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Thursday, May 28, 2020

The Re-emergence of Aklanon Literature


The Re-emergence  of Aklanon Literature

By

Melchor F. Cichon
Updated: April 16, 2007

Read during the First Provincial Conference on Aklanon History, Culture and Society, Second Floor, Capt. Gil M. Mijares Bldg., 19 Martyrs St., Kalibo, Aklan, April 21, 2006.
The word Aklanon has two meanings. It may refer to the natives of Aklan and to their language.
Aklanon literature refers to all kinds of literary works in any languages written by Aklanons, either published or unpublished.
But it can also refer to the kind of literature written by Aklanons in their native language.
In this paper, unless stated, Aklanon literature refers to the kind of literature written by Aklanons in their own language.
For several decades now Aklanons have been writing literary pieces in Spanish, Tagalog, Hiligaynon, Kinaray-a. Surprisingly, this writer has discovered that Aklanons have been writing poems in Aklanon since 1568.
In 1925, Gabriel M. Reyes published a novel, Toning. This 35-page novel in Hiligaynon was published by La Panayana. It’s last paragraph summarizes its story:
“Guincomosta niya si Toning, hinalucan ang bata sing catapusan, cag tumaliuan nga ualay guinbilin cundi ang masubo nga agui sang iya quinabuhi, nga nagapaguita sang mapait nga bunga sang bisio, cag con sa cay Toning nagapaquita man sang pagcaanyag sang virtud, cag pagcaquinahanglan sang caugdang sa isa ca babae sa bugos niya nga quinabuhi cag pagcahimtang.”
In 1926, Peping Tansinko Manyas published a short novel entitled Tagiposuon nga Hueowaran; Baeasahon Nga May Mataeupangdan. This 12-chapter novel tells about the heroic deeds of  Pedring and his wife Pasing  to free their fatherland from the colonizers.
Included in this work are the following poems by Manyas
“Sa Adlaw Nga Kinamatyan nay Doctor Jose Rizal”, dated December 1, 1913. This poem tells the significance of the death of Dr. Jose Rizal.

Here is the poem:

Sa Adlaw Nga Kinamatyan Nay Doctor Jose Rizal
Ni Peping Tansinko Manyas

Rizal, sa imong taeahurong eubnganan,
Nga binunyaga’t euha king ginikanan.
Sinubeaka’t matahum’g mang kabueakan;
Adlaw ngara, akon mang ginahaearan,
Ro imong mahimayaong eubongan,
Pag pamaeandong adlaw mong kinamatyan,
Pag panubos ku kalisdanang napas-an,
Ku banwang eumos sa kagha ag kaeupigan.

Dinuea, Rizal, kabuhi mo ag eawas,
Ku manga nag gahum’g, may gawing mapintas,
Apang ri’ng ngaean ag dugo nga umawas,
Nga s kasakitan ku banwa humaw-as,
Sa among tagiposuon wa’t pag kaeugnas,
Rayang sinabod mong timgas nga eamigas,
Ay ro kaduemanan hay nabukeas,
Umiwag masigang Adlaw’t Pilipinas.

Rizal ro eubongan imo nga linugsad,
Wa mo kahilaki, kabuhing hinaead,
Sa kaeangitan imong pinanaad,
Dugo nimo nga inuea hay mamuad,
Maga kaaeaman nga ikabansag,
Nga maga hatud ku imong mga igmanghud,

Sa KAHIMAYAAN nimo nga gina hangad,
Ku banwa natong kueabos it paead.

Hinayhay sa atong manga kabukiran,
Sa makanonggusbong adlaw mong kinamatyan,
Hayahay nga bumayaw ku kadungganan,
Ku Pilipinas naton nga naeueotan,
Nga pumadabdab sa katagiposuonan,
Ku paghigugma sa banwang binugtawan;
Kabay nga imaw mabanhaw it uman,
Agud maangkon ro KAHAMUNGAYAAN.

Rizal, banwa’y naga antus kalisdanan,
Tuksa ro eangitnon nimo nga pueuy-an:
Tueoka makasisin-it nang kahimtangan,
Sa sugong nang gina antus nga kasakitan,
Eawod nga  euha anang gina eanguyan,
Krus hay maw ra ana nga gabayan,
Nga sa kapilitan imaw hay maeugdang,
Kon ku atong manga kadugo imaw pabay-an.

Rizal, rayang adlaw nimong kinamatyan,
Among gina tahud ag gina padungganan,
Ag pag tahud ku adlaw nga kinamatyan,
Ku Makagagahum ag Hari sa tanan,
Tungod nga rayang adlaw mong kinamatyan,
Binayaw ag tinahod ro katarungan,
Ku Pilipinas naton nga nahamut-an.

Kalibo, Akean, Diciembre 1, 1913.

“Haead Sa Adlaw Nga Kinamatyan Ku Napueo Ag Siyam Sa Akean”, 1913. This relates to the death of the 19 Martyrs of Aklan. The English version of this poem was published in the book Hiligayon Literature: Texts and Contexts (1992) edited by Lucila V. Hosillos.
Here is the Aklanon version:

Haead Sa Adlaw Nga Kinamatyan Ku Napueo Ag Siyam Sa Akean
Ni
Peping Tansinko Manyas

Makangingidleis, mamingaw nga kaaganhon,
Ro pomukaw sa inyo nga katoeugon,
Inyo nga ginbugtawan…Ay!...Kamatayon,
Gin tangisan it abung tagipuon,
Ro inantus ninyong kasakit nga sugong,
Ku pag euwas sa Banwang kaugalingon.
Himaya kamon ro adlaw ngarandaya,
Nabukeas tabon sa among mata;
Sa inyong pag kamatay, kami kumilaea,
Ku pag higugma sa binugtawang banwa,
Eamigas ro inyo nga sinabod ngara,
Nga among gina palangga ag gina higugma.
Bulahan ro inyong manga kapaearan,
Ngani kamo among gina padunggan,
Himpit, tunay amon nga gina padunggan’
Ro adlaw ngara nga inyong kinamatyan,
It bugana nga manga kalipayan,
Ag amog gina hadkan ro inyong eubongan. (1926)

“Kaeantahon nga Pilipinhon” (Marcha Nacional Filipina), Sinueat nay G. Jose Palma; Gin Inakeanon nay G. Peping Tansinko Manyas, Musika nay G. Julian Felipe. This is the first Aklanon translation of the Philippine National Anthem.
Kaeantahon Nga Pilipinhon
(Marcha Nacional Filipina)
Sinueat Nay
G. Jose Palma
Gin Inakeanon Nay
G. Peping Tansinko Manyas
Musica Nay
G. Julian Felipe

Eugtang nahagugmaan,
Mutya't adlaw sa Sidlangan,
Eakas nang kasilaw,
Kimo'y naga parayaw
Eugtang maparayawon,
Natawhan't mga tawong bantugan,
Manga ibang nasyon,
Ikaw paga tahuron.

II
Sa eangit kimong gatimbang,
Sa bukid, kadagatan.
Wasaag ag hangad ku tanan,
Ro imong Katimawaan.
Ro imong hayahay nga sa pakig-awayan,
Naga banaag,
Di nimo paeung makit-an.
Anang Adlaw ag Kabituonan.

III
Eugta't kalipayan ag pag hiliuyon,
Kimo'y hamungaya mag pahimunong;
Sa imong manga inunga himaya,
Mag pagin-matay kon ikaw eupigon.

“Haead Sa Pahayagang “Ro Akeanon”, April 26, 1913. This poem highlights the contributions of this newspaper to the development of Aklan.
“Sa Manga Kadaeagahan; Mga Tubo Sa Akean”, April, 1914. This poem relates the beauty of Aklanon ladies who are ready to offer their lives for their country.
Also in this book is Manyas’ translation of the Spanish poem by Manuel Laserna entitled: Eugta’ng Nahamut-an (Sinueat nay Manuel Laserna.) Its original Spanish version is also found in this book. 
Here are the two versions of this poem. The Aklanon version is followed by the Spanish version.

Eugta’ng Nahamut-an
Ni Manuel Laserna
Hamut-ang Pilipinas, Eugta nga naeueotan,
Kadalig ku imong ngaean,
Banwang nahagugmaan.
Sa handung ku hayahay,
Nga may adlaw ag bituon,
Gapusog tagiposuon
Nga sa kaeuwasan gutom.
Banwang gina mahae ag nahamut-an,
Kimo ko gina paarag tanan,
Manggad ag kusog pati kaaeaman,
Sa pag tinguha imong kalipayan.
Kong ra akong dugo pa kinahangean,
Sa pag eubos ku imng kaeuwasan,
Kabuhi indi pag kahilakan,
Kimo ko gina haead tanan.

Here is the Spanish version:
Quirida Filipina

Querida Filipina,
Tierra earisima,
Cuan dulce es tu nombre,
Patria amada.
BAjo la sombra de tu bandera,
Con sol y estrellas,
El Corazon palpita sediento de libertad.
Patria de mis amores,
Por y para ti ofrezco,
Salud y ciencia por lograr tu libertad.
Si mi sangre, salud y ciencia por lograr tu libertad.
Si mi sangre aun es necesaria para tu felicidad,
La vida es nada! Morir quisiera:
Todo per ti, hasta la mas cara.
    Note: The title of the Spanish version is supplied by this writer.
In 1957, Tente Undoy published Mga Bilisad-on. This includes 105 maxims in Akeanon.
This is how Tente Undoy describes  bilisad-on or maxim:
“Ro bilisad-on hay mga matimgas ag matadlong nga bisaea nga hanungod sa mga kamatuoran sa kinabuhi sa ibabaw it kalibutan. Ro anang kusog ku rondayang mga kamatuoran naga patadlong ku tiku  nga ugali; nagapapatagumpa-aw it poaino-inong nahahababaeanga sa pag pangabuhi nga pa tunyo-tunyo; nagapabugtaw it nagakinatueog nga mga taw sa andang damguhanon; nagapapalipay it maayadayad sa linaw it kalisdanan; nagata-o it pasalig sa tagipusu-on nga naga pabaya eonlang sa hunod it maea-in nga paead; ag nagatuytoy sa daean nga gina iwagan it owa naga amamaeong nga kahayag it sidlangan.”
Here   are some of them (unedited):
Item 7. Ro pinaligos nga ugali mabudlay mabanlawan. Ro kaeangsa ku hugom it ugaling watsayud ginakangil-ad it kadagayaan.
Item No. 11. Kinahangean nga duea-on tar o pagkahadluk sa atong painoino ay kun ro tawo ma-unahan it kahadluk sa atubangan it disgrasya, naduea eagi ro katunga ku anang kusog sa eawas ag kapagsik ka hibaeo.
Item No. 62. Ayaw pag matamataha  o sikasika-a ro Makita mong parang minimong tawong sumaeangdo sa imong tangpaan ay indi mo masayran kun mas tampapaw pa ro ana ko imong baean-an o kabusali-an
Item No. 64. Tanan ro butang riya sa kalibutan may pagea-in sa datihan.  Busa, atong nanid-an nga owat matulis nga indi masumpo,owat mataeas nga indi mag umae.
Item No. 105. Ponggan mo ring kaila kon ro imong naila-an nga bagay indo nimo mabu-oe sa matawhay ag matarung nga pag hingoha.  Ayaw pag gamiti it paagi nga gina himo eamang kung sapat nga owa it paino-ino ag hibaeo. Kun hilipata nimo ra, kamana man it sapat ro pag hayga ag pag kabig kimo.
We can see some of the old Aklanon poems in the book Contribution of Aklanon Minds to Philippine Literature by Beato de la Cruz.
But the oldest Aklanon poem that this writer has known is The “Song of Balinganga”
Nabor (1968) gives us a good background of this poem:
The “Song of Balinganga
“Other than the syllabary itself, the most antiquated sample of Old Inakeanon writing that we have so far is the 1911 reproduction made by Capitan Juan Orbista of the 1725 Moysing reproduction of the 1568 Kabanyag reproduction of the original “Song of Balinganga.” According to tradition, the original and the rest of its copies were written on hardwood (amaga) tablets.
The Juan Orbista reproduction was submitted by Apolinar Orbista, Sr., eldest son of the former, to the chairman of the Aklaniana Research Society in appropriate ceremonies held at the Aklan College Auditorium in 1962.
In his manuscript, Orbista (the elder) explains that his reproduction is but a hokwa or a copy of a writing which goes back to Balinganga, The Orbista Ms. contains a number of other songs and poems in Inakeanon writing, It also contains Orbista’s transcription of the famous Code of Kalantiaw from the original syllabic writing system into contemporary Inakeanon graphics.”
Here is the poem:
Hambae Inakeanon
I
Hambae Inakeanon
Manat saeaysayon
Hanongod sa dato,
Nga si Bangkaay,
Ag anang asawa,
Imaw si Katorong,
Kat sanda nga daywa
Mga bataon pa.
II
Sanda hay nagkita
Sa sangka daeanon,
Daeagang malangya
Miron nga dongganon:
Ag sanglit gaoy eon
Rato nga daeaga,
Pomaeapit dayon
Datong miron kana.
III
Singpit nat dayon
Nga kana omaba,
Agod di gaoyon,
Makapahoway pa.
Dayon na nga abhon
Ay mana eat opa,
Kono, kabog-at na
Kato nga daeaga.
IV
Naghinadya dayon
Miron ag daeaga:
Nagpanaw sa nayon
Kon tawgon Tawaya
Nag-abot panag-on
Sanda nag-asawa,
Nagin malipayon
Pangabohi nanda.

The Aklanon oral literature are found in our luwa, riddles, legends, proverbs, and composo.
Luwa is a form of poetry that is usually written in four lines. It used to be the first stanza of corridor, that kind of poetry that relates the exploits of kings and princes.
Because luwa were recited in the wakes as a part of a punishment to whoever is the loser in a game like konggit, truth or consequence, and bordon, they are very much appreciated if the lines have rhymes, rhythms, and humor.
This includes the aaaa,aabb, and abab rhyme structure. Occasionally , we can find luwa that have abcd endings.
Example of an aaaa rhyme:
Pag-agto ko sa Ibajay
May hakita ako nga patay
Ginbagting ko ra eagay
Mas mabaskog pa sa lingganay.—Unknown

For the aabb example:
Pag-agto ko sa bukid
Nakakita ako it ibid;
Paglingot ko sa waea
Gatueok kakon rang nobya.
                         Melchor F. Cichon

For the abab ending, here is an example.
Igto sa bukid
May busay nga naga-ilig;
Kon magpaligos igto si Ismid
May daeang butong nga binulig.
                           Melchor F. Cichon
And for abcd scheme, here is an example:
Ikaw ro kalipay
Ku tagipusuon kong gakusmaod,
Ikaw ro nagpahamtang
Ku probinsya it Akean sa bug-os nga kalibutan.
                                  Cirilo Castillon
There are luwas with Spanish and English words
Example:
Paris it navagante
Sa tunga it travisiya
Kinueabos rang suwerte
Hay gulpi nga nadisgrasya.
                            Cirilo Castillon
There are bawdy luwas, but they are full of imagery. Here is an example:
Pag-agto ko sa Boracay
Napusa ro anang tuway;
Pagkasayod ka anang nanay,
Ana imaw nga ginminueay.
                                Melchor F. Cichon
There are luwas that have double meanings. These are the luwas that belong to the adults, if they can decipher the meaning. Here two examples.
Masupsup kunta ako
Sa maisot mo nga tuway
Ugaling ra diperensya
May guardia nga anay.
                               Melchor F. Cichon
Maligos kunta ako
Sa maisot mo nga sapa
Ugaling ro kinasaea
May guardia civil sa tunga.
                                      Melchor F. Cichon

There are luwas that are really metaphysical. Here is one:
Kon gusto mo gid man ako
Nga mangin nobya mo;
Ro adlaw imo nga tukuran
Agod indi kita madueman.
                                        Melchor F. Cichon

Here are some contemporary luwas with traditional undertone.
Luwa:
Nag-agto ako sa Ibajay
Masadya gid anang bay-bay
Owa ako it oras nga magtampisaw
Ay ro barko eon hay mapanaw.
                             Badjao

Nagpanindahan ako sa Malinao
Kaibahan ko si Tatay
Nagbakae it bolinao
Pasalubong kay nanay.

                               Losally R. Navarro

Manami kunta tan-awon
Kitang mga Pilipino nagahugpong;
Paano kita magtililipon
Ay owa’t trabaho sa aton.

                                   Bugoy

Kon fiesta sa Lezo,
Ro tagbaeay owa eon gaabison
Basta bukas ro andang pwertahan
Sueod, kumaon nga owa’t dahan.

                                     Jay Jose  Feliciano
Patugmahanon
Like any other people, Aklanons like riddles.  Here are some of them.
ANWANG
Magueang eon si Isyang indi pa gihapon kantigo mag-iwang.
ARITOS
Daywa ka itlog, gakabit-kabit.
Kon gapasueod, masakit; kon sa sueod eon, nagapamamit.
ASWETE
Ro kaeo ni Esko, puno it bueawan.
Maitum ag boebueon, mapuea Kon busikaron.
ATIS
Batsihon ra ueo, pero ra utok manami supsupon.
Si San Pedro, gueoson ra gueo.
BABA
Bubon nga madueom, puno it sanduko.
Bubon nga madaeum, puno it espada.

Mga Hueobaton

Like any other riddles, Aklanon riddles serve as reminder to everyone.  Here are some of them:
Babaye, madanlog ro atong kalibutan.
Magdahan ka gid ay basi ka hidaphag
Ag ro imong alima hay maeapukan.
Babaye, ring kadungganan haeongi
Agod ring mga unga
Indi magpanunod king kahueoy-anan.
Baeay man nga bato
Kon ro gaestar hay demonyo,
Mas mayad pa ro kubo
Kon ro gaestar hay tawo.
Bag-o himuon ro anong butang,
Hunahunaa anay ro imong abutan.
Bag-o ka magkaon
Panumduma ro nagta-o kimo.
Bag-ong hari, bag-ong ugali.
Bag-ong pare, bag-ong paagi’t pagsermon.
Bangud sa gugma
Nahimo nga ikog si Maria.
Basta bata, gahuro-huro pa.
Basta kutikot,
Masyadong mahaeang.
Basta umpisa malisod.
Bisan alinon mo nga paksi
Ay pinaligos nga ugali.
Bisan alinon nga pagtago it baga,
Madabdab ay kaeayo.
Bisan ano kadueom
May kasanag.
Bisan ano kahaba ku eubid
May utbong gid.
Bisan ano kahaba nga prosesyon
Sa simbahan man gihapon madayon.
Bisan ano kapait patam-isa eang.
Bisan ano katig-a
May parti gid nga mahumok.

Komposo are folk songs. Aklanon folk songs deal on environment like the following:
MAMUGON
Mamugon ako, mamugon
Sa tawo nga manggaranon;
Alas dos ako pakan-on, ay, ay,
Orasyon ako paulion.

Pag-abot ko man sa baeay,
Mangayo ako it humay;
Tinuro ako ni Tatay, ay, ay,
Una sa eusong ro paeay.

Alinon ko man ro paeay,
Eawas ko karon ginabudlay;
Kon buhi kunta si Nanay, ay,.ay,
Makaon ako, mapahuway.

MAGMAMANI1

Kaming magmamani, duro sa kaimoe;
Kaming magmamani, nga makaeueuoy;
Kaming magmamani, nga owa't ikasuboe;
Among ginapakita ro mehoras namon sa Daja.

Ay sa kailo kaming magmamani,
Birang do among saya, kulintas nga mani;
Singsing ag pulseras, aritos nga mani,
Among ginapakita ro mehoras namon sa Daja.

TIKWI! ABAW RONG BANUG*

Tikwi! Abaw rong Banug
Nga nagbalik sa ginpukanan.
Siniba ni Bukbulilaw,
Nga batadbataran.

NAGTANUM AKO’T PINYA*
Nagtanum ako’t pinya,
Sa binit it karsada;
Umagi ro maistra,
Good morning, maayong aga.”

“O Nanay, O Tatay,
Tagai ako’t piso.
Ginaalin do piso?
Ibakae it aritos!

Aritos nga moda,
Angay gid sa daeaga;
Daeagang aeon-eaon,
Angay gid pangasaw-on.

 PINPIN DE SIRAPIN 3 
 Pinpin di sirapin
Kutsilyo de almacin
Haw-haw di karabaw
Batutin

Sayang pula, tatlong pera
Sayang puti, tatlong salapi
Tigbak, buang, binunu, aswang.

As for the Aklanon written literature,  we find them in longer poems, short stories, novels, essays, and lately haiku.
Except for riddles, composo, proverbs and luwa, most of the Aklanon written poetry, legends and short stories are in English. This is understandable because there were no venues for Aklanon literature. If there were they were very limited. We have for example the Aklan Reporter published and edited by Mr. Roman de la Cruz that used to publish Aklanon short stories. Or those who have the means would just publish their own works.
As a result most of the Aklanon writers would contribute their pieces to national magazines like the Philippines Free Press, Liwayway and Sunday Times Magazine. But the competition in these magazines is very stiff.
After the 1986 EDSA Revolution came a new literary revolution in Western Visayas.
Spearheaded by Dr. Leoncio P. Deriada, a former professor in literature at the U.P. in the Visayas, a literary revolution took place almost simultaneously in Iloilo, Antique, and Aklan.
Through his encouragement and with funding from the Cultural Center of the Philippines and later through the Presidential Commission for Culture and the Arts, which later gave way for the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), writers in these provinces started to write poems and short stories in Ilonggo, Kinaray-a and in Aklanons.
The NCCA encouraged the establishments of local arts councils and subsidized conferences, workshops and publication. It also awarded writing grants and venue grants. Two of these writers who availed of these writing grants were Prof. John Barrios and this writer. The Bishop Gabriel Reyes Foundation also availed of these grants.
Dr. Deriada’s “political approach” to encourage local writers to write in their own languages was effective. He said this to Kinaray-a writers.
“My politicizing would begin by my saying: There is no such thing as a superior language. No one can give power and dignity to your language except you. Your language has dignity and power if you can do three things with it: sing your songs in it, compose your poems in it, and pray in it. If you can do these in Kinaray-a, then your language is the same level as any language in the world.”
Later, he used the same approach to Aklanon writers.
After conducting creative writing workshops and contests among Ilonggo and Kinaray-a writers, Dr. Deriada continued his crusade to Aklan. Here is how he practically twisted the arms of Aklanon writers to write in Aklanon:
“Liberating itself likewise from literary oblivion was Aklanon. Just as the Antiquenos were forming Tabig, emerging Aklanon writers also formed the Aklanon Literary Circle in Kalibo. Spearheading this was Melchor F. Cichon, a librarian at UP Visayas. Ably assisting him was UP Visayas student John E. Barrios.
“In my various workshops in Iloilo, Cichon had been there listening to the things I was telling Kinaray-a writers to challenge them. Cichon - and Barrios - took the challenge and soon the Aklan issue of Ani, which I edited with Cichon, et al., was published by the CCP and launched in Kalibo in early 1993. Cichon, who was by then writing in English and Tagalog-based Filipino, turned out to be the leading poet in his language and has the distinction of being the first Aklanon ever to publish a book of poems in his own language. Eventually, Cichon and Barrios won writing grants from the CCP.”
Aside from encouraging the writers in Western Visayas to write, he also encouraged them to enter into a literary contest. One of these contests if the Bigkas Binalaybay.
This annual poetry written and oral competitions have produced a considerable number of  poems in Kinaray-a, Hiligaynon, Filipino and Aklanon.
Through the years, Aklanon poets have been winning in this contest. This includes Melchor F. Cichon,  Rommel  A. de Juan Constantino, Rocky Abello, Antonio F. Tolentino, and June Mijares. Their winning entries are included in this book.
When the Aklanon Literary Circle (ALC) was formed in the 1990s, Melchor Cichon, John Barrios and Alexander de Juan put up Bueabod, the literary journal of ALC. It was a one-page mimeograph or photo-copied journal. In this journal some contemporary Aklanon poets like John Barrios, Pett Candido, Alexander de Juan, Jeoffrey Ricafuente, Rommel Constantino and others contributed poems. It was also in this journal where the Aklanon poems of Dominador Ilio and Roman de la Cruz first appeared. Both writers are considered the finest among the elder Aklanon English writers.
Here is a poem by Dominador Ilio:
Bita
Ro masi-ut nga katamnan it bita
(ro anang mapait nga panit it kahoy
Gina ea-ga para bueong stakig)
Hay kadueom ku kinaunang eubnganan
Nga gintawag nga Bita.

Ro baeay ku tatlong magmanghod
Nga si Anacleta, si josefa ag si Lorenza
Hay una sa maeunang nga aeaguyan sa Bita.
Ro baeay ku ap-at nga eaking magmanghud
Nga si Maneul, si Tomas, si Amadeo,
Ag si Jose una man sa daean pa Bita.
Sanda tanan nagsaad nga mamuyo sa maeayo,
Sa maeayo-eayo sa Bita.

Ngani pinangasawa ni Amadeo si Anacleta
Ag nagbungkas sanda it paag sa Kabangkat,
Si Manuel dinaea nana s Josefa ag idto
Nagbaeay ag nanguma sa bukid it San Dimas,
Pinangasawa ni Tomas si Lorenza ag sa Kogon
Nananum sand it abung euy-a ag eunga
Si Jose inapok sa Patnongon sa Antique
Idto nangsawa ag wag id hibalik sa Bita.

Apang sa kabuhayan, ro andang mga inunga
Ro nag habud kanda tanan balik sa Bita.
Here is one of the Aklanon poems of Roman de la Cruz:
Panaeambiton
Tampuean mo ku imong
Mainit-init nga paead
Ro maeamig ko nga likod
Ag tug-anan mo ako
Nga indi mo eon pag-aywan.

Tamda ro atong kahapon
Kat owa ka pa magtugbong sa syudad.
Nagsumpaan kita nga magmaeahaean
Hasta sa kamatayon
Suno sa kudlit ku atong paead.
Kon pumanaw ka it uman
Kahil-o man dayang gugma.
Ako magataliwan
It dayon.


Many of the poems published in this journal were anthologized in Patubas, Ani (Aklanon issue), and in Mantala. Some of them were selected as best poems of the month by Mr. Isagani Cruz in his column Critic at Large.
From 1986 to 2000, three books were published by NCCA edited by Dr. Deriada et al. which included Aklanon poems. One of these books is the Ani Aklanon issue. In 1999, the book by Melchor F. Cichon, Ham-at Madueom Ro Gabii ? (Bakit Madilim Ang Gabi?) was published.
The books on poetry by Bellysarius de la Cruz came out within this period. These are With Hope Undying (1988); Earth Glare (1994) and Poems in Praise of God (1997) In 2000, the novel of Roman de la Cruz, Life with the Family; a folk autobiographical novel came out.
In 1998, five Aklanon short stories were published in the book: Selebrasyon at Lamentasyon: Antolohiya ng Maikling Kuwento ng Panay edited by Carmen L. de los Santos, Ma. Milagros G. Lachica and John E. Barrios.
A breakthrough came out in 2002 when the first Aklanon haiku written by this writer came out in SanAg, the literary journal of the Fray Luis de Leon Creative Writing Desk, University of San Agustin.
Here are three of the five haiku:
katueondon—
ro asul nga kahayag
gaagi eampas sa kalibutan

**

tungang gabi-i—
ro eaking unga gapakalimos
sa baybaon it Boracay

**

katueondon—
si Flor nag-uli halin sa Singapore
sa sueod it kahon

Another breakthrough in Aklanon literature took place in 2002 when the haiku by this writer was published in Heron’s Nest, an international haiku journal based in America. (see the haiku below).
Another breakthrough in Aklanon literature took place in 2005 when the first Aklanon collection of short stories by Prof. John E. Barrios, Engkan(aw)o ag iba pa nga tag-ud nga istorya came out.
When the Aklanon Literary Circle was formed, almost all the members then were college students like John Barrios, Alex de Juan, Jeoffrey Villafuente, and Rommel Constantino. The youngest was Am. He was still a high school student then.
But after their graduation, Bueabod hibernated for almost a decade.
While Bueabod was hibernating, a new writing venue was evolving in the Philippines. This is the internet.
And with internet, a new kind of Aklanon literature evolved. This is what is now known as the Aklanon virtual literature.
Through the internet new Aklanon writers were discovered and new types of poems were added to Aklanon literature. These are haiku, senryu, and tanka. These are all Japanese types of short poems which had never been utilized by Aklanon writers until the new millennium.
As mentioned earlier, the new crop of Aklanon poets came out as a result of the appearance of this website: http://www.my.akeanon.com.
This website was created by a group of young Aklanons where Aklanons from different parts of the globe can exchange ideas.
Then one day a certain Tata_Goloy opened a thread, Kangga ni Tata_Goloy. In this website, many Aklanons posted their opinions on how to further develop Aklan. Some of the contributors include beeSPUNKY in Canada, bugoy in Federated States of Micronesia, Cinderella in Alaska, USA, ember in Manila, Gumamila in Iloilo, kal in Alaska, miss-terryosa in Iloilo City, SunflowR in Florida, USA, Swiss in Switzerland, Tata-Goloy in Chicago, USA, Toryo in one of the states in USA, water sprite , in Manila, yamanitoshi in Makati, Manila, and Maeara, in Iloilo. All of them are Aklanons and have one common desire—to write essays and poems.
All the contributors used aliases.
Then a certain Badjao opened a new thread in my.akeanon.com. He called it Iskul Bukol.
In this thread, some of the above contributors posted poems in Inakeanon. Noting that the so-called poems posted in this new thread needed rewriting, Maeara posted some comments to improve their works.
Then SunflowR posted a haiku written by Melchor F. Cichon from Heron’s Nest, an online haiku journal based in America.
Here is the copy of that haiku. It is a poem on the impact of the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo to a town in Pampanga: And this is the first haiku published in an international journal written by an Aklanon
Sunday morning—
a boy digs in the mud
that buried a cathedral
Heron’s Nest, Vol. IV, No. 9: September, 2002
Knowing that Maeara is no other than this writer, Tata_Goloy asked him  to conduct a virtual class in poetry writing.
He agreed to conduct a virtual poetry workshop.
Adopting the technique used by Dr. Leoncio P. Deriada in creative writing workshops, this writer suggested to them that they first write and post their haiku, luwa, or longer poems in my.akeanon.com website.
And they did post their contributions in this website.
Every Saturday, this writer collected their works, wrote his comments on them and then posted the original and the corrected ones.
The result of that virtual workshop is the book: Haiku, Luwa and Other Poems Written by Aklanons edited by Melchor F. Cichon,  Edna Laurente Faral and Losally R. Navarro (2005).
But before this, this writer has developed a website that focuses on Aklanon literature (http://www.geocities.com/aklanonliterature)  In this website one can find Aklanon riddles, maxims, luwa, longer poems, songs, legends, short stories, profiles of Aklanon writers, annotated Aklanon bibliography, and haiku. As of April 17, 2006, this website was visited 16, 417 times.
This writer has a blog, http://anahawleaf.blogspot.com , which features his haiku and luwa.

In 2007, Melchor F. Cichon selected 25 of the best poems written by Aklanons. The result of this collection is posted in his blog Bueabod It Akeanon Literary Circle,  http://bueabodalc.blogspot.com/

Also in 2007, he collected the works of Aklanon women poets. Again this collection is found in the above blog.
Both collections are first in the history of Aklanon literature.
What do Aklanon writers write? Who are the writers? What is the quality of their works?
What do Aklanon writers write?
Through the years, Aklan writers, like other writers in the Philippines, wrote on oppression, corruption, poverty, exploitation of women and the environment, love, religion, politics, insurgency, and hope. This is so because many of them are college trained and have gone to many places outside of Aklan like Manila, Iloilo , Antique. And abroad.
Allow this writer to say something about Aklanon contemporary poets and present some of their works.
Losally R. Navarro was born in Banga, Aklan on January 3, 1973 but grew up in Malinao. Losally now stays in Calvary, Alberta, Canada. In the February issue of Homelife, a national magazine, one of her haiku was published.
Two of Navarro's best haiku are:
indi magkahadlok
bisan ro atong taj mahal
hay obra sa botong.

***
si Maria Clara
nag-agto sa Amerika
pag-uli naka-minis-skirt eot-a
Amzi V. Martinez was born in December 1976 in Balete, Aklan. He is presently working in Tofol, Lelu, Kosrae, Federated States of Micronesia as a Vocational Instructor. Here is an example of his luwa:
Manami kunta tan-awon
Kitang mga Pilipino nagahugpong;
Paano kita magtililipon
Ay owa’t trabaho sa aton?
Ellamae Fernandez was born on April 18, 1986. She is from Lezo, Aklan. Here is an example of her work:
Dominggo’t hapon—
nasa binggohan
nagasi-einggitan
Jay Jose Feliciano is from Kalibo, Aklan. He is presently working in Alaska, USA. Here is one of his poems:
paraisong pinas
naka-Merceds nga gobyerno
nakakanggang pumueoyo
Ma. Terry F. Marte is from Poblacion, Lezo, Aklan. She is currently taking up AB Political Science at the West Visayas State University in Iloilo City. Here is an example of her haiku:
indi mahuyap nga euha
ro nahueog sa madamoe nga paead
sa idaeum it adlaw
Edna Romulo Laurente Faral was born in Batan, Aklan but resides in Tampa, Florida with her family. She is not only a folk dancer par excellence, but a fine haijin as well. Here are four of her finest haiku:
Oh, Eangit

Oh, eangit…
sa punta ka eang
kang tudlo

Sueat

sueat
halin kimo
ginatago sa dughan
  
Ikaw ag Ako

huo-
ikaw ag ako
sa tulay nga butong gaeatay

Renelyn Beglinger-Vallejo is married to a Swiss national and they now live in Switzerland. She was born in Ochando, Banga, Aklan.
Boracay
Dayang Boracay
Nga ginatawag nga paraiso—
Ham-at maputi ro baeas
Indi kaparis sa Kalibo?
7 kakilometro dayang isla
Maisot manlang ikumpara sa iba.
Ham-an abu nga hotel
Nga ginpatindog iya?
Owa sanda nahadlok’nga eumubog ra?
Cirilo Castillon, Jr. or Tata Goloy  was born in Badio, Numancia. After working in Angeles, Pampanga, then in Saudi Arabia, he settled in Chicago, USA. Here are two of his poems:
Rang Amigo

Rang amigo
Handong ko
Hasta sa katapusan
***
Nag-agto Ako sa Kalibo

Nag-agto ako sa Kalibo
Nakakita ako’t mag-asawang mueto
Umalagwa gid ako it tudo
Iwag manlang gali’t awto.
Cris Ocampo. Cris was born in Kalibo and finished his high school at Pilot Science Development National High School , (now Regional Science High School) in Kalibo, Aklan. A martial law baby, one can see his political ideas in his haiku and luwa.
Matig-ang Bagoe

matig-ang bagoe
gapanago sa amamakoe
hin-aga mano-eo

Jawili

Abaw kanami isipon
Ro Jawili nga mahae nakon
Ano natabo kimo makaron
Musyon akon ikaw nga tatapon
Belle Nabor. Her haiku have been published the Mainichi Daily News, a world famous newspaper that prints haiku. . Her other haiku were included in Sakura Anthology of Haiku published in Sweden along with other world famous haijin like Robert D. Wilson, Michael Rehling, an’ya, and 27 other poets, The Makata, Short Stuff, and in Poetry Country Mouse. Her popular blog, http://Short.Poems.blogspot.com, that features her short poems: haiku, tanka, and cinquain, has been instrumental in her introduction to world haiku.
Here are some of her works:
Haiku Selections
sa sueod it train
madasig man
maghueag ro siyudad

***
gaoy eon sa pagtinan-aw
it kalibutan, ro kuhoe --
nagpanago’t uman


Tanka Selections

Pag-eubong

ro kahon sa atic
hay puno’t sueat, lus-aw nga tinta
ratong owa’t kaeag nga papel—gausoy
bukon kato’t  madali
ro pagpapahuway kana


Nagakahigugmang Manogbinaeaybay

para kino,  maumpisa ako’t pagsueat
ku rayang binaeaybay, bag-ong hugpong
nga mga bisaea kaibahan kay tagipusuong
puno it pag-eaom
indi ako makahambae


Halipatan Ro Oras

galingkod kita nga daywa
sa idaeum it kabituonan
gabueabod ro atong mga alima
owa naton hipan-uhi  
ro pag-abot it  kaagahon

Melchor F. Cichon
brown-out—
nagsueod ro aninipot
sa baeay namon

***

Ku Ati-atihan 2005 sa Kalibo
Sa plaza nag-eapta ro mga tawo
Ay nagpaburot ka armalite
Si SPO1 Jonathan MoreƱo

In conclusion, I would say that Aklanon literature has a tradition to think of. Through the centuries, Aklanons have been writing different types of literature: poems, short stories, novels, riddles, songs, maxims, legends.
Lately, Aklanon writers have been writing haiku, tanka, and other Japanese types of short poems. Except for those who have the means to publish their works, it is unfortunate that Aklanon writers have very limited venues for their creative works.
Thanks however for the internet, Aklanon writers now have an alternative venue to publish their works. However, many Aklanon writers still have very limited means to use the internet because of its cost.

Sources:

Cichon, Melchor F. Belle Nabor: A Filipino Haijin. Posted November 28, 2005. http://www.akeanon.com. Retrieved: April 16, 2006.

Deriada, Leoncio. Literature engineering in West Visayas. Forum, Opisyal na Pahayagan ng Universidad ng Pilipinas, March 28, 2006. http://www.up.edu.ph/forum/2000/03/28/litengg.html, retrieved: April 13, 2006.

Manyas, Peping Tansinko. Tagiposuon Nga Hueowaran. Daeang Rizal, Kalibo, Capiz. 1926. 26p. (Photo-copy)

Nabor, Fiorella I. “An Inquiry into the Ancient Inakeanon Writing System,” Silliman Journal, Ist Quarter, 1968, pp. 54-86 ((Photo-copy)

Reyes, Gabriel M. Toning. Mandurriao, Iloilo, 1925. 35p. (Photo-copy)

Tente Undoy. Mga Bilisad-n ni Tente Undoy. San Juan, Rizal, Kalantiaw Publications, Inc. 37p. (Photo-copy)