Local traditions and culture in Province of Laguna

  • Hubby With Nephew & Grandnephew
    Hubby With Nephew & Grandnephew
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  • Clan Members Introduced By Families
    Clan Members Introduced By Families
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  • Palay Is Spread On The Road Early Morning
    Palay Is Spread On The Road Early...
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Most Viewed Local Customs in Province of Laguna

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    Fishing For Family Meal

    by cyndymc Updated Nov 25, 2011

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    Country folks don't always have to buy fish in the market. I met Mang Boyet, who works as tricycle driver, but before he goes to work, he catches fish in the river everyday for their family meal. He uses an improvised spear gun for catching tilapia and carp. Unlike Mang Boyet, there are other men who employ illegal means, like electrocuting fish. I admire Mang Boyet who fishes the hard way. He gets only the mature fish for food, unlike those who electrocute fish and kill even the fingerlings.

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    Horse To House or Market Delivery

    by cyndymc Written Nov 22, 2010

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    When we went to a relative's wake recently, I was amused to find that farmers still use a work horse to deliver their harvest. Straight from the farm, the farmer carries his coconuts/fruits on the wired baskets at the rear sides of the horse. They used to have "kaings" or native baskets made of woven bamboo, but now they use wired baskets with woven nylon. The farmers deliver their harvest to wholesalers in the market, or owners of "sari-sari" store (small general merchandise store), or directly to households. This is a common practice so the traffic enforcers are tolerant and do not prohibit the work horses to pass through the main streets. Just be patient if you're driving your car behind a work horse. This is a common sight in upland towns like Nagcarlan, Liliw, and Majayjay.

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    Lanzones Peel As Mosquito Repellant

    by cyndymc Written Nov 22, 2010

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    Laguna is known for its sweet lanzones. The town of Paete used to have monopoly of this fruit, but now, other towns like Nagcarlan and Liliw, as well as San Pablo City also produce sweet lanzones. When in season, families have lanzones for dessert and for snack. One thing my grandmother taught me and the other kids, is to gather lanzones peel, let them dry in the yard, then burn them at dusk or late afternoon to drive away the mosquitoes.

    While we are at the topic of lanzones, let me teach you how to eat lanzones. I didn't realize that this simple matter is not known to some, especially the foreigners. Hubby had a Japanese visitor who bit the fruit and wondered why we liked it so much, when it tasted bitter to him. Of course, it was bitter to him because he bit the whole fruit, thereby tasting the bitter sap of the peel and the bitter taste of the seeds. To appreciate its sweetness, remove the fruit from the bunch, pinch it on the top part until it opens with the pressure of your thumb and forefinger. Once open, you can then eat the flesh, careful not to bite the seed. Put the peel on a bowl or tray, then let sun-dry in the yard. When brown and wilted, you can burn them at dusk or late afternoon to drive away the mosquitoes.

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    Birthday Party=Family Reunion

    by cyndymc Updated Sep 21, 2010

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    Clans usually met regularly for family reunions during the Christmas or New Year's eve. But in our case, since our grandparents and parents died, it seemed more difficult to gather the clan, especially the younger generations. They would rather spend the holidays travelling instead of partying or playing traditional family games with relatives...However, this is not to say that clan members are no longer close to one another.

    Every chance that there is a birthday party for children, members of the clan usually find time to attend the party to renew ties with relatives. It is amazing how relatives are drawn to each other when there are young children around. It is quite amusing that most of the time, adults outnumber the kids in children's birthday parties.

    This is one change that I noticed: traditional family reunions in ancestral homes have evolved to informal family gatherings during birthdays of children in restaurants/malls.

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    Buy Tropical Fruits From Roadside Fruit Stands

    by cyndymc Updated Jun 26, 2010

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    Laguna is rich in natural resources. Its fertile soil makes the tropical fruits taste sweeter. Have a taste of Laguna's tropical fruits sold at roadside fruit stands. Farmers and middlemen sell fruits at low, low pricces. In our recent trip, we stopped by Calauan to buy pineapples (P35/pc or 3 for P100) and durian (P35/kg). Fresh coconuts can also be bought in Los Banos and San Pablo City for only P8/pc, "saba" or cooking bananas for P1-P2/pc depending on size. Starapples, "santol", watermelon and other tropical fruits are aplenty in fruit stands.

    To make buying from roadside fruit stands more satisfactory, learn how to do these:

    "Patikim" or taste test; yes this is possible. "Tawad" or haggling for lower price is an also an acceptable practice, as well as "Dagdag" or asking for 1 piece extra.

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    Hospitality of Countryside Locals

    by cyndymc Updated Dec 17, 2009

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    At a recent photo shoot in Brgy. Dinggin, Magdalena, I proved that Lagunenses are really hospitable. Although the people didn't know me and my husband, they were very kind to us. When they saw my husband get his tripod and photography gear from the car, one resident told him to transfer the car near their house at the riverside so the women who were out in the yard chatting and playing "tong-its" (a local card game) can watch it. And when they saw me standing at the riverbank under the heat of the sun, they suggested that I sit on the bench in a hut nearby while waiting for my husband to finish his photoshoot. The hut was unattended while there were clothes on their "sampayan" (clothesline); no doors and locks, just a movable bamboo divider as partition. They had an open kitchen when passersby can drink a glass of water from their jug. Mang Boyet kept me company, and he patiently answered my questions about the place. When he had to leave to fetch his daughter from school, he asked the niece of the hut's owner to accompany me. Before he left, Mang Boyet even invited us to return early in the morning so he can let us eat his fresh catch of fish. And when the owner of the hut came, I paid my respect and thanked him for my stay in their hut. He came from the forest with his wife, brought some mature coconuts for cooking and "ubod" (core of young tree) of banana. They invited me and hubby to stay for dinner, but we begged off saying we had a long way to travel yet... Their hospitality truly touched my heart.

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    They Cross The River To/From School

    by cyndymc Updated Dec 17, 2009

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    While most children in the towns of Laguna are fetched by school service vehicles, in the countryside, some children cross the river going to & from the school. Due to poverty, they cannot even afford to ride the tricycle, so they are forced to find shorcuts even if it means crossing the river.

    I am surprised that they don't look having a difficult time. In fact they look so happy, playing with some found items in the river, catching some small fish, and watching what strangers like us are doing:-)

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    Locals Wash Clothes In The River

    by cyndymc Updated Dec 17, 2009

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    Some locals still wash clothes in the river. They usually stay on a makeshift shed on the riverside or at a small land formation at the middle of the river where the water flows rapidly. While the sun is blaring hot, the women sunbleach their laundry on the bamboo poles of their shed or on the grass nearby.

    The women have already finished their laundry when we arrived at Balanac River in Brgy. Sabang, Magdalena and were already packing up so I wasn't able to take their pictures in action.

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    Smile at locals, take their pictures

    by cyndymc Written Dec 13, 2008

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    Lagunenses are generally very friendly people. If you get lost on the road, feel free to approach a local for directions, greet and smile at the locals,and be respectful in addressing older people with "po" /"opo". Most Lagunenses speak English, except probably some old folks in the barrios, so you need not worry asking for help or directions.
    Children are very curious about strangers in their place taking pictures, in fact they will volunteer to be your "models". Don't get irritated. Take some of their pictures, show their faces in the lcd monitor. You'll win the locals' heart. Then, ask them if they could please move aside a little so you can have a better shot of the views you'd like to shot.
    On the other hand, some children, or even adults can be shy. If you find them interesting as subjects, ask their permission (if you don't speak the local dialect, just motion to the camera and to them, and they'll understand). Most of them will oblige, but if they don't, respect their decision, you'll always find others who are willing.

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    Watch your candy wrapper!

    by babynimajikero Written Feb 23, 2007

    While i was on a visit to los baƱos, laguna . . .
    My boyfriend suddenly said "Notice d clean environment
    here, noh?" and also mentioned, "Folks here really
    value cleanliness . . ."
    Yaiiiiiiks! where should i throw my candy wrapper?!
    So ofcourse, observe cleanliness and refrain from
    littering hehe. . .

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Province of Laguna Local Customs

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