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Saturday, April 25, 2020

CICHON: Aklan’s Man of Words

CICHON: Aklan’s Man of Words

Message of Atty. Ronquillo C. Tolentino, Vice Governor, Province of Aklan, delivered on the occasion of the Book Launching of HAIKU, LUWA & other poems by Aklanons authored by Melchor F. Cichon, Museo It Akean, Kalibo, Aklan, November 18, 2005, 3:00 P.M.
Inay, ham-at madueom ro gabii?
May buean, Toto ogaling may galipud nga gae-um.
Inay, ham-an madueom ro gabii?
May bombilya ro mga poste’t Akelco,
Ugaling may brown-out.
Inay, ham-at madueom ro gabii?
Ginsindihan ko ro atong kingke,
Ugaling ginapinaeong it hangin.
Inay ham-at madueom ro gabii?
Toto, matueog ka eon lang
Ay basi hin-aga temprano pa
Magsilak ro adlaw.
Indi, ‘Nay ah!
Sindihan ko’t uman ro atong kingke.
Melchor F. Cichon’s Ham-at Madueom Ro Gabi-I, a 92 page collection of Aklanon poems should be must reading for all Aklanons. It is the first anthology of Aklanon poems written by an Aklanon.
The poems of Melchor F. Cichon had been published in Hiligaynon, Yuhum, Philippines Free Press, Philippine Graphic, Home Life, Ani, Philippine Collegian, Aklan Reporter, Philippine Panorama, Pagbutlak, Dayaw, Bueabod, Banga, Patubas, Busay and Media Watch.
He has garnered several awards, the first Aklanon Cultural Center of the Philippines grantee for Aklanon poetry.
Melchor F. Cichon’s Aklanon poems make Aklanons, young and old alike, proud of the richness, and rightly so, of the Aklan language. From the historical period when Datu Bankaya introduced a phonetic alphabet, our ancestors and the present generations of Aklanons, inclusive of our young Aklanon writers, have considered that the Aklan language is God’s gift. For indeed, when the Confederation of Madyaas divided Panay into Irong-Irong, Hamtik and Akean, the experts in agriculture were made to settle in Irong-Irong. Those who were adepts and masters of defense and warfare were sent to Hamtik and those who desired education were settled in Akean. As a matter of recollection, the Bankaya phonetic alphabet as quoted in the writings of Aklan historical writers from Tansingco-Manyas, Oyo Torong, Songkuya, Artemio Nabor and Roman dela Cruz runs this way: “A ba ka da  eaga, ha i la mana nga o para sa tawaya”. It’s English translation is: “Be on my back maiden, for I shall bring you to tawaya”. Tawaya is the old-Akeanon word for paradise or utopia.
Today marks the second historical literary milestone of a great Aklanon, Melchor F. Cichon, from his first very outstanding Ham-an Madueom Ro Gabi-I to Haiku, Luwa & Other poems by Aklanons.
To Melchor F. Cichon, a pride of Aklanons, our congratulations from the provincial government of Aklan under the able leadership of Governor Carlito Samson Marquez.
If Mel Cichon and our audience would permit me, please allow me to recite two luwas which I learned from my grandfather, a Katipunero, and nephew of the martyr Claro Quimpo Delgado.
Maximo Delgado Tolentino is cited in page 59 of Roman A. dela Cruz’ best selling book Town of a Thousand, when he wrote, thus: “In the afternoon of March 17, 1897, Arais Maximo Tolentino of Lagatik reported to Gen. Eustaquio Gallardo at his headquarters at Macawili that Gen. Francisco del Castillo was shot down from his horse in Kalibo in the morning while leading his troops of insurrectos into town in trying to have confrontation with local officials, and that as a result the entire command was dissipated and went into hiding.”
The Arais Maximo Tolentino act can stand analogous to the Paul Revere’s and William Dawes’ acts during the American Revolution.
Be this as it may. Here are the two luwas I learned from my grandfather, Maximo Delgado Tolentino, when I was four years old:
-1- -1-
May isaeang ka kahoy There’s a tree named Pagatpat
Ngaean kay Pagatpat There it grew on the blue sea.
Idto nagtubo Many birds sent letters
Sa berde nga dagat Alas, Pagatpat could no longer use.
Dagaya nga pispis ro
Nagpadaea it sueat
Alinon man si Pagatpat
Indo eon makadapat.

-2- -2-

Kon ako mamatay sa eugta tabunan When I die to earth shall I be covered
Mamingaw nga patyo ro akong tueogan A lonely cemetery I shall sleep
Nabilin ko kimo Inday indi mo pagkalipatanI I request you Inday not to forget until grave
Tubtob sa eobnganan Our love you should cherish.
Ro atong higugma imong pagahuptan

To Melchor F. Cichon, hail and mabuhay! /MP

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