmo ta pigsam, inca ipatli.
No pumatayca ti gagemmo, iti llim awan panagayatmo.
Ti Tao nga agayat iti llina, dinanto liputan ti cailianna.
Here are some sayings worth remembering:
1. No tarong ti agbunga, tarong met la ti bungana
The same as "As the father is, so is the son."
2. Ti tao a mairurumen, ni Apo Dios ti manaraken.
Divine Providence takes of those who suffer persecution.

[p. 36]

3. No masapa ti cuycuyem, awan tudot ti malem.
A very early plan will result in nothing.


Playing cards locally known as "Innipis" have always been popular.

Among the younger ones, they play "sinnunggo," which is a kind of pairing equal numbers until one who holds the card whose pair was hidden, is proclaimed the "Sunggo." This receives some form of punishment.

A favorite among young men and young women is the "Tres-siete," and one could hear the gaily pronounced "Do" when a partner holds the killer.

The older people who wish to make use of their calculating powers resort to games known as "Borro" and "Pangguinggue."

With the introduction of the American Playing cards, young people now play "Ramie," "Black Jack," etc.

The plays known as "Monte" are no recreations but pure gambling.

Roosler Fighting is traditional and seems not to abate yet in its role of giving a pastime to men. To those who would abolish cockfighting on the plea that it is unkindness to animals, it could be shown that it is more humane than to bet on humans in knockdown boxing contests. And having the rooster in the home, reminds one of the time of cooking food or of starting to work in the fields, for the cock crows at regular intervals or at regular hours of the day. It serves as a timepiece.

Tag games as "Sampedro" or blindfolded games as "Tambocaro" are still resorted to on moonlight nights. The hide and seek called "Linnemmeng" or the newer version known as "Priket" or "Sit-sit-Bong" are very popular on cool afternoons or moonlit nights.

The game called Jumping the Spike or, in Ilocano, "Linnayaw," which is jumping over the stretched paims of two children, is no more popular. Children prefer to jump playing the "Picco" with many varying rules and outlines of the "home," but still the same hop and jump game. With the boys, they like to play marbles. In the past generation, thal was called the game of "corriendo." Boys still play "Tarampo" and "Yo-yo" but no more "Bal-logo" and "batecubre."

Dancing among the older generations was more pleasure seeking than lovemaking. Where one now sees partners almost walking breast to breast and engaged in conversation on the dance floor, the dances of old permitted the least possible time for conversations for their sprightly steps and movements. The "Dos Pasos" and "Chutis" (Azotes) were jumpings and whirlings. The Waltz and the Two-Step that came later allowed no leisure on the dance floor, but always on the move and on the whirl.

There were demonstration dances. Foremost of them were the "Fandanggo" and the "La Jota," which were danced with only one pair on the floor at any single time.

There were square dances. No dance ever commenced before one of these square dances opened the floor to dancing. A more complicated one was

[p. 37]

called "Lanceros." The "Rigodon de Honor," which still opens many of the dances in Malacañan Palace, was very popular until the first quarter of this century, when the so called jazz and one-steps came in vogue. A dance known as "Virginia" is the "Virginia Reel" of the Americans. The dance was very popular in Spanish times. There are other square dances, but those named were the only ones known here.

People of old sometimes spent their evenings spinning cotton together. They called that "Agaaring nga mambi."

While the others were engaged in working in groups, others enjoyed their moonlit evenings telling stories, solving riddles, or singing.


The time of the day is told by the following expressions:
Capamindua ti manoc ti agtaraoc.
Parbangon nga adalem.
Rumuar ti init.
Macatangcayag ti Init
Manectec. Tengnga ti Aldaw.
Agdlisay ti init.
Sumirsirayap ni Apo Init.
Lumnec ti init.
Napipia a rabii.
Tengnga ti rabii.
Bigat. Aldaw. Malem.
The second crowing of the roosters.
Very early morn.
Early morn.
Sun gone up the sky. About 10:00 a.m.
Sun past the noon hour.
At about the setting of the sun.
Late in the night. About 10:00 p.m.
Morning. Day or Noon. Afternoon.
The phases of the moon are expressed as follows:
Agragilaud ti bulan.
Agtagindaya ti bulan.
Dua ti kel-lapnan.
No moon at all. (New Moon)
The first night after the new moon.
About the first quarter.
Full moon.
Aboutthe last quarter.
The second night after the full moon.
Distances were expressed as follows:
Sangadangan - the distance from tip of thumb to tip of middle finger.
Sangapatammudo - the distance from tip of painting finger to tip of thumb.
Sangaagpa - the distance from tip of right hand to tip of left hand when stretched sideways. "Deppa" is to stretch arms sideways.
Sangaanet — ten "agpa." The common measure of rope locally made.
The words VARA, YARDA (yard), METROS (meter), KILOMETRO, LEGUA, PIE (foot) are of foreign origin and are now the standard measurements.


Transcribed from:
History and Cultural Life of the Municipality of Tayum, online at the National Library of the Philippines Digital Collections. The pagination in this transcription is as they appear in the original document.
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