MUNICIPALITY OF LUISIANA (LAGUNA), Historical Data of Part IiI - Philippine Historical Data MUNICIPALITY OF LUISIANA (LAGUNA), Historical Data of Part IiI - Philippine Historical Data


Municipality of Luisiana, Laguna



About these Historical Data

[p. 17]

The war from 1941 to 1945 wrought great havoc and immense destruction among the lives and properties of the inhabitants of this town. At the start of the war, there were many sons of Luisiana who were called to active duty. After the capitulation of American and Filipino forces to the Japanese soldiers, some of these were able to return to tell of their grim experiences, but there were also those who were never to return at all because they were killed in action. The organization of a guerrilla unit in this town increased the loss of lives among the male population. This happened at the beginning of the administration of the Japanese-sponsored government. The guerrilla leaders and members, together with those suspected of being loyal to the American government, were arrested, tortured, and executed. Others were no longer heard from.

At the latter part of 1944, when the Japanese soldiers were in retreat, their food supplies were very scanty. Whenever they passed through this town, they either confiscated or commandeered whatever they could find in order to replenish their dwindling food supply. They got whatever foodstuff they could get hold of, such as rice, camote, cassava, and bananas. If they had the chance to go to the nearby barrios, they confiscated pigs, carabaos, cows, horses, and vegetables they found in the barrios. This condition existed in the town up to the end of the year when it was very evident that their defeat would come soon.

[p. 18]

During the first three months of 1945, there was a reign of terror in this town. This was principally instigated by the bestial policy adopted by the Makapili soldiers. The hatred between the guerrillas and the Makapili faction rose to its zenith. With the kidnapping of the son of a Makapili sergeant, the wanton execution of even innocent civilians by these Makapilis began. Once a person was arrested, he had a very slim chance of saving his life, and the Makapilis asserted that those who would survive the ordeals of the were were genuine gold. So, in the months of January and February, many men were killed, many of them for just having had an old grudge or previous misunderstanding with those Makapilis. One night in the early part of March 1945, the Japanese outpost at the southern outskirts of the town was ambushed. As a reprisal, not less than thirty civilians living in the vicinity of that place were picked up, tortured, massacred, and buried in a common grave.

The Japanese forces abandoned this place by the end of March 1945. They left for the lowland towns, together with their Filipino allies, the Makapilis. This place became a ghost town because all the inhabitants had evacuated to the distant barrios. The guerrillas burned the few houses owned by the Makapilis. A few days later, the whole town was burned, except those located at the eastern end of the town and some that escaped the spread of the fire. The loss of property was, indeed, very great. The Philippine Independent Church,

[p. 19]

the old school building, the municipal building, and the commercial and residential houses did not escape the fire. Thus, after liberation, almost all the people had to begin life all over again.
After more than five years of rehabilitation and reconstruction, the town has undergone somewhat a metamorphosis. Perhaps, the calamity that happened was a blessing in disguise, because most of the houses that have been built to replace the burnt ones were patterned after modern plans and designs. The War Damage Commission helped a great deal towards the accomplishment of the rehabilitation projects. All government buildings have been replaced except the municipal building. The town has improved considerably in its physical and material aspects.


Social behavior in this community is based upon the customs and traditions of the people handed down from generation to generation. It may alter in a few aspects due to our changing times, but mostly, our ancestral traits are still predominant. One of these is the people's hospitality. The townspeople make good hosts to visitors, and they are willing to give anything that they have just to provide their visitors with the necessary comfort that they deserve.

[Note to the reader: the bottom of this page is torn and thus cannot be transcribed.]

[p. 20]

neighbors readily flock to the house. Some are boiling water, others are dressing the chicken which the mother has taken care of during the past months, others still are very busy assisting the midwife, while the rest who have nothing to do just stand aside and watch, ready to help when the need arises. Days after, friends and relatives continued to call on the mother, taking along with them something with which their visit can be remembered.

When the child grows up, then there is the baptism. This is celebrated with great pomp and festivity. The neighbors are then full of activity. Material assistance, as well as personal help, is needed. All the necessary utensils which the celebrant does not have will come either from the relatives or the neighbors. This is usually celebrated with music and the indispensable wine. The "ninong" and the "ninang" are the chief personages during the day. They receive the most of the attention. After the baptismal party, the "padrinos" and "padrinas" offer gifts to the baby in the form of money which is called "pabaro." Aside from this, they have to pay for the church fees and the orchestra that furnished the music to make the affair a lively one.

One of the phases of social life wherein the past is but a shadow of the present is courtship. In the days of our grandmothers and grandfathers, a suitor had to go through many trials before winning the love of a maiden. Usually, the suitor persuaded the parents

[p. 21]

of the girl, for in those olden times, a girl had no voice in love affairs. The parents chose for their daughters. If the parents had signified approval of a young man's love, the said suitor was duty-bound to help in the household activities such as fetching water, pounding rice, repairing some parts of the house, harvesting rice, and drying the palay. This was known locally as "pamimi-anan."

The next was the "pasugo." In this step, the parents of the boy, with some relatives, went to the girl's house, taking along with them a dressed chicken (inahin) and a dressed rooster (tandang), cakes, and other food. This was considered the announcement of the official engagement. In some cases, the date for the marriage was set on this occasion, but generally, the date was not fixed at once and the suitor's parents had to return to inquire about the date and final plans for the wedding ceremony. They also talked about dowry, locally known as "bayin-bigay" or "bigay-kaya." This present to the bride usually consisted of a tract of land, a coconut grove, or a parcel of ricefield. This dowry was given to the bride by the young man's parents and it became the property of the couple after the marriage.

After the "pasugu-an," both parties prepared for the marriage ceremony. The young man incurred great expenses. He buys the wedding attire of the bride, together with his own clothes to be worn on the wedding day. The bridegroom's parents are responsible for the food,

[p. 22]

wine, and other necessities to be used on the celebration. On that day, the bride's house was bristling with activity. Oftentimes, the house was decorated with multicolored strips of paper, young coconut palm leaves, and other artistic things that would give color to the occasion. There was also constructed a temporary annex building in order to accommodate as many people as possible. All these preparations were done under the responsibility of the groom's parents and relatives.

On the eve of the wedding, there was a preliminary party at the house. The young folks of the place paid their last respects to one of their kind. There was a dance, and sometimes they held a short program with songs and poems. While this was going on, the old folks were having gaiety of their own. They gathered in one part of the house and held a drinking spree. When they had made the most out of their drinking, they sang folk songs. This lasted usually until the wee hours of the night, and in most cases, they did not sleep anymore, but waited for the bride and the groom to go to the church.

Early in the morning of the wedding day, the bride was escorted to the church by the musicians. The sponsors and the parents went with them together with some young ladies and gentlemen who would act as best men and women. After the church rites, they returned to the house escorted also by the musicians. Everybody was saved breakfast or lunch according to the time of the wedding. Then, there followed the "galahan," the giving of gifts in the form of money. The bride's re-

[p. 23]

latives gave their gala to the groom and vice-versa. So, the groom had to go from one relative to another, carrying a cup of wine and asking for the "gala." The same deed was performed by the bride. In the course of this step, There was a secretary who listed the names and amounts given. When all the people had given their gala, the dancing by the newlyweds began. While they were dancing, the audience threw coins of various denominations. These were collected and included in the gala. Then, an extra gala was given again to the bride by any relative of the groom who [unreadable] to dance with her. After the galahan, the money was remitted to the couple and the people began to disperse. The bride was then accompanied by her friends to the groom's house. This was called the "lipatan" or transferring to the boy's house. Thus ended the wedding day, although generally, the merrymaking continued in the house of the groom. These marriage customs are gradually being liberalized and, at present, the young women of the locality have much freedom in selecting their own mates, even to the extent of being disowned by their parents.
In the melancholy aspects of the lives of the inhabitants, so much grief and sorrow are portrayed in the event of the death of a member of the family. When somebody dies, the people in the neighborhood go to the house to pay their homage to the deceased. They help in making the coffin, wreaths, and in preparing the food for the visitors. The whole night before the burial, there is a "lamayan." The relatives of the dead one take turns in watching the corpse throughout the night.

[p. 24]

Meanwhile, refreshments, mostly coffee and bread, are served at intervals to keep them awake. The next day, at the appointed time, the funeral begins. The priest, with the music of the band, arrives at the house. He officiates the blessings and the corpse is carried to the church with the funeral procession following it. The female members of the bereaved family wear black clothing with black veils over their heads, while the male ones put on black armbands or pin strips of black cloth to their clothes. At the church, the dead one is blessed again by the priest, and the funeral begins and proceeds to the cemetery. The concluding rites are officiated, and finally the corpse is buried. From the beginning of the funeral up to the time the dead person is buried, the band keeps on playing the sad and sorrowful airs of funeral marches and dirges. After four, nine, or thirty days, prayers are offered by the family for the repose of the soul of the dead one. Lastly, on the first anniversary, there is a "lungkasan." Prayers are offered, and this terminates the period of mourning.
The practice of celebrating festivals is done in the locality in much the same ways as they are done in other places. These festivals, mostly religious in nature, are the Feast of the Three Kings, Holy Week, Santa Cruz de Mayo, the Town Fiesta, All Saints' Day, and St. Isidoro's Christmas. Other festivals are the New Year, the planting season, and harvest season, and Rizal Day. On New Year's Day, the people seldom buy any of their necessities, because they believe that

[p. 25]

they will continue buying lavishly the whole year round. The day before New Year, they buy all the things they need. Then, at midnight, they eat their repast. There is also a dance held at the town's social center where the young people enjoy themselves until the coming of the New Year. The old folks stay awake at their homes, guarding their homes for fear of the pranks to be played by the younsters in case they sleep.

The planting and harvesting festivals are celebrated with solemnity coupled with merrymaking. After a man has finished planting his ricefields, he invites those who helped him and prayers are offered imploring the Almighty for a bountiful harvest. Then follows the merrymaking. There is dancing, drinking, and dining. After the harvest season, when all the palay harvested is properly stored, the same celebration is done. Prayers of thanks are offered by the farmer. The other farmers and visitors who are present share in the food, wine, and music prepared by the host.

Another festival celebrated by the people to show their gratitude and thanks for the harvests they reap from their farms is the Saint Isidoro's Day. Every house is decorated with fruits, crops, and other vegetables from the farms. There are also cakes and refreshments prepared at the individual houses. These are hung outside the window at the front side of the houses. During the procession, the male folks, young and old, who are with the procession, carry with them long

[Note to the reader: The original document on file at the National Library of the Philippines Digital Collections ends with this page, although it is obviously incomplete. We can only surmise that the rest of this document has been destroyed or not scanned.]


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