History and Culture
Who Did Teniente Gimo Eat?
Belle Piccio | Oct 11, 2013
The story of Teniente Gimo already has several versions after having been passed on from generation to generation.
“Teniente” is a Spanish word which means “lieutenant.” Gimo was said to be called as such because he was a “Teniente del Barrio,” or what we refer now as the “Barangay Chairman" or "Barangay Captain,” of Dueñas, Iloilo.
According to tales, he might even have been a leader of an aswang group or clan, which explains why he got the title.
Here’s one version which is more known. But first, let’s name the characters:
- Maria, daughter of Teniente Gimo
- Juana and Teresa, the friends of Maria
The daughter of Teniente Gimo invited her two friends to visit her family in a town far from the city. Maria’s friends were warmly welcomed in accordance with the usual Filipino trait of hospitality.
Since it was dinner time, they were served so much food as if there was a celebration. Juana and Teresa loved the feast. They were curious about the dish but were only answered with a smile.
As the night grew deeper with hours full of chattering and lots of food, the girls decided to get some rest and sleep.
The house was small and there was only one bedroom for everyone. Teniente Gimo told Maria and her friends to sleep in the bedroom while he will sleep in the living room.
Just like other girls when together, Maria, Juana, and Teresa didn’t sleep right away. Instead, they swapped personal belongings with each other. Maria borrowed the necklace of Juana, and the girls drifted to sleep.
That night, Teniente Gimo targeted Juana. The only thing he could identify Juana with was her necklace. He sneaked to the bedroom, carefully checked who wore the necklace, hit the girl with a hard blow to the head, and brought her into the kitchen.
Teniente Gimo chopped the body into pieces and cooked it in a big pot.
Then morning came. Teniente Gimo discovered whom he had eaten. It was his daughter, Maria!
The story ended there. No one knows what happened to the two friends of Maria. It is said that they may have lived to tell the story of Teniente Gimo…
Because there are many versions of the tale, you might know a different one. Please share it with us in Choose Philippines! We would love to read about it.