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door first will be healthy, prosperous, and will be a leader of men.
So much is meant to a couple during their marriage ceremony that they shall act carefully to prevent any flaw that may lead to bad luck. Dowries are always expected from the groom who will shoulder most, if not all, of the expenses to be incurred in the marriage rites and celebration, unless when the couple-to-be comes from more conscientious and understanding families that the woman's party needs not ask for dowries any further. A priest, a minister, or a Justice of the Peace solemnizes the wedding.
The bride and the groom have lighted candles at the altar. The brighter and the longer the candle lasts will mean a brighter future
ang a longer life for the designated owner of the said candle. At the height of the ceremony, both try to step on the toes of the other, believing that to be stepped on is to be hen-pecked, if a man; or domineered, if a woman.
No place of man's existence is more wrapped in superstition than death. Even the veneer of civilization has not quite covered the mystery and the fear surrounding man's death. Because in death, he fights an unseen and unknown power, man does not know what to make out of it. He, therefore, finds refuge in mystery and fear in an elaborate body of customs and superstitions, which he hopes will protect him from the wrath of his gods.
Superstitions about death are the hardest to eradicate. Man is willing to abandon customs connected with birth, baptism, and planting, and adopting modern methods without much struggles; but when death comes, man is once more a primitive, cowering in his cave, tripping over himself on those things his forefathers had done long before him.
The dead is immediately bathed; nails, nostrils, and eyes are thoroughly cleaned. It is thought that God will not accept him unless he is scrupulously clean.
Mourning is seriously carried on by the bereaved family. Women wear black while men just have arms bands or a little piece of black cloth pinned on the brim of the pocket.
While the corpse is still lying in state, no member of the family shall eat sour things or round fruits. Eating sour things causes convusions; round things or fruits cause carbuncles or round fleshy outgrowths mostly on the head. Combing one's hair is prohibited because this will
mean another member of the family to follow the dead sooner. Scratching the head during the period will also result to lousiness [probably means louse infestation], it is believed.
The placing of sacrificial articles or objects beside the dead, objects which the deceased was fond of is common in this municipality. If the deceased is a sot, a bottle of wine is placed; if he is a gambler, playing cards. Others are given money, cars, a rosary, books, clothes, a cane, shoes, and many others which wear loved most by him.
Most families that suffer bereavement, especially those families that can afford a man-pulled carriage, locally known as "carro," is rented to carry the dead, and a brass band accompanies the funeral queue ue to the church where a Mass is said. Slow, mournful music is played for the old; fast and lively for a young one. But there are sects that prohibit the accompaniment of music, in which case, no band can be seen.
Before the dead is interred, it is placed by the grave. The members of the family are made to cross the coffin without touching it. If the coffin is touched by the person crossing it, he will be haunted until he becomes ill and die. Lumps of soil are thrown into the grave by the members of the family to bid the dead an eternal goodbye.
The expenses or shouldered by the family, close relatives, and thoughtful friends who also share the work with the bereaved family.
On the day following the interment, shampooing is done by the riverbank. If this is not given to members of the family or anyone who was at home when death came to one of them, such a person will suffer headaches throughout the rest of his life, it is believed.
A poor man is ready to sacrifice his last chicken to please or impress his visitors although this is disadvantageous on his part.
The town fiesta is the most well-attended and pompous among all other town festivities. Side shows, rides, moro-moro or zarzuela in the local dialect attract the barrio people and others alike. A queen, who counted the most votes in the popularity contest, and two princesses are crowned as reigning beauties in the auditorium where a dance is held.
Like in any other place, the town gets its fund for the town fiesta from the proceeds during the popularity contest and donations from civic-spirited citizens and other entities. The balance is used for various improvements for the municipality, especially in the town plaza.
Flores de Mayo is also celebrated and led by the more religious groups of people. Parlor games during the day, a religious procession which is followed by a dance highlight the activity.
No customary punishment is given to the evildoer as of old when corporal punishments were casual, except imprisonment or any other form of penalty.
To the people, whether living in the remotest barrio or among kin and kith in the poblacion, transferring a house or constructing a new one entails a certain amount of hazards, hence, the more backward people take no chances about making their gods and the spirits angry.
There is a practice designed to bring good luck to a new house. This consists of putting money, usually in coins, under the posts of the new edifice. Putting money under the posts must be done in secret; if it is not done, the "charm" is believed lost. The blood of a pig or chicken is believed to give the same effect.
Removing fishbones stuck in the throat does not need a doctor's assistance. Rubbing the cat's paw on the patient's throat is believed to push down the offending bone.
Dog bite cases are seldom brought to the doctor until the case has become worse. In the distant barrios, sucking the wound will get the poison out of the person. Of course, this is done immediately or else the poison will go deeper into the body. With regards to snake bites, two stones shaped like buttons are soaked in vinegar and are placed over the bite. Scraped "tagumbao" bark placed over the bite serves the same purpose. In some cases, a man bitten by a snake eats a lump of soil, drink petroleum, and munches tagumbao bark so as to survive after half a day of unconsciousness.
MYTHS, LEGENDS, INTERPRETATIONS, AND SUPERSTITIONS
IN CONNECTION WITH . . . . . .
THE ORIGIN OF THE WORLD — LAND, MOUNTAINS CAVES, LAKES,
became so deep that they turned out to be lakes. There was still danger that some giants grouped themselves. They were more serious and more determined than ever to destroy all other giants. They worked day in and day out, not knowing how deep they had dug. Their determination to destroy their opponents turned out to be the seven seas and the ranges that extend to great heights and distances.
ECLIPSES, EARTHQUAKES, LIGHTNING, AND THUNDER
CLOUDS, RAIN, WIND, STORMS, CHANGES IN CLIMATE
OTHER NATURAL PHENOMENA
came from apes. We do not know where the latter is learned, but it is in consonance with the findings of Science.
Birth of Twins or More and Others Related to Childbearing
SICKNESS, WITCHCRAFT, MAGINC, DIVINATION ETC . . . .
The light of medical science is still needed to shine in Villasis, just like any other town. People still believe in the fantastic cures for all diseases and in witchcraft. Sickness and epidemics, especially, are often thought of as the work of evil spirits or of God, who wants to punish sinners who have sinned immensely. Certain groups of people still believe in the ability of an "herbolario" to cure the sick by using poultices of various kinds and other crude beliefs like "atang." In the latter practice, different animals are sacrificed at the quasi-altar where the rites are performed. Pigs or chickens and coins of definite characteristics are needed in the sacrifice. After the planning activities are said and done, the meat is cooked for the quack doctor and the ailing person's party to share at the sick man's table. In some cases, the patient becomes worse, while it brings relief to those who, are heart and soul believers of the practice. More and more families, resort to the rescue of medical service.
To some extent, the witch is believed to have a power in practicing her charms and spells on a person she so desires. In such cases, the said
said victim of witchcraft faces a special quack doctor who seems to have some knowledge of Psychiatry. The patient is illusioned by the "doctor," who practices threats in making the patient expose the causes and instances that led to the incident, and even the name of the "witch" is pronounced by the patient who has no previous knowledge of the name of the witch.
be emaciated, wrinkled, and turn out to be of poorer quality.
POPULAR SONGS, GAMES, AND AMUSEMENTS
PUZZLES AND RIDDLES
PROVERBS AND SAYINGS
The harder the obstacles are overcome, the more glorious the triumph.
METHODS OF MEASURING TIME, SPECIAL CALENDARS
opened patola flowers, and the "four o'clock flowers" means four o'clock in the afternoon. The first crowing of the cockerels tells us it is 10 o'clock in the evening; the second crowing is 1:00 at dawn. When the crowis is at close intervals and the sound made is louder than ever, it is already dawn.
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