Intersections: Gender and Sexuality in Asia and the Pacific
Monograph 1: The Philippines at the Turn of the Sixteenth Century

Malcolm W. Mintz

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Chapter 18



The chapter opens with a discussion of the size of the immediate family and the question asked to determine how closely people were related in the context of the extended family. This discussion continues into Section 1(ii) where children and siblings are the focus. Terms for the first and last born child are examined across the central Philippine languages leading to a discussion of terms borrowed from other languages both within and outside the Philippines, primarily from Malay, and in the case of Tagalog, Hokkien. The relationship between siblings is also examined, important as families were often broken by divorce or bereavement, and siblings frequently did not share the same father and mother.

Parents is the focus of Section 1(iii), and aunts and uncles in Section 1(iv), the two sections showing some overlap due to the derivation possibilities of the word roots. Discussed here as well are nieces and nephews. Section 1(v) looks at grandparents and grandchildren and the generational distance of great-grandchildren counted with reference to the lower parts of the body. In Section 1(vi) is a discussion of in-laws.

Characteristics inherited by children in various ways and from various people is looked at in Section 2. This includes expected behaviours traceable to one's parents, but also to other behaviours attributable to less obvious relationships. Section 3 examines the relationship between children and parents in terms of the care and respect expected, but not always forthcoming, and Section 4 the behaviour of adolescents. Included is a discussion of virginity for the women, and for both men and women, the expectations of eventual marriage.

Section 5 begins the extended discussion of marriage. Examined first are the marriage proposals which are brought to the parents of the girl by the parents of the boy and the reasons they may have been accepted or rejected. The all important dowry is the focus of Section 5(ii), what this involved, how it was negotiated and the fines imposed if a marriage were not to take place. In Section 5(iii) is the marriage ceremony, the more elaborate celebrations of the rich and influential in the community, and the simpler occasions of the ordinary folk and slaves.

Polygamy, is the subject of Section 5(iv), most commonly associated with the Visayas, yet existing possibly on Luzon as well. Incest is the subject of Section 5(v), its occurrence and consequences for the community. Section 5(vi) looks at mistresses and concubines, Section 5(vii) sexual attraction and Section 5(viii) adultery and how it was handled in the context of a marriage. Marital problems are examined in Section 5(ix), those shared by both husband and wife and those between husband and wife. The chapter concludes with a discussion of separation and divorce, and what this meant for the children and the dowry originally given at the time of the marriage.

(i) Relationships

It was important to know the degree of kinship within a family and the family's relationship to the community as a whole for this had a direct effect on the types of marriages which could legally take place. Communities were, for the most part, small, and while marriages to relatives who were considered close were acceptable, others could be regarded as incest resulting in misfortune not only for the family but also the wider community (see Section 5(v)). Additionally, with divorce, concubinage, as well as death from disease or combat common, children were left to be raised by other than their biological parents, often complicating the line of natural descent.

In modern Bikol, the question asked to determine a relationship which was not immediately obvious is based on reduplication of the question word anó 'what': anó-áno. For Lisboa, the term used was patíg. The assumption associated with this term is that the degree of relationship would be given in relation to 'cousins', pínsan. The two sequential entries below show this quite clearly. Sú'od, indicating closeness in proximity, was also used to show a particularly close blood relative.
    anó-áno MAGKA- to be related to each other in what way: Magkaanó-áno kamó? How are you related to each other?; KA- what is the relationship to: Kaanó-áno mo siyá? What is your relationship to her?

    patíg term used in inquiring and responding to questions about the degree of kinship one shares with another, how closely one is related to another, or how far removed one is from another; Patíg pipirá? - Patíg sasaró' How closely are we related? - First cousins; patíg duruwá or patíg duduwá second cousins; patíg tutuló third cousins [MDL]

    pínsan cousin; MAG- to be cousins; ... [+MDL: pinsán MAG-: magpirinsán to be cousins (many people); pinsán patíg sasaró' first cousins; pinsán patíg duruwá or pinsán patíg duduwá second cousins; pinsán patíg tutuló third cousins; pinsán patíg aapát fourth cousins]

    sú'od close, at close intervals; ... [MDL: close, nearby; also: close (a relative): Sú'od ko pang túgang My closest relative; MAG- to draw close to one another; MA-, -ON or MAG-, PAG--ON to draw near or go close to s/o; ...]
Of the central Philippine language dictionaries, only Tagalog, Cebuano and Hiligaynon have entries for 'cousin' with each of these also listing examples to the third or fourth degree of relationship.[1] All of the dictionaries, however, with the exception of Hiligaynon, do include entries which trace a direct line of descent,[2] touch on the closeness or distance of a familial relationship[3] or refer to the size of the extended family and the transmission of traditional values from one generation to the next.[4] The term 'relatives' could also include people who were simply close friends, as in Tagalog,[5] and people where the relationship was so distant that the exact familial connection could no longer accurately be retrieved, as in Kapampangan.[6] Reference could also be made specifically to relatives who were deceased, or to relatives among the nobility, mentioned as a boast in an attempt to raise one's status, also in Kapampangan.[7]

(ii) Children and Siblings

For Bikol, the term for child, áki', has a number of derivations which relate the child not only to its parents, but also to its full generational line. The same is true for Tagalog, Cebuano and Kapampangan, and to a lesser extent for Waray and Hiligaynon, where various derivations and extensions of anák 'child' also indicate the line of descent and identify certain individuals along that line.[8] Interestingly, in Bikol, single derivations of the root anák refer to parents, or step-parents, lumanák, but where children are concerned, reference is only to children who are step-sons or daughters.
    áki' child, kid; son, daughter; MAG- or MANG- to give birth; to reproduce; MANG-, IPANG- to give birth to a child; PANG- the birth; MAGPA- to deliver a child (by assisting the mother); PAG- birth; MAG-: magáki' father and child, mother and child; magaráki' parents and children; KAG- parent, parents; KA--AN childhood; KAPAG--AN: kapagarakí'an children, offspring, progeny; clan, descendants, family, kin, kinship, relatives; descent, lineage, parentage; garó áki' childish, immature, juvenile; áki' pa still a child, immature; áki' na sadít or áki' sa la'óg nin tulák fetus; áki' sa luwás illegitimate child, bastard [+MDL: MA-, -ON to accept s/o as one's child; MAG-, PAG--ON to adopt a child; MAG-, PAG--AN to take a child from its natural parents for the purpose of adoption; MAKA- to grow (the fetus); MA--AN to be pregnant; KAG- parents; mother or father; KANGAG-: kangagáki' parentage; relatives, kinfolk; ancestors; akí'-áki' MAG- to act like a child; MAG-, PAG--ON to do s/t like a child; MA-, -ON or MAG-, PAG- -ON to treat s/o as one's child]

    anák KAG- parents; mother or father; kaganák mo your parents; an sakóyang kaganák or an kaganák ko my parents [MDL]

    lumanák MANG-, PANG--ON to be stepfather or stepmother to s/o; an pinalulumanák stepson or stepdaughter; stepchild [MDL]
Families, for the most part, were not large, comprising just two or three children. This is an estimate based on the number of individuals under Spanish control and the tribute groups liable for taxes which were based on the family unit. While the Spanish commented on the fertility of the women, there were a number of reasons why large families were not desired, not least of which was the inevitable division of the inheritance on the death of the parents. An inheritance divided among a large number of children would leave each of them poor (see Chapter 5, 'Childhood,' Sections 1 and 2).

Giving birth to a large number of children might also have been considered an embarrassment. An entry in the Boxer Codex relates that Visayan women, particularly in coastal towns, compared giving birth to children in excess of one or two, to the proliferation of litters of pigs. After a second child, a women might attempt to abort successive pregnancies with the ingestion of particular herbs, or the massaging of the stomach to bring about the same result.[9] Lisboa also has a similar reference in Bikol with an entry describing an abortion by manipulation of the fetus in the womb (rugmók).
    rugmók MA-, -ON or MAG-, PAG--ON to bring about an abortion by manipulation of the fetus in the womb; MA-, -AN or MAG-, PAG--AN to cause a mother to abort in this way; MAKA-, MA- to be aborted in this way (the fetus) [MDL]
While having too many children might have been considered undesirable, having no children was also a source of embarrassment (kúmod-kúmod) or distress (kúrom-kúrom), and having just one child could leave the family without an heir if that child were to die (see the figurative meaning in párong).
    kúmod-kúmod MA- or MAG- to be ashamed, saddened or embarrassed (due to not having said or done the right thing, for not having had children, or for other reasons); I(PAG)- to cause sadness or embarrassment; Kúmod-kúmod na si kuyán That person bears a great sorrow [MDL]

    kúrom-kúrom regretful, disconsolate; ... Kúrom-kúrom na kainíng da'í na kitáng kinakakán I'm very upset at us not having anything to eat; Kúrom-kúrom an bu'ót ta kainíng da'í kitáng pinagaatáman na áki' We are downhearted at not having children to bring up [MDL]

    párong MAG-, -ON to put out a candle; to turn off a light; ... [+MDL: MA-, -ON or MAG-, PAG--ON to put out a fire, a candle; ... (fig-) Garó kitá napadngán nin si saró'-sáro' tang áki' It is as we have been left in the dark by the death of our only child]
The only child in a family was, and still is, referred to as bugtóng, and verbal entries associated with this entry also indicate that having only one child may have been all the family wanted. Identical terms with identical meanings are found in all of the central Philippine languages with the exception of Kapampangan where the meaning of 'only one' is not related to children, but generalised to any reference of 'single' or 'just one'.[10]
    bugtóng the only child in a family; bugtóng na áki' an only child [+MDL: MA- or MAG- to not wish to have a second child; (PAG-)-ON to be an only child]
As it was usual for families to have just one or two children, references are most commonly made to either the first born and the last born child. Tagalog, which will be discussed in some detail below, is an exception to this. For Bikol, there are two references to the oldest child, matu'á and pangánay, both of which were probably borrowed from elsewhere.

Tua is the general term for 'old', but in Malay, not in Bikol.[11] Bikol has only one derivation using this root, and that is with the adjectival prefix MA-, giving the meaning of 'older' as well as 'oldest child'. The general term for 'old' in Bikol is guráng which is the root for 'oldest child' in the Visayan languages. It is probable, then, that this is a term borrowed from Malay as the borrowing of terms from neighbouring languages relating to familial relationships does not appear to be an unusual occurrence.
    tu'á MA- older, elder; senior; an matu'á the first born or oldest child in a family [+MDL]
The second Bikol term for 'oldest child' is pangánay, a term shared with Tagalog and Kapampangan. This is a derived term based on the root nganay, a root which can be found in Tagalog, but neither Bikol nor Kapampangan. It is likely that this, too, is a borrowed term, this time from Tagalog, considering the existence of the root and derived forms in that language.[12]
    pangánay the first born in a family; oldest child in a family [+MDL]
The 'oldest' or 'first born' child in the Visayan languages, as mentioned above, is based on the root gurang or its cognate, gulang, meaning 'old'.[13] These languages also have further terms for the first born child which vary greatly from one language to the other: panisuhag (from suhag) in Waray, aso in Cebuano, and suhat nga anak in Hiligaynon.[14]

In Kapampangan a term for the first born or oldest child, additional to panganay, is kaka, a word also found in Tagalog and perhaps borrowed from there.[15] The Tagalog term, however, has two related meanings. One of these meanings is 'older brother' and so is in accord with the meaning in Kapampangan. A second is 'uncle' or 'aunt' referring specifically to the older brother or sister of the father or mother. These definitions are found in both the 1754 and 1860 editions of the dictionary. The index to the 1860 edition, however, clearly added later, defines kaka only as 'older brother' or 'older sister'.

The term kaka in Tagalog referring to an 'uncle' or 'aunt' older than one's father or mother parallels usage by Hokkien speakers in the Philippines where it is a term of address for the father's older brother'.[16] This, however, does not appear to be a native Hokkien term and may be an adaptation in Hokkien from the Tagalog.

Kaka, most probably a borrowing of the Malay kakak, also has more than one meaning in that language. In modern spoken Malay, it means only 'older sister', although historically the term referred to both older male and female siblings, something reflected in Indonesian usage. Winstedt defines kakak primarily as 'elder sister', although he goes on to indicate that in the Malay states of Johor, Pahang and Kelantan, it also referred to the older bother of the sultan, thereby encompassing the meaning 'uncle'.[17]

The term opposite to kaka in Tagalog is mama. This refers to an 'uncle' (but not an 'aunt') who is younger than one's mother or father, that is, one of their younger brothers. Since mama is not a loan from Malay, the existence of this pair of terms raises the question of whether kaka is indeed a Malay borrowing, at least in its reference to 'aunt' and 'uncle', or if the pair of terms for these meanings is natively Tagalog.

The term for the last born or youngest child in the family, nguhód in Bikol, is also found in the Visayan languages showing some variation in form and affixation: manghod in Waray and Cebuano and manhor in Hiligaynon. Cebuano and Hiligaynon also share a second term, libayon, with Waray introducing the unique pudo-pudo. Libay, the root of libayon, means 'hind' or 'female deer', a meaning also shared with Waray which does not have the derived form meaning 'youngest child'.[18] This refernce to deer does have its parallel in Cebuano where the generation of one's great grandparents is related to the horns of a deer (see Section 1(v). Tagalog and Kapampangan both have the term bungso' which is most likely a borrowing from Malay, something which would parallel the borrowing of kaka for the meaning 'older brother'. The index to the 1860 Tagalog dictionary sites the form which is used in modern Tagalog and Kapampangan, bunsó'.[19]

It would not be unusual for Tagalog in particular, and the neighbouring Kapampangan, to share familial terms borrowed from Malay considering the relationship of the ruling families to the Sultanate of Brunei [20] and the marriages which took place between the traders from Borneo and the residents in the area around Manila.[21]
    nguhód the youngest child in a family; the last born [+MDL: MAG- two brothers, two sisters, or brother and sister; magnguruhód brothers and sisters; KA--AN: kangudhán the youngest in the family]
Tagalog also has a term for the middle child, assuming there are three, kuluwong, and both Tagalog and Kapampangan for the child which follows a previous birth. For Tagalog, sundin (from sunod 'to follow') refers specifically to the second child in the family, following the birth of the first. The Kapampangan entry, wali, appears to be more general, referring simply to a subsequent birth.[22]

Lisboa does not have an entry for 'twin', although modern Bikol uses the term kambál which it shares with Tagalog and Kapampangan, and was probably borrowed from the former. This, too, is most likely a borrowing of the Malay kembar which has this identical meaning.[23]
    kambál twins; MAG- to be twins; (fig-) to do things alike; MAGKA- to look alike; to look like twins; KA- twin
Tagalog has, uniquely, a parallel set of relationship terms which are borrowed from Hokkien. While these can still be found in modern dictionaries, all but the terms for older brother, kuya, and older sister, ate, are of limited use. There are further Hokkien kinship terms which are included in the discussions of grandparents (see Section 1(v)) and in-laws (see Section 1(vi).[24]

Hokkien tones in the examples which follow are represented by raised numbers. A tilda, / ~ / placed over the vowel indicates nasalisation. I have attempted to use the same tonal representation found in the Bikol Dictionary of 2004.[25] The relationship between tone and number is as follows.
    0   neutral
    1   high level
    2   rising
    3   falling - rising
    4   falling
    5   low level
The Hokkien terms are presented in the parenthesis following the Tagalog. The repetitive elements represent the ordinal numbers, di5 'second' and sã1 'third' and the familial relationships, ci3 'sister' and ko1 'brother'. The a is described simply as a 'particle'. The tonal variation is present, no doubt, due to tone sandhi, that is, a change in tone due to the proximity of the particle to vowels possessing differing tones.[26]
    ate   (a2ci3)   first-born sister (the oldest)
    dite / ditse   (di5ci3)   second-born sister
    samse   (sã1ci3)   third-born sister

    kuya  (ko5a4)   first-born brother (the oldest)
    diko   (di5ko1)   second-born brother
    sangko / samko   (sã1ko1)   third-born brother
There are also quite specific entries related to children in unique circumstances which can be found in the central Philippine language dictionaries. References to the first still-born child and to a child born to girls as young as ten years old are made in Tagalog, respectively alay and anak palas,[27] to a child, particularly healthy, who grows bigger and stronger than the other siblings in Cebuano, hamuayaw,[28] to children born out of wedlock in Cebuano and Kapampangan and, more specifically, to those where the father cannot be identified in Hiligaynon, and to those attributed to the father in an adulterous relationship in Kapampangan.[29]

As divorce was common (see Section 5(x)), concubinage widespread (see Section 5(vi)) and early death from disease and conflict not unexpected, families often ended up with children who did not share the same father and mother. In Bikol, salimbábaw referred to siblings who shared either the same father or mother, but not both. The example in the entry for saró' indicates how this relationship could be specified. When children shared a full-blood relationship with their parents and siblings, this was referred to specifically as binuláhos, and figuratively as lúngon.
    salimbábaw MAGKA- half-brothers or sisters; half-siblings; siblings with either the same father or mother, but not sharing the same father and mother; Sa anó an pagkasalimbábaw nindó? Are you half-brothers or half-sisters with the same father or mother?; KA- a half-sibling]

    saró' one, single; MAG-, -ON to unite or unify s/o; to bring s/t together; ... [+MDL: MA- to join; MA-, -AN to join with s/o or s/t; ... MAGKA- to be similar, the same; to be united; MAGKA-, PAGKA--AN to be united against s/o; Da'í kamí nagkakasaró' sa iná' We're not siblings from the same mother; ...]

    binuláhos true, natural; used only to show true blood relations for children and siblings: Áki' kong binuláhos My true child; Bagá na kitá binuláhos na magturúgang We are like true brothers or sisters [MDL]

    lúngon MA-, -ON or MAG-, PAG--ON to live in s/o else's house; to travel with s/o from that house; MA-, -AN or MAG-, PAG--AN to live in the house of another; MAG- or MAGKA- to live together in one house; to travel together with s/o from the same house; ... (fig-) Nagkalúngon sa amá' asín sa iná' (She's) related to both the father and mother ... [MDL]
References in Cebuano identify children who shared only the same mother, the same term also referring to children in single parent families, and to children, particularly sons, of the father from an illicit relationship who are brought into and accepted by the family.[30] Children sharing the same mother are also specified in Kapampangan as well as those sharing the same line of descent.[31]

In Tagalog, pangaman refers to children who are brought from a first marriage into a second marriage when the father or mother has been widowed. Additions to the root produce meanings such as 'step-brothers' or 'sisters' and 'step-fathers' or 'mothers'. Noceda indicates as part of the entry that the older form was panguman. It is from this form that the root uman can be extracted leading to the entry uman-uman meaning 'to band together' or 'unite'. A second relevant entry in Tagalog, kaanak tilik, refers to children from different widowed mothers who are brought into one family. This implies that the father in the new family shares a blood relationship with none of these children. Anak 'child' is clearly the root or kaanak. I have, however, been unable to find an independent meaning in Tagalog for tilik. It appears only as part of this specific compound. It is, however, possible to speculate about a possible origin of the term.[32]

In Malay tilik refers to a type of gaze, particularly that associated with the evil eye or that of a fortune-teller. The parallel term in Tagalog is most likely tirik with the more neutral definition of 'to roll the eyes'. If the Malay tilik was borrowed with the negative meaning of 'evil eye' then it may well have had the limited association in Tagalog with children who have been unfortunately orphaned.[33]

Children also end up in families through adoption and foster care. While this is discussed in detail for Bikol in Chapter 5: 'Childhood,' Section 11, there are also some relevant entries of interest in Tagalog. These refer to children who are deliberately taken in and raised in another family, resulting in a type of adoption (iwi), to children who are cared for and, without deliberate intent, become part of the family that has supplied the care (sipi), and to other children who are fostered. The two entries for fostering, possibly referring to infants, have different implications. Kapatid sa gatas refers to children sharing the same milk, and is a fairly neutral statement, while kaagaw suso sets up a competition for the breast.[34]

The term for 'brother' or 'sister' in Bikol, túgang, can also have a range of extended meanings depending on the affixation applied to the root. Most commonly these derive terms of 'kinship' or 'line of descent' and reference one's prospective or current in-laws (see Section 5(vi). There is also a further pattern in Bikol which is reflected in all of the central Philippine languages. Here brothers and sisters are referred to as being 'cut' from the same umbilical cord, or, by extension, 'coming from the same womb'. In Bikol, kaputól sa púsod (see putól) is quite specific, where putól means 'cut; and púsod means 'umbilical cord'. The brothers and sisters referred to are only those who share the same mother.
    túgang sibling, brother or sister; túgang sa amá' or túgang sa iná' half brother or half sister; MAG- brother and sister; two brothers or two sisters; magturúgang used when there are more than two brothers and two sisters; MANG-: manúgang mother-in-law or father-in-law; son-in-law or daughter-in-law; MAGMANG- to work for the parents of the bride-to-be in order to show one's worth as a future husband (taken as a sign of engagement); PANG--AN: panugángan in-laws; tugáng-túgang PAGKA-: pagkaturúgang-túgang fraternity [+MDL: also a relative of both brother and sister; MA-, -ON to accept s/o as a brother or sister; to accept s/o as a relative; MA-, I- to give s/o as a brother or sister; MA-, -AN to give s/o a brother or sister; MAG- to be brothers or sisters; to accept one another as brothers or sisters; MAG-, PAG--ON to bring two people together or treat two people as brother and sister: Namatá, magtúgang kitá Don't you see, we are all brothers; KA--AN parentage, kinfolk; MAGMANG-, PAGMANG--ON to take s/o as in-laws; PAGMANG--AN to be in-laws]

    putól MAG-, -ON to cut s/t; ... MAG-, -AN to cut s/t from; MAKA-, MA- to get cut off or severed; KA- that which has been cut off, a cut piece, section [+MDL: ... kaputól sa púsod or magkaputól sa púsod brothers or sisters with the same mother ...]
In the other central Philippine languages, the connection to 'umbilical cord' or 'womb' is only implied. In the Visayan languages, bugto refers to both the snapping or breaking of a string as well as to brothers and sisters. In Cebuano, in a similar way to Bikol, the siblings are specified as sharing either the same mother or father, but not both. Hiligaynon specifies that both parents are shared, and in Waray no distinction is made as to parentage.[35]

In Kapampangan, patad is 'to cut' or 'snap' and kapatad is 'brother' or 'sister'. In Tagalog, the two terms meaning 'to cut' or 'sever' are putol and patir with the corresponding kaputol and kapatir meaning 'brother' or 'sister'. While there are no headword entries for patid and kapatid, which are the reference forms in modern Tagalog for patir and kapatir, there are numerous references to them in other entries.[36]

Lisboa has one entry describing relationships among friends which can be considered as close as that developed among siblings (hápin), and another detailing the extent that siblings will go to protect each other, comparing the reaction to an attack on one to the swarming of ants over a victim (siróm). Not all fraternal relationships need have been positive. Ulyás refers to a coolness and distance which can develop among siblings. The root here is clearly láyas. This leaves a prefix of the form u- which is probably a remnant of the fuller form alu-. While there are a number of examples which show both u- and alu- as prefixes, I have not been able to attribute a reasonable meaning to either form.
    hápin lining; insulation, padding; ... [+MDL: MA-, -AN or MAG-, PAG--AN to line the bottom of baskets to keep rice from leaking, or pots to keep food from sticking; ... (fig-) Da'í máyo' akóng hápin na bu'ót saímo; isinusúgod takáng gáyo sa túgang I hide nothing from you; I treat you exactly like a brother; MAG--AN-: Da'í sindá naghihinapínan nin bu'ót Those people have no secrets from each other]

    siróm ant (typ- small, red, biting); ... [+MDL: MA-, -ON or MAG-, PAG--ON to eat s/t (ants); (fig-) Garó ka pagsiromón kon pakiíwal ka kaiyán dakól na magturúgang It's as if you'll be covered with ants if that family picks a fight with you (Said as a warning about associating with a family where there are many brothers and sisters)]

    ulyás MA- unbroken, untamed (animals); shy, skittish; wild; MAG- to be untamed; to grow wild (an animal) [+MDL: MA- or MAG- to become wild; (fig-) MA- reserved, shy; distant, cold: Si maulyás sa túgang si kuyán That person is quite cold toward her siblings]

    láyas wild (animals); MAG- to run away; to desert; MAG-, -AN to run away from s/o or from a particular place; MAGPA-, PA--ON to send s/o away; to turn s/o out; to banish s/o; ... [MDL: MA- or MAG- to go far away; to disappear for a while; MA-, -AN or MAG-, PAG--AN to absent o/s from a particular place]

(iii) Parents

Historically reference to parents in Bikol was kagának, based on the root anák which, for the other central Philippine languages, meant 'child' (see Section 1(ii). Modern Bikol uses the term magúrang. In the Lisboa Vocabulario this simply meant 'old' referring to people and animals. The meaning 'parents', however, does appear in one of his example sentences indicating that such reference may also have existed in a more limited way in old Bikol: Katiwáy mong áki' sa magúrang Your child is very discourteous to his parents. Waray shares the term kaganak with Bikol and the Tagalog cognate magulang to refer not only to parents, but also to an extended line of descent.[37]
    magúrang parents [MDL: old]

    guráng old (humans, animals); aged, elderly: Guráng na akó I'm already old; MAG- to grow old; an mga magúrang parents; sagugúrang conservative, traditional; out of date; also used to refer to the stories told by old people; KA--AN old age; KA--NAN: kagurangnán the Lord; the Almighty [+MDL: gúrang MA- old; MA--ON very old; MA- or MAG- to grow old; MAKA- to cause s/t to age; to cause s/t to endure; MAGKA- to be long-lasting; to last forever, endure; magkagúrang man forever; MAGKA-, PAGKA--ON to persist or persevere in doing s/t; PAGKA- age; KA- -NAN: kagurangnán Mr, Mrs; master; Himinarí' na akó kainíng sakóng kagurangnán I find my master insufferable; MAGKA- -NANAN: magkagurangnánan to call s/o Mr or Mrs; MANG--NAN, PANG--NANAN: mangagurangnán, pangagurangnánan to serve a particular master as a servant or slave]
Mother and father were referred to respectively by iná' and amá', terms found in four of the other central Philippine languages but with varying degrees of use. Definitions in Tagalog and Hiligaynon parallel those in Bikol. In Waray they are identified as having limited use, but also as terms of respect and affection, a definition shared with Cebuano. The Kapampangan inda and ibpa are also terms of affection used when calling to a mother or father.[38]

The Bikol entries for iná' and amá' are complex, serving as the root for the derivation of closely related terms. In Modern Bikol, makó-iná and makó-amá' are respectively 'niece' and 'nephew' and pakó-ina'ón and pakó-ama'ón, respectively 'aunt' and 'uncle'. Lisboa's entries differ. Ináng saró' is 'aunt' and amáy is 'uncle'. Makó-iná' refers to both 'niece' and 'nephew', but only the children of the mother or father's sister, the aunt. Makó-amáy refers to both 'niece' and 'nephew', but only the children of the mother or father's brother, the uncle.
    iná' mother; MAG- mother and child; PAGKA- motherhood; makó-iná' niece; pakó-ina'ón aunt [+MDL: si iná' my mother; MA-, -ON or MAG-, PAG--ON to regard s/o as your mother; to call s/o mother (as is used in various villages where a godmother is also called 'mother'); MASA- or MAGSA- to swear by your mother; MASA-, SA--AN or MAGSA-, PAGSA--AN to swear s/t is true by your mother; to take an oath on your mother; makó-iná' niece or nephew of the aunt (father or mother's sister who is called ináng saró), not of the uncle; ináng saró' aunt, mother or father's sister; MA-, -ON or MAG-, PAG--ON to regard s/o as your aunt; to call s/o aunt]

    amá' father; MAG- father and child; MAG-, -ON to call s/o father (a natural father or a guardian); makó-amá' nephew; pakó-ama'ón uncle; ... [+MDL: the variation between amá and amá' is found in different towns; MA-, -ON or MAG-, PAG--ON to call s/o father (a natural father or guardian)]

    amáy uncle, the brother of one's father or mother; may also be used to refer to male relatives four times removed; MA- or MAG- to call s/o uncle; to be s/o's nephew; makó-amáy niece or nephew of the uncle (not the aunt) [MDL]

(iv) Aunts and Uncles

There are a variety of terms in the other central Philippine languages for both 'aunt' and 'uncle', 'niece' and 'nephew'. The term for 'aunt' is shared across all of these languages, with the exception of Bikol, with each of them having a reflex of the Proto Philippine *dada2, defined as a term of reference for an older female relative.[39] In Tagalog the reflex is daga, in Kapampangan, dara, and in the three Visayan languages, dada.[40]

Tagalog also has terms for great-aunt (impo) and great-uncle (ingkong), respectively the sister or brother of one's grandmother or grandfather. Impo is a reflex of the Proto Malayo Polynesian *empu-q where the reconstructed meaning is 'grandmother' or 'grandfather', although there has been some discussion as to whether this could be a Hokkien loan. Ingkong is taken to be a Hokkien loan (also see Section 1(ii)). The closest Hokkien term is a2n ko1ng with the meaning 'grandfather'.[41]

The term for 'niece' and 'nephew' is also shared across five of the central Philippines languages, the exception being Bikol. These terms are pagumankon in Cebuano and Hiligaynon, umankon in Waray, pangunakan in Kapampangan and pamangkin In Tagalog. The root that these terms share, appearing in none of them in its full form, is, in all liklihood, anak 'child'. Bergaño in his Kapampangan dictionary, includes pangunakan in the extended entry for anak.[42] The entries, showing the full form of the root, appear as follows: for Cebuano and Hiligaynon, pagumanakonpagumankon; for Waray, umanakonumankon; and for Kapampangan, pangunanakanpangunakan. Tagalog adds an extra complexity since the loss of the final a in anak brings about assimilation of the n to the adjacent k resulting in the velar nasal, ng: pamanakinpamankinpamangkin.

Terms in the central Philippine languages relating the aunts and uncles, nieces and nephews which have not been included in the above discussion, are included in the endnote here for those who would like to pursue this further.[43]

(v) Grandparents

Ápo' is the term for 'grandparent' or 'grandchild' in Bikol, depending on the affixation. Unaffixed, it means 'grandparent'; affixed as makó-ápo' it means 'grandchild'. While the other central Philippine languages have the same term, its reference is somewhat different. With final stress, apó, means 'grandchild' in each of these languages. With primary stress, ápo, it means 'grandparent' in Tagalog. In Kapampangan it serves as a term of address showing respect and affection to a parent or grandparent. Both Tagalog and Kapampangan also share the term nuno with the meaning 'grandparent'.[44]
    ápo' grandparent, grandmother, grandfather; sire; respectful title for old men or women; MAG- to call s/o ápo'; -ON grandparents; ancestors, forefathers; apó'on sa tuhód great grandparents; makó-ápo' grandchild; makó-ápo' sa tuhód great grandchild; si ápo' forget about it, don't bother or worry about it, never mind about it; probably from: Si ápo' an bahála' kaiyán Grandfather will take care of that [+MDL: ápong laláki grandfather; ápong babáyi grandmother; MA- or MAG- to call s/o grandfather or grandmother]
The Visayan languages have different ways of distinguishing grandparent from grandchild. In Cebuano and Hiligaynon, reference to grandfather is laki, the root of which is also found in the Tagalog lakiyan (most likely laki + iyan) meaning 'ancestor'. In Waray, grandparent is apoy.[45]

The generations younger than one's grandchildren are counted in Bikol, Tagalog, Kapampangan and Hiligaynon with reference to parts of the lower body. This same system can be applied to the generations older than one's grandparents, although examples of this in the early dictionaries are limited. In Bikol, apó'on sa tuhód is a 'great grandparent'. This is a modern form parallelling the examples for 'aunt' and 'uncle' (see Section 1(iv)) and is not found in Lisboa. The longest set of examples is found in Tagalog.

A great grandchild in Bikol is makó-ápo' sa tuhód, literally 'grandchild of the knee'. This is as far as Lisboa takes the generations. Hiligaynon takes this a generation further, with Kapampangan and Tagalog including references to the fourth and sixth generations respectively. Sánchez de la Rosa has no examples included in his Waray dictionary, and in Cebuano the entries take a different form, relating the generation of one's great grandparents to the horns of a deer (songay, also see Section 1(ii)), and that of one's great, great grandparents and grandchildren to that of a 'rod' or walking stick (sugkod).[46]
    Hiligaynon: apo sa tohor 'great grandchild (child of the knee); apo sang tu'ay 'great, great grandchild (child of the kneecap)

    Tagalog: apó sa tagiliran 'great grandchild' (child of the side); apó sa sinapuponan 'great, great grandchild' (child of the lap); apó sa tuhod 'great, great, great grandchild' (child of the knee); apó sa sakong 'great, great, great, great grandchild' (child of the heel); apó sa talampakan 'great, great, great, great, great-grandchild' (child of the sole)

    Kapampangan: apó sepuponan 'grandchild' (child of the lap); apontod 'great grandchild' (child of the knee); apon talampakan 'great, great grandchild' (child of the sole); apon kuko 'great, great, great grandchild' (child of the toenail)

(vi) In-Laws

The general term for in-laws, baláyi, is shared across all of the central Philippine languages, with Bikol, in particular, including a series of affixation possibilities dealing with the marriage arrangements between the two families (also see Section 5(ii)).[47]
    baláyi in-laws; MAG-, PAG--ON to come to an agreement on the marriage of one's children (the parents); MANG- to serve a girl's parents before marriage; MANG-, PANG--ON to discuss marriage with a prospective groom; MANG-, IPANG- to arrange the marriage of a particular man to a particular woman; MANG-, PANG--AN to arrange a marriage with the parents of the girl [+MDL: MAPAPANG- to ask the parents to agree to a proposal of marriage; MAPAPAG- to approach each other to discuss the marriage of their children (parents)]
When it comes to the terms for brother-in-law, bayáw, or sister-in-law, ípag / hípag, things are less straightforward. While in modern Bikol these terms would have a reference much as they would in English, in old Bikol there were differences. Bayáw does refer strictly to 'brother-in-law' and the relationship between two brothers-in-law. Ípag / hípag, however, can refer to either a 'brother-in-law' or 'sister-in-law'. When it comes to a shared relationship, however, it refers only to two sisters-in-law or a brother and sister-in-law, but not two brothers-in-law. This is the same difference found in Tagalog. The entries for Waray and Hiligaynon define bayáw only as 'brother-in-law' and hípag as 'sister-in-law', and in Cebuano and Kapampangan, bayáw is both 'brother-in-law' and 'sister-in-law'.[48]
    bayáw brother-in-law; MAG- to be brothers-in-law; MAG-, -ON to call s/o brother-in-law [MDL: brother-in-law; husband of the sister or brother of the wife; MAG- to be brothers-in-law; MA-, -ON or MAG-, PAG--ON to call s/o brother-in-law]

    ípag sister-in-law [MDL: sister-in-law: sister of the wife or husband; brother-in-law: brother of the wife; MAG- to be sisters-in-law; to be sister and brother-in-law; MA- or MAG- to call s/o sister or brother-in-law; var- hípag]
Bilás in modern Bikol is the reference for the husband of one's sister-in-law or the wife of one's brother-in-law. It is a term which does not appear in Lisboa. Bilás, however, has a significantly different and shared meaning in each of the other central Philippine languages. It refers to two brothers who have married two sisters, a term which, in Bikol, is idás. A related term, tíkop, indicates that both the husband and the wife share the same relatives.[49]
    bilás referring to the husband of one's sister-in-law, or the wife of one's brother-in-law; MAG- to have this relationship with s/o

    idás a term used to refer to the spouses when two brothers have married two sisters; MAG- to share this relationship; MA-, -ON or MAG-, PAG--ON to call one's in-law by this name [MDL]

    tíkop MAGKA-, PAGKA--AN to have the same relatives (a husband and wife) [MDL]
Tagalog has additional terms for sisters and brothers-in-law borrowed from Hokkien which, in some ways, parallel those found in the sibling relationships discussed in Section 1(ii). These are inso (a1so3) 'sister-in-law of the oldest brother', diso (di5so3) 'sister-in-law of the second-born brother', siaho (cia2hu5) 'brother-in-law of the oldest sister'.[50]

A shared term for both son-in-law and daughter-in-law in Bikol is manúgang (see túgang, Section 1(ii)), a term shared with Tagalog which appears to have borrowed this from Bikol as it exists as a single form with no accompanying root entry in the Noceda dictionary.[51] Modern Bikol has expanded manúgang to include both mother and father-in-law.


Children inherited some of the characteristics of their parents, behavioural, mental and physical, and these were noted by people both close and distant (supón). These characteristics included particular patterns of speech and mannerisms (nunód), some of which were attributed to the position, look or facial expression of one of their dead parents when they were placed into a shroud (tagí).
    supón hereditary; MA-, -ON or MAG-, PAG--ON to inherit particular characteristics, illnesses (mental and physical); MA-, -AN or MAG-, PAG--AN to inherit such characteristics from one's ancestors; to take after one's ancestors in particular ways; to act in the same way as one's ancestors [MDL]

    nunód PANG- inherited characteristic; MAPANG-, PANG--ON or MAGPANG-, PAGPANG--ON to imitate words or actions; to inherit particular mannerisms or speech patterns; MAPANG-, PANG--AN: panundán or MAGPANG-, PAGPANG--AN: pagpanundán to take after s/o in words or actions; to imitate or follow s/o's words or actions [MDL]

    tagí a habit, characteristic or expression exhibited by a child (such as the way of holding the head, moving the mouth or hands or using a particular facial expression) said to come about because, when placing a dead mother or father in a shroud, they had seen the same look, expression or position; MA-, IKA- to exhibit such habits, expressions or characteristics; MAKA- to influence a child in such a way (a dead parent) [MDL]
People looked to attribute the characteristics seen in children to parents or particular relatives, but where similarities were not apparent, they attributed them to those who were not related to the child (sugád). Certain behaviours need not have been inherited at all, but developed due to close contact, such as those observed in children raised in the home of foster parents (gawíd).
    sugád ... [+MDL: súgad MA-, -AN: sugáran or MAG-, PAG--AN: pagsugáran to take after one's parents or relatives in looks or actions; MA-, I- or MAG-, IPAG- to have a particular physical resemblance; to exhibit a particular, similar characteristic; applies as well to people who may not be related, but whose actions or physical appearance are similar]

    gawíd MA-, -AN: gawirán or MAG-, PAG--AN: paggawirán to resemble one's foster or adopted parents, or their relatives, in physical appearance, behavior or actions, even though one is not related by blood; MA-, I- or MAG-, IPAG- to resemble one's foster parents in particular looks, actions or behavior [MDL]
Figurative expressions also showed shared characteristics. Dúlon referred literally to working side by side in the field, but figuratively to a parent and child sharing the same disposition, and gukód was literally the measurement of cloth, but figuratively it related to a child turning out the same way as the father, very much like the English expression 'to be cut from the same cloth'.
    dúlon MA- to work in a field adjacent to another; MAG- to be side by side (two agricultural fields); to work in adjacent fields; PAG--ON to be adjacent (two fields);... (fig-) ,,, Nagkakadúlon nin bu'ót sindá magáki' That father and son (or mother and daughter) share the same disposition [MDL]

    gukód MA-, I- or MAG-, IPAG- to measure the length of cloth one is going to weave; MA-, -AN or MAG-, PAG--AN to mark out the appropriate length of the warp; (fig-) Nagukód ka namán nin si gáwi' ni amá' mo You have the characteristics of your father (Implying: You'll turn out the same way); ... [MDL]


Children relied on their parents' largesse to varying degrees. There were those who were clearly very dependent and not ready to set off on their own, compared to chicks still clustered around a mother hen (tarí), and others who displayed a patina of independence, knowing that if financial difficulties were to arise, they always had the support of their parents to fall back on (dáyig). This was certainly the case described in the entry hinálod where, if a debt were not paid by the father, the child would certainly have gone to jail (see Chapter 4, 'Crime and Punishment,' Section 3.1(iv)] Some children, however, became truly independent, relying on neither their parents not their spouse for support (simutóng).
    tarí weaned; MAG-, -ON to wean (animals) [MDL: tarí' MA-, I- or MAG-, IPAG- to 'wean' chicks (the mother hen); to leave chicks to fend for themselves; (fig-) Da'í pa kamí súkat nagtarí, kon bagá sa siwó We're not yet ready to be left to fend for ourselves, like chicks (Implying: We still rely heavily on our parents)

    dáyig MA- or MAG- to be self-sufficient; to not work due to one's reliance on a store of gold or on sufficient money to buy gold; to be adventurous or independent due to one's self-reliance or knowing one's relatives will come to one's aid; MA-, -AN or MAG-, PAG--AN to have people one can rely on in case the need arises [MDL]

    hinálod MANG-, PANG--ON to take offence at what s/o has said; ... to repay a debt for s/o who is unable to do so himself: ... Da'í kutá na akóng ibinabáyad kundí' pinanhinálod ni amá idtóng útang ko I wouldn't have been able to pay, but my father repaid my debt [MDL]

    simutóng MA-, MA--AN to earn one's livelihood or make one's living alone (without the help of one's parents or spouse); to live by independent means [MDL]
Families were units where mutual support was generally expected, with parents providing for their dependent children, and children, once grown, offering support for their elderly parents (angkóy). This could be achieved by having their parents reside with them (timbón), or, in general, turning over to them responsibility for other types of welfare (kumkóm). Particularly devoted children showed kindness and offered assistance to the their siblings as well as their parents (dahóm), and were more willing to follow their parents' bidding (see the figurative meaning in daghóp).
    angkóy MA-, -ON or MAG-, PAG--ON to care for or provide for s/o in the family, such as parents for their children or children for an elderly parent, or for others taken into the household and treated as members of the family who are unable to care for themselves [MDL]

    timbón MA-. MA--AN to live all in one house (parents, children, grandchildren) [MDL]

    kumkóm MA-, -ON or MAG-, PAG--ON to take care of elderly parents (children or other relatives); MAPA- to entrust o/s to the care of one's children; to go to live in the home of one's children or other relatives (elderly parents) [MDL]

    dahóm solicitous, showing great care and diligence; MA-, -AN or MAG-, PAG--AN to do s/t with great diligence or care; ... Si dahóm na táwo si kuyán sa túgang asín sa kaganák That person is very devoted toward his brothers and sisters as well as his parents [MDL]

    daghóp tightly joined, seamlessly joined, well fitted (wood); ... (fig-) Daghóp sa magúrang an bu'ót kainíng áki' This child obeys his parents [MDL]
This ideal, however, was not always met. Examples existed of children who never went to see their parents (rápi-rápi), appeared to be so remiss as to raise questions as to whether they cared for their elderly relatives at all (alagág) or reacted to comparatively insignificant incidents with totally unwarranted responses. In this last example, the lashing out at those in one's immediate family was compared to the relatively innocent occurrence of having dust blow into the eye (púling).
    rápi-rápi always used in the negative: DA'Í MANG-, PANG--AN to not go to a particular place; to not reach or arrive at a particular destination: Kada'í mo man rarápi-rápi sa kaganák You never go to see your parents [MDL]

    alagág MA- to have a sense of foreboding; to be apprehensive; to be afraid that s/t bad will happen; ... (fig-) Pagmaalagág mo pa sa maguráng? Do you still care about the elderly? (Said implying neglect) [MDL]

    púling MAG-, -ON to throw dirt, dust in s/o's eye; ... [+MDL: MA-, -ON or MAG-, PAG--ON / MA-, I- or MAG-, IPAG- to throw dirt in the eyes; ... (fig-) ... Kada'í mo napupúling kaiyán, pinaggáyo na an saímong túgang Something insignificant happens to you, and you treat your family like that (Implying: very badly)]
There was an assumption that people knew how to approach their elders, and relatives knew what was expected when interacting with each other, but this was not always the case. There was what must have been a clear set of expectations involved when requesting something from a relative, or a friend, but a direct approach without hesitation clearly was not the way for this led to shame and embarrassment (dánga-dánga).
    dánga-dánga MA-, -ON or MAG-, PAG--ON to be too bold or forward in asking for s/t from friends or relatives; MA-, -AN or MAG-, PAG--AN to approach relatives without hesitation or embarrassment when asking for s/t [MDL]
Some people were simply ungrateful, showing no appreciation for what was given or offered by their relatives and friends (biháng). Children might disrespect their parents, something shown in the figurative meaning for tuhób describing the chaff of pounded rice that is caught by the wind and flies up in one's face, or they might show no respect toward other people's mothers. These children were said to born from a split piece of bamboo (baták). In Tagalog, busong refers to a run of the bad luck or misfortune of unknown origin which strikes children who show their parents no respect.[52]
    biháng ungrateful; an ingrate; MA-, MA--AN to be ungrateful toward relatives, friends or others who have been good to you; KA--AN ungratefulness: Biháng na táwo si kuyán That person is an ingrate [MDL]

    tuhób MA-, -AN: tubhán or MAG-, PAG--AN: pagtubhán to hole s/t; to accidentally make a hole in s/t: Garó na hayóp sa tuhób nin lúbang It's like a gust of wind in the hole of a mortar (Indicating that the rice will probably fly up and hit one in the face, equivalent to spitting in the wind; said when one is disrespectful to one's parents) [MDL]

    baták cracked; MA- or MAG- to develop a crack; to crack or split; ... MA- + KA--AN to be severely cracked or split; (fig-) Nagbaták ka sa kawáyan ta' malanghád ka? Were you born from a piece of bamboo, to be so disrespectful? (Said when one is disrespectful of other people's mothers) [MDL]
People who were held in high regard were not called by their names for this was a sign of disrespect (paksá'). This included parents and in-laws where use of proper names was considered insulting (palagsák). Lisboa includes an example in a simple expression showing annoyance or displeasure (a), where a husband criticises his wife for referring to his father by name. What was proper was to call a man (pasó-amá') or a woman (pasó-iná') by the name of one of their children.
    paksá' MA-, -ON or MAG-, PAG--ON to call s/o by their full name, thereby showing a lack of respect; ... MA-, I- or MAG-, IPAG- to use the full name when calling s/o [MDL]

    palagsák MA-, -ON or MAG-, PAG--ON to call parents, in-laws or other people who should be regarded with respect by their own names instead of by title, thereby showing less respect than might normally be expected; in-laws should be addressed with the titles amá' for men and iná' for women, and others by the name of one of their children, such as amáng Juan father of Juan or ináng Juana mother of Juana [MDL]

    a expression indicating annoyance or dissatisfaction; placed at the end of the phrase and uttered with some force: Padangá mo a! How disrespectful you are!; Kasasawáyon mo a! You are really misbehaving!; Pagngaránan mo a ki amá'! You have called my father by name! (Said by a husband to a wife, indicating that she has shown little respect by using the name of her husband's father) [MDL]

    pasó-amá' MA-, -ON or MAG-, PAG--ON to call a man by the name of one of his children, and not by his own name, as a sign of respect; MA-, -AN or MAG-, PAG--AN to call s/o in this way; MA-, I- or MAG-, IPAG- to use the name of a child when calling the father; amáng Juan the father of Juan; amáng Dáto the father of Dato [MDL]

    pasó-iná' MA-, -ON or MAG-, PAG--ON to call a woman by the name of one of her children, and not by her own name, as a sign of respect; MA-, -AN or MAG-, PAG--AN to call s/o in this way; MA-, I- or MAG-, IPAG- to use the name of a child when calling the mother; ináng Juan the mother of Juan; ináng Dáto the mother of Dato [MDL]
In Cebuano, there were titles used when people of equal status, such as husbands and wives, addressed each other (udoy), and when younger siblings addressed older ones, extending its use to older people who were not related (mano).[53]


Terms for girls and women (babáyi) and boys and men (laláki) are general with identical terms found in all the central Philippine languages.[54] Included in the entries for these terms in Bikol, as well as the other languages, are various affixation possibilities deriving aspects of femininity and masculinity. Of interest from the viewpoint of kinship are the terms kababayínan and kalalakínan, the first referring to a 'sister' but only by a brother (not other sisters) and the second referring to a 'brother' but only by a sister and not other brothers.
    babáyi girl, woman, lady; female (humans and animals); MAG- to impersonate a woman; to dress like a woman; KA--AN women; PAGKA- femininity; baró-babáyi MAG- to impersonate or act like a woman [+MDL: MA-, or MAG- to dress or act like a woman (as in a comedy sketch or at a dance); MA-, -ON or MAG-, PAG--ON to dress s/o as a woman; MANG-, PANG--ON to go in search of a woman; to walk with or associate with women; MANG-, PANG--AN to search for a woman at a particular place or in a particular family; PAGKA- femininity: Maraháy an pagkababáyi ni kuyán That woman is very feminine; KA--NAN: kababayínan one's sister (said only by a brother): kababayínan ko my sister; -NON: babayínon effeminate (a man)]

    laláki boy, lad, man; male; PAGKA- manliness, masculinity; virility [+MDL: Maraháy an pagkalaláki ni kuyán That man is very virile, manly; May laláki nang da'í nagkará'ot It needs a man who won't be hurt (Implying: There are certain jobs just for men); MAG-: maglalakí or maglaró-lalakí to act like a man; to pretend to be a man; to dress like a man (as in a comedy or farce); to do the job of a man; -ON to be dressed like a man; MANG- to put on a brave front; to summon up courage; MANG-, PANG--AN to steel o/s to carry out a difficult task; -NON: lalakínon lesbian, a woman who is man-like in her actions; KA--NAN: kalalakínan brother, a term used only by a sister, and not by other brothers]
Children grow up. In all of the central Philippine languages, with the exception of Bikol, bata means 'child'. Bikol has the entry baró-batá, based on the same root, which carries the meaning of 'young man' or 'bachelor', literally, someone who may resemble a child, but is no longer such. Associated with this entry are references to courting, and so young men in this age group were considered old enough to be looking for a mate. As boys grow up and become more mature (hádong-hádong) there is an expectation that they should be married (kútong). A non-gendered term for youth was hagbáyon, referring to both boys and girls of teenage years.
    baró-batá' ... [+MDL young man, bachelor; máya-mayáhon pang baró-batá' one who is not yet a teenager; MA- describing a man who is dressed for courting; MAG- to adorn o/s; to dress in one's finest (a young man, usually for the purpose of courting); MAG-, PAG--AN to adorn o/s for a particular person or to appeal to a particular person; MAG-, IPAG- to put on particular items of dress or adornment; MA- to grow up to be a young man]

    hádong-hádong physically big or mature for one's age (a young man): Hádong-hádong na si kuyán How well developed that person already is [MDL]

    kútong: kútong na describing the face of a grown man (no longer that of a child); MA- or MAG- to mature (the face of s/o growing up); Kútong na an lalawgón ni kuyán, da'í pa nang gayód nagaagóm That fellow is already mature, and yet he is still unmarried [MDL]

    hagbáyon teenager; child (up to 15-17 years old); MAG- to reach the age of 15-17 years [MDL]
A girl or unmarried woman in Bikol is darága, a term with cognates in all of the central Philippine languages.[55] Affixation included in the entry derives terms similar to those associated with baró-batá' for young men, and that is dressing up or adorning oneself, often for someone, but without the specification of courting or looking for a mate. The definition in modern Bikol also implies virginity, and derivations in Tagalog and Kapampangan, also possibly more modern, have this implication as well. In Hiligaynon, Mentrida specifically states that girls who are unmarried need not be virgins, and Encarnation for Cebuano has an extended entry indicating that these are the girls, along with widows, who young men seek out at night for the purpose of sex.

Early Spanish accounts all report that virginity was not an impediment to marriage. On the contrary, it was expected that a young woman not be a virgin when she was married, although pregnancy outside of wedlock was disapproved of.[56] Antonio de Morga indicates that there were men who were paid to sleep with young women for the first time[57] and Pedro Chirino describes an early belief that women, either single or married, without a lover would have difficultly entering their heaven as it was this person who would help them cross the dangerous stream into the heavenly realm.[58]

Given this information about virginity, it is hard to reconcile an entry such as búkot which describes young women who are confined to the house and not permitted to leave, presumably until they are married. This is a term which is found in all of the central Philippine languages with the exception of Kapampangan. The entry in Waray, if it can be applied to the other language areas, offers a possible explanation for the difference. It indicates that young women treated in this way were children of the ruling classes whose parents were more demanding in the choice of spouse (see Section 5(i)). This might account for the extra scrutiny in the raising of their teenage daughters.[59]
    darága young, unmarried woman; maiden, damsel, lass, virgin; PAGKA- femininity; maidenhood, virginity [+MDL: MA- to develop into a young woman; MAG-: magdaró-darága to dress up; to deck o/s out; to make o/s up; MAG-, PAG- -AN: pagdaró-daragáhan to dress up for s/o; MAG-, IPAG- ipagdaró-darága to adorn o/s with particular clothes; MA-: madaró-darága one who likes to dress up]

    búkot (arc-) MA-, -ON or MAG-, PAG--ON to restrict young teenage girls to the house; -ON: an binúkot a young girl so restricted or cloistered at home [MDL]
Young people were expected to marry, so when this did not happen, there was speculation as to why. Reasons given were indecision and missed opportunities (itós) and the inability to find someone willing to marry them, a figurative meaning comparing someone in this state to the flower on the sugarcane or reed grasses (sugbó). Such flowers top the long canes of such grasses and are noticeable and numerous, implying, perhaps, that in spite of having many potential partners, none were interested.
    itós MAGKA-, PAGKA--AN to lose the opportunity to do s/t (due to lateness, indecision); to be indecisive and miss the chance to do s/t: Magkakaitós kang da'í makuku'án pagaagomón You have missed the opportunity that presented itself to find yourself a wife; ... [MDL]

    sugbó the flower of the sugarcane and certain reed grasses; (PAG-)-AN to produce such a flower (sugarcane, reed grasses); I(PAG)- to grow (such a flower) (fig-) Pinagsusugbohán na lámang sa dungdóng si kuyán That person is just the flower on the stake supporting the sugarcane (Said when s/o is unable to attract a person to marry them) ... [MDL]
There are also less complimentary reasons given for someone remaining single, including ugliness, comparing someone's looks to that of an owl, and possibly too much premarital sexual activity, a figurative meaning equating such a person to a fruit or vegetable in the market which has been overly handled and, therefore, less likely to be purchased (ruyát). Noceda for Tagalog adds another reason why a woman might remain unmarried, and that was because her parents had asked for too expensive a dowry (ganay, see Section 5(ii)).[60]
    butbót hoot, sound of an owl; MAG- to hoot [+MDL: (fig-) Sí'isay mabu'ót saímo na garó' ka na iníng butbót Who would marry (love) you since you look like an owl]

    ruyát MA-, -ON or MAG-, PAG--ON to handle s/t; to turn over and examine s/t (such as fruit or vegetables at the market, or other items which form part of a larger group); MAKA-, MA- to be examined in this way; (fig-) Sí'isay an magaagóm kaiyán ruyát na? Who would marry s/o so handled (like a melon in the market)? [MDL]
The term for those who never married in Bikol was húlay, with kalayhóngan reserved specifically for women. In Tagalog and Kapampangan, bulandal referred not only to a woman who had never been married, but also to one whose husband had left her (see Section 5(x).[61] Bálo referred to both men and women who had been married, but were now widowed, with the figurative meaning associated with subóng referring to the overturning of a cooking pot with its contents, indicating how disruptive such a death could be.
    húlay referring to an old man or woman who has never been married; a bachelor, spinster; MA- to have never been married [MDL]

    kalayhóngan an old maid, spinster; describing a woman who has never been married; MA- to be a spinster: Nakalayhóngan ka na ta' da'í ka binubu'ót kainíng gáwi' mo You have never been married because you are ill-served by your behavior; syn- kahalungáhong [MDL]

    bálo widow, widower; MAKA-, MA- to be widowed [+MDL: MANG-, PANG--ON to marry a widow]

    subóng MA-, -ON or MAG-, PAG--ON to overturn a cooking pot on the fire, spilling its contents;... (fig-) to be widowed in the prime of life (those who have been happily married): Si makuríng pagkasubóng nin si pagharóng-hárong ni kuyán What a terrible upset it has been for that person's married life (being widowed) [MDL]


The complicating factor for all marriages, was the payment of the dowry, for without the means to accumulate the requisite amount of money or goods to satisfy the parents of one's future wife, no marriage would take place. A further complicating factor was the question of status or rank.

(i) Proposals

All of the early Spanish accounts relate that marriages took place among men and women of the same rank or class, the three main classes being the chiefs or rulers, the freemen, and the slaves (see Chapter 13, 'Status and Social Conflict,' Sections 1, 2 and 3). Loarca goes into more detail about the arrangement of marriages among the ruling classes in the Visayas. When one of their sons wished to marry, the chief sent for a number of trusted freeman to act as a go-between who then approached the girl's family. In Loarca's specific account, one of the freemen took a lance from the chief and, upon reaching the house of the girl's family, thrust it into the staircase. Negotiations then took place, along with religious incantations and appeals to the ancestors to look favourably upon the marriage. If the negotiations were successful, the lance was taken by the go-between to be kept or redeemed by the chief.[62] The Bikol entry kágon covers a number of situations where a go-between is used to reach an agreement between two separate parties, including the arrangement of a marriage.
    kágon MAG-, -AN to act as a go-between for s/o (as to settle an argument, to arrange a marriage); PARA- a go-between, negotiator [+MDL: MA-, -AN or MAG-, PAG--AN to act as negotiator in procuring a woman for concubinage or marriage, or in discussions with enemies to cement a friendship]
More generally, preliminary inquires could be made to a family asking if there was any interest in a proposal of marriage for one of their daughters (tambíng), the same entry indicating that in spite of numerous proposals, a woman need not rush to supply an answer. If there was a positive reply, then a proposal would then be made (sábi). Entries in the Visayan dictionaries indicate that an approach was first made to the girls family, and if there was some interest in a marriage, an invitation was then offered to meet and discuss the details.[63]
    tambíng MA-, -ON or MAG-, PAG--ON to sound s/o out to see what they want or would like; MA-, I- or MAG-, IPAG- to say s/t when trying to find out what s/o wants; Aha'ín an da'í tatambingón na babáyi kundí' mará'ot an masagumáng Where is the woman who has not had marriage inquiries made about her, but it would not be good for her to agree (to marry s/o just because of that); Panaró-tambíngán daw dumán si awa' Make inquires there about my child (Meaning: Ask if there is s/o there for her to marry) [MDL]

    sábi statement (what is said):... [+MDL: MA-, -ON or MAG-, PAG--ON to mention or name s/t; to propose marriage to s/o; MA-, I- or MAG-, IPAG- to mention or say s/t; MA-, -AN or MAG-, PAG--AN to mention s/t to s/o ...]
Marriage arrangements in the Visayas could also be made even before the children were born, an arrangement which would be honoured if one of the families gave birth to a son and the other a daughter.[64] The agreement was made between two couples when the wives were pregnant. It was formalised at a festive gathering and was considered an official betrothal where fines were set if the marriage did not take place. Considering the amount of the fine, set at ten taels of gold, this was clearly an agreement between families of the richer, upper classes of the region.[65] Once this bond was made between families, it might still be retained even though the children born were of the same sex with the families choosing to refer to each other as in-laws. The following entry is Bikol.
    sangáy a nickname shared by two people, used only when greeting one another; ... [MDL: MAG-, PAG--ON to share the same name; to use the term sangáy when referring to each other due to sharing the same name; ... MAGKA-, PAGKA--AN to call each other by the same name; to be of the same gender or sex: Kamíng magbaláyi kon da'í magkasangáy an úring táwo We are like in-laws, except that our children are of the same sex]
For the Tagalogs, Noceda has an entry which indicates the possibility that there were marriage arrangements made between families which were initially kept secret from the woman (buko).[66]

Preliminary marriage inquiries may not have led to prolonged negotiations. There were occasions when an answer was quite ready, such as a firm negative reply indicating that marriage was out of the question (rawóg). A refusal of marriage could also be more specific, based on superstition, associating the family with witchcraft (pálid) or on low status (károd) or the lack of wealth (híkaw). Such a refusal before marriage avoided future disappointment when the wife came to resent marrying someone who had no property (kúrom-kúrom).
    rawóg always used in the negative; Da'í akó rawóg I don't like it; DA'Í MA- to not suit or not be acceptable; to dislike s/t; to consider s/t unimportant or insignificant; ... Da'í narawóg sakó' an pagagóm ki kuyán I wouldn't even consider marrying that person; ... [MDL]

    pálid MAG- or MAKA- or I- to be blown away or carried away by the wind [+MDL: MA-, I- or MAG-, IPAG- to blow or carry s/t away (the wind); ... (fig-) an aswáng: Habó' kong makipagbaláyi kaiyán pálid na mga táwo I don't want my child to marry into a family of aswáng]

    aswáng supernatural creature; a devil or witch said to eat human flesh; -ON or MA- to be bewitched, enchanted or put under a spell [+MDL: MA-, -ON or MAG-, PAG--ON to bewitch s/o; to call s/o an aswáng; to search out the bodies of the dead to feast on; MANGHING-, PANGHING- -AN to accuse s/o of being a witch ...]

    károd MAG- to be in a rush: Nagkárod na What a rush you are in; MAG-, PAG--ON to do s/t in haste; ... PAG- rush, haste; (fig-) Kitá na gayód pagkaródan No one of consequence will marry into our family; Iyó nang gayód pagkaródan iní na da'íng háros It seems as if that person will settle for s/t of little value [MDL]

    híkaw MA- describing s/o who is looked down on for being lower in social status or having less wealth; MA-, -AN or MAG-, PAG--AN to refuse to marry s/o of lower status or wealth [MDL]

    kúrom-kúrom regretful, disconsolate; MA- or MAG- to be disconsolate or despondent at marrying a person who does not have property; (PAG-)-AN to feel denigrated (the person to whom one is married, for not having land) ... [MDL]
Some refusals were questioned, such as asking why a woman was unwilling to marry someone who was good looking (sayág-sayág). Other unions were encouraged. Seeing a man and woman who were the same height or build was considered positive (hinagyán), and with second marriages, couples who brought the same number of children to a marriage were considered to be well matched.
    sayág-sayág MA- attractive, good-looking (a person); nice, still neat and wearable (clothing): Ta' daw ta' iyó mong hinahabo'án na pagagomón iyán masayág-sayág? How come you don't want to marry that good looking person? (Implying: Why would you choose s/o less attractive?) ... [MDL]

    hinagyán MAGKA- to both be the same height or build and so be suitable for marriage (a man and woman): Nagkakahinagyán na gáyo iníng nagaagóm The husband and wife are very suited to each other (being of the same height and build) [MDL]

    singpód MAG- to be equal; to be the same; ... MA-, -AN: singporán or MAG-, PAG--AN: pagsingporán to find a match or pair for s/t;... MAGKA- to be matched, paired: Nagkakasingpód sindáng magagóm ta' magkasí may áki' That couple is well matched, each with one child; ... [MDL]
Questions, however, always remained. A woman deciding on a proposal of marriage based on the current behaviour of a man, might still wonder what he will be like once they were married.
    gudá pa gayód as if:... Kadahóm nang dá'an ni kuyán, gudá pa gayód ngápit kon nagharóng-hárong na? That person is a hard worker, but what will he be like when he's married? [MDL]
Status and wealth were important, and marrying one's child into a family in which both of these were present was considered ideal. Such a marriage would secure the future of the child (siró'). Families did not always get things right the first time and an initial proposal might be withdrawn when someone with better prospects came along (sampáw, saníg).
    siró' MA-, I- or MAG-, IPAG- to marry one's child to s/o who is wealthy, or to one who has a large family, in order to secure that child's future; to entrust an orphan to the care of a family who can offer support and protection; MA-, -AN or MAG-, PAG--AN to marry one's child to s/o; to marry s/o who is able to offer you security and support; Isinisiró' ko na lámang saindó iníng áki' ta' da'í nang kaganák I'll entrust this child to you since he has no family [MDL]

    sampáw MA-, -AN or MAG-, PAG--AN to withdraw a proposal of marriage from one to whom your child is engaged, accepting instead a proposal of marriage from one who offers a greater dowry (púrong) or has higher standing in the community; MAPA- to accept the new marriage arrangements and the nullification of the old (the parents or relatives of the newly engaged woman) [MDL]

    saníg MA-, -AN to sit with the back half-turned to s/o else; ...(fig-) MAG-, PAG--AN to demean s/o; to treat s/o as if they were lower in status: Pinagsasanigán akó ni kuyán That person is not treating me with due respect; also: to withdraw a proposal of marriage from one set of future in-laws in favor of another who offers better prospects [MDL]
Proposals of marriage between children of unequal status and wealth could still proceed,[67] but in Cebu this often required a payment in addition to the agreed upon dowry. This payment was seen as compensating for the shame and embarrassment experienced by the upper class family in allowing their child to marry someone of lower status.[68]

(ii) Dowry

Once their was a general agreement between the families that a proposal of marriage was acceptable the true negotiations began, and this involved the size of the dowry. This was made as a direct request from the parents of the girl to the parents of the boy (dángat) and was the start of the negotiations, negotiations to which the girl was generally not a part (táwad). Negotiations could be drawn out, particularly if the girl's family insisted on requesting a higher price than would normally be acceptable (angká'). Juan Francisco de San Antonio, referring to the Tagalog region, indicates that some fathers, following local tradition, asked for a dowry in the same amount as his family had given for the mother, although as times and fortunes may have changed, this was not always possible.[69]
    dángat MA-, -ON or MAG-, PAG--ON to ask for a dowry (púrong) from the bridegroom or his parents (the parents of a daughter about to be married); MA-, -AN or MAG-, PAG--AN to ask the bridegroom or his parents for a dowry [MDL]

    táwad a discount; MAG-, -AN to bargain, dicker or haggle for s/t; ... [+MDL: MA-, -ON to ask if s/t is for sale and for how much; ... MAGPA-, IPAGPA- to agree on a specific price; also used when parents agree to the marriage of their children and discuss the terms of the dowry: Matáwad kutá' na akó nin pagaagomón kainíng áki ko I might now be ready to discuss the terms for the marriage of my child; Mará'ot an makisasagumángon kon tinatáwad nin laláki It is not nice for (the woman) to take part if the man is discussing the terms of the dowry]

    angká' MAPA-, PA--ON or MAGPA-, PAGPA--ON to ask for a lot in exchange for s/t sold; to ask for a high a price for the things one sells (hoping to be regarded with more respect in the community); to ask for a large dowry for one's daughter; MAPA-, PA--AN or MAG-, PAGPA--AN to offer things for sale at a high price to s/o; to ask for a large dowry from the prospective bridegroom's family; MAPA-, IPA- or MAGPA-, IPAGPA- to ask for a particular high price or a large number of goods [MDL]
When the families were satisfied with the outcome of the negotiations, a part of the dowry was given to the parents of the bride as a sign that the marriage contract had been fulfilled (pahatód). The children were then considered engaged (tánod).
    pahatód the part of the dowry which is given by the parents of the bridegroom to the parents of the bride as a sign that the marriage contract has been fulfilled; MAG-, IPAG- to give s/t to show a marriage contract has been fulfilled; MAG-, PAG--AN: pagpahatdán to give the parents of the bride s/t to indicate fulfilment of the marriage contract; Sangpúlo' an púrong sagkód sa pahatód There were ten dowry payments up to the final one [MDL]

    tánod MA- to be engaged; MA-, -AN: tanóran to be engaged to a particular woman; to have agreed to marry a particular woman [MDL]
The final installment or the dowry (púrong) was left with the girl's parents upon the marriage of the children (wálat). According to Loarca, in the Visayas, the dowry remained with the father-in-law until the couple had children, and only then did they have access to its funds.[70] In the Tagalog region, San Antonio writes that use of the dowry differed depending on the village. In some it became the property of the in-laws with access dependent on their wishes. This is the situation also mentioned by Juan de Plasencia. In others it was used to provide clothes for the bride, to cover up to half the expenses of the wedding and the settlement of any associated marriage fees.[71]

If the parents of the groom experienced difficulties in gathering the amount required for the dowry, then they would accept contributions from their relatives so that the marriage could take place (dápon). Encarnacion also has as similar entry for Cebuano (hulog) in which contributions are collected not only to fulfil the requirements of the dowry, but also the initial payment to secure the marriage contract.[72] In less fortunate circumstances, Noceda for Tagalog includes a term where the extreme poverty of the families, and presumably their relatives, led to a small dowry (damot).[73]
    púrong dowry given to a woman or her parents upon marriage; MA-, -AN or MAG-, PAG--AN to give a dowry to a woman or her parents; MA-, I- or MAG-, IPAG- to give s/t as a dowry [MDL]

    wálat MAG-, IPAG- to leave the marriage dowry (púrong); MAG-, PAG--AN to leave the marriage dowry with the parents of the bride (the parents of the groom) [MDL]

    dápon a contribution to a gift or offering; the share of a dowry (púrong) to be given to the bride contributed by relatives of the bridegroom; ... MA-, I- or MAG-, IPAG- to make a particular contribution to a dowry, gift or offering; MA-, -AN or MAG-, PAG--AN to gather such contributions on behalf of one getting married, ... or one being given a particular honor; to gather together all contributions in one place [MDL]
San Antonio presents some detail on the contents of the dowry for the Tagalog region. The two main constituents were the bigay suso (or pasuso), which was the part given in recognition of the raising of the daughter by the mother or wet-nurse, suso meaning 'beast' or 'milk', and the bigay kaya, the actual dowry, literally meaning 'the giving of wealth'. This is also summarised far more briefly by Juan Martinez de Zuñiga in relation to divorce (see Section 5(x)).[74]

In Samar, once an agreement was reached on the marriage of their children, the groom's parents visited the parents of the bride bringing a hog which was ritually killed and eaten as a sign that the betrothal had been set (sagnal).[75] This same ceremony, presided over by the catalona, or priestess, is recorded by Francisco Colin for the Tagalog region, although in his description, this ceremony leads directly to the marriage (see Section 5(iii)). This linking of the slaying of the hog as a preliminary to the marriage ceremony is also found in Zuñiga.[76]

In most of the central Philippine languages, a marriage agreement was certified by either the payment of a surety or the leaving of part of the dowry, followed by delivery of the full dowry as described for Bikol.[77] In Cebuano further signs of appreciation through words, deeds or actions following the agreement were shown to the girl's parents by the parents of the boy (hinangop),[78] and in Tagalog the delivery of food, sweets and drinks by the groom's family were made to their future in-laws on the day preceding the delivery of the dowry (bilaw).[79]

In Cebu, during the interval of time following negotiations and the payment of the initial part of the dowry, the girl was kept secluded in the house and not permitted to see her fiancé (lukob). It was possible, however, for a small payment or gift to be made by the future son-in-law to the girl's parents which would enable them to see each other (lungat).[80]

The agreed price of the dowry was not always as final as it may have seemed. If the parents of the betrothed concluded that there was some short coming in the original agreement then it could come up for renegotiation (ukgáng). If the girl's parents felt that they deserved more, then an additional payment would be requested (hingíkog, talungtóng). Such a payment might be requested if it was suspected that the girl was pregnant or if there was some other reason to rush the marriage along (Tagalog takdahan, Cebuano hiphip).[81] It was also possible that one of the parties would simply back out of the agreement (Hiligaynon umbo)[82] or that they could not fulfil the agreement due to unforseen circumstances (Cebuano lisod).[83] Backing out of an agreement was not without its consequences. There were fines which were set at the time of the contract with the amount payable commensurate with the wealth of the individuals and the traditional customs of the area. If the girl's family were to abrogate the agreement, this would also lead to the return of the dowry to the parents of the boy.[84]
    ukgáng MAGKA- to disagree (those who have previously reached agreement on a wedding or other matter due to some perceived short coming in the original agreement); MAGKA-, PAGKA--AN to disagree in this way about s/t; PAGKA- disagreement: Makurí an pagkaukgáng mi Our agreement has almost completely fallen through [MDL]

    hingíkog an additional payment or allowance which is requested after an agreement on price has been reached; for example: after a dowry (púrong) has been agreed to, this additional payment is then requested, generally taken to be two reals; MA-, I- or MAG-, IPAG- to pay this allowance or addition; MA-, -AN or MAG-, PAG--AN to pay this addition to s/o; to increase the original payment by this new amount [MDL]

    talungtóng that which is given as an extra or in addition to what has been agreed to in a sale or barter transaction, or as part of a marriage dowry; MA-, I- or MAG-, IPAG- to add s/t extra; MA-, -AN or MAG-, PAG--AN to add s/t extra to a transaction; to increase a marriage dowry or the amount given as barter or in a sale [MDL]
Delivery of the dowry was not the only expense undertaken by the family of the groom. In Samar, in earlier times, a gift was given to the head of the village in order to obtain his permission to marry. It appears as if this payment later became a gift given to the parents and siblings of the future daughter-in-law.[85] The family of the bride also had additional expenses, such as money for wedding garments (Tagalog kapana'ogan). In addition to announcing the wedding and letting it be known that gifts would be welcome (Tagalog tarahan), the father of the bride also presented her with gifts once she was married (Tagalog pasunod).[86] Following the marriage, the husband also presented his new wife with gifts (Waray panguli, Hiligaynon salia).[87]

After confirmation of the marriage contract and the payment of the initial installment of the dowry, the boy was expected to work for the parents of the girl until the time of the wedding. In Bikol this service was referred to as mamalyái, an inflected form included with the root for baláyi 'in-laws' (see Section 1(vi)). For the three Visayan languages, the term was agad or the cognate, agar.[88] Gaspar de San Agustin, writing in the early 1700s, describes this custom for the Tagalog areas, still prevalent in Laguna, though no longer current in Bulacan. Here the young man served his future father-in-law for three or four years before the marriage, being assigned the most difficult duties. At the end of the this time, following the marriage, he was then given a house, clothes and other necessities for a home by his father-in-law.[89]

Zuñiga elaborates on some of the duties expected of the future son-in-law. These included preparing elaborate feasts on particular days, helping with the sowing and harvesting of rice, and carrying food to the workers in the field. Additionally, great submissiveness had to be shown to the bride, her parents and all her relatives throughout this time of servitude. Failure to comply with any of these measures, led to the marriage contract being terminated.[90]

(iii) Ceremony

The term táwag has a general meaning across the central Philippine languages of 'to call' or, in the case of Bikol, 'to speak loudly enough for others to hear at a time when quiet is expected', such as at night. What must have been a fairly rapid incorporation of the marriage ceremony into Christianity and the church shows in a newer definition of this term. In Bikol, Waray, Cebuano and Hiligaynon, it came to mean the announcement of an intended marriage in church (the banns of marriage). This was done to see if there were any objections to the marriage taking place. In Kapampangan, it came to mean the witnessing of a wedding, and in Tagalog it retained its original meaning of 'to call' and, less commonly, 'to proclaim'.[91] The descriptions of the marriage ceremonies below precede this period of acculturation.
    táwag MA-, I- or MAG-, IPAG- to give notice in church of an intended marriage; to publish the banns of marriage; MA-, -AN or MAG-, PAG- -AN to announce in church or notify the public of an impending marriage [MDL]

    táwag MA- or MAG- to speak loudly enough for others to hear when arguing, complaining or when expressing loud satisfaction at s/t done (at night or when all is quiet); MA-, I- or MAG-, IPAG- to say s/t loud enough for others to hear; MA-, -AN or MAG-, PAG--AN to say s/t which is heard by your neighbors or the village [MDL]
The marriage ceremonies which took place varied depending on the social class of the participants. One of the most detailed descriptions is given by Loarca describing the celebrations in the Visayas.

Among the ruling classes, the woman is brought to the home of her betrothed on the shoulders of one of the men of her household. He places her at the foot of the stairs, but she feigns shyness and says that she will not go up to the entry. Her future father-in-law then appears and offers her a slave if she will climb the staircase. She does this, but upon reaching the entry and seeing the people gathered inside, she again shows some reluctance. To overcome this, the father-in-law offers her another slave. Once inside, she again displays periods of reluctance to which the father-in-law offers other gifts as encouragement: a jewel for her to sit at the table, another to encourage her to start eating, and one more to drink.

When the couple are drinking together, an old man stands up, asks for silence and addresses the crowd. He then states the conditions for the marriage and asks them all to be witnesses. He states that if the man does not support his wife she can leave him and be free to marry another man. No part of the dowry which was paid need be returned. If, on the other hand, it is the wife who betrays the husband, then he can leave her, ask for return of the dowry and be free to marry again.

When the old man has finished speaking, a dish of clean, uncooked rice is prepared. An old woman then comes, joins the hands of the couple and lays them upon the rice. Still holding the joined hands, she throws the rice over those present. She then gives a shout which is echoed by the wedding guests, signalling completion of the ceremony and the start of the marriage.

For the freemen, the timawas, the ceremony was far simpler. They simply drank an alcoholic beverage from the same cup and then gave a shout, after which the guests departed and they were considered married. As for the slaves, it was most common for them simply to agree and declare that they were married.[92]

Encarnacion has a number of entries which further elucidate activities before and after the marriage celebration in the Visayas, entries which clearly relate far more to marriage of the ruling classes than the other levels of society. Prior to the wedding, all necessary items are gathered and readied for the celebration (utay-utay). The bride is dressed, and made up for the occasion (hipid), including her gold and jewels, and then brought to the house where the ceremony will take place accompanied by a group of guests who play musical instruments and sing and dance on the way (ganas, danas). Two or three days after the ceremony, the girl is brought to the house of her husband (pugad) where they eat together for the first time without being accompanied by others (salo).[93]

A briefer description of the marriage ceremony in the Tagalog region is found in Colin, something described so closely by San Antonio a few decades later that the source must have been the same. Once the dowry is delivered, the couple is brought together in the presence of a priestess, the catalona. The bride and the groom each sit on the lap of an old woman who acts as their godmother. They are then given something to eat from the same plate and to drink from the same cup, afterwhich the bridegroom indicates that he accepts the woman as his wife. The priestess then offers a series of benedictions, wishing the couple a happy marriage with many children, wealth, and general success in life. Finally, a hog which was brought to the house at the start of the ceremony is ritually slain and the couple is considered married (also see Section 5(ii)).[94]

San Antonio goes into more detail about preparation for the wedding and the gifts brought by the guests. On the three days preceding the wedding, relatives of the bride and groom meet at the house where the wedding is to take place where they construct a palapala, a trellis-like extension to the house where all of the guests can be accommodated. Following this the wedding takes place which also lasts for three days.

All of the guests who attend the wedding generally bring some sort of gift. A careful account is kept of each gift and who gave it so that the same amount can be returned if that person later has a family wedding. All of the money given as gifts is spent on the wedding or in helping the newly married couple set up a their home. The closest relatives give the bride a jewel. They do not give money.[95]

Noceda has a number of entries which add to the description of the Tagalog wedding: the invitations which were conveyed to the guests (hingangay), the unsolicited contributions by relatives to help with the expenses of the wedding (hulog) which might have included food (da'is) and drink (dapit), and the cup from which the bride and groom drink as part of the ceremony (bungalong). The celebration also included responsive choral singing to which either the bride or groom responded (pamugso), ending with the leave-taking of the guests after the ceremony indicating that the eating and drinking had finally come to an end (bilag).[96]

There is far less detail supplied by Lisboa in his dictionary entries about the marriage ceremony. It is clear that there were those who accompanied the couple to the wedding venue and were seated next to them when the ceremony took place (tá'id). Drinking, as described for the Tagalog and Cebuano regions also formed a main part of the celebration (tágay, see Chapter 2, 'Food ,' Section 1 (ii) for more detail). At the completion of the ceremony the couple were declared husband and wife (agóm). Derivations based on haróng 'house' also carry implications of marriage. Bána, used in Bikol for 'husband' or 'wife' only in narratives and verse, is the term used in Cebuano for 'husband' and may reflect a cultural borrowing or an older, shared set of literary terms.[97] The general term for husband and wife shared among the other central Philippine languages is asawa. Cebuano differs in this respect as it has separate terms, with asawa indicating 'wife' and bana 'husband'.[98]
    tá'id MAGPA-, PAGPA--ON to accompany the bride and groom, sitting next to them and drinking with them as part of the celebrations (see tágay); AN MAGPA- those who accompany the couple at their wedding celebration, being seated with them and drinking with them; the modern equivalent would be Godparents [MDL]

    tágay (arc-) a wedding ceremony in which the drinking of tubá' forms a major part of the celebrations; MAG-, PAG--AN to hold such a ceremony on behalf of the bride; MAG-, IPAG- to offer tubá' at such a ceremony; -AN the cup used for drinking at such a ceremony [MDL]

    agóm spouse, mate; husband, wife; IGWÁ or MAY married; to have a spouse; MAG- or MANG- to get married; MAG-, -ON to marry s/o; MAG- husband and wife, couple; kan magagóm conjugal; MAPANG- to get married (applied only to women); PAG- marriage; agóm-ágom common-law husband or wife; MAG- to live together as husband and wife [+MDL: MAPAG- to get married (applied only to women); MAPAPAG- to accept a man as a husband (a woman); to accept each other as husband and wife; MAPAPAG-, PAPAG--ON to order a man to marry; MAPAPAG-, IPAPAG- to give a woman in marriage]

    bána wife, husband; used only in narratives and verse in place of agóm [MDL]

    hárong house, home; ... [+MDL: KA--AN village, settlement; MA-, -ON or MAG-, PAG--ON to build a house; ... MA- to be married: Nahárong na si kuyán That person is now married; -UM-; humahárong ngu'ná of marriageable age; ... haróng-haróng MAG- to live on one's own (those who are newly married); MAG-, IPAG- to furnish the house of newlyweds; PAG- the lodgings or residence of newlyweds; magharóng-haróng ngu'ná of marriageable age]

(iv) Polygamy

Although the taking of concubines and the conducting of affairs was not uncommon (see Section 5(vi), the true marriage to more than one woman was generally attributed to the Visayas.[99] There are some references, however, indicating that this practice may have also occurred on Luzon.

In a document of 1572 entitled 'Conquest of the Island of Luzon,' it is mentioned that the richest in the community often had more than one wife.[100] Lisboa also has entries for Bikol which indicate that polygamy may have also existed in that region. One of these is associated with the entry duwá 'two', and a second with nom where there is the example: Pinagaagóm kutá' na si kuyán, nom may agóm na That person is getting married, even though he already has a wife (see nom). Part of the definition for ádo' also indicates marriage of two women to one man.
    duwá two; both: ...[+MDL: MA-, -ON to value things in pairs; ... MAG-, PAG--ON to divide s/t in two; to have two wives; ...]

    nom expression with the following contextual meanings; so: Nom tará? So, how are you?; Nom anó? So, what's happening?; but, however, even though: Pinagaagóm kutá' na si kuyán, nom may agóm na That person is getting married, even though he already has a wife; Pinaghánap ko, nom da'í I've looked everywhere, but haven't found it [MDL]

    ádo' referring to a man who takes the wife of another; MAG-, PAG--AN to take or marry a woman already married to another man; MAG- two men who have been married to the same woman, one having taken her from the other; → two women living with or married to the same man; Garó na kamó magádo' It is as if you two have once been married to the same wife (Said when two men are always arguing) [MDL]

(v) Incest

The situation in the Visayas, as described by Chirino, indicates that marriage partners were chosen not only from the same class, but also from those who had a close familial relationship, with the exception of the first degree of kinship which was considered as incest. Therefore, uncles and nieces could marry as well as first cousins, but not brothers and sisters, grandfathers and granddaughters and fathers and daughters. Similar information is conveyed by San Antonio and Zuñiga, and can also be found in the Boxer Codex.[101] An example in the Bikol entry ibá may also convey similar information. More distant marriages to partners from differing towns also occurred, carrying with it the potential to bring its own problems particularly if towns were in conflict (see Chapter 16, 'Towns, Trade and Travel,' Section 2 (ii)).
    ibá ... [+MDL: MA-, -AN to accompany s/o; ... MAG- to be in one another's company; to live together (as those who are married); magriribá to be in each other's company (many people); bakóng magibá relatives, kinfolk; related: → Da'í kamí súkat na magagóm ta' bakó' kamíng magibá It isn't proper for us to get married because we are related; ... MAGKA- to share the same behavior or characteristics; to act alike: Nagkaibá na kamó asín si kuyán You and that person act alike; PAG-: an pagiribá accompaniment]
The occurrence of incest in the community was often suspected when there was a change in natural phenomena, such as an unusual amount of rain causing flooding, or a particularly strong typhoon (dáwat). Encarnacion also has an entry indicating the dread felt in a community upon the discovery of incest (hilas) and a metaphorical entry associating a pig eating its young with the sexual relationship between a parent and a child (isim).[102]
    dáwat MA- or MAG- to rain heavily, causing flooding; to be hit by a strong typhoon (said to be caused by incest in the community: a brother sleeping with his sister or with another close female relative); (PAG-)-ON to be punished by this catastrophe (those committing incest) [MDL]
Francisco Combes, writing of the situation in Mindanao, presents examples of plagues of insects being blamed on the incestuous relationship between a mother and son, and an extended drought and famine on a relationship between a father and daughter. In this last instance, as the father was a respected and influential member of the community, investigations into the allegations could not be carried out. Taking matters into their own hands, the community seized the father and daughter, locked them in a cage filled with stones and threw them into the sea. This action was followed by the occurrence of heavy rain, an indication that an offence against the natural order of things had been rectified.[103]

(vi) Mistresses and Concubiles

There were various forms of extramarital affairs, from the more formal relationship of concubine or mistress (sangbáy), even involving payment to sustain the relationship (húrip), to more clandestine relationships associated with adultery (see Section 5(viii)). Such relationships could be sustained with slaves (utáy), ending even in marriage (únoy). The existence of these types of relationships is mentioned in most of the early Spanish accounts of the Philippines.[104]
    sangbáy mistress, lover; MAG- to be lovers; MAG-, -ON to take s/o as a mistress or lover [+MDL: MAG- to be lovers; MA-, -ON or MAG-, PAG--ON to have a mistress; MANG-, PANG- -ON to live in this type of relationship with a woman (a man); MANG-, PANG--AN to have ties to a woman's relatives due her being one's mistress]

    húrip payment to a mistress or concubine; MA-, I- or MAG-, IPAG- to offer s/t in payment; MA-, -AN or MAG-, PAG--AN to pay a mistress or concubine [MDL]

    utáy MA-, -AN or MAG-, PAG--AN to fool or deceive s/o; to mislead or defraud s/o; ... MAKA-, MA--AN to take s/t of greater value in exchange for s/t of lesser value; also associated with this meaning is: to be a concubine to one's master (a slave); to argue with one's master (a slave) [MDL]

    únoy MANG-, PANG--ON to marry one's female slave [MDL]

(vii) Sexual Attraction

The desire to attract and be attracted to the opposite sex appears in a number of entries in the Lisboa Vocabulario. There are restricted entries dealing with women, those who have many lovers (darayhát), and those who seek out men (súrong), something seen as going against the natural order.
    darayhát inconsistent, changeable; MA- or MAG- to be inconsistent; MA-, -AN or MAG-, PAG- -AN to be inconsistent or changeable with regard to things, first liking one thing, then another; ... -ON one who is inconsistent, uncertain; also: a woman with many lovers [MDL]

    súrong MAG- to fight (birds, animals); ... [+MDL: MA-, -AN or MAG-, PAG--AN to search for one's enemies at a known location; ... (fig-) to look for a man (a woman): Masiwáwa na iyóng masúrong an babáyi sa laláki There is something not quite right about a woman who goes in search of a man]
As for entries which touch on the desires of men, these are far more numerous, with their figurative meanings coming from a greater variety of terms. These range from the rather neutral rúwo, relating to having a particular way with women, to basabás indicating 'lust' or 'licentiousness'. Associations are also made with animals, such as the hunting dog for its sharp senses (ganíb) and the crocodile for its aggressiveness (núyat), and others with greed (ásam, rasáras, usáb-usáb), and finally the exhaustion felt from too much womanising (hakráng).
    rúwo MA-, MA--AN to have a particular way of doing s/t; ... narurúwo sa babáyi to have a way with women; ... [MDL]

    basabás MA-, -ON or MAG-, PAG--ON to lust after all women; to go after all women available; AN MAG- referring to a man with such licentious behavior [MDL]

    ganíb alert, watchful; having sharp senses; on the prowl (animals) [MDL: a hunting dog; ... (fig-) ... Si ganíb na táwo si kuyán sa pakibabáyi That fellow is a great womanizer]

    núyat MANG- to be fierce (a crocodile); MANG-, PANG--ON to attack s/o (a crocodile); (fig-) Si manunúyat kang táwo, kon bagá sa bu'áya You're quite a fierce person, much like a crocodile (Said about one who is a ladies man; also said about one who steals or robs) [MDL]

    ásam MANG-, PANG--ON to eat voraciously everything that is offered, whether tasty or not, refusing nothing; (fig-) MANG-: mangásam sa babáyi to be a ladies' man [MDL]

    rasáras MA-, -ON or MAG-, PAG--ON to take everything, leaving nothing behind; MA-, -AN or MAG-, PAG--AN to take everything from s/o; (fig-) Karasáras kainíng bu'ót mo sa babáyi What a ladies man you are (Meaning: Wanting to take all the women at once) [MDL]

    usáb-usáb MA- covetous, greedy; MA-, -ON or MAG-, PAG--ON to take more than belongs to one or more than is one's due; MA-, -AN or MAG-, PAG--AN to take more than one's due from s/o; Abóng usáb-usáb mo sa babáyi What a ladies man you are [MDL]

    hakráng (PAG-)-ON or MA- to feel weak and tired from overwork; MAKA- to be tiring (work, a particular task); (fig-) Hinahakráng na si kuyán kainíng pamamabáyi That fellow is exhausted from womanizing [MDL]
Such sexual exuberance may have also led to violence, especially when two men quarrelled over a woman they had both established a relationship with (ángag), and adultery when affections were drawn to a woman who was already married (anáb). Another man's wife may have also been taken by force (dahás) an entry which also covers general aggression directed toward women.
    ángag MAG- or MAGKA- to argue or quarrel over a woman (two men, both of whom have a relationship with her); MAGKA-, PAGKA--AN to quarrel over a particular woman [MDL]

    anáb MA- usurper, describing s/o who always wants more of s/t; ... MA-, -ON or MAG-, PAG--ON to usurp s/t; to take all of s/t for o/s; to always want more of s/t; ... (fig-) Naanáb ka pa namán sa ibáng babáyi You have a wife, and yet you still go with other women [MDL]

    dahás violence or force shown toward a woman; MA- describing one who shows violence toward women; MA-, -ON or MAG-, PAG--ON to take another person's wife or woman by force; MA-, -AN or MAG-, PAG--AN to use force or show violence toward a woman [MDL]

(viii) Adultery

Adultery was not uncommon, and tolerated to a large degree. In the Visayas, women committing adultery went unpunished, with the punishment directed at the male adulterer.[105] For the Tagalogs, even if the husband resented the adultery of the wife and could use it as a basis for divorce, action beyond simple repudiation was not commonly taken [106] In Mindanao repudiation was financial. While the aggrieved husband may have chosen physical retribution against the offending male, he often preferred a financial recompense both from the man and his own wife as her finances were separate from his own,[107]

Lisboa's entries for Bikol deal with the deception that leads to cheating in a marriage (lulóng), the accusation that two people are having an affair (takpíl) and the discovery of another man with one's wife (dakóp). Similar entries for Tagalog and Cebuano can be found in the endnote.[108]
    lulóng MA-, -ON or MAG-, PAG--ON to deceive or trick s/o; to double-cross s/o; to cheat (as in a marriage); MA-, I- or MAG-, IPAG- to engage in a particular trick or deception; MAPAG- deceitful, cunning; a cheat [MDL]

    takpíl MAG-, PAG--ON to accuse two people of having an affair; MA-, I- or MAG-, IPAG- to accuse a man of having an affair; MA-, -AN or MAG-, PAG--AN to accuse a man of having an affair with a particular woman [MDL]

    dakóp MAG-, -ON to apprehend, catch or capture s/o; ... MAKA-, MA- to get caught [+MDL: MA-, -ON or MAG-, PAG--ON to seize or grasp s/t; to capture s/o; ... MAKA-, MA- to be able to capture s/o; to catch another man with your wife; MAKA-, MA--AN to catch one's wife with another man]

(ix) Problems

How the husband treated the wife is mentioned in passing in a number of the early Spanish accounts. Miguel López de Legazpi, in his 'Relation of the Filipinas Islands' states that the men in Cebu treated their wives well and were affectionate toward them in accordance with their customs.[109] Zuñiga, writing of the Tagalogs, mentions that after marriage the husband treated the wife like a servant, expecting her to provide for the family while he was engaged in more enjoyable pursuits. This, he attributes, to the long period of time the husband had to endure in servitude to his future in-laws before he was allowed to marry (see Section 5(ii)). He adds that the wife was lucky not to be beaten.[110] With regard to this last statement, we have the entry híyan in Bikol which does indicate that violence toward a wife did occur, although how often and how widespread it was is impossible to know.
    híyan sig, attack; said to a dog to get it to attack, usually repeated a number of times; Híyan na lugód Go on then; the meaning here is highly contextual: said to a child who is crying, it may mean, Go on, cry until there is nothing left of you; → said when coming upon a man who doesn't beat his wife, and being unhappy with what the wife has said, that person may say, Go on, finish her off; MA- or MAG- to say this word [MDL]
The marriage may have also experienced other problems. These may have been due to difficulties shared by both the husband and wife (sí'og-sí'og) or they may have been due to difficulties between the husband and wife. Such would be the case where a husband did not communicate sufficiently with his wife leading to discontentment on her part (tírong), or it may have been due to jealousy (imón). Where a relationship had started to break down, the husband may have taken his displeasure or dissatisfaction out on the wife making her life miserable (rá'ot-rá'ot).
    sí'og-sí'og MAGKA- to experience misfortune, difficulties (a married couple); MAGKA-, IPAGKA- to experience a particular calamity [MDL]

    tírong MA- quiet, uncommunicative; MA- or MAG- to quiet down; to fall silent; to be uncommunicative; ... Natitiróngan mo nang labí ki agóm mo; iyó siyá kapaníring You're too uncommunicative with your wife, and she is the worse for it [MDL]

    imón MA- envious, covetous, jealous; MAG-, -ON to be jealous of s/o; to covet, envy or begrudge s/t [+MDL: MAG-, IPAG- to be jealous of s/t; MANG- to be jealous (a married couple); MANG-, IPANG- to be jealous for a particular reason; PANG- jealousy]

    rá'ot-rá'ot enmity, ill-will, displeasure or dissatisfaction between husband and wife or those in a group; MAG-, PAG--AN to be displeased with s/o; to show dissatisfaction toward s/o or be ill-disposed toward s/o; to make one's life difficult (a husband to a wife); MAG-, IPAG- to be displeased or dissatisfied about s/t; MA- a husband who makes his wife's life difficult [MDL]
Mutual displeasure with the marriage may have led both the husband and wife to consider alternatives. Such alternatives involved separation, threatening to go their own ways (tagháp) or considering going their own ways and earning their own livings (kamót). After a period of separation, the couple may have decided to reconcile and reunite (ulí').
    tagháp MA-, -ON or MAG-, PAG--ON to go on a search for s/t that takes one out of town or into the forest or mountains; MA-, -AN or MAG-, PAG--AN to search a particular area in this way; ... Pagtinaghapán kitá We'll go our own ways (Said by a married couple when arguing) [MDL]

    kamót hand; ... MAKA-, MA--AN: makamtán to acquire, get or possess s/t: ... [+MDL: MA-, -ON or MAG-, PAG--ON to make s/t with the hands; ... (fig-) PAG--AN: Pagkinamtán kitá Let's go our own ways and earn our own livelihood (Said when a husband and wife or relatives argue)]

    ulí' MAGKA--AN to be reconciled; PAGKA--AN reconciliation [MDL: MA-, I- to return s/t to its proper owner (s/t lent, stolen); MA-, -AN to return to the owner s/t lost or stolen; to return to one's spouse (after a period of separation); MAG- to come back together (a husband and wife); MAG-, IPAG- to return a number of things; MAG-, PAG--ON to return a number of things to s/o]
Where problems appeared early in a marriage among the Tagalogs, a second ceremony similar to the ceremony held for the marriage was performed in an attempt to keep the couple together (see Section 5 (iii)). Here the husband himself slew the sacrificial hog while dancing and consulting his personal aníto, or ancestral spirit, pledging himself to the spirit for the sake of the marriage.[111]
    aníto ancestral spirits once represented by carved wooden statues [+MDL: MAG-, PAG--AN to make a sacrifice or hold a festival for a particular aníto; MAG-, IPAG- to offer s/t as a sacrifice; to present s/t as an offering; MAPAPAG- to ask that a sacrificial ceremony to the aníto be held]

(x) Separation and Divorce

Divorce (ayáw) was common, even though there is some indication that pressure could be exerted within the family to keep this from happening, such as threatening to disinherit a daughter if she went through with such an action (mani-).
    ayáw MAG- to divorce one another; MAG-, IPAG- or MAG-, PAG--AN to get divorced for a particular reason; MAKI-, PAKI(PAG)--AN to divorce s/o [MDL]

    mani- verbal affix, infinitive-command form meaning 'to be' or 'to become'; ... [+MDL: ... Kon ibá an maniagóm mo, da'í taká tatagtagán If you change husbands (implying divorce and remarriage), I will disinherit you; ...]
All of the early Spanish accounts talk of divorce, the ease at which it could be achieved, and its consequences. Legazpi, referring to Cebu, mentions that if a husband wished to leave his wife, he could do so upon payment of an amount of money equal to the dowry originally given to her parents. If, on the other hand, the wife chose to leave the husband, then she returned the dowry plus an additional amount equal to its value.[112] As for the children, Chirino indicates that they were divided equally without regard to sex.[113]

For the Tagalogs, Placensia writes that if a wife were to leave her husband in order to marry someone else, then the dowry and an additional sum equal in worth was given to the husband. If, however, she were to leave him and not remarry, then just the dowry was returned. As for the husband, if he were to leave his wife before the birth of any children, then half the dowry was returned to him. If the couple had children, then the whole dowry was set aside for them and held in trust by the grandparents or other responsible individuals.[114] Morga adds that any funds or property that the couple had acquired together were divided equally, while any property that was individually acquired was kept by the individual and not expected to be shared.[115]

Divorce was achieved simply by agreement of the couple without recourse to the law.[116] Morga, however, indicates that there was some involvement and examination by relatives of the couple and the old men of the village who acted as mediators.


While the Spanish commented on the fertility of women in the Philippines, families were not large, limited, for the most part, to two or three children. There were a number of reasons for this, not least of which was the desire of the parents to preserve their inheritance and not have it diminished among too many heirs. Terms of reference for the children generally focused on the first and last born, with a unique reference for a middle child where they existed. Such terms varied from language to language, but also showed a degree of borrowing both from languages within the Philippines and without, particularly from Malay and, in the case of Tagalog, from Hokkien.

As families were often broken by divorce and the early death of one of the parents, children grew up in homes with fellow siblings who may not have shared the same mother and father. There were specific terms for this, with those sharing the same mother referenced as being cut from the same umbilical cord.

Terms for parents were generally shared across the central Philippine languages, as was the case with aunts and uncles, with Bikol being the exception. As for nieces and nephews, Bikol again was the exception, with the other central Philippines languages showing terms all based on the root form for 'child'. Grandparents and grandchildren could be traced through any number of generations, counted with reference to parts of the lower body. The terms for in-laws was also shared, with derivations touching on the proposals and arrangements for marriage.

The behavioural characteristics displayed by children were, naturally, attributed to their biological parents, but where other behaviours were displayed an explanation was sought from more distant relatives or foster parents. There was an expectation that children, when young, would be in the care of their parents, and when they were grown, such care would be reciprocated. This did not always happen. Parents and family elders were also expected to be shown a proper degree of respect, and this was often shown by specific terms of address.

In adolescence, teenagers experimented with sex, and virginity among women was neither valued nor expected, although this may not have been the case with the richer and more influential members of the community where daughters were confined to the house until married. There were also those, both men and women, who never married, and those who were left bereft by death or abandonment on the dissolution of a marriage.

The arrangements of a marriage took time, starting with an approach by the family of the boy to the family of the girl to see if a marriage of their children was possible. Involved in this decision was the status of the families. Not only were marriage partners chosen from the same class, but also from those who had a close familial relationship. While uncles and nieces could marry, as well as first cousins, marriages between brothers and sisters, fathers and daughters and grandfathers and granddaughters were forbidden. Such incestual relationships disturbed the natural order and brought dire consequences to the community.

Where the response to a marriage proposal was positive, the next stage was negotiation of the dowry, an essential element without which a marriage would not take place. To secure the marriage contract, a part of dowry was left with the parents of the girl. If the marriage did not eventuate, then fines would be paid, all of which had been previously negotiated. Before the marriage could actually take place, the boy had to work, often for a number of years, for his future in-laws, usually having to undertake the most difficult of tasks.

The marriage ceremony varied somewhat from region to region, as well as from class to class, with the wealthy in the community having the most elaborate ceremony. Far simpler ceremonies were held for the freemen and the slaves. Polygamy was said to be common in the Visayas, and while its existence was discounted on Luzon, there is some indication in the Spanish references and dictionary entries that it existed there as well. Whether a man was married officially to more than one wife was often of little consequence since the taking of mistresses and concubines was widespread.

Adultery also appeared to be common, with punishment meted out to the male adulterer and rarely to the wife. While such actions may not have led to divorce, there were other problems in a marriage, both those shared by the husband and wife, and those between the husband and wife, which may have brought the marriage to an end.

Although pressure could be brought upon the couple to reconsider a decision to separate, if they decided to divorce there were always financial consequences. A divorce initiated by the man led to his paying a fine equivalent to the value of the original dowry. If it was initiated by the woman, then the return of dowry was expected, although there were variations where children were concerned. It was clear from the Spanish accounts that while the arrangement of a marriage was a long, drawn-out affair, complicated by class and financial considerations, divorce was simpler, easier and relatively quicker to arrange.


[1] Juan José Noceda and Pedro de Sanlucar, Vocabulario de la lengua Tagala, 1754, Manila: Imprenta de Ramirez y Giraudier, reimpreso 1860, see pinsan; Juan Feliz de la Encarnacion, Diccionario español - bisaya, Manila: Imprenta de los amigos del pais, á cargo de M. Sanchez, 1852, see ygagao; Alonso de Mentrida, Diccionario de la lengua Bisaya, Hiliguena, y Haraya de la Isla de Panay, Manila: La Imprenta de D. Manuel y de Felix Dayot, 1841, see daraput, igtotoor.

[2] Noceda and de Sanlucar, Tagala, see cabohos otang, cabohos dugo, gulang; Sánchez de la Rosa, Sámar y Leyte, see tulin, oropud; de la Encarnacion, Bisaya, see hogna; Bergaño, Pampanga, see dayi.

[3] Noceda and de Sanlucar, Tagala, see hinlog, lámay; de la Encarnacion, Bisaya, see lito, igcan-ac.

[4] Sánchez de la Rosa, Sámar y Leyte, see ganap, lito lito.

[5] Noceda and de Sanlucar, Tagala, see capir, datig.

[6] Bergaño, Pampanga, see sicamoang.

[7] Bergaño, Pampanga, see alsut, culayo.

[8] Noceda and de Sanlucar, Tagala, see anac, caanacan, camaganac; de la Encarnacion, Bisaya, see anac; Bergaño, Pampanga, see anac; Sánchez de la Rosa, Sámar y Leyte, see anac; de Mentrida, Bisaya, Hiliguena, y Haraya, see anac.

[9] Carlos Quirino and Mauro Garcia, 'The manners, customs and beliefs of the Philippine inhabitants of long ago', being chapters of 'A Late 16th Century Manila Manuscript,' transcribed, translated and annotated, Manila: The Philippine Journal of Science, vol. 87, no. 4, December 1958, p. 413.

[10] Noceda and de Sanlucar, Tagala, see bogtong; Sánchez de la Rosa, Sámar y Leyte, see bugtong; de la Encarnacion, Bisaya, see bogtong; de Mentrida, Bisaya, Hiliguena, y Haraya, see bogtong; Bergaño, Pampanga, see bugtung.

[11] R. O. Winstedt, Unabridged Malay-English Dictionary, Singapore: Kelly & Walsh Ltd, n.d., see tua.

[12] Noceda and de Sanlucar, Tagala, see nganay, panganay; Bergaño, Pampanga, see panganay.

[13] Sánchez de la Rosa, Sámar y Leyte, see gurang; de la Encarnacion, Bisaya, see golang, magolang; de Mentrida, Bisaya, Hiliguena, y Haraya, see magulang.

[14] Sánchez de la Rosa, Sámar y Leyte, see panisuhag, suhag; de la Encarnacion, Bisaya, see aso; de Mentrida, Bisaya, Hiliguena, y Haraya, see suhat nga anac, suhat

[15] Bergaño, Pampanga, see caca; Noceda and de Sanlucar, Tagala, see caca, ca.

[16] Gloria Chan Yap, 'Hokkien Chinese Borrowings in Tagalog', Pacific Linguistics, series B, no. 71, Canberra: Department of Linguistics, Research School of Pacific Studies, The Australian National University, p. 83.

[17] Winstedt, Unabridged Malay-English Dictionary, see kakak; Kamus Dewan, Kuala Lumpur: Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka, 1994, see kakak; Kamus Besar Bahasa Indonesia, Tim Penyusun Kamus, Pusat Pembinaan dan Pengembangan Bahasa, Departemen Pendidikan dan Kebudayaan, Jakarta: Balai Pustaka, 1990, see kakak.

[18] Sánchez de la Rosa, Sámar y Leyte, see manghud, podo podo, libay; de la Encarnacion, Bisaya, see manghod, libayon, libay; de Mentrida, Bisaya, Hiliguena, y Haraya, see manhor, igmanhor, libayon, libay.

[19] Noceda and de Sanlucar, Tagala, see bongso, bonso (in the index); Bergaño, Pampanga, see bungso; Winstedt, Unabridged Malay-English Dictionary, see bongsu.

[20] Luciano P. R. Santiago, 'The Houses of Lakandula, Matandá and Solimán (1571-1898): Genealogy and Group Identity', Philippine Quarterly of Culture and Society, vol. 18, no. 1 (March 1990), Cebu City: University of San Carlos Publications, pp. 39-73, pp 42-45, JSTOR, (Accessed 22 April 2021).

[21] Antonio de Morga, 'Sucesos de las Islas Filipinas (concluded),' Mexico, 1609, in Blair and Robertson, vol. 16, pp. 25-210, p. 134.

[22] Noceda and de Sanlucar, Tagala, see colouong, sondin (sundin in the 1754 edition), sonor; Bergaño, Pampanga, see uali.

[23] Noceda and de Sanlucar, Tagala, see cambal; Bergaño, Pampanga, see cambal; Winstedt, Unabridged Malay-English Dictionary, see kembar.

[24] Gloria Chan Yap, 'Hokkien Chinese Borrowings in Tagalog', pp. 73-84.

[25] Malcolm W. Mintz, Bikol Dictionary. vol. I: English-Bikol Index; vol. II: Bikol-English Dictionary, incorporates the seventeenth-century Marcos de Lisboa Vocabulario de la lengua Bicol, Australia: Indonesian/ Malay Texts, 2004.

[26] Noceda and de Sanlucar, Tagala, see ate, coya, dico, diche, dite, samco, samse, sangco.

[27] Noceda and de Sanlucar, Tagala, see alay, anac palas.

[28] de la Encarnacion, Bisaya, see hamoayao / poayao.

[29] de la Encarnacion, Bisaya, see honay / anac sa guinhonayan; Bergaño, Pampanga, see anac sulip, bito; de Mentrida, Bisaya, Hiliguena, y Haraya, see onon.

[30] de la Encarnacion, Bisaya, see camabao, hablos.

[31] Bergaño, Pampanga, see tunglo, salay / casalay, apsi.

[32] Noceda and de Sanlucar, Tagala, see pangaman, omanoman, caanac tilik.

[33] Winstedt, Unabridged Malay-English Dictionary, see tilek; Noceda and de Sanlucar, Tagala, see tirk.

[34] Noceda and de Sanlucar, Tagala, see iui, sipi, capatid sa gatas, caagao susu.

[35] de la Encarnacion, Bisaya, see bogto; de Mentrida, Bisaya, Hiliguena, y Haraya, see bogto; Sánchez de la Rosa, Sámar y Leyte, see bugto.

[36] Bergaño, Pampanga, see patad, capatad; Noceda and de Sanlucar, Tagala, see potol, capotol, patir, capatir, patdan, patdin, capatid.

[37] Noceda and de Sanlucar, Tagala, see magulang; Sánchez de la Rosa, Sámar y Leyte, see caganac.

[38] Noceda and de Sanlucar, Tagala, see ama, ina; de Mentrida, Bisaya, Hiliguena, y Haraya, see ama, ina (in examples only) inang, inahan, yna; Sánchez de la Rosa, Sámar y Leyte, see ama, ina; de la Encarnacion, Bisaya, see ama, ina, inahan; Bergaño, Pampanga, see ibpa, inda.

[39] Robert Blust and Stephen Trussel, The Austronesian Comparative Dictionary.

[40] Noceda and de Sanlucar, Tagala, see daga; Bergaño, Pampanga, see dara; Sánchez de la Rosa, Sámar y Leyte, see dada; de la Encarnacion, Bisaya, see dada; de Mentrida, Bisaya, Hiliguena, y Haraya, see dada.

[41] Noceda and de Sanlucar, Tagala, see impo, ingcong; Blust and Trussel, The Austronesian Comparative Dictionary; Yap, 'Hokkien Chinese Borrowings in Tagalog', pp. 85-87.

[42] de la Encarnacion, Bisaya, see pagomancon; de Mentrida, Bisaya, Hiliguena, y Haraya, see pagomancon; Sánchez de la Rosa, Sámar y Leyte, see omancun; Bergaño, Pampanga, see anac, pangunacan; Noceda and de Sanlucar, Tagala, see pamangquin.

[43] Noceda and de Sanlucar, Tagala, see carogtong bitoca, amain, ali, bayi; Sánchez de la Rosa, Sámar y Leyte, see batá; de la Encarnacion, Bisaya, see oyoan, ia / yaya, io / yoyo; de Mentrida, Bisaya, Hiliguena, y Haraya, see bata, hagumascon, hinablas; Bergaño, Pampanga, see tauag, bapa, nucan, palanacan.

[44] Noceda and de Sanlucar, Tagala, see ápo, apó, nono; Bergaño, Pampanga, see ápo, apó, nunu.

[45] de la Encarnacion, Bisaya, see laqui; de Mentrida, Bisaya, Hiliguena, y Haraya, see laque; Noceda and de Sanlucar, Tagala, see lacquiyan.

[46] de Mentrida, Bisaya, Hiliguena, y Haraya, see apo; Noceda and de Sanlucar, Tagala, see apó; Bergaño, Pampanga, see apó, nunu; de la Encarnacion, Bisaya, see sogcod, songay.

[47] Noceda and de Sanlucar, Tagala, see balayi; Sánchez de la Rosa, Sámar y Leyte, see balaye; de la Encarnacion, Bisaya, see balayi; de Mentrida, Bisaya, Hiliguena, y Haraya, see bayao, hipag; Bergaño, Pampanga, see balayi.

[48] Noceda and de Sanlucar, Tagala, see bayao, hipag; Sánchez de la Rosa, Sámar y Leyte, see bayao, hipag; de la Encarnacion, Bisaya, see bayao; de Mentrida, Bisaya, Hiliguena, y Haraya, see balaye; Bergaño, Pampanga, see bayao.

[49] Noceda and de Sanlucar, Tagala, see bilas; Sánchez de la Rosa, Sámar y Leyte, see bilas; de la Encarnacion, Bisaya, see bilas; de Mentrida, Bisaya, Hiliguena, y Haraya, see bilas; Bergaño, Pampanga, see bilas.

[50] Noceda and de Sanlucar, Tagala, see inso, diso, siajo (listed only in the Spanish-Tagalog index); Yap, 'Hokkien Chinese Borrowings in Tagalog', pp. 86-87.

[51] Noceda and de Sanlucar, Tagala, see manogang.

[52] Noceda and de Sanlucar, Tagala, see bosong.

[53] de la Encarnacion, Bisaya, see odoy, mano.

[54] Noceda and de Sanlucar, Tagala, see lalaqui, babaye; Sánchez de la Rosa, Sámar y Leyte, see lalaqui, babaye; de la Encarnacion, Bisaya, see lalaqui, babaye; de Mentrida, Bisaya, Hiliguena, y Haraya, see lalaque, babaye; Bergaño, Pampanga, see lalaqui, babay.

[55] Noceda and de Sanlucar, Tagala, see dalaga; Sánchez de la Rosa, Sámar y Leyte, see daraga; de la Encarnacion, Bisaya, see dalaga; de Mentrida, Bisaya, Hiliguena, y Haraya, see dalaga; Bergaño, Pampanga, see dalaga.

[56] Quirino and Garcia, 'The manners, customs and beliefs of the Philippine inhabitants of long ago,' p. 411; Miguel de Loarca; (Arevalo, June, 1582), 'Relacion de las Yslas Filipinas,' in Blair and Robertson, vol. 5, pp. 34-187, p. 119.

[57] de Morga, 'Sucesos de las Islas Filipinas (concluded),' in Blair and Robertson, vol. 16, p. 131.

[58] Pedro Chirino, S.J., 'Relacion de las Islas Filipinas' (to be concluded), Roma, 1604, in Blair and Robertson, vol. 12, pp. 169-322, p. 251.

[59] Noceda and de Sanlucar, Tagala, see quinali, binocot; Sánchez de la Rosa, Sámar y Leyte, see cabinoc-tan, bocot; de la Encarnacion, Bisaya, see bocot; de Mentrida, Bisaya, Hiliguena, y Haraya, see bocot.

[60] Noceda and de Sanlucar, Tagala, see ganay.

[61] Noceda and de Sanlucar, Tagala, see bulandal; Bergaño, Pampanga, see bulandal.

[62] de Loarca, 'Relacion de las Yslas Filipinas,' in Blair and Robertson, vol. 5, pp. 119, 155; Chirino, 'Relacion de las Islas Filipinas,' in Blair and Robertson, vol. 12, p. 293; de Morga, 'Sucesos de las Islas Filipinas (concluded),' in Blair and Robertson, vol. 16, p. 124.

[63] Sánchez de la Rosa, Sámar y Leyte, see panadli; de la Encarnacion, Bisaya, see palas; de Mentrida, Bisaya, Hiliguena, y Haraya, see hagar.

[64] de la Encarnacion, Bisaya, see hocot.

[65] Chirino, 'Relacion de las Islas Filipinas,' in Blair and Robertson, vol. 12, p. 293.

[66] Noceda and de Sanlucar, Tagala, see buco / boco.

[67] Noceda and de Sanlucar, Tagala, see qisa.

[68] de la Encarnacion, Bisaya, see olao, hingolao.

[69] Juan Francisco de San Antonio, O.S.F., 'The native peoples and their customs,' Manila, (1690-1691) 1738, from his Cronicas, in Blair and Robertson, vol 40, pp. 296-373, p. 500.

[70] de Loarca, 'Relacion de las Yslas Filipinas,' in Blair and Robertson, vol. 5, pp. 159.

[71] de San Antonio, 'The native peoples and their customs,' in Blair and Robertson, vol. 40, pp. 367-368; Juan de Plasencia, O.S.F., 'Customs of the Tagalogs (two relations),' Manila, October 21, 1589, in Blair and Robertson, vol. 7, pp. 73-198, p. 183.

[72] de la Encarnacion, Bisaya, see holog.

[73] Noceda and de Sanlucar, Tagala, see damot / magcaramotan.

[74] de San Antonio, 'The native peoples and their customs,' in Blair and Robertson, vol. 40, p. 365-366; Joaquin Martinez de Zuniga, O.S.A., 'The people of the Philippines,' Sampaloc, (1670-1700) 1803, from his Historia de las Islas Philipinas, in Blair and Robertson, vol. 43, pp. 113-127, p. 124.

[75] Sánchez de la Rosa, Sámar y Leyte, see sagnal.

[76] Francisco Colin, S.J., 'Native Races and their Customs,' Madrid, 1663, from his Labor Evangelica, in Blair and Robertson, vol. 40, pp. 37-98, p. 88; de Zuniga, 'The People of the Philippines,' in Blair and Robertson, vol. 43, p. 124.

[77] Noceda and de Sanlucar, Tagala, see bohol, patinga, pasalap, hayin; Sánchez de la Rosa, Sámar y Leyte, see cumit, bugay; de la Encarnacion, Bisaya, see hayhay, boca; de Mentrida, Bisaya, Hiliguena, y Haraya, see comit, calahao, gaigai, balasan; Bergaño, Pampanga, see namas.

[78] de la Encarnacion, Bisaya, see hinangop.

[79] Noceda and de Sanlucar, Tagala, see bilavo.

[80] de la Encarnacion, Bisaya, see locob, longat.

[81] Noceda and de Sanlucar, Tagala, see tacdahan; de la Encarnacion, Bisaya, see hiphip.

[82] de Mentrida, Bisaya, Hiliguena, y Haraya, see umbu.

[83] de la Encarnacion, Bisaya, see lisod.

[84] de Plasencia, 'Customs of the Tagalogs,' in Blair and Robertson, vol. 7, p. 184; Colin, 'Native races and their customs.,' in Blair and Robertson, vol. 40, p. 88.

[85] Sánchez de la Rosa, Sámar y Leyte, see buca, himuca, himocan.

[86] Noceda and de Sanlucar, Tagala, see capanaogan, tarahan, obar, pasonor, pasonod.

[87] Sánchez de la Rosa, Sámar y Leyte, see panguli; de Mentrida, Bisaya, Hiliguena, y Haraya, see salia.

[88] Sánchez de la Rosa, Sámar y Leyte, see agad, pagagad; de la Encarnacion, Bisaya, see agad; de Mentrida, Bisaya, Hiliguena, y Haraya, see agar.

[89] Gaspar de San Agustin, O.S.A., 'Letter on the Filipinos,' 1720, in Blair and Robertson, vol 40, pp. 183-295, p. 220.

[90] de Zuñiga, 'The people of the Philippines,' in Blair and Robertson, vol. 43, p. 124.

[91] Noceda and de Sanlucar, Tagala, see tauag; Sánchez de la Rosa, Sámar y Leyte, see tauag; de la Encarnacion, Bisaya, see tauag; de Mentrida, Bisaya, Hiliguena, y Haraya, see tauag; Bergaño, Pampanga, see tauag.

[92] de Loarca, 'Relacion de las Yslas Filipinas,' in Blair and Robertson, vol. 5, pp. 155-161.

[93] de la Encarnacion, Bisaya, see danas, ganas, hipid, otay otay, pogad, salo.

[94] Colin, 'Native races and their customs,' in Blair and Robertson, vol. 40, pp. 89-90; de San Antonio, 'The native peoples and their customs,' in Blair and Robertson, vol. 40, p. 370; a brief description can also be found in de Morga, 'Sucesos de las Islas Filipinas (concluded),' in Blair and Robertson, vol 16, p. 124.

[95] de San Antonio, 'The native peoples and their customs,' in Blair and Robertson, vol. 40, p. 369.

[96] Noceda and de Sanlucar, Tagala, see bilag, bongalong, cangay, hingangay, dais, dapit, holog, pamogso.

[97] Malcolm W. Mintz, 'Anger and verse: two vocabulary subsets in Bikol,' in Vical 2: Western Austronesian and Contact Languages, Papers from the 5th International Conference on Austronesian Linguistics, Auckland: Linguistics Society of New Zealand: 1991, pp. 231-244.

[98] Noceda and de Sanlucar, Tagala, see asaua; Sánchez de la Rosa, Sámar y Leyte, see asaua; de la Encarnacion, Bisaya, see asaua, bana; de Mentrida, Bisaya, Hiliguena, y Haraya, see asaua; Bergaño, Pampanga, see asaua.

[99] de San Antonio, 'The native peoples and their customs,' in Blair and Robertson, vol. 40, p. 365-366; Chirino, 'Relacion de las Islas Filipinas,' in Blair and Robertson, vol. 12, pp. 293.

[100] 'Conquest of the island of Luzon,' Manila, April 20, 1572, in Blair and Robertson, vol. 3, pp. 141-171, p. 166.

[101] Chirino, 'Relacion de las Islas Filipinas,' in Blair and Robertson, vol. 12, p. 293; de San Antonio, 'The native peoples and their customs,' in Blair and Robertson, vol. 40, p. 365; de Zuñiga, 'The people of the Philippines,' in Blair and Robertson, vol. 43, p. 123; Quirino and Garcia, 'The manners, customs and beliefs of the Philippine inhabitants of long ago', p. 415.

[102] de la Encarnacion, Bisaya, see hilas, ysim.

[103] Francisco Combes, 'The natives of the southern islands,' Madrid, 1667, from his Historia de Mindanao, Joló, etc., in Blair and Robertson, vol. 40, pp. 99-182, pp. 150-152.

[104] Chirino, 'Relacion de las Islas Filipinas,' in Blair and Robertson, vol. 12, p. 161; de San Antonio, 'The native peoples and their customs,' in Blair and Robertson, vol. 40, p. 365; de Zuñiga, 'The people of the Philippines,' in Blair and Robertson, vol. 43, p. 123.

[105] de Loarca, 'Relacion de las Yslas Filipinas,' in Blair and Robertson, vol. 5, pp. 117, 119.

[106] Chirino, 'Relacion de las Islas Filipinas,' in Blair and Robertson, vol. 12, pp. 251, 294.

[107] Combes, 'The natives of the southern islands,' in Blair and Robertson, vol. 40, p. 149.

[108] Noceda and de Sanlucar, Tagala, see dating; de la Encarnacion, Bisaya, boyboy, dahog dahog, libog, limbong.

[109] Miguel López de Legazpi, 'Relation of the Filipinas Islands,' Cebu, July, 7, 1569, in Blair and Robertson, vol. 3, pp. 54-61, p. 61.

[110] de Zuñiga, 'The people of the Philippines,' in Blair and Robertson, vol. 43, p. 124.

[111] Colin, 'Native races and their customs,' in Blair and Robertson, vol. 40, p. 90.

[112] de Legazpi, 'Relation of the Filipinas Islands,' in Blair and Robertson, vol. 3, p. 61.

[113] Chirino, 'Relacion de las Islas Filipinas,' in Blair and Robertson, vol. 12, p. 294.

[114] de Plasencia, 'Customs of the Tagalogs,' in Blair and Robertson, vol. 7, p. 183.

[115] de Morga, 'Sucesos de las Islas Filipinas (concluded),' in Blair and Robertson, vol 16, pp. 125-126.

[116] Colin, 'Native races and their customs,' in Blair and Robertson, vol. 40, p. 90.



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