MUNICIPALITY OF CALAMBA (LAGUNA), Historical Data of Part III - Philippine Historical Data MUNICIPALITY OF CALAMBA (LAGUNA), Historical Data of Part III - Philippine Historical Data


Municipality of Calamba, Laguna



About these Historical Data

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eaten by insects. The grains will be big and the harvest will be bountiful.
4. Dead animals like dogs, cats, and pigs are often buried near the roots of the fruit trees. They say these dead animals will make the fruit trees grow well and also make the fruits taste sweet.
5. People often build a small bonfire to smoke the plants. The plants will bear many big fruits. This is very common among people who plant mango trees.
6. People believe that hanging empty cans, bottles, and pots under trellises will make the plants bear plenty of fruits.
7. When orange or tamarind trees are planted, sugar is placed into the hole so that the fruits will taste sweet.
8. Farmers do not work on their farms on San Isidro Day. If they work, they will incur the displeasure of San Isidro, the Saint of Harvest. Hence, their harvest will be poor.
9. When planting bananas, it is bad to look up because if you do, the plant will grow tall before bearing fruit.
10. When watering a newly-planted tree, put a lump of sugar in your mouth so that the fruit will be sweet.
11. When planting rice, carry with you some betel nuts so that the rice will bear big grains.
12. When planting ampalaya, have a lump of sugar in your mouth so that the fruit will not be bitter.
13. Do not plant an ilang-ilang tree near a house for if you do, a member of the family will die.
14. When planting coconuts, carry as many children as you can on your back so that the coconut tree will bear plenty of fruits.
15. When an owl makes a hooting sound, it is time for us to plant. Our harvest will be bountiful. But when you see a monkey, it is better not to plant anything because we shall have

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a very poor harvest. Set the planting for another day.
16. Farmers believe that the best days to begin plowing the ricefields are Tuesdays and Fridays. They believe that they will get a good harvest.
17. A farmer who has just planted his ricefield should not sweep the floor at night. The rice plants will not continue to grow well. The plants will wither.
18. People believe that in planting banana plants, one should carry a baby on his back. The banana plants will bear big clusters of fruit.
19. Many farmers believe that when they have planted their seed beds, they should not have their hair out. Cutting the hair will cause the young seedlings to have short stems.

B. War, pestilence, calamity:

1. When an owl alights on the steeple of a church, pestilence will soon come.
2. If a comet is seen, it means that war or pestilence is liable to occur.
3. A hooting owl in the town plaza means that the town will soon be attacked or the town will meet a great calamity.

C. Visitors:

1. If the house lizard makes a noise near the doorway, a visitor will soon arrive.
2. If a house cat washes its face, visitors are expected.
3. When the fire in the stove sizzles, visitors are coming.
4. When you find sparks attached to the bottom of the pot when cooking, it means visitors.
5. When a spoor or fork drops to the floor while eating on the table, visitors are coming; for a spoon, a man; for a fork, a woman.

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1. When cows bellow, heavy rains will soon come and the rivers will overflow their banks.
2. If a frog is killed facing the sky, rain will come during the day.
3. Bathing the cat causes rain.
4. If many winged ants are seen flying at night around a lamp, it means that many rainy days will soon follow.
5. If a snake crosses a river, it is a sign of a big flood.
6. When a carabao sneezes, it will rain.

E. Thunder and Lightning:

1. A gecko in the house invites lightning. In order to prevent lightning from striking the house, pour vinegar on a plate and place it at the door or window.
2. When lightning flashes, cover the mirror so that the house will not be struck by lightning.
3. It is said that lightning never strikes a santol tree because nearly all the images of the saints in the Philippines are made of santol wood.

F. Death:

1. When a person dreams that one of his molars is extracted or falls out, one of his near relatives will die. This holds true with fire or flood.
2. Children should not comb their hair at night. If they do this, their parents will die early.
3. When there is a deceased person lying in state in one's house, no one should be allowed to sweep the floor or clean the house before the dead person is buried. Someone in the family will soon follow the dead person.
4. If a dog scratches the ground at the foot of the stairs, someone in the house will die.

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5. Those who die in early childhood meet their parents in heaven with lighted candles.1
6. The spirit of the dead visits relatives on the third day after he is buried.
7. When tears happen to fall on a corpse, the soul of the dead person will not be in peace. Tears should be avoided not to fall on a dead person's body.
8. The young children of a dead person should be carried across his coffin before being buried. This will prevent the soul of the dead from visiting the children.
9. The youngest child should not be allowed to sleep between the husband and wife. This will cause the early death of the child.
10. When the town priest puts half of his body hanging on a window and making the sign of the cross, many people of the town will soon die.
11. If a dead person's body is soft, someone will soon follow.

G. Delivery or Birth:

1. When both tips of a new moon are level, women expecting the blessed event will encounter difficulties during delivery.
2. People say that if you are born on the 29th of February, which is a leap year, you are considered lucky. You will be successful as a speculator.
3. It is not advisable to sew a dress when it is on the body because a child may be born to you without a hole in the rectum.
4. A woman in the family way should not tie anything around her neck so that when the child is born, the "pusod" will not coil around the child's body.
5. A conceiving woman should not sit on the stairs or at the doorway. This will cause hardships in delivery.
6. When a child is born with his feet first, he will be possessed of a certain extraordinary

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power. When the child grows, he can easily remove a fish bone stuck in the throat of other people by massaging or fondling the throat.
7. A couple who gives birth to twins or triplets will suffer from hardships and want in life.
8. It is believed that if the first child is a boy, the child will be lucky in life.
9. A child born with eleven fingers or toes will bring good luck to the family. Conversely, nine or eight fingers or toes will bring bad luck.

H. Gambling:

1. When a gambler finds a coin on his way to a gambling den, he will win.
2. If you meet a snake while going to a gambling house, that is a sure sign that you are going to win.
3. If a gambler's path is crossed by a lizard or by a black cat, the gambler is bound to lose in all his bets.
4. When a fighting rooster crows alone without any rooster answering its call, that rooster is going to win against any other rooster during the day.
5. If a person is in the act of betting or gambling, he should not put his hand on his chin as if he feels sad. He is not going to win but lose.
6. It is wrong to sweep around the cage of a fighting cock when the rooster is to be taken to the cockpit. It will not win over its opponents.
7. Cutting the finger- and toenails before going to a gambling place will bring defeat in all bets. This holds true with shaving one's face.

I. Building a House:

1. The stairs of a house should not lead directly to the gate. If this is so, the family will encounter financial difficulties.
2. A pregnant woman should not have a house constructed.

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The mother or the baby may soon die.

J. Business:

1. Every vendor and peddler yearns for a "buena mano." The vendor believes that if the first customer of the day offers a good price for his merchandise, he will be blessed with luck throughout the day. This is "buena mano."
The vendor also believes that if he rejects the very first offer for his merchandise, he is going to be dogged by ill luck the whole day. Even if the first offer spells a loss for the vendor, he gives in to the offer as a "buena mano." He'd rather take a loss on one article than many losses the whole day.
2. Peddlers and vendors often carry in their waists some "asis leaves." This will invite many customers, thus increasing their sales for the day.

K. Eating:

1. When eating, everybody should keep quiet so that the Grace of God will always be with them.
2. We should not put one of our hands on our chin while eating. This will cause scarcity of food or hunger.
3. If someone is in a hurry and is forced to leave the table when others are not through eating, the plates where he had eaten should be turned in the direction where he is going. This will prevent any harm befalling that person while on his way.

L. Marriage:

1. If you are a girl and you happen to fall upstairs, you won't marry that year.
2. The bride and bridegroom should take some silver coins when they go to church to be married, so that they will not know want in the course of their married life.
3. If you are an unmarried man and often change seats while eating, when you get married, your wife will be in the habit of changing husbands. This holds true for an unmarried woman.

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4. It is believed that putting plates one over the other while eating is a sign of bad luck. A young girl or woman who is at the table is liable not to get married.
5. An unmarried man or woman who acts as godfather or godmother to a newly-wed will not be able to get a wife or a husband.
6. It is not wise to cry over a newlywed because the young couple will suffer financial difficulties in life.
7. When the bridegroom is about to put the ring around the bride's finger, relatives of the couple should not make any noise. If they do so, the bride and bridegroom are likely to have petty quarrels in their married life.

M. Omens:

Good Luck

1. To hang a horsehose over the door is good luck.
2. To be a seventh son of a seventh son is good luck.
3. To carry a rabbit's foot is good luck.

Bad Luck

1. To walk under a ladder is bad luck.
2. To break a mirror is bad luck.
3. To open an umbrella indoors, especially at night, is bad luck.
4. To have a picture fall from a wall is a sign of bad luck.
5. According to the old folks, the cackling of a hen at night is supposed to indicate that an unmarried girl of the neighborhood has lost her honor. They can even tell in what particular part of the neighborhood that unfortunate girl is, depending on what direction the hen's cackling comes from.
6. A black cat crossing one's path means bad luck. Everything to be done should be discontinued for bad luck will be the result.

N. Sickness:

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1. It is not wise for anyone to sweep the yard in the late afternoon when the sun is about to set. A person who does this seldom recovers when he gets sick.
2. When a funeral passes by, one should not lie in bed. This will cause a long illness in bed when sickness befalls him.
3. It is said that when sickness or pestilence called "salot" roams the town, one should place the sign of the cross on the door. This will prevent the "salot" from entering the home.

O. New Year's Holiday:

1. Money earned on New Year's Day will bring a hundred-fold in its train.
2. To lend something to a friend on New Year's Day is sure to bring a good return.
3. To put on new clothes is considered lucky; so also take a bath.
4. Resolutions made on New Year's Day should be carried out, if they are good, and will insure good luck.

P. Easter Holiday:

1. Good Friday is considered the best day for wearing [probably "bearing"] babies.
2. It is a sign of good luck to break pottery on Good Friday. It will save the house from any damage during the rest of the year.
3. It is bad to take a bath on Good Friday because when one gets sick, he will be gravely ill.
4. People believe that "anting-anting," to be powerful, must be secured on Good Friday.

Q. Miscellaneous:

1. One should not open one's umbrella inside the house at night. Centipedes will fall from the ceiling.
2. When celebrating one's birth anniversary, one should serve something long as "pansit" and should

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take the life of anything alive as killing a chicken. This helps to lengthen one's life.
3. If you bite your tongue while eating, some evil things are being said against you.
4. If you place books under your head to serve as pillows, you will easily understand the contents of any book.
5. People believe that sweeping the floor at night sweeps away good luck. It makes the family poor.
6. If a person has had luck on a certain day three times in succession, it is safe to assume that it is his lucky day, and any business undertaken that day will prove successful. Conversely, if a day has shown itself unfortunate, business or traveling should be avoided on that day.
7. To move into a new home on a Friday is unlucky. Monday and Wednesday are particularly fortunate days.
8. Sleeping in the moonlight will make one go crazy.
9. A person who spills salt can prevent quarrels with his friends by throwing a pinch over his left shoulder.
10. If your ears itch, it is a sure sign somebody is talking about you.


In the days of our grandmothers, a young man won the love of a girl in a very different way. He did not speak of his love to the girl in words but in meaningful looks and glances. If he loved a girl, he went to her house to help do the daily chores by fetching water, pounding the palay, or chopping wood for fuel. If the parents wanted him to be their daughter's husband, they did no

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make any comment, and so, after a length of time, he was asked to inform his parents that the girl's parents wanted to talk to them as regards their son's intentions. If the girl's parents thought otherwise, they advised the young man to stop. Occasionally, the young suitor brought gifts of the choicest fruits, chickens, vegetables, or anything to please the girl and her parents. Usually, months and years passed before the marriage was proposed. This was to test the industry and sincerity of the young man's love.
When the time to propose the marriage came, the young man's parents prepared delicious food and gifts to be taken to the girl's house. They usually asked the help of a person of influence in the locality who was called the "humlang," who interceded in their behalf should the girl's parents refuse or demand from them something which they could not afford to give. The group, upon reaching the girl's house, greeted the people with the utmost respect and courtesy. They were careful in their manner of speech and movements, for a displeasing word or act was enough to change the minds of the girl's parents. If the two parties came to a final agreement, the young man's parents promised to build a new house for the would-be couple and give a gift or dowry in the form of money, jewels, or land, depending upon their ability to give such demands. The parents set the date of the marriage, and it was only the time when the girl learned of her approaching marriage. Even if she did not love the man

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she did not raise any objections for it meant an act of disloyalty and irreverence to her parents.

The marriage feast was held in the girl's home. A day before the marriage, all the food preparations were made in the man's home. After all the preparations were finished, they were taken to the girl's house. They invited all the relatives of the girl, taking care not to omit anyone. The bride and groom were accompanied by the sponsors to the church where the ceremony was performed by the priest. It took the reluctant bride to say "I do," so she had to be coaxed by the "ninangs" or pinched by her mother. After the ceremony, they went home and were met with shouts and rejoicing. The new couple, together with the guests, partook of all the food which they were served generously.

After the feast was over, the girl's parents and relatives took the bride away to their home, while the groom stayed at the bride's home for 3 days. On a full moon, the couple moved to their new home while taking with them all the gifts that they received from friends and relatives on their wedding day.

If a young man was unknown to a young girl, and he wished to be acquainted with her, he serenaded her with some of his friends. This was called "harana." This evening serenade was usually done under the girl's window. The serenaders sang songs of love and pity. This became an opening rite for acquaintance, leading to courtship between the young man and the young girl.

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Some young men, when they did not become successful in winning the love of a young woman, enlisted the aid of witch-doctors who, from mystic herbs and roots and outrageous substances, made a love potion called "gayuma," guaranteed to soften the hardest female heart and to turn the proudest maiden into the man's amorous slave. This love-lotion was put in the drinks or mixed with the food of the young woman.

Oftentimes, a young man asked the help of his parents in courtship. He requested his parents to go to the parents of the girl he adored to have a heart-to-heart talk about his love affairs. The parents of the man usually brought with them some good "eats and drinks." During the "ceremony-talk," the man's father told the girl's parents the motive of their mission. He asked the parent's consent for their daughter's marriage. If his proposal was accepted, plans for the marriage were discussed. This was called "namumulong" in the local language.

Courtship was not always done between the two young lovers. Sometimes, the man courted a young woman with the consent of a girl's parents. If he was appreciated and liked by the parents of the woman, the daughter's hand was promised in wedlock to the man on probation. During his period of probation, which lasted indefinitely from weeks to months, the young man did many kinds of household chores for the girl's family, like fetching water, mending fences, plowing the field, chopping wood, repairing the house, and

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many others. During this period of serving, the man was careful in his speech and action in order to please the parents and relatives of the girl. When the girl's parents found that he was sincere, the wedding ceremony took place.

If a man admired a girl who was totally a stranger to him, he tried to find a way by which she could be his acquaintance. He introduced himself through somebody who was a personal friend of the girl. Then, he propsed a friendly visit to her home. During fiestas, Christmas, or birthday parties, he brought some "regalo" in the form of material gifts. This was one way of expressing his love to the woman. Then, his courtship began. During this stage, the young man behaved very well in order to win the sympathy of the girl's parents. If the girl gave her consent, and engagement ring was given to the woman as a symbol of the love that bound them.

A bride or a bridegroom, before being married, should not travel so far to avoid accidents. They married during a full moon.

During the marriage ceremony, care should be taken. If the light of the candle faded out, it foretold misfortune for the couple. When putting on the veil and cord, the sponsors had to be careful not to let them fall so that it would bring them long life.

After the ceremony, the first to go up the stairs would dominate the other. It was a habit among the newlyweds

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to run fast in going upstairs to outrun or overtake the other. Usually, visitors and near relatives threw grains of rice at the couple to wish them a life of plenty in the future. It was also believed that brothers and sisters should not be married in the same year for each would push the other to bad luck, or early death.

When the newlyweds reached home, they were showered with flowers so that they would have a happy married life with many children.

Sweets and water were offered to the couple so that they would have a harmonious relationship throughout life.

After the feast in honor of the newlyweds, the parents of the bride should not go together with the couple to the home of the bridegroom. It was believed that the the bride might return to the home of her parents.

The wedding dress of the bride should not be worn for a try-out before the wedding ceremony. Marriage might not be solemnized or an accident could befall the bride.

During the marriage ceremony, care should be taken that the candles were lighted with equal intensity. If the candle held by the bridegroom was dimmer than the candle held by the bride, it was presumed that the man would be under the control of the woman. If one of the thirteen pieces of silver given by the bridegroom to the bride during the ceremony fell to the floor, their lives would be one of hardship. It might mean also an early death to one of them.

It was said that when a young woman sang in front of

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the stove while cooking, she was liable to marry an old man or a widower.
Before a couple was married, each selected a godfather or a godmother. The godfather, as a custom, paid for the services of the priest. After the wedding ceremony, the newlyweds, the godfather and the godmother, went to the house of the bride where a feast awaited them. The godfather and godmother usually gave them some gifts, like money or material things so that the couple would have something to start with their new life. Very often, the couple received material gifts from relatives and close friends.


The bride always made it a point to be the first one to go up the house after the marriage ceremony. She never allowed the bridegroom to be ahead of her for it was the belief that if the bridegroom reached the house first, he would rule the house, while if it was the bride, it would be the wife's wishes which would be followed.

The month of February was not a good month for marriage because couples married in one of the days during the month became poor. Maybe the underlying reason was that February has only 28 days.

It is the belief that the couple who strongly resembled each other would make a success of their marriage. Those who had similar features like the shape of the face, the same curve of the nose, and brows would get along together


Transcribed from:
Historical Data of the Municipality of Calamba, Laguna, online at the National Library of the Philippines Digital Collections.
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