There are many stereotypes and generalizations that are linked to Batangueños. For some people Batangueños are arrogant, hot-headed and hard drinkers. But wherever in the world they could be, they are always proud of their roots.
Bugs Serrano, native Batangueño shares his trait.
“Batanguenos are very true to themselves. They are not ashamed to call themselves as Batangueños.”
But what about the soft spot of Batangueños?
To most people I interviewed, Batangueños love the idea of love. They are known for being romantic and sweet lovers. When it comes to love, they always have so much to say and stand for.
”We will sacrifice our own happiness just to make you happy.” quips Michael Ryan Catapang, 28 year- old Batngueño, “When it comes to love we can offer our life even space. We can love you without asking anything in return.”
A Batangueño man’s style of winning a woman’s heart is deeply rooted from the old tradition of courtship in the Philippines. We can even trace in the history of romanticism among Batangueños. A fine example is a man goes to the house of the girl and pleases her parents.
Steve Cardona, a film maker, says that Batangueños are serious lovers. Most of the films he produces are about the different faces of love. He himself is still up to the traditional way of courtship.
Back in the day, courting a Filipino woman does not mean going out on a date. A man has to visit her at home in the evening and talk to her in the living room with her parents watching nearby. In the process, when the man wins her heart, proposes to marry, the challenge to his sincerity unfolds.
In Batangas, the journey towards marriage starts with the “bulungan” wherein the groom gathers together his family and the bride’s family and formally asks for her hand. The groom will provide the food and drinks.
Next is the “paninilbihan” where the groom will provide assistance to the bride’s family in the form of errands and household chores.
Traditionally, the wedding celebration is done at the bride’s place. Before the wedding day, the groom’s entourage starts to walk in at the bride’s place during noontime. All things needed for the celebration are brought to her place such as live cows, pigs and vegetables.
It is a long wedding celebration for them on the “bisperas” or the night before the wedding. The bride and groom will have their first dance and the visitors will pin paper money on their cloths for prosperity and luck.
The church wedding ceremony that follows the next day is usually held at 8 to 9 AM. Traditionally, the bride wears a white bridal gown and the groom wears a barong tagalong.
After the wedding, they go straight to the bride’s place for celebration. But before they enter the house they are told to eat sticky rice product called “kalamay” and a glass of wine for long lasting marriage.
Subsequently, they are asked to look for the coins in the winnowing basket full of uncooked rice and flowers, for good fortune. The releasing of white doves is also done as a sign of harmonious marriage. Then the presentation of gifts of the guests follows. It is what they call “sabugan”.
After the celebration, the newlyweds prepare the “lipatan” or the transfer at the groom’s residence. Again, before they enter the groom’s house they will eat first the “kalamay”. Then the most exciting part follows.
Batangueño men have a very high regard towards women. Most of their traditional songs were written to praise and worship the beauty of women. Perhaps the most famous of all is the “Prinsesa ng Kumintang” which tells about the pursuit of a very beautiful woman.
It says that if a man wants to find happiness, he would simply has to choose a Batangueña for a wife. This is because she is always dainty and would be with you no matter how hard life becomes.
The song goes on to say that her smiles would bring you hopes, she’s a beautiful pearl, who loves purely. She is likened to a bright star, even though her heart is breaking. However, the common warning is that you must be careful not to make a fool of her or you’ll end up with trouble.
In conclusion, Batangueños gives importance in their old custom and tradition in courtship and marriage. They have a serious belief when it comes to love and romance. They are pure lovers at the same time gladiatorial so never to mess up with their love.