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


Municipality of Calamba, Laguna



About these Historical Data

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a person is known as "suhi." The "suhi," thus, fondles the throat of the sufferer to make the fishbone go down the aesophagus.

2. Sore Eyes:

Dewdrops collected overnight on a banana plant will cure sore eyes, so it is held. Cotton is dampened on the dewdrops and used as eye-wash.

3. Boils:

Enlightened people know that boils, called "pigsa" by Tagalogs, are caused by a poor diet or by poor personal hygiene. But among the Tagalogs, it is believed that boils are caused by sitting on pillows or cushions. Children are, therefore, advised not to sit on these articles on pain of suffering excruciating pains from boils. A good cure, according to the old people, is to poung gumamela buds mixed with a little salt and rice (like a poultice), heated over fire, and spread over the boil to ripen it so that the pus will come out by itself.

4. Children's Cures:

Tagalogs believe that if a very young child suddenly develops fever without any apparent reason, that child is supposed to have been frightened by something that adults cannot see or that a stranger had taken a fancy on the child. The cures for such a situation are:

(1) To ask the stranger to put saliva on his fingers and make the sign of the cross with it on the baby's foot or forehead.

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(2) The "tawas" is another cure which is done by the witch doctor. She prepares three coconut shells which she burns. Into the fire, she throws bits of coconut palm leaves which had been blessed in the church during Palm Sunday of Holy Week. The smoke of this fire is then fanned towards the child, who is supposed to get well soon afterwards. Sometimes, the witch doctor sees the figure of the person in the "tawas" who had taken a fancy on the child and, thus, caused the child's fever. The person is then requested by the family of the child to put saliva on his fingers and, with this, make the sign of the cross on any part of the body of the sick child, who is expected to get well and lose the fever.


When someone is very sick or near death in a family, any member of the family should not travel far, for it spells an accident to the traveler.

Taking a bath on the thirteenth Friday of a month is bad, because it will make us sick. Taking a bath when the moon disappears and turns into a new moon will make us sick. We will get sick if we take a bath when a near relative dies.

People believe that a person becomes sick because of some spirits who were offended. To appease these spirits, food and prayers are offered in their honor. Sometimes, candles are lighted in front of some saints, and prayers recited be-

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fore them. They believe these practices will cure them.
They also believe in the powers of quack doctors. If the power of the quack doctor cures the patient, his name becomes a byword in the vicinity, but if he fails, and the patient dies, the doctor and family says, "Talaga na ng Dios."


Kissing the hands:

One of the oldest Filipino customs is the kissing of the hands of parents and elder relatives. This is done after prayers have been recited during the Angelus. The children kneel or bend their knees and kiss the right hands of their parents or elder relatives. They children say "mano po" and the elders bless them by making the sign of the cross and at the same time saying, "Kaawaan ka ng Dios." Children also kiss the hands of their elders before going to bed and after they arrive home from a long journey. This is a sign of good blessings and a sign of respect for their elders.

When the Angelus rings, everybody is expected or supposed to be home. The family kneels in front of a small altar in one corner of the room and prays together. They believe that this is one way to strengthen the relationships between the members of the family.

The children in the locality have been trained, and

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are being trained, to answer softly to their elders. When called or asked questions by those older than themselves, they say "po," "ho," or "opo." These are signs of good breeding and respect. Children are considered disrespectful and ill-mannered when they do not say "po" or "ho" or "opo" to elders within the family circle and from without.


The spirit of neighborliness is distinctly a mark characteristic of families in a neighborhood. Each family shows its friendliness by sharing or exchanging foods with their neighbors. Every time a family cooks something special, a plateful is sent to other families who, in return, will do the same as soon as their chances come. When someone in a certain family comes home from a long travel and he has many things which he thinks will be appreciated by his neighbors, he sends some of them. This custom is prevalent in most families in the community, especially among the barrio folks.

The people do not only share the food and things with their neighbors, but also work in what is called "bayanihan." The neighbors help in threshing palay, moving a house, mending broken fences, cleaning a yard, or digging a grave. Men and women help without any remuneration. The neighbor who was helped prepares drinks or food for those who helped. This is very common among people of the barrios.

Hospitality is practiced by almost all families in the locality. When a visitor comes into the home of someone, the visitor is offered refreshments, drinks or anything to

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eat, most probably fruits. If a visitor arrives before mealtime, he is invited to stay and eat with the family even if the family is poor and the food is not enough for all. They try to make the food enough for everybody.


Just south of the town proper of Calamba stands a small hill. This hill, nowadays, is being used as a public cemetery of the town. This hill got its name in this way.

During the closing years of the Spanish rule, the natives of this town used this hill as a pasture region of the town. Goats and sheep were raised in this green-covered hill.

When Rizal was a student in Manila, he used to go home to his native town, Calamba, to spend his long vacation. Rizal would invite some of his friends to take a morning stroll to breathe some fresh air on this hill. When Rizal and his small party, mostly composed of young ladies of the town, arrived at this hill, they would see the men milking the goats. Rizal and his friends would stop and watch the men at work with the goats. The goat tenders, being hospitable and kind, would offer them some milk, which is "leche" in the Spanish language. Rizal and his companions would accept the milk because they knew, especially Rizal, the value of milk in building up the body. Others, especially the ladies, would reject the offer, probably due to their modesty. After drinking the milk, Rizal and his friends would give them

[Note to the reader: Pages 62-63 are missing from the original scanned file at the National Library of the Philippines Digital Collections. Transcription — and pagination — thus resumes at page 64.]

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naramdaman ng mga mamamayan sa paligig-ligid ng bundok ang pagsasalat ng pagkain at sa mga ani. Wala na ang mga hiyas at ang mga pasangkapang pilak na ipinagmamagandang-loob sa kanila ni Marya.

At bilang kapalit ng lahat ng iyan, isang buwan ng Disyembre na lubhang malamig, at samantalang ang mga tao ay nagsisipag-ani ng palay, ay bigla na lamang umunos nang buong tindi, sumalipadpad ang malakas na hangin, sumaboy ang matatalim na kidlat at umugong ang malakas na kulog. Nabuwal ang mga bahay, nalipol ang mga halaman at nagkamatay ang mga hayop. At nang humupa ang bagyo ay saka nila narinig ang malakas na tinig ni Marya Makiling na may kasamang halakhak ng paghihiganti!

At naging kasibihan ngayon na ang mga mamamaril at mamumundok sa Bundok ng Makiling ay inaabot ng ulan at bagyo kapag sila ay nag-uwi ng mga bunga sa kaparangan.


One of the beautiful and majestic mountains between the boarders of Laguna and Tayabas is Mt. Makiling. Long, long ago, according to the story handed down, there lived a beautiful girl in that mountain who was known not only for her beauty but also for her charity. She distributed gifts of gold and fruits to the country around. In time, the people became so greedy that Mariang Makiling decided to punish them. There came heavy storms that destroyed the countryside, and in the wake of this, the people heard the laughter of Mariang Makiling. When people take down things

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from the mountains, they are always caught by rains and storms, according to the traditions of the old folks.


Doon sa maalamat at matulaing nayon ng Masili, sa lalawigang Laguna, ay may dalawang ilog na magkayapos mula sa mga bulubundukin hanggang sa humantong sa magandang look ng Laguna. Ang nasabing nayon ay tinawag na Masili sapagka't ang lupang yaon ay halos maggubat ang mga puno ng sili. Nguni't ang matandang kasaysayan ng mag-asawang Ilog ang ating susuyin.

Sa mga bulubunduking hindi kalayuan sa nabanggit na nayon ng Masili ay may isang mayamang angkan na wala namang naging anak kundi isang dalagang ubod ng ganda. Dahil sa kariktan ng dalagang yaon ay napakaraming binata ang nagsasadya sa kanila upang makipagsapalaran sa kaniyang alindog. Nguni't totoong masungit ang mga magulang ng dalaga, at ayaw man lamang ipasilip ang kanilang anak. Sa ganyang pag-uugali ng mga magulang, ang dalaga ay inabot ng kalungkutan, sapagka't ang kanyang naging ayos noon ay isang harding mabulaklak na walang paruparo.

Ang mga binata, mahirap, mayaman, marunong, at mangmang, ay nagkaisan na ring huwag nang pakitunguhan ang mag-anak na masungit, lalo na ang magandang dalaga, upang iparamdam ang kanilang masamang pag-uugali.

Subali't isang umaga, ang dalaga ay nahikayat na maglibang sa mga bulubundukin na may isang malinaw na batis.

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Habang siya'y naglilibang sa panonood ng kagandahan ng kalikasan ay nakarinig siya ng isang tinig na tumawag sa kanya.

"Berta! Berta!"

Nang siya'y lumingon ay isang binatang napakakisig ang kanyang nakita na sa kanya ay nakangiti at dahan-dahang lumapit. Yaon ay si Rolando na naging kalaro niya noong sila'y maliliit pa at ngayon ay isang makisig na magsasaka.

"Berta, nakikilala mo pa ba ako?" ang tanong sa kanya nang sila'y magkaharap.

"Aba! Ikaw pala, Rolando!" at namilaylay sa kanyang mga labi ang isang matamis na ngiti.

"Ako nga," tugon ng binata. "Napakaganda mo, Berta! Ikaw pala ang magandang diwata na madalas kong napapanaginip!"

Mula noon ay palagi na silang nagtatagpo sa bulubunduking yaon. Nagka-isa ng tibukin ang kanilang mga puso. Nagmahalan sila at nagsumpaang walang sino mang magtataksil. Sinaksi nila ang langit, ang mga halaman, at mga ibon at ang lupa na kanilang tinutungtungan.

"Nalaman kong nagagalit ang iyong mga magulang kung malamang ikaw ay nakikipagkasintahan na," ang sabit ni Rolando. "Ano naman ang gagawin mo kung sakaling tayo'y hadlangan?"

"Kahit ano ang aking kasapitan ay hindi ako maaaring lumimot!" ang taimtim na sagot ng dalaga.

"Kahit ka na sumpain?" ang pagtatanong ng binata. "Matitiis mong talikuran ang iyong mga magulang nang dahil sa ating pag-iibigan?"

[Note to the reader: Page 67 is missing from the original scanned file at the National Library of the Philippines Digital Collections. Transcription — and pagination — thus resumes at page 68.]

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In the town of Masili in Laguna, there is a twin river that intertwines against each other all along the way. According to the legend, there were two lovers who secretly met and pledged their vows against the wishes of the girl's parents. One day, the mother followed the girl and found out the illicit tryst. She vowed, therefore, that the lovers should not be able to stand up from their trysting place. The lovers wept continuously each day so that there came out a small pool in the place where they were condemned. This pool spread along until it became a twin river.


Noon ay iilan lamang ang naninirahan sa malapad na lupa, at dito'y kabilang ang isang mag-asawang nabubuhay sa pagsasaka at sa pag-aalaga ng mga hayop. Ang mga hayop noon ay maamo, lalo na ang mga ibon na pantay-tao lamang kung lumipad sa maliliit ding punungkahoy at mga halamang ang mga sariwa at luntiang dahon ay halos nakikipaghalikan na rin sa marikit na pisngi ng mababang langit.

Ang mag-asawang ito ay kilala sa kasipagan. Kapag nakikita na nila ang kaunting liwanag na hindi nila malaman kung saan nagbubuhat, pagka't wala silang nakikitang araw, ay magtutungo na sila sa bukid at gagawain walang puknat hanggang sa kumulo ang kanilang mga sikmura at makaramdam sila ng gutom. Araw-araw halos ay ganyan ang kanilang napagkaugalian, at sila'y kapuwa masaya at maligayang nabubuhay.

Nguni't sa kabila ng kanilang kasipagang yaon, ang

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isang maipintas lamang sa kanila ay ang kakulangan sa paghahanda nila ng bigas, alalaong baga, kung dumarating ang oras ng pagluluto ay karakarakang mayroon silang makukuha sa bumbong upang maisaing agad. Ang kanilang katuwiran marahil ay sagana naman sila sa palay at mga ulam, at ano mang oras na ibig nilang magluto ay makapagbabayo agad ang lalaki, at makakapaghanda naman ng ulam ang babae.

Subali't isang hapon, umuwi sila mula sa kabukiran ay pantang-pata ang kanilang katawan at gutom na gutom sila kapuwa. Pagdating nila sa maliit na kubo ay nagmamadali nang kumuha nang kumuha ng palay ang lalaki, isinilid sa isang pandak na lusong at hinaplit ng bayo. Ang babae naman ay gumaw na ng kanilang maiuulam, nagpatay ng matabang manok, at pagkatapos ay isinalang sa kalan at ginatungan.

Samantalang nagliliyab ang kalan at lumilikha ng magandang usok ay naisipan ng babae na isabit ang kanyang suklay at ang mahabang kuwintas sa mukha ng marikit na langit. Ang lalaki naman ay nagkakagkakahog nang pagbabayo, sapagka't ibig niyang makapagsaing agad.

Datapuwa't sa kanyang pagmamadali at pag-uubos ng lakas sa pagbabayo, ay malimit na sumuko ang dulo ng kanyang halo sa langit, at dahil doon ay nabigyan siya ng kaabalahan. Dahil sa kanyang kayamutan ay padabog siyang nagsalit:

"Napakababa naman ng langit na ito! Manong tumaas ka na nang tumaas at nang hindi ako maabala sa aking pagbabayo!"

Sukat sa kanyang sinabing yaon upang magulumihanan nilang mag-asawa, sapagka't noon din ay naktia nilang matuling

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tumataas ang langit na tangay ang suklay, ang kuwintas, at pati na ang kalan na noon ay nagniningas. Mula noon, bawa't gabi ay nakikita ng mag-asawa ang gasuklay na buwang kung nangangalahati, at mga bitwin na nagsabot as langit, at kung araw naman ay ang nagbabagang tanglaw ng daigdig. Inisip nila na ang apoy ang naging araw, ang suklay ang naging buwan, at ang mga butil ng kuwintas ang naging mga bituwin.


This is the legend that tells how the sky came to be so high, and where the sun, moon, and stars came from. According to the old story of long ago, the sky was so close to the earth that it was not easy for the people to do their work. So, they wished that the sky would move up. This wish was granted, and as the sky moved upward, it carried along with it the comb, the necklace, and the burning stove. According to the story, these things became the half moon and the stars and the sun.


In the heart of the town of Calamba, there is a place which is called Tambobong. During the Spanish time, the eastern part of the town near the church was covered with wide ricefields that belonged to the friars. These lands were tilled by the natives who lived in the place. In order to have a safe place for the shares and tributes paid by the people, the friars constructed a very big bodega of stone blocks and

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lime. After the harvests, the shares and the tributes were kept in the tambobong. It could hold thousands of cavans of palay because it was very big. Since then, the place had been called Tambobong.
When the Americans came, the friars sold the lands to the new government which were sold to the natives in small parcels. The people who bought the parcels built their homes there. As time went by, the people increased in number and more homes were built; and so, there were no more ricefields to cultivate and there was no more need for the tambobong. It still stands there, although it is partly demolished, and the people who reside near it are still referred to as "taga-Tambobong." Today, it is owned by Mr. Jorge San Mateo.


Sa kalagitnaan ng bayan ng Kalamba ay may isang pook na kung tawagin ay Tambobong. Noong panahon ng Kastila, sa gawing silangan ng silangan ay malawak na bukirin na pinag-aanihan ng palay at mais. Ang mga lupang ito ay pag-aari ng mga pareng prayle at ang kanilang manggagawa ay ang mga taong naninirahan sa pook na iyon. Sapagka't malawak ang taniman ng palay at mais ay marami ang naaani. Tangi sa kabahagi ng mga pare, ang mga taong bayan ay pinagbabayad ng buwis na mais o palay. Dahil dito, sila ay nagpatayo ng isang imbakan ng palay o isang tambobong na yari sa bato at apog. Ito ay napakalaki at lumalaman ng libo-libong kaban ng mais at palay. Magmula noon, ang pook na iyon ay tinaguri-

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ang Tambobong.

Nang dumating ang mga Amerikano, ang mga lupain ng mga prayle ay pinagbile sa pamahalaan at ipinagbile naman sa mga taong bayan. Ang lupa ay hinati sa maliliit na bahagi, at ang mga nakabili ay nagtayo ng bahay nila roon. Sa nilakad-lakad ng panahon, dumami ng dumami ang tao at dumami rin ang bahay sa pook ng Tambobong hanggang tuluyan nang nawala ang bukirin. Hindi na pinag-iimbakan ng palay ang tambobong, subali't hindi naman sinira ng mga tao roon. Ang lahat ng nanirahan at tumira roon ay tinaguriang mga taga-Tambobong.

Ang imbakang iyon ay naroon pa subali't sira-sira na at ang nagmamay-ari ay si G. Jorge San Mateo.


During the Spanish rule in 1576 up to 1896, the people of Calamba suffered a great deal. Life was very miserable. Every male citizen was at the mercy of the civil guard known as the Guardia Civil. Men, young and old, were not allowed to walk at night. Whenever the people disregarded the regulations of the friars, they were punished severely. Many kinds of punishments were practiced by the Spaniards during their rule. Such punishments were the following:
1. The Enforced Labor - With Spanish sovereignty came enforced labor. The Filipinos were forcibly employed in cutting timber and digging mines. They were made to work in the construction of churches, convents, and the erection of houses for the Spaniards without any remuneration. Others were forced to build ships or engaged in foreign conquests to the south like in Jolo, Borneo, and Ternate. This enforced labor, ranging from fifteen days to one month without pay was so unjust to our people.

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2. Facing toward the sun. By this means, the supposed criminal was made to face the rising sun with open eyes, and when he disobeyed the order, he was butted with the end of a gun or kicked. As a result, most people became blind.

3. Kneeling on mongoes or "balatong." By this method, mongoes were spread on the floor or ground and the culprits were forced to kneel on them for hours.

4. Slapping.

5. By the gallows or garrotte system

As a consequence of the cruelties and abuses inflicted to our people, the Filipinos never became reconciled with the Spanish rule. Thus, when the people of Calamba could no longer bear the hardships, they revolted against the Spanish government in 1896, resulting in its overthrow in this part of the globe.


When a Catholic is gravely ill, a priest is called to administer the last rites of confession. A "manang" stays beside the dying person and recites prayers to prepare the dying person to meet his maker.

As soon as a dying person breathes his last, a handkerchief is tied around the head to the jaw so that the mouth will be closed. If the eyes are open, a centavo piece is placed on the eyelids so that after a while, these will close. The knees are straightened at once to prevent becoming bent. The body is cleaned with warm water with some antiseptic. Then, it is dressed. If the corpse is very

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thin, cotton is inserted in the cheeks so that they will appear stout. The hands are clasped and a crucifix or rosary is inserted, depending on the sex. If a maiden dies, she is dressed in white with bridal flowers around the head. There are cases when stockings are worn, but most often, the corpse is barefooted.

In the case of older persons, the color of the coffin is gray. For ladies, white; and for children, white or blue. The death is reported to the parish priest who, in turn, asks one sacristan to toll the bells. If the corpse is a woman, the high pitched bell is tolled first. If the corpse is a man, it is vice-versa. Then, like the town crier of the olden days, one of the sacristans goes around the town and informs the people of the person who had just died.

On the day of the burial, the funeral march varies with the age of the corpse. The older ones have somber music, while the younger ones have gay music furnished by a band or orchestra. In these days, phonograph records are utilized, and usually the piece played is the Ave Maria.

The coffin should not touch the door or any furniture in the house when it is taken down. If this happens, someone in the house will die soon.

It is bad to sweep the house or yard when the body lies in state in the house. It is the belief that when this is done, it will rain. The cleaning of the house starts immediately as soon as the funeral procession has left the house.


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