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Tuesday, March 08, 2016

Why do I write in Aklanon?

Why do I write in Aklanon?

February 3, 2015
Published in Panay News
see also the original version in this link:

Dawn To Dawn: Why Do I Write in Aklanon? - Blog

20 Peb 2010 ... Now we can see some Aklanon poems in the internet. ... Still other reason why I write in Aklanon is to earn money, although very little by being .
Revised: August 5, 2017
WHY do I write in Aklanon?
This is a simple question, but it took me time to compile my reasons why indeed I write in Aklanon.
When I started writing poetry, I wrote in English, then in Tagalog, then in Aklanon.
I wrote in English because I really wanted to improve my skills in English. It has been my problem on how to communicate effectively in English. Because of that I read books on English grammar, like the one by Jean Edades, “English for Filipinos.” Together with a friend, we studied the English grammar and did actual writing in English.
To try how effective my English was, I tried to write short letters to the editors of The Manila Times, Sunday Times Magazine, the Philippine Collegian, and other national magazines. Some of my letters were published with some editing.
Then I tried writing poetry in English.
But since I did not have any formal training on poetry writing, I thought that the best way to write poetry was to translate Tagalog poems into English to see how poets write poems. So I translated the works of Teo Baylen, a poet laureate from Cavite.
Little by little, I learned some poetry writing techniques.
Then I tried writing in Tagalog as it was much easier for me to express myself in Tagalog than in English.
In the early 1980s, Dr. Leoncio Deriada came to the University of the Philippines (UP) in Iloilo, now UP Visayas.
When he learned that I was writing poetry, he asked me to show him some of my “masterpieces” and told me I should learn some more. He invited me to attend creative writing workshops.
And I did.
It was also through his encouragement that I write more Aklanon poems because it would be much easier for me to convey my ideas if I write in Aklanon. I accepted his challenge.
Before that, of course, I was already writing in Aklanon. In fact, my poem “Inay” was the first Aklanon poem ever published in the Philippine Collegian. When I transferred to UP in Iloilo, I wrote a poem in Aklanon. This was published in Pagbutlak. That was also the first Aklanon poem ever published in that school organ.
There are other reasons why I write in Aklanon.
Aklanon as a language is still developing like any other language, although it has no spelling standard. Although we have three dictionaries that provide Aklanon words, I noticed that there are some words that are spelled in different ways like onga and ungakon and kuntagipusuon and tagipusoon. There are also some deviations like ingko or mingkoparis or kamanapero or piru, etc.
But I usually consult the “A Study of the Aklanon Dialect” Vol. 2 dictionary by Vicente Salas Reyes, et al., 1969, if I am not sure of the spelling.
As I continue writing poems in Aklanon, my Aklanon vocabulary has been expanding.
And I also enrich Aklanon language by incorporating words from other languages into my Aklanon works. Example, cocoon has no direct translation into Aklanon, except that it is a house of a worm. But the Tagalog has, so I used higad when I translated the haiku of Rogelio G. Mangahas. Another word which I used is ham-at, from ham-an it. Now this word is well-known especially when I published the book “Ham-at Madueom Ro Gabii, Inay?”
Later I realized that I was not only writing for myself. Some people have noticed my literary works, especially Dr. Deriada. When I published my first book of poems, “Ham-at Madueom Ro Gabii,” he recommended me to Gawad Pampansang Alagad ni Balagtas.
In a way, not only Aklanons have been reading my literary works but also other people, especially so when I set up the website, Aklanon Literature ( where I feature selected poems written by Aklanons.  I heard that in De La Salle, UP Diliman and UP Visayas, Philippine literature students discuss some of my works in their classes. Someone from the University of Santo Tomas wrote me saying that she was writing a term paper on my Aklanon poems. This year, 2017, Dr. Sharon Concepcion Masula, of Aklan State University-Ibajay Campus used 30 of my poems for her dissertation for her PhD degree in Manuel L. Quezon University. At present two Aklanon graduate students are studying my poems for their master's degree theses. Last year, some of my poems on women were staged at the Aklanon Catholic College entitled Babaye, Base sa mga Binaeaybay ni Melchor F. Cichon. It was directed by Mr. Rommel Constantino of the said college.
Through my writings, I have gained some friends not only in my province but also outside. As a result, I gained some cooperation with other writers. And perhaps if not because of my Aklanon works, Prof. Tomas Talledo would not have invited me to attend a conference on why people write in their native tongues. The conference was held on May 9, 2008 at UP Visayas, Iloilo City campus. Or probably, I should not have been invoted to attend as a fellow to a literary workshop in U.P. Visayas Cebu College, Cebu City, if I were not writing poems in Aklanon.
And perhaps through my example, some Aklanons have tried writing in Aklanon. Now we see some Aklanon poems on the Internet. One book, “Haiku, Luwa and Other Poems by Aklanons,” was published in 2004 through my encouragement.
With the help of the Internet, I was able to communicate with renowned haiku writers outside of the Philippines. I translated Basho’s haiku into Aklanon. This way these famous foreign writers will learn about Aklan and Aklan’s literature.
My other reason for writing in Aklanon is to prove that there is a distinct Aklanon literature, not a subgroup of Hiligaynon literature. For many years some people have thought that there is only one literature in Western Visayas until we the present writers have advocated that Aklanon literature is not a subgroup of Hiligaynon literature, but parallel to it.
Still other reason why I write in Aklanon is to earn money, although very little, by being asked to translate Aklanon poems, short stories and other works for their theses or researches.
Lastly, I write in Aklanon to expose the social and environmental cancers that ferment in our country and, hopefully, prick the consciousness of our leaders.
To me poetry is a social responsibility.
Here is one of my Aklanon poems:
Si Ambong, Ati
Si Ambong, Ati—maitum.
Kueong ra buhok, gision ra eambong, ga siki.
Gakung-kong, kung-kong ka maeupsi nga eapsag
Gapakalimos sa Jaro Cathedral, sa J.M. Basa Street
Ay gintabog eon ra pamilya sa eugta nga anay ginaayaman nanda’t haeo.
Si Ambong, Ati, maitum, indi kantigo magbasa, indi kantigo magsueat
Maski ka anang ngaean ay sa andang barangay owa’t eskuylahan.
Si Ambong, Ati, ginasinggit-singgitan, ginadela-delaan
It mga unga kun imaw mag-agi sa daean ay maitum.
Ginapahadlok it mga nanay sa andang gatangis nga mga unga.
O sa mga unga nga indi magtueog.
Kon fiesta, ginataw-an si Ambong it salin nga suea
Ginasueod sa plastic o sa bag-ong bukas nga lata.
Kun bukon ngani, ginabagsakan it gate.
Agod makayupyop it sigarilyo, gapamueot si Ambong it upos sa kalye.
Agod makasamit it hamburger o juice sa pakite,
Ginapaeapitan ni Ambong ro nagakaon maski sin-o nga anang maagyan.
Pag-abot it gabii, maeugad si Ambong sa sidewalk o sa waiting shed
Kahulid ka anang maeupsing eabsag—
Mayad eang kun may karton nga banig ag owa’t baha o uean –
Agod magbaskug euman ra tuhod sa pagpakalimos pagka-aga.
Si Ambong, Ati—maitum. Ra ele-ele, ra hibi, ra pangamuyo
Indi mabatian, indi mabatyagan it gobyerno sa siyudad it tawo.
Ra singgit it tabang hay singgit sa Pluto.
Si Ambong, Ati– maitum, indi makit-an it atong gobyerno.
Kon Dinagyang, sa selebrasyon etsa pwera si Ambong.
Eutay kuno imaw sa mga bisitang dumueo-ong.
Si Ambong, maitum, ginatabog it blue guard
Bag-o pa man imaw maka-eapak sa gate it Atrium ag SM Shoemart
Kunta may Gloria nga magbatak kay Ambong sa libtong it kaimueon
Agod sa ulihi ro gobyerno may buwes nga masukot kay Ambong;
Agod sa ulihi makabakae man imaw it Levis o barong
Agod sa ulihi makaeskuyla man sa U.P. ra mga inapo;
Agod sa ulihi owa kana’t magtamay, owa’t magtabog
Kon imaw mag-agto sa SM City ag sa Atrium.
Si Ambong, Ati–Maitum. Apo ni Maniwantiwan.
Ag Filipino. Pares kimo, pares kakon.
Kon ham-at owa imaw sa listahan it mga Filipino nga dapat buligan?
Kon ham-at indi imaw makasueod sa atong ugsaran?
Kon ham-at indi naton imaw maagbayan?
Kon ham-at indi imaw makadungan katon magkaon sa restauran?
Siyudad man baea ra’t tawo, indi baea, banwa? Indi baea, banwa?/PN

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