MUNICIPALITY OF MAGSINGAL, History and Cultural Life of, Part II - Philippine Historical Data MUNICIPALITY OF MAGSINGAL, History and Cultural Life of, Part II - Philippine Historical Data

MUNICIPALITY OF MAGSINGAL, History and Cultural Life of, Part II

Municipality of Magsingal



About these Historical Data

[p. 11]

be left for at least one day. When the clay is loose, it is smashed by their hands until the grain is very fine. Then, rice bran is mixed very well with this clay. This will make the articles very durable.

The third thing to do is to mold and to shape the clay into stoves and clay rings. Upon looking at the process, it seems that it [is] very easy, but actually it is very hard. It really requires experience and skill to know the technique and art. It needs several days to complete a set of stoves and clay rings because they wait for the little drying of the unfinished articles to go on with the other steps and finishing touches of each article. When the shape and form are finished, they are dried under the shade for several days.

The last step is to burn the finished articles. They need dry hay and dry cow and carabao manure for this purpose. The finished articles are placed and piled a little bit far from the homes. Between each article, they put hay or dry cow or carabao manure so that all parts will be burned. They burn this pile at night. In the morning, the articles are already red, which shows that the burning is well done. The articles are sure to be durable and they are ready to be sold or exported to other places.

Mr. Tomas Soliven

[p. 12]


It was [a] moonlit night. The sky was clear, so that the bright and twinkling stars were very visible in the sky. Grandmother and her grandchildren used to play on the porch of their house where they could view the moon shining brightly.

"Go to sleep now, my dears, so that you will grow faster," said Grandmother.

The children used to hear stories from her. They expected another story at that moment.

"Would you tell another story, Grandmother, before we go to sleep? Before we go to bed, we would like to hear one story," said the children.

Because she wanted them to go to bed soon, she began the story. Here was the story she told to the children:

In the days of old, in Bussawit Hill, a hill just a kilometer south of the poblacion of Magsingal, there lived a giant whose name was Aran. He was greatly feared by the people because he would devour anyone whom he could snatch from anyone passing on the road. So, people passing by would observe absolute quietness.

The giant lived in a deep and wide cave near the summit of the hill. He was always looking for a chance to catch a person, and when he could do so, he would carry him to his cave and devour him very easily because he was a big giant. The people could do nothing to challenge him. They were very afraid of him because they believed that he could do powerful and supernatural things. It was hopeless to plan for his destruction.

Not long, the Americans came. They heard the stories of Aran. They wanted to eliminate what the people feared

[p. 13]

and so, they planned to kill him. The Americans took their guns and went up the hill cautiously. They surprised the giant in his cave so that as soon as the giant came out, they shot him. The giant roared furiously and it took several bullets to riddle his body to cause his death.

People were very happy to hear the news of his death. At first, the people could not believe, but when it was verified by the Americans, the people flocked to the hill to see the cave. They were surprised to see that there were many bones of human beings as evidence that he had eaten many people.

The children listened to the story very well that they forgot their sleep. The grandmother led them to their bed and went to sleep.

Mr. Tomas Soliven

[p. 14]


Gamblers the world over are nototorious for their superstitious beliefs. To predict for him whether he would be lucky at the cockpit or not are the following.

Some signs are considered good omens by the cockfighters.

(a) When a gambler is on his way to the cockpit and meets a lizard, it is a sign that he will lose his last centavo. He turns back home cursing the green reptile.

(b) When called by a woman (a cockfighter) or meets a female, especially a pregnant woman, he is sure to lose in the cockpit.

When a cat cleans his feet and faces the stairs, the owner of the house is expecting a visitor.

When we are cooking and the fire makes a noise, then we expect a visitor.

When women are cooking a new kind of rice, they are not sure whether it will turn out to be watery or uncooked. In case of the latter, some women swiftly place banana leaves on top of the rice during the last stage of the cooking, others sprinkle salt on the embers.

When a woman is pregnant and takes a walk at night, she brings with her salt and hangs her hair on her shoulders.

When a pregnant woman sits at the door, she will have a difficult delivery.

In a wedding party, if the bridegroom and bride are approaching the stairs, they throw rice at them so that they will have a prosperous life.

When the parents cry (parents of the bridegroom and bride) in the wedding party, it is a sign of bad luck

[p. 15]

to the couple.

When a house lizard falls and dies near a sick person, the person will also die.

When children fly their kites before harvest season, the harvest will not be good, but if they play "top," then the harvest will be fruitful.

Mrs. Segundina L. Vega


When one laughs while sleeping, it is a sign that his mother or father is going to die.

When there is an eclipse, all females who are in the family way should call a celbulario [probably a typo] or quack doctor and have their hair washed, or else they will meet bad luck in delivering.

If a plate or glass is broken during a wedding party, the couple will meet bad luck in the future.

When somebody is seriously ill, and a house lizard makes a sound at the ceiling, the patient is going to die very soon.

If a woodpecker shouts over or around your house, a near relative is going to die.

If you dream that you are wearing white clothes, sooner or later, you will get married.

If you plant a "lugo" tree near your house and the roots will go under the house, you will get T.B.

If you bathe a cat, there will be a storm.

If you go out at night and lose your way, invert your dress and you will find your way.

When there is an earthquake between 1:00 - 12:00

[p. 16]

a.m., heavy rain is coming, but when the earthquake occurs between 1:00 to 12:00 p.m., there is going to be rain, thus plants will suffer.

When you cut your finger or any part of your body is bruised or wounded during the three days of "kiring," that cut or wound will not get well for a long time.

Chicken and squash mixed together will cause leprosy if you eat it.

If a mother hen crows, a lady from the direction it faces will be disgraced.

When you hear animals like cows, carabaos and sheep make noise at New Year's Eve, the harvest of the year is not good.

When rice plants are bearing fruit and the children fly kites, the harvest is not going to be good. But if they play the top, then the harvest is going to be good.

It is bad to cut your nails on Friday, Tuesday and Monday, because something will grow at the sides of your fingers if you do.

If you dream that you have been attending parties or that your front teeth have been pulled accidentally, a very good relative of yours is going to die.

Suppose you are going to the cockpit or you are going to collect credits and you meet a person who is on the family way, or a person in black dress, you better not go because it is a sign of bad luck.

If you dream that a man has been stabbing you, very soon, you will have a suitor.

Miss Martina D. Tadena

[p. 17]


The Filipinos are very superstitious. They have so many beliefs handed [down] from generation to generation. In nearly all sorts of work, there is a certain belief connected with it.

When a man wishes to get married, the old folks consult the calendar. They fix the date for the betrothal and the wedding. They see to it that the day must fall on a lucky day, that is, when the moon is still young or before the full moon, so that the couple will be prosperous. Tuesday and Friday are considered unlucky and no wedding has ever been set on those two days.

Before the old men go down to ask for the girl's hand, they send someone to scout that no woman could be met on the way, especially if she is pregnant, for they can surely encounter difficulties in obtaining the consent of the girl's parents.

Brothers or sisters should not marry within the same year because to do so will bring bad luck or death to the family. When a young sister or brother marries before her elders, the older sisters or brothers will have a hard time to get married or they will remain bachelors or maids.

During the celebration, the newlyweds should keep paa [this part is unclear] in ascending the stairs, in sitting on the chairs or table so that they will always have a happy, peaceful life. They are met with two lighted candles at the top of the stairs and are given a shower of rice because this will bring prosperity and happiness to the home.

In the erection of a house, the old folks are not much concerned with the ideal lighting, ventilation and

[p. 18]

plan of the house but the superstitious beliefs related.

We also believe in ghosts and evil spirits as "kibaen," "katataw-an," and "pugot." We fear them very much because many incurable diseases and even deaths are caused by displeasing or provoking their anger. Sickness caused by these spirits cannot be cured by doctors, and the use of medicine from the drugstore will only make it worse. Quack doctors, known as "baglan," are usually consulted in these cases, and the cure is mostly offerings known [as] "panyang" to appease the anger of the spirits.

The evil spirits are said to haunt tall trees, especially the bangar tree, springs, and thickets. When you get near these haunted places, you should say "bari-bari dica agtagtagari," meaning keep still. Before splashing water under your porch, you should say "dayo dayo" or "cayo cayo." They do this to warn the spirits, the "kibaan," to get away. Failure to give this warning may hurt the kibaan and, the next day, you or your children will have sore eyes or skin disease.

When frightened, we should say "come, come" or "intan intan," lest your spirit will leave your body. [A] Symptom of this is weakness and [a] sleepless night. The best cure of this sickness is called the "mannaco" or the "mangud-odong," one who can call back the spirit lost.

Ghosts and spirits are very much feared. They also make one sick. [The] Symptoms are faintings, cold perspiration, soft ears and yawing [probably "yawning"]. Patients are usually beaten with leaves of atis, guavas or marungay. They also call the favorite of the dead to shod [probably "leave"] the patient's body and head. Sometimes, they burn the pot holder "nisnis" and the palm leaves used during Palm Sunday.

[p. 19]

There are other superstitious beliefs common in other towns. However, nowadays, these old supertitions are not believed by the educated people.
Miss Cristeta Udarbe

[p. 20]


He who doesn't work shall not eat.
If there is a will, there is a way.
United we stand, divided we fall.
Barking dogs seldom bite.
Still waters run deep.
If you don't plant something, you'll not reap anything.
Tell me your companions and I'll tell you who you are.
Borrowed clothes are either tight or loose.
Patience is the key to success.
The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.
A fish who eats everything is easily baited.
Even [eat?] any kind of grass if it is the thing that the stomach accepts.
The grass is useless if there is no horse to eat [it].
It is useless to be finding if a companion is the one stealing.
Do not do unto others what you don't [want] to be done to you.
Never put off till tomorrow what you can do today.
Love conquers all.
Kind words melt a hard heart.
A stitch in time saves nine.
If the sun does not shine on Saturday during the rainy days, then it is a sign of continuous rainy days.
Tomato a day drives the doctor away.
An owner [ounce] of prevention is better than an ounce of cure.
Honesty is the best policy.
Easily caught, easily lost.

[p. 21]

It is better to be late than never.
When you are in Rome, do as the Romans do.
Simplicity adds to beauty.
If they throw you [a] stone, throw them bread.
Mrs. Aurea A. Fariñas
Mrs. Leocadia O. Tipon

[p. 22]


Don't marry a handsome abogado nor a cabo but marry a kusinero who will give you adobo.
He who seeks, finds.
Correct practice makes practice [probably "perfect"]
Knowledge is power.
He who shall not work shall not eat.
There is no time like the present.
Hunger is the best sauce.
Work is a gold mine.
El tiempo es oro — Time is money.
Tomorrow is the home of never.
Deeds are better than words.
Clothes do not make the man.
Haste makes waste.
Slow but sure.
He who rises early has an additional hour of activity and progress in work.
He who goes slowly with care does two things at the same time.
"Poco" a "Poco" se va lejos — Make haste slowly.
A man with a crooked career never ends well.
Do good to all men.
Knowledge is better than riches.
Better late than never.
Silence is golden.
One gift is worth two promises.
New year, new life.
Lost time can never be recovered.
[A] Rolling stone gathers no moss.
Think first before you strike any creature that cannot speak.
Miss Vicenta Oandasan


Transcribed from:
Folklore Stories, Proverbs, Superstitious Beliefs, Stories of Great Men, and how the Barrios of Magsingal and the Town of Magsingal Got Their Names, 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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