mythology or history? 3

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By Ver F. Pacete

As I See It

Saturday, March 8, 2014


IF WE have to believe the book written by Dr. Juan C. Orendain based on the research materials of Fr. Tomas Santaren and Pedro Alcantara Monteclaro, the natives of Panay had already established a kind of civilization prior to the arrival of the Spaniards. The Ati tribes had the ancestor worship and befriend the good spirits. The Bornays brought to the Ati world their fashion and laws, “Code of Sumakuel” and “Code of Kalantiao.”

The day came that the Bornays should buy the land from the Ati. The Ati gave their exhibition dance, a mass dance wherein they sang and entertained. The Bisayans played also their musical instruments – libao, tulali, flutes and drums. The men drew their weapons to dance “sinulog,” a war dance. Since there was no monetary system during that time, Datu Puti sent his servant to his “biniday” to get gold “sadok” and “batiya.” He put the “sadok” on the head of Marikudo.

Maniwantiwan stopped the deal. Unless she would be given a gold necklace, she told the Bornays, the same as that of Pinangpangan (the wife of Datu Puti), there would be no exchange. The wife gladly gave her necklace to Maniwantiwan who walked around with the necklace dragging around. In exchange for the gold necklace, the Ati queen gave a big basket of crabs, a boar with long tusks, and a deer. The Ati, enchanted by the beauty of gold, gathered together to go up the river to the mountains and forests where they lived by hunting and fishing. That was the “Barter of the Island of Aninipay.”

The word “Panay” came from the “Pan-hay.” When Legazpi visited the island bounty, he exclaimed, “Pan hay en esta isla!” Well, the story went on and on as a part of our “Kinasadtong Sugilanon” (Once Upon A Time). The parable of the ten Bornean datus did not stop in the barter of the island. Like the “Odyssey of Homer,” it was stretched far beyond imagination.

It included how the Bornays worshiped “Bulalakao” (god) through “Bangotbanwa,” the priest who came with them from Borneo. Datu Puti went back to Bornay but on his way back, he passed by many places, leaving Dumangsil and Balensucla in Taal. The datu who remained in Aninipay renamed the island Madiaas and divided it into three: Hamtik, Aklan and Irong-irong.

The Bornays taught their descendants some words that the “Mother Tongue” teachers should learn: buntag adlaw (sunrise), tupongtupong (noon), tagbalahog (four o’clock), huyog adlaw (two o’clock), masirum (twilight), tigiyapon (supper time – eight o’clock), tigbaranig (bedtime – ten o’clock), unang pamalo (midnight), tigburugtaw (four o’clock in the morning) and paranugpo (five thirty, when the chicken leaves the roost).

For the names of days in a week, we have the following: Tagburukad (Monday), Dumason (Tuesday), Dukot dukot (Wednesday), Baylo baylo (Thursday), Danglus (Friday), Hingothingot (Saturday), and Ligid ligid (Sunday, the day of rest).

The names of the months are Ulalong (January, time of women to begin weaving cloth), Dagangkahoy (February, time to cut the trees from the lot they want to plant), Dagangbulan (March, the moon is bright during these nights and the women can spin their thread in the moonlight), Kiling (April, lightning and thunder), Himabuyan (May, worm called “timbaboy” multiply), Kabay (June, time to use their “kaba.” They wore over their ordinary clothes because they did not want to get wet);

Hiladapdapon (July, not explained. Probably “dapdap” trees are in bloom), Lubadlubad (August; They eat only once when the sun sets), Kangorosol (September, month of regrets for those who owed money. The next month would be harvest time), Bagyobagyo (October. There’s so much rice, sometimes the cooked rice is spoiled and is called “bagyo”), Panglot nga diotay (November, cold weather begins to be felt), Panglot nga dacu (December, very cold weather.)

Datu Sumakuel, who remained in Malandug (now a part of Antique), met an accident one day. He sank in the quick sand. It is said that some of the descendants of the Bornays (the Bukidnon Tribe) could still chant the “Hinilawod epic.” This is about the heroic deeds, the love story, and the barter of the island, the struggle for freedom, and the founding of a civilization. This is the story of our ancestors, this is our story. This could be history or simply a mythology.*

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on March 08, 2014.

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