MUNICIPALITY OF CALAYAN (CAGAYAN), History and Cultural Data of Part 2 - Philippine Historical Data MUNICIPALITY OF CALAYAN (CAGAYAN), History and Cultural Data of Part 2 - Philippine Historical Data

MUNICIPALITY OF CALAYAN (CAGAYAN), History and Cultural Data of Part 2

Municipality of Calayan, Cagayan Province



About these Historical Data

[p. 9]


MYTHS - (See "The Legend of Nagpandayan Mountain")
1. All people believe in life after death.
2. Prayers must always be said for the dead, otherwise, he will not reach heaven.
3. People believe in the strength of the family solidary to attain family success.
4. People believe in the value of human life. (It may be interesting to note that during the last twenty years that the writer stayed in Calayan, there has not been any case of homicide or murder, except one which was committed during the wary.)
1. When white feathery clouds are in the sky, fine weather is coming.
2. When the sun sinks and it passes behind a streak of cloud before reaching the horizon, bad weather is approaching.
3. When waves dash over the stone about a mile at sea south of the town, a typhoon is near.
4. When there is a ring around the moon, it is a sign of bad weather that is coming.
5. When ants come up the house, rainy days are coming.
6. If the face of the new moon is turned downward, it foretells a rainy month.
7. If the two morning stars do not rise at dawn during the first days of January, the finshermen will not have plenty of catch during the year.

[p. 10]

8. If the swallows pass over Calayan before September 22 in their southward migration, the months of October, November, and December will be cool months; but if they pass later than this date, the said months will not be cool.
1. If you sneeze once before leaving the house, better not continue your mission because you will meet an accident.
2. Do not plant anything on the first Monday of August because if you do, you will have a poor harvest.
3. If you go and fish, be sure not to leave the house if there are still members of the family who are eating, or the plates have not been washed, because you will have a bad catch.
4. Always begin planting during the new moon so that you will have a good harvest.
5. If you want the child to be always going with the father, wrap him with an old clothe of the father after birth.
6. If an infant is brought to your home for the first time, give him money or rice so that he will be always lucky.
7. If you are eating and the moon rises, throw a handful of rice in the direction of the moon so that your secrets will not be discovered.
8. Do not marry when the phase of the moon has passed the last quarter because if you do, you will not have a fruitful life.

[p. 11]

9. Do not go to fish out into the sea on the days of Saint Peter and Saint Paul because you will meet an accident.
10. Before beginning to dig a grave, pour a bottle of wine or "basi" over the place so that you will not get sick.
11. People believe in "anitos" so that when one is sick, they attribute it to the evil spirits.
12. If you have in your possession a branched tail of a house lizard while in a game of chance, you are sure to win.
1. Manang Biday - Ilocano song
2. Ili Nga Nacay-yanacan - Patriotic Ilocano song
3. Balasang ti away - Ilocano song
4. Ti Rigadoc - A dramatic song in Ilocano
5. Duaya ni Ayat - Ilocano song
6. Parbañgon Mapagsipasip - Ilocano song
7. Dama de Noche - Ilocano song
8. Matayacon Nenang - Ilocano song
9. Sibabalodac - Ilocano love song
10. Nagmula-ac ti Catuday - Ilocano song
11. Bannatiran - Ilocano song
12. Pamulinawen - Ilocano song
1. Playing balls - volleyball and softball
2. Attending dances and parties
3. Cockfighting
4. Attending programs

[p. 12]

1. It walks without feet, it sheds tears without eyes. - Fountain pen
2. At daytime it is a hole, at night it is patched. - Window
3. On the top and at the bottom is the sky, while at the middle is water. - Coconut
5. Wherever they meet, they kiss each other. - Ants
6. I cut the bamboo and I saw the Negro. - Pencil
7. There are two bancas which carry together only one person. - Pair of shoes
8. When it is young, it is a flagpole; when it is old, it is a flag. - A banana leaf
9. There are many rooms but there is no one person. - Bamboo
10. There are twelve brothers but they have only two hands. - Clock
11. When the mother gives birth, all the clothes are removed. - Banana
12. If I pull the rattan, the mountain turns. - Top
13. There is a beautiful lady eating her own body. - Candle
14. Three carry one; the one carries a thousand. - Stove, Pot
15. When it is young, it is red; when it is old, it is black. - Pot
16. When it is young, it is a butterfly; when it is old, it is a stick. - Beans
17. There is a lady with a crown which she carries wherever she goes. - Pineapple
18. Juan is hiding but his head is seen. - Nail
19. If I touch the sun, Bonifacio will run. - Spider

[p. 13]

20. There are three gentlemen who are always facing hell. - Stove
21. The child is sitting while the mother is crawling. - Squash
22. There were three friends who went into a cave. When they came out, they were all red. - The betel nut, betel leaf, and the lime chewed by men and women
23. Despite the fact that I am black, I shall live in a hole, whenever I walk, my footprints tell a story. - Pencil
24. When I knock the bank, all the shrimps go up the river. - Church bells
25. Whenever I meet Juan, he always falls down. - Hermit crab
26. There is no water in Minimin, it cannot be reached by the wind. - Water inside the coconut
27. There are many mothers and sisters who have only one intestine. - Rosary beads
28. I came to your house but you did not see me, I stayed in your heart but you did not feel me. - Letter
29. If Señora goes out, the flower will open. - Umbrella
30. They are flowers of the rain and at the same time fruits of the stone. - Seaweeds
1. If the strife is hard, victory is great.
2. Nothing happens without a cause.
3. Strike the iron while it is hot.
4. By its fruit, you will know the tree.
5. Speech is silver, but silence is gold.
6. Shallow water is noisy; deep water is silent.

[p. 14]

RIDDLES - (Cont.)
7. The early bird catches the worm.
8. The more haste, the less speed.
9. A sack without contents cannot stand by itself.
10. When opportunity comes, grasp it at once.
11. Little leaks sink a great ship.
12. Actions speak louder than words.
14. No road is long for the man who advances.
16. Barking dogs seldom bite.
17. Rolling stones gather no moss.
18. The one who eats pepper is the one who feels its taste.
19. A poor carpenter blames his tools
20. Your fault will always find you.

[p. 15]

The Legend of Nagpandayan Mountain

One of the high mountains of Calayan is called Nagpandayan. In the local language, "Nagpandayan" means the place where a blacksmith works. This mountain lies near the trail that connects the center of Calayan to the barrio of Dilam. While passing near this mountain during the day time, one hears the clang, clang, clang of an anvil. This noise comes from the cave which is at the base of the mountain. The following legend explains which this mountain is called "Nagpandayan" and why the noise coming from the cave is still heard to this day.

Many, many years ago, Dilam was the only inhabited place on the northern part of Calayan. The people of Dilam were living contentedly. They had all the things they needed. Rice, corn, and vegetables from the land and fish from the sea were in abundance. In the strictest sense of the word, they were economically sufficient.

One day, while the people were fishing using a community fish net, they saw a speck on the horizon. The object became bigger and bigger and it was moving towards them. Not long afterwards, they recognized the object to be a small boat. When the small boat reached the shore, the people were surprised to find out that a man and a woman were in it. The people of Dilam being hospitable, they took the couple to their homes. After some months, the couple built a hut for themselves. They became a part of the community and worked with the people in any activity for the good of the group.

[p. 16]

The Legend of Nagpandayan Mountain

The man was a blacksmith. He made bolos and other tools for the people. He was the best blacksmith in the place. The woman was a vegetable gardener. She supplied the people with vegetables. The people found the presence of the couple in the place a blessing.

One day, the people of Dilam were surprised to find out that the couple was no longer in their hut. They did not know where they went. Afterwards, they found out that the couple was already living on the slope of the mountain about ten kilometers from Dilam. The people visited them often on the mountain slope. The man continued to make bolos while the woman continued to raise vegetables. In one way or another, they could still help the people of Dilam.

One day, the woman got sick. In spite of the many remedies of the husband to make her well, she died. The man lost all hope. He could no longer bear the lonesome life he had on the mountain slope. He wished he would soon follow his wife to the Great Beyond. Because of this wish, he was possessed by this obsession. People passing by the mountain no longer saw him but, instead, they heard the bang, bang, bang of his anvil resounding in the cave. Since then, the people called the mountain "Nagpandayan."

[p. 17]

How Calayan Got Its Name
(A Legend)

Calayan, the nothernmost town of Cagayan, is a speck in the vast China Sea. It is located at the center of the Babuyanes group. It has its own history and story of origin, both legendary and factual, distinct from any of those of the other seven thousand isles that compose the Philippine Archiipelago.

How it got its name is something that differs from other legends of other place where names were coined because of the ignorance or misunderstanding of two different tongues. Calayan was derived from a thing in abundance in the place, something that long ago made it notable and worth remembering when the "Spanish conquistadores" made their way northward to explore and exploit the island north of Luzon. They got lost in the spot now called Babuyan Channel. For a number of days, they were floating, drifting to where the waves brought them. On the third day, however, they sighted a dark spot on the horizon. They made that mark their destination on the unknown seas. Each man held his oar with new strength and determination, and in the following morning, it was no longer a dark spot but a land capable of habitation. Its forests were covered with fruit-bearing trees, and on the land was found different kinds of crabs, root crops called "camagueg," and "tabon birds" laying eggs by the hundreds in every nest. Here, they made their temporary settlement. They caught fish for their immediate food to satisfy their hunger. They boiled these for they got short of supplies in spices. A member of the group went father inland and they found an herb which grew almost in every spot capable of growing plants. He pulled one. The smell attracted his attention. Still thinking about the boiled

[p. 18]

How Calayan Got Its Name
(A Legend)

fish they had for dinner, he got a little and made his first experiment. He placed a little on the boiled fish and everybody was astonished to find that it made the smell and flavor so appetizing.

That same day, they explored the land and made every necessary procedure that showed ownership of the newly discovered land. After a week, they prepared their homeward voyage. This voyage being commercial as its secondary purpose, particularly the seeking of spices, they loaded the boats with the herb. They did not have any idea of its name.

When they reached the port of Aparri, the people met them. The first thing that attracted their attention was their load of the herbs. The Spaniards asked the name of the herbs and the people, who were Ilocanos, called it "laya." Many people who heard the news about this ginger prepared their own voyage to go and gather. They did not know where they were going so they just called it Calayaan, meaning, in Ilocano, "where many ginger plants are found." Later, people changed the accent, makingit more fluent. Since then, it has been called CALAYAN.


Transcribed from:
Historical and Cultural Data for the Municipality of Calayan and Barrios, Province of Cagayan, online at the National Library of the Philippines Digital Collections.
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