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Thursday, January 28, 2016

Ro May Sakit nga Lobo ag ro Karnero

Ro May Sakit nga Lobo ag ro Karnero
ni Aesop
Gin-Inakeanon ni Melchor F. Cichon

Gintawag ku lobo nga may sakit ag indi makahueag ro nag-agi nga karnero ag nagpakitluoy nga taw-an imaw it tubi nga mainom nga halin sa maeapit nga sapa.

"Kon daehan mo ako't tubi nga mainom," hambae na, "ako eon lang ro bahala sa pag-usoy it karne para kakon."

"Matuod nga mahimo mo, " hambae ku karneho, nga nagaatras paeayo.  "Kon magpaeapit ako kimo agod magdaea it tubi, hasayran ko gid nga taw-an ko pa ikaw it karne."

Leksiyon: Mag-andam sa manogluko.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Nag-agto Ako sa Kalibo

Nag-agto ako sa Kalibo
Agod magtan-aw it Ati-Ati
Ugaling nadismaya ako
Ay ro mga Ati gapakalimos sa kayle.
***Melchor F. Cichon
January 26, 2016

Bea Pascual Tabernilla, Purple Rose

Bea Pascual Tabernilla

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Aklanon’s Beliefs and Practices on Death

Reprinted from Pinoy Warrior Retrieved: January 23, 2016

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Aklanon’s Beliefs and Practices on Death

Photo by Ken Ilio
Every region or province in the country observe its own customs and traditions on death. From the time the dying nears his or her end until after burial, we follow certain rituals to help the ones left behind cope with grief and help the dead to the afterlife. In the oldest province of Panay Island, where culture and tradition has been alive before historians, death and burial practices have evolved through the hundreds of years of Spanish influence.

To shed light on the necrological customs in Aklan, The Pinoy Warrior would like to introduce the very first contribution from one of the readers. Here is an article by Melchor Cichon, a poet and librarian.

Aklanon’s Beliefs and Practices on Death
by Melchor F. Cichon
Revised, October 29, 2012

Aklanons show great respect for the dead. Out of these, various beliefs and practices have developed which has become a tradition. This tradition has been handed down to them from their great grandparents. The Spaniards must have reinforced this tradition through the introduction of Catholicism in the country as well as the Chinese through their commerce. It may be difficult to discern which beliefs and practices are of Spanish or Chinese origins. However, we can surmise that those beliefs and practices related to money like placing the first given alms to the palm of the dead must have been influenced by the Chinese,

When a person is dying, his immediate relatives call a parish priest or a pastor to give the last sacrament. It is also the time when the dying person could ask for blessings or forgiveness. Dying people should ask for a confession from a priest. The Aklanons believe that there is life after death. In this critical moment, a cantor or a member of the church choir is asked to sing religious songs to make his final journey pleasant and perhaps to ease whatever pain the dying person is suffering.

If a person dies, his immediate family would inform all his relatives of the incident as well as the parish priest. Upon the priest’s instruction the sacristan would toll the bells. The purpose of this is to inform people in the community that somebody had died. The townspeople who would hear the tolling of the bells are expected to pray for the repose of the soul of the dead. The intervals between strokes of the bell’s tolls would determine the age of the deceased. If the strokes are done briskly, the deceased is a child. If the intervals are long, the dead is an adult.

Before the 1960s, burial was usually done twenty-four hours after the person has died. But with the popularity of embalming, burial is done within weeks especially when a member of the family is away and is expected to come home.

It is believed that with shoes on, the journey of the dead will be difficult and he will be damned in hell so the deceased is not allowed to wear shoes, only socks.

During the wake, people in the community and members of the family from far away would come home to pay their last respects. Usually they would give alms. Others would give food. Another distinct practice is the holding of the feast on the third day after death. The usual food being served is ubod ng niyog mixed with pork. Vegetables that are vine-like are however a taboo. Usual games being played are bordon, card games like paris-paris, karga buro, etc. Other gives being played are konggit and mahjong. One popular game is the bordon. Participants are often teenagers. They form a circle and one participant would be in the middle to be the “manakaw” or “it”. Other participants would hold hands and sing “bordon de las bordon, singsing papanawa…

Dalia sa pagpalakat
Singsing sa pagpadapat
Basi kon malipat
Isa ka makawat.
Andar de las singsing
Singsing de los andar
Andar de los singsing
Singsing de los andar.
Singsing papanawa
Mentras makadangat
Sa Hari kag Reyna.

While this song is being sung, the hands of the participants are moved back and forth, bluffling the person in the middle as to who is holding the singsing. The singsing here is anything from stone to marble. From time to time, the participant at the middle would grasp the hands of the participants to catch the singsing. Whoever is caught holding the singsing will be punished by making him recite a ditso or a luwa. Here is an example of a luwa:

Ay abaw Inday nagapakatig-a
Daw bato bantiling ro anang kaha;
Indi ka pagdutlan gunting ag labaha,
Dutlan ka gid Inday ku akong paghigugma.

Like the bordon, konggit is played only during the wake. The game is played with small stones, as big as marbles. The number of players range from two to five. Before the start of the game, the participants would first decide via a jack en poy. Those stones which were not caught could still be taken by the player if he is able to strike two stones, which were previously pared by putting an imaginary line between them. If he fails to strike the other stone, the next player continues the game until all the stones are taken. Each player then counts all the stones he/she has taken. Whoever has the most number of stones is declared the winner. Another round of konggit is played.

These games are rarely played now during the wake. What are popular these days are mahjong, tumbo, and card games like pusoy dos and lucky nine.

Emilio Jacinto Funeral (though he isn't Aklanon)
When there is death in the family, the family members are expected to mourn by wearing black clothes. Others would wear black ribbons. In case the deceased is a mother and has left a child, the child should wear a piece of red cloth so the parent would not disturb the baby at night. Another practice of mourning is by hanging a black cloth on the window facing the street. Members of the family are not allowed to take a bath until after the burial. They are not allowed to sweep the floor also. This is to prevent another death in the family. Children are not allowed to listen to radios. No social gatherings should be held during this period. Weddings are also postponed until after a year to avoid bad luck to the newly married couple.

The deathbed of the deceased and the clothes worn during his death are thrown outside the house to rot. If he died on a bed made of bamboo thatches, one thatch is removed and thrown away. This is to prevent another death in the family.

When the deceased is brought out of the house for burial, all the members of the family should pass under the coffin. This is done to prevent the spirit of the dead to disturb those who are left behind. When the coffin is being brought out of the house, the feet portion of the coffin is put forward as if the deceased person were passing through the door himself. Care is being taken cared of to prevent the coffin from bumping any portion of the door so as not to disturb the soul of the dead.

If the deceased is a Catholic, he is brought to the Catholic church for blessing. Mass is offered for the repose of his soul if the cause of the death is suicide, the priest will not allow the dead to be brought inside the church.

At times, a priest is requested to welcome the deceased at a crossroad nearest the church. Then, mourners would walk toward the church.

From shenandoahbreakdown
In the church, the coffin is opened for the mourners to make a final view. It is understood that no tears should drop on the deceased’s face because it will only make his journey difficult and will cause bad luck to the family. Picture taking is done and eulogies are said, if there’s any.

Procession continues to the cemetery. Again, great care should be observed so as not to bump on any part of the coffin on the church’s door. Also, the feet portion is put forward while leaving the church.

On the way, people who are at the streets usually pray for the repose of the soul of the deceased. Others would take off their hats or make a sign of a cross.

In Zamboanga City, I observed that people in the streets would throw coins to the passing coffins. These are picked up and given to the family of the deceased.

Upon reaching the cemetery, the coffin is again opened for the last time. Here, people would come very close to the coffin, particularly the immediate members of the family. Pins and other decorations inside the coffin are removed and thrown away so as not to make the journey of the deceased difficult. Loud crying is usually heard. Mourners would start throwing flowers and a handful of soil to the coffin as pabaon. Then the coffin is closed and nailed. The coffin is then lowered into the grave or entombed in the pantheon. Snacks are served inside the cemetery. Upon leaving the cemetery, mourners would pass through the smoke prepared near the gate. This is done to prevent any illness that would befall the mourners’ family, especially when there is a child in the house. If no snacks are given in the cemetery, the mourners are expected to go to the house of the deceased to eat. From the day of the funeral, a nine-day novena is held. People in the neighborhood would come to pray, play, and so to gamble. As usual, the bereaved family serves drinks and foods to those who come.

In the beginning of the 1960s, much changes have taken place on the beliefs and practices on death among Aklanons, particularly among the later generations. Today, bordon or konggit is seldom played, but mahjong, pusoy dos, and tumbo games are popular.


As noted earlier, so much foods are served during the novena, the patnog, and the katapusan which cause so much spending. This is an added burden to the members of the bereaved family who are already economically drained.

Aside from this unusual and untimely spending, activities like planting, and harvesting of palay are suspended until after the burial which can affect the family’s income.

About the Author
Melchor F. Cichon is a poet and Library Head of St. Therese-MTC Colleges La Fiesta Site in Molo, Iloilo City. He was Head of the College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences and at the same time Head of the Readers Services at the University of the Philippines in the Visayas, Miag-ao, Iloilo until his retirement in 2010. He maintains several blogs where he shares his works.

Man-ot Eayo Ro Kalibo?

Man-ot Eayo Ro Kalibo?
***Melchor F. Cichon
     January 17, 2016

Man-ot eayo ro Kalibo
Kon gahalin ka sa Lezo?
Mga waeo man lang ka kilometro.
Pwede man tikangon,
Pwede man magsakay sa single nga motor,
Pwede man magsakay sa tricycle,
Pwede man magsakay sa jeep,
Ugaling perming puno't pasahero.
Pwede man magsakay sa silhig
Kapin pa gid kon ugsad.

Aklan Poetry during Wake

Reprinted from:

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Aklan Poetry During Wakes

Hambae Inakeanon in its original form
Poetry in Aklan is old, and the 16th century poem "Hambae Inakeanon" was one of the earliest documented proof. Among the great literary minds from Panay Island is an Aklanon known as Dominador Ilio. As a poet, he wrote several books, which may have been coming from the practice of poetry in the traditions of Aklan.
The author of the article entitled "Luwa in Aklan," Melchor Cichon, recounts that at the funeral of his grandmother, people honored her with Luwa in her wake. His grandmother before, recites Luwa on the wakes of friends or relatives who passed away. Read more of how Luwa is being done.

Luwa in Aklan
ni Melchor F. Cichon
A luwa is a form of poetry that is usually written in four lines. It used to be the first stanza of corrido, that kind of poetry that relates the exploits of kings and princess. There are also luwa that are longer ones. There are also luwa  that are used to get the hands of a lady. This is known as enamoracion.

It is said that it is not advisable to recite luwa if one is not in the wake, because it is believed that a member of the family will die if this is done not in its proper place.

Because luwa were recited in wakes as part of a punishment to whoever is the loser in a game like konggit, truth or consequence, bordon, it is very much appreciated if the lines have rhymes, rhythms, and humor. This is one reason why there are nonsense luwa. The rhythms are not consistent though, but there are a lot of luwa that have rhymes. These include luwa with aaaa, aabb, abab patterns.

There are also some luwa that have abcd endings.

Here are examples:

Example of a luwa with an aaaa rhyme:
Pag-agto ko sa Ibajay,
May hakita ako nga patay;
Ginbagting ko ra eagay,
Mas mabaskog pa sa lingganay.

Here you will notice that the endings of all lines are in ay.

For the aabb example:

Pag-agto ko sa bukid
Nakakita ako it ibid;
Paglingot ko sa waea
Gatueok kakon rang nobya.—Melchor F. Cichon (MFC)

Here the first and second lines end in id, while the third and fourth lines end in a.

Here is another ending. The abab:

Igto sa bukid,
May busay nga naga-ilig;
Kon magpaligos igto si Ismid,
May daeang butong nga binulig. --MFC

There are luwa with Spanish and English words.

Paris it navagante
Sa tunga it travisya
Kinueabos rang suwerte
Hay gulpi nga nagisgrasya.

Igto sa bukid
May kwarta nga nagaligid
Nagaligid-naga roll
Dumiretso sa waterfall.

There are other luwa that are bawdy, but full of imagery. Here is an example:

Pag-agto ni Inday sa Boracay
Napusa ro anang tuway;
Pagkasayod ka anang nanay,
Ana imaw nga ginminueay.-- MFC

For a nonsense luwa here is a classic example:

Secut erat en principio
Bisan libat basta gwapo;
En principio secut erat
Gwapo pero libat.

Secut erat is a Latin word that means Glory be, a Catholic prayer.

Here are other nonsense luwas:

Nag-agto ako sa Navas
May hakita ako nga bayawas;
Akon nga ginpaeas,
May nahueog nga sibuyas.

There are luwa that have double meanings. These are the luwa that belong to the adults, if they can decipher the meaning. Here is an example:

Maligos ako kunta
Sa maisot mo nga sapa
Ugaling ro kinasaea
May guardia civil sa tunga.--MFC

There are luwas that are really metaphysical. Here is one:

Ako mangunguma nga taga-Lezo
Maagto sa eanas agod mag-arado
Rang saeaburan puno’t bungot-bungot
Rang mabuot nga arado, indi magdueot kon indi magtindog.-- MFC

Ako si Haring Marikudo
Manugtanum it amamakoe
Pero ro gusto-gusto gid ni Inday kuno
Amamakoe nga sukoe.-- MFC

Kon gusto mo gid man ako
Nga mangin nobya mo;
Ro adlaw imo nga tukuran
Agud indi kita madueman.

Some of the topics being touched in luwa are love, death, courtship, sorrows, happiness, desires. disasters, anything and everything under and above the sun.

What is the difference between the old and the new luwa? In terms of subject matter, number of lines, number of syllables per line, the same.

Perhaps, until proven otherwise, the contemporary luwa have wider scopes like tsunami, and politics, and snows since some of the poets are college trained and have gone to different countries like Canada, America, Switzerland and Germany.

From the luwa that I heard and gathered, I noticed that politics is not given so much importance.

This is one aspect of luwa that should be looked into. I know that luwa like any other poetry can be used to dissect our society, including our politics.

Luwa is dying in Aklan. In fact many of our martial law babies have not heard of luwa.

But luwa is not only confined in Aklan. This was also common in Iloilo, Capiz, Antique, and Guimaras.

Because of this, I wrote luwa. These can now be read in my website:

Luwa writing is easy. Just remember this:
  1. Focus on one subject.
  2. If possible, inject humor in your luwa.
  3. Try to use rhyme and meter if possible.
  4. Maximize the use of the various figures of speech. But avoid using mixed metaphor.
  5. Be careful with your spelling. Prefixes should be attached to the root words, like pagbakae, ginsueat, etc. Remember the rule on the use ko and ku.
  6. Read and write luwa. There is no other way to learn how to write luwa but to write it yourself.

About the Author
Melchor F. Cichon is a poet and Library Head of St. Therese-MTC Colleges La Fiesta Site in Molo, Iloilo City. He was Head of the Readers Services Section of the College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences at the University of the Philippines in the Visayas, Miag-ao, Iloilo until his retirement at 2010. He maintains several blogs where he shares his works.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Gitanjali 45

Gitanjali 45
ni Rabindranath Tagore
Gin-Inakeanon ni Melchor F. Cichon
January 22, 2016

Owa mo mabatii ro mahipos nga mga eapak?  “ Gaabot imaw, gaabot, gainabot.”
Kada oras ag kada dag-on, kada adlaw ag kada gabii, gaabot Imaw, gaabot, gainabot.
Sa kaabu-abuon ko eon nga mga kanta nga hakanta sa kaeain-eain ko nga pamatyagon, pero ro andang nota hay  perming gahambae nga “gaabot Imaw, gaabot, gainabot.”
Sa mahumot nga mga inadlaw it masilakon nga Abril  gaabot Imaw gaagi sa daean it kagueangan, gaabot, gainabot.
Sa kalisod pagkatapos it kalisod,  ana nga mga eapak ro gadum-ok sa ang tagipuso-on, ag ro bueaeawanon nga tabing ku anang mga siki ro nagapasiga kang kalipayan.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Ili-Ili ni Nanay: Bedtime Rhyme in Akeanon

Ili-Ili ni Nanay: Bedtime Rhyme in Akeanon.
Owa’t Pahuway
Ni Melchor F. Cichon
Jan 20, 2016

Owa’t pahuway
Sa dinaeagan
Sa pagliniksi-liksi
Bag-o magsueod sa klase
Pagkatapos it klase
Owa man gihapo’t pahuway
Sa pagdinaeagan
Sa pagliniksi-liksi
Bag-o mag-ihapon
Ag samtang gakaon
Gadungeay-dungeay eon
Sa kaduyogon.


Story Telling-a-Lie
ni Melchor F. Cichon.
January 20, 2016
Nagkilta ro daywang maaeam
Sa taeam-an it bayawas:
Si Juan Posong ag si Juan Tamad.
Si Juan Posong sa ibabaw it bayawas,
Samtang si Juan Tamad gaeubog,
Sa idaeum it bayawas.
Hambae ni Juan Posong kay Juan Tamad:
Buksan mo eang permi ring baba
Indi mo gid pagkiputon
Agod masaeap mo ro ihueog ko nga bayawas.
Pagtunod it adlaw
Gabuka pa gihapon ro baba ni Juan Tamad
Samtang si Juan Posong igto eon sa andang baeay

Man-ot Eayo Ro Kalibo?
***Melchor F. Cichon
January 17, 2016
Man-ot eayo ro Kalibo
Kon halin ka sa Lezo?
Mga waeo man lang ka kilometro.
Pwede man tikangon,
Pwede man sakyan it single nga motor,
Pwede man sakyan it tricycle,
Pwede man sakyan it jeep,
Ugaling perming puno't pasahero.
Pwede man sakyan it silhig
Kapin pa gid kon ugsad.


Tueog It Managob
ni Melchor F. Cichon
January 17, 2016

Tueog it managob
Agod mag-isut;
Tueog it temprano
Agod magbahoe.

Buean, Buean
ni Melchor F, Cichon.
January 17, 2016

Buean, buean
Siin si Nanay?
Buean, buean
Siin si Tatay?
Igto sanda sa eanas
Gatanum it paeay,
Gatanum it mais,
Agod may inyo nga inug-ilabas.

Inum It Gatas
ni Melchor F. Cichon.
January 17, 2016

Inum it gatas
Agod magtaas;
Kaon it prutas
Agod magbakas

Sunday, January 17, 2016


mid-afternoon walk...
a jeepney shares
the road dust to us

***Melchor F. Cichon

long jeepney ride --
the softness
of the distance between us

***Melchor F. Cichon

jeepney strike--
women in miniskirts
wave at the passing government trucks

***Melchor F. Cichon