Inangayán: Is it Vote Buying or Per Diem? Let Us Trace The History

Topic |  

Inangayán: Is it Vote Buying or Per Diem? Let Us Trace The History

Topic |  


Last May 9, 2016 national election there were many stories of money given to the voters.  The official stand of the Commission on Election was that it was “vote buying”.  However many recipients of the money said that it was not “vote buying” because they did not ask for it.  It was just given to them.  Whose viewpoint is correct?

Ginhaópan and Tanberino

Ginhaópan is a Bisayan word that refers to a person who will pay for the expenses of others.  He was a kind of local philanthropist who somehow knows how to recoup his expenses.


The word tanberino is a short form of Capitan Berino.  He is also a kind of local philanthropist who pays the bills of others.  However tanberino has a connotation of being a spendthrift.  He pays the expenses of others to flaunt his wealth for boast, or pride.

Today, these two terms are now forgotten and what is used during fiestas is the term Hermano Mayor = Big Brother or Hermana Mayor = Big Sister.

Cabeza de Barangay

During Spanish times the town was not divided into barrios with boundaries.  The residents of the town were divided into Family Groupings or Barangay.  A barangay consisted of 40 to 100 families.  The leader of the barangay or family grouping was known as the “Cabeza de Barangay = Head of a Family Grouping”.  The members of a barangay can live anywhere in town.  It was the Americans who divided the towns into barrios with definite boundaries.

Since the most important duty of a Cabeza de Barangay was to collect taxes, it was not a desirable position or office.  The members of the barangay were willing to let the ginhaópan and the tanberino become Cabeza de Barangay.

Spanish Election


During the Spanish era the only election was for the post of Gobernadorcillo or town mayor.  It was supervised by the Spanish Provincial Governor while the Parish Priest functioned like today’s COMELEC.


The voters were six (6) incumbent Cabezas de Barangay and six (6) previous Cabezas de Barangay.  These 12 voters were nominated by a gathering of incumbent and past Cabezas.  Since the office of Gobernadorcillo was not a desirable post, only the ginhaópan and tanberino type of persons were willing to be elected.


During the day of election many incumbent and past Cabezas de Barangay will gather in town.  Add to it the visiting Spanish Provincial Governor and his party.  The question is, who will provide for the food and lodging of these people.


Naturally, some ginhaópan or tanberino will do it.  The expenses were not viewed as “vote buying” but only as a token of hospitality for friends and relatives.

American Period


The Americans introduced the political party system, qualification of voters, and the filing of certificates of candidacy for a political position.

The ginhaópan and the tanberino were no longer needed.  If they want to be elected, they must join the political party system.  There were already many people who want to be elected through the support of the political party.

In the early part of the American administration there were only very few who could satisfy the qualification for a voter.  1.) Male.  2.) At least 21 years old.  3.) Residency requirement.  4.) Knows how to read and write.  5.) Real property owner.

Since there were only few voters, the voting was done only in the town center and it was now the candidate for mayor who must provide a “fiesta” to feed his supporters.

At first there was no real competition between the candidates for local offices because they were mostly relatives and friends.  However, in the national scene the Filipino leaders were divided between the followers of Sergio Osmeña and Manuel Quezon.  The situation also divided the local candidates.

1930 Election

The 1930 election marks the appearance of the “inangayan” in Bohol.  The candidates for governor were Carlos P. Garcia of the Quezon wing of the Nacionalista Party and Celestino Gallares of the Osmeña wing.

It was the first election after the removal of the real property requirement of a voter.  The number of voters significantly increased.  Voting precincts were established in large barrios away from the town center.

Since there were many men who could qualify as voters if only they could learn how to write their names and that of the candidates, the Garcia camp and the Gallares camp gathered and quartered them.  They were housed and fed for many days and taught how to read and write their names and that of the candidates.

For other needs and necessities they were given money allowance or inangayán.  Naturally the other supporters of the candidates got envious and also asked for the inangayán.  The inangayán was given only to the supporters of the candidate and not to buy the votes of the supporters of the other candidates.  The concept of delicadeza or sense of moral propriety was still strong during that time.

In fact the issue of morality against Carlos P. Garcia made him lost to Celestino Gallares.

1948 Election

The first local election after World War II was in 1948.  This time the women were already qualified to vote.  The political parties were the Nacionalista and the Liberal.  The inangayán was still given but there was already a change in the concept of delicadeza. The voters without any party affiliation were also given.

1953 Election

During the 1953 National Election, Carlos P. Garcia was the vice presidential candidate of Ramon Magsaysay of the Nacionalista Party.  Practically all Boholanos were on the side of the Nacionalista Party.  Even the voters in Tagbilaran, Bohol that was under the Liberal Party administration of Mayor Pedro Belderol was willing to vote for the Boholano Carlos P. Garcia.

The inangayán (for sharing) became an uwán-uwán (shower) because everybody received his or her share.

It was also during the 1953 election where the inangayán was rationalized as a per diem or reimbursement for expenses incurred for voting.  There was no need for the inangayán because Carlos P. Garcia was a “favorite son” of Bohol.  But then the money was still given as a token of appreciation for the effort of voting.

During this time also there appeared the term “púsil = shoot”, especially in Tagbilaran where there were diehard Liberal Party members.  The term “púsil” was the real vote buying or palít because members of the opposite party were given money for their votes.

Later Developments

When the number of voters increased as the years go by, the voting precincts were dispersed and it was necessary to provide transportation for the candidate’s adherents.

Eventually a law was passed prohibiting “vote buying”.  Vote buying is defined as anything or privilege given to the voter to influence his vote.  So by legal definition you are prohibited to give food, provide transportation, given money, tokens etc.

The problem is that Election Day is a holiday and the workers does not earn.  They will spend for transportation and food in order to vote.  How will the voter recoup the money he lost?  Bear in mind that in the United States, Election Day is not a holiday.

So if the candidate’s follower will say that I could not vote because I have no money for the needed expenses, what will the candidate do?  The candidate will of course provide for the need.


In Bohol, even if there is a law against “vote buying”, as long as there is a need of the voter to recoup his lost income, the candidates will always find ways to provide for the need of his followers.  Of course there are now many transmutation of the inangayán, but basically our poll surveys reveal that inangayán is viewed as a per diem.

One Comment

  1. NIck G. Ladroma NIck G. Ladroma May 19, 2016

    I agree with your point Sir, ever since I started to vote I never accept any amount from what we called leaders of some candidates, I strongly opposed vote buying. I have my principle not to do so for I don’t want to destroy my name, reputation and as a good law abiding citizen. There’s a Visayan song says that ” dili tanang politiko corrupt. dili tanang corrupt politiko kay kon wala kay kwarta dili man sad ka iboto. We have to blame both the Politician and the Voters. So, if nobody will give nobody will receive and nobody will receive nobody will give.

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