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Virtues and Vices in Aklanon Proverbs, Idiomatic Expressions and Folk Songs

By Alexander de Juan Aklan State University-Ibajay Campus Ibajay, Aklan Paper read during the 23rd Conference on West Visayan History and Culture, sponsored by the U.P. Visayas Center for West Visayan Studies, held on Nov. 15-16, 2012 at Camia Bahay na Bato, Arevalo, Iloilo City

Abstract
This study documents and evaluates selected pieces of Aklanon oral literature gathered since 1995 from the Aklan towns of Batan, Makato and Malay as well as from library research and identifies the virtues and vices embedded on these pieces of oral literature. Aklanon hueobatons (proverbs) extol the virtues of patugsiling (the Golden Rule), kapisan or kahugod (industry), kahipid (thriftiness), pagsinaeayo (harmonious relationship), among others. The Aklanon hambaeunons (idiomatic expressions), on the other hand, humorously exposes the vices and negative traits of Aklanons, while the Aklanon kaeantahons (folksongs) speak of the ideal beauty, respect for elders and native customs, hard work, patience, fortitude, patriotism and the sense of community. The Aklanon cultural concepts of pinaniiran (learning by observation; upbringing) and dungog ag huya (honor and shame) are central to the understanding of Aklanon folk literature as discussed in this study. The proverbs, idiomatic expressions and folksongs included in this study may be used by DepEd teachers of the K+12 Program who are in need of resources for their mother tongue-based instruction. By using them in the schools, the pieces of Aklanon folk literature will be rediscovered, revived and re-popularized as Aklanons continue their search for identity and heritage.

Introduction Aklanon folk literature is rich with traditional values, customs, beliefs and other indigenous knowledge. Unlike the written Aklanon literature which just started in the early part of the 20th century, with notable products like Peping Tansinko Manyas book Tagiposuon nga Hueowaran (Model Heart, a collection of poems and stories published in 1926) and Caridad Mijaress Urbanidad o Mayad nga Pamatasan Angay sa Ungang Babayi (Etiquette or Decorum for Girls, 1920s), which both deal with virtues and values, Aklanon oral literature traces its roots to the folklores of the Ati indigenous community of Aklan as well as the proverbs, idiomatic expressions, riddles, folktales, folk poetry and folksongs of Aklanons before and after the Spanish colonial rule. The surviving pieces of Aklanon folk literature were recorded for the first time in 1958 by Beato A. de la Cruz is his book Contributions of the Aklan Mind to Philippine Literature. Since 1958, however, no other anthology and comprehensive study on Aklanon oral and written literature has been published in book form, aside from some papers on Aklanon literature published in some journals. This researcher has started collecting in 1995 the few surviving pieces of Aklanon folk literature from the towns of Batan, Makato and Malay in Aklan and has managed to gather more than a hundred proverbs, idiomatic expressions and folk songs not found in De la Cruzs book.

This study, therefore, aims to document and evaluate the surviving pieces of Aklanon oral literature, specifically the hueobaton (proverbs), hambaeunon (idiomatic expressions), and kaeantahon (folk songs) and search for virtues and values embedded on them, like patugsiling (the Golden Rule), kapisan or kahugod (hard work), kahipid (thriftiness), pagsinaeayo (harmonious relationship and the sense of community), as well as search for vices and negative characteristics. The Aklanon cultural concepts of pinaniiran (learning by observation; upbringing) and dungog ag huya (honor and shame) were also discussed in evaluating the Aklanon proverbs, idiomatic expressions and folk songs. This researcher has published two studies on Aklanon literature in the journal of UPV Center for West Visayan Studies, one of which is entitled the The Tongue and the Pen versus the Spanish Rule in Aklan (1999), which discussed how the Aklanon luwas, riddles, proverbs, folksongs and early written Aklanon literature were used by Aklanons to protest against the Spanish colonial rule. The other study is entitled Ang mga Literaturang Binibigkas at Inaawit ng mga Ati sa Aklan: Mga Sakit-buot (Sama ng Loob) at Gustong Maabot (2002), where this researcher gathered, translated and evaluated the oral literature of the Ati indigenous community in Sitio Kurong, Brgy. Cogon, Malay, Aklan. In the said paper, this writer discussed the Ati chants, folk poetry and songs and provided a list of these pieces of oral literature with their parallel sakit-buot (grievances) and gustong maabot (aspirations), which revealed the discrimination suffered by the Ati people from the Bisaya (non-Ati), the unjust agricultural practice by Bisaya landlords to their Ati mamumugons (tenant farmers), the constant treat and harassment by the Bisaya to the Atis, as well as the Atis lack of food, proper education and source of livelihood. As this writer evaluated the Atis chants, folk poetry and songs, he discovered the values and virtues embedded on these oral literary pieces, which will be further discussed in this expanded research involving not only the Ati oral tradition but all the surviving proverbs, idiomatic expressions and folksongs in the province of Aklan. Hueobaton (Proverbs) In Damiana L. Eugenios article Philippine Proverb Lore which serves as her introduction to her book Philippine Folk Literature: The Proverbs (U.P. Press, 2002), she enumerates the virtues and vices found in Philippine proverbs, which include industry (ranked the highest), thrift, patience and perseverance (companion virtues to industry), humility, prudence and caution, boldness and courage, respect and courtesy, hospitality, charity and gratitude. On the other hand, Eugenio lists the vices found in Philippine proverbs, which include sloth, arrogance, greed and covetousness. Eugenio also mentioned that the Filipinos system of values as expressed in the proverbs is the same as that of peoples everywhere, where things of the spirit are set higher than material things, where wealth is not the most important thing in life but goodness, honor, judgment and discretion, wisdom, a good name, good breeding, peace of mind, friends. (Eugenio 2002, xxiv). One Aklanon virtue found in the Aklanon hueobaton (proverbs) is patugsiling. This virtue is popularly known as the Golden Rule, that is, Do not do unto others what you do n ot want others do unto you. In Inakeanon (the Aklanon language), the Golden Rule is simply stated as Magpatugsiling ka or Patugsiling ro buhata, which may be translated as Practice patugsiling. The virtue of patugsiling is highlighted in the following proverbs:

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Hampakon mo ring anwang, ring alima man lang ro eabdan. You beat your carabao and the welt will be on your own palm. Kon paano ro imong sapsap, maw man ring limpak. The shape of the chips is determined by your chops. (Source: Beato A. de la Cruz, 1958) Huyop mo, puling mo; hapgot mo, eabod kimo. Youll be blinded by your own blow; youll be hurt by your own whip. (Source: Juliet Mobo, 2010)

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In Proverbs 1 and 3, the individual is the one affected the most as a result of his or her actions and not his or her fellow human being. In Proverb 2, ones action has a parallel result or consequence. Thus, negative actions lead to negative consequences, as warned by Proverbs 4 and 5:
(4) Hangae-hangae, hababangae. Too much kidding leads to fighting. Sobrat pili, naagtot pasi. The choosy one gets the worst grain. (Source: Teresita A. Samenio, 1998)

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Positive actions, on the other hand, produces positive results as shown in the following hueobatons that celebrate the virtue of kapisan or kahugod (industry):
(6) Rong eugta owa nagadugo sa tawo nga mahugod. The soil does not bleed in the hands of an industrious man. Owa it dangae nga sanduko sa ginahugdat pagbaid. There is no dull blade to him who diligently sharpens it. (Source: Beato A. de la Cruz, 1958)

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Aside from industry, the Aklanon proverbs instruct Aklanons to practice the virtue of kahipid (thriftiness), as reflected in Proverbs 8 and 9:
(8) Amligi ring manggad ay owa ron nagausoy it hagdan kon kimo tumalikod. Be careful with your possessions because they do not pass by the door when they decide to forsake you. Ro sueod ku imong tiyan, isibu-sibu sa sueod ku imong taeagbasan. What you should put in your stomach should not be more that what you have in your rice bin. (Source: Peping Tansinko Manyas, 1926)

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In times of hardships and challenges, Aklanons draw inspiration from their hueobatons and practice the virtue of kapag-on (resilience, fortitude):
(10) Kon maanad rong ueang sa kainit kung baga, nagahim-ong. When the river shrimp gets used to the hot coal, it keeps still. Rong kapait kung sampaliya, mananam sa nakauyon. The acrid taste of the native ampalaya is sweet to those who like it. Wat sunog nga dukot sa tawong nasusueok. To the famished, the rice at the bottom of the pot is not black. (Source: Beato A. de la Cruz, 1958)

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Meanwhile, some hueobatons highlight the Aklanons high regard to their family, the value of pagsinaeayo (harmonious relationship and the sense of community) and kaeueot (close ties), as shown by the following proverbs:
(13) Indi nimo mahueay rong tubi sa dueang. You can never divide water in the wooden bowl. Ro atay ag ro apdo owa gid nagabueonlag. The liver and the bile duct always come together. Rong hae-o nagausoy gid ku anang eusong. The pestle seeks its own mortar. (Source: Beato A. de la Cruz, 1958)

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In Proverbs 13 and 14, family unity is so strong that it is like water that cannot be divided in the dueang (native wooden bowl) or it is like the inseparable atay (liver) and apdo (bile duct). Proverb 15, on the other hand, is what family members will say if a child will leave his or her parents, that the child will return home like a pestle seeking its own mortar. Moreover, Aklanons believe that family characteristics, good or bad, will be passed on to the next generation, as reflected in Proverb 16:
(16) Rong eangka indi magbunga it rima. The jackfruit will never bear breadfruit. (Source: Beato A. de la Cruz, 1958)

Aside from the virtues and values embedded in the Aklanon proverbs, some hueobatons are philosophical in nature, and the most poetic of all Aklanon proverbs are those that speak of the concept of agi eamang (temporariness), that human beings are vulnerable, that everything has a limitation, a tipping point, or that everything in this world is but temporary:
(17) Bisan rong matig-a nga bato, kon matun-ugan, sarang makupkupan it gamot. There is no hard rock which will not hold root if there is always the evening dew. Bisan rong tubi sa tuburan may paghunas. Even the water in the spring shall dry up. Ro maeamig nga tubi, kon sumilapo, patay ro kaeayo. Cold water, once it boils, puts out the fire.

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The Aklanon proverbs not only extol virtues or values but also condemn vices and negative traits, like pagsika-sika (belittling someone). Proverbs 20 and 21 remind Aklanons that everyone or everything has its worth:
(20) Owat makapuling nga bato kundi ro baeas. Not stone but sand can blind a man. Mahae pa ro sabaw ku sa pataw. The soup costs higher than its other ingredients. (Source: Beato A. de la Cruz, 1958)

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The hueobatons also warn against gossipers and spendthrifts, as reflected in Proverbs 22 and 23:
(22) Paghalin dagum, pag-abot wasay. The needle here became an axe there. Bastat pilak, inogpieilak. Money quickly disappears. (Source: Teresita A. Samenio, 1998)

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Other proverbs speak of diligence and persistence (Proverbs 24-29), a sense of direction (30-31), honesty (32-36), obedience (37), controlling ones temper (38), revealing ones true colors (39), purity of mind and body (40), honor (41-42), good lineage (43), good governance (44), humility (45-46), caution and regret (47), cheerfulness (48), justice (49-51), unity (52), loyalty (53), and doing good without expecting something in return (54).
(24) Ro paghugod sa pagtinueon-an, Kinahangean mahalin pa sa maistan. Diligence in education Should start from childhood. (Source: Ruth Macogue, 1975) Sa paghinueat nga maabot mo ring damgo, Butangan tanan ro imong mahihimo. In the pursuit of your lifes ambition, Put everything you have into it. (Source: Ruth Macogue, 1975) Ro lingganay indi magtunog Kon indi pagbagtingon. The bell will not ring Of its own accord. (Source: Ivy Martirez, 1978) Ginaalin ro sanduko nga madueot Kon sa tagub nakasutsot. Though your bolo is sharp, It is dull if it remains in the corner. (Source: Ivy Martirez, 1978)

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Bisan dangae ro sanduko, Magadueot sa pwersa it eabo. A bolo which is very dull Can cut finally with incessant striking. (Source: Ivy Martirez, 1978) Bisan anong kabug-at kung haeakwaton, Madaea gid kon atong amat-amatan. No matter how heavy the burden, It can be moved little by little. (Source: Ruth Macogue, 1975) Ro tawo nga owat panginlaman ku anang samputan Kahalimbawa it manok nga nagaumang-umang. He who has no direction in life, Is like a chicken that has lost its head. (Source: Damiana L. Eugenio, 2002) Ro tawo nga owat handum, Owat dungog nga paabuton. He who has no aim in life, Shall have no fame. (Source: Ivy Martirez, 1978) Ro tawo nga madaya, Owa it pirmi nga huna-huna. The dishonest man Never has a firm decision. (Source: Ruth Macogue, 1975) Anghel kon tan-awon Apang yawa sa idaeom. An angel in appearance, A devil underneath. (Source: Ivy Martirez, 1978) Malisod nga pagtawgon Ro ga bugtaw con pucawon. It is difficult to awaken A person who pretends to be asleep. (Source: Damiana L. Eugenio, 2002) Ayaw pagtawga ro sab-a nga morado, Agud indi maglitik ring ueo. Do not call banana by any name Or you will get confused. (Source: Ruth Macogue, 1975) Pagahanuton it limang pasong, Ratong tawong malilungon. To be beaten for 125 times Is the man who tells lies. (Source: Ruth Macogue, 1975) Ro tawong maeasang magataeang. A disobedient person usually goes astray.

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(Source: Ivy Martirez, 1978) (38) Tangda sa eangit Bago ka mahangit. Look up to heaven Before you get angry. (Source: Ivy Martirez, 1978) Nagatikaroe ro saeod Kon owa it sueod. Youre like the bamboo tube: Nice outside, empty inside. (Source: Ruth Macogue, 1975) Naligos sa linaw, Sa maeubog nagbanlaw. He bathed in clean water And rinsed himself in muddy water. (Source: Ivy Martirez, 1978) Ro kaayad-ayad it babaye nga owa it dungog, Katuead it bueak nga owa it kahumot. Beauty without dignity Is like a flower without fragrance. (Source: Ruth Macogue, 1975) Ro tawo nga may utang, Ulipon ku anang ginkautangan. The borrower Is the slave of the lender. (Source: Ruth Macogue, 1975) Ro kaugalian ku atong mga magueang, Magaeumat sa mga unga sa kaulihanan. The behavior of our folks in the past Will show itself in the children in the years to come. (Source: Ruth Macogue, 1975) Magaeain ro ugali it banwa Kon owa it sayod ro pagdumaea. The behavior of the community will go wrong When leadership is sadly wanting. (Source: Ruth Macogue, 1975) Ro pispis nga mataas it eupad, Madali mabali ro pakpak. The bird that flies very high Easily breaks its wings. (Source: Damiana L. Eugenio, 2002) Hinugay daganas linaw, Ro kasueogan bukot dayon; Ro tubi sa tingueanon, Sa tingadlaw pagabawion. Stop your boasting, little stream, Your life is not forever;

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The water during rainy days Will be taken away in summer. (Source: Ruth Macogue, 1975) (47) Kon mahimo eang mapangot ro siko. It is hard to bite ones elbow. (Source: Ivy Martirez, 1978) Bisan ano kapait, patam-isa eang. Though bitter, consider it sweet. (Source: Damiana L. Eugenio, 2002) Ayaw pagbasuea si Pedro Ku binuhatan ni Pablo. Do not blame Pedro For the deeds of Pablo. (Source: Ruth Macogue, 1975) Kon mabahoe ro ohales, Imaw man ro butones. If the button hole is big, the button should also be big. (Source: Leothiny Clavel, 1972) Kon sin-o ro gakutkutak, imaw ro gaitlog. He who cackles laid the egg. (Source: Damiana L. Eugenio, 2002) Malig-on ro silhig kon binugkos it mayad. A broom is strong because the sticks are tied together. (Source: Damiana L. Eugenio, 2002) Kon ro baeay hay madali eon matumba, Ro mga eanggam nagapaeagiw. When the building is about to fall, All the mice desert it. (Source: Ivy Martirez, 1978) Ro imo gineubong, Indi makaeubong kimo. The one you buried Cannot bury you. (Source: Ivy Martirez, 1978)

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Hambaeunon (Idiomatic Expressions) If Aklanon proverbs extol virtues and values and only a few warn against negative practices, most of the Aklanon hambaeunons (idiomatic expressions) criticize the vices, negative traits and even the physical defects of Aklanons, as revealed by the following idiomatic expressions: bulig dum-ok (crab mentality) gapamueot kwarta (spendthrift) haeapiton it buglit (moody)

kaeaha it itsura (stern-faced) kueang it sang ilos (crazy) kumos tae (forgetful, with Alzheimer's disease) inunat nga bitos (skinny) maadlos nga bayi (flirty) mabaho it saeong (uncompassionate) maduea ra ueag (to let someone do what he or she pleases so the desire may die down) maeait ginhawa (wicked) maeapit sa euwag (favoritism, patronage politics) mahumok it ilong (easy to get) mainit it dapa-dapa (wanderer) makaeam it alima (thief) matig-a pa sa bakud (stingy) may mantsa ro dungog (dishonored) ugabhang ra ueo or utok bulinaw (stupid) gapatupong it tuhod (lazy)

The Aklanon idiomatic expressions are full of humor, as compared to the serious tone in most of the Aklanon proverbs. This may be because of the negative traits exposed in the idiomatic expressions, and humor adds to the impact of these idiomatic expressions to the person being referred to. It is a satirical observation of the negative traits of Aklanons, and the idiomatic expressions survive to this day because of the biting humor. The humor in the Aklanon idiomatic expressions has something to do also with the Aklanon cultural concept of dungog and huya (honor and shame), for if one does not want to be laughed at for his or her negative traits or actions, he or she will refrain from doing negative things. Another Aklanon cultural concept is pinaniiran (learning by observation; upbringing). Earlier Aklanons have not undergone formal education but they are good individuals because they practice pinaniiran. They observe proper decorum, with the help of their proverbs, idiomatic expressions and other oral literature and customs, and they learn and practice desirable traits and avoid vices and negative traits. Some old Aklanon folks express their dismay with the Aklanon youth of today; they say the youth have iniskuylahan (formal education) but have no pinaniiran, or batasan (good manners and right conduct). The Aklanon proverbs and idiomatic expressions, therefore, were considered by earlier Aklanons and are considered by todays old Aklanon folks as guiding principles for the betterment of the community. These oral pieces of literature are the embodiment of their ideals and aspirations. This is more evident in the songs they sing while doing their day-to-day work or during special occasions. Kaeantahon (Folk Songs) The Aklanon kaeantahons (folksongs) exalt the Aklanon ideals and virtues, like the ideal beauty, respect for elders and native customs, hard work, patience, fortitude, patriotism and the sense of community.

One Aklanon folksong tells of an ideal beauty: Si Inday Mapuea-puea Si Inday mapuea-puea, Angay gid sa baeay nga tabla, Tumindog, humiya-hiya, Mat bueak it katueanga. Si Inday maputi-puti, Angay gid sa baeay nga tapi; Tumindog, kumiri-kiri, Mat bueak it kamantigi. Si Inday maitom-itom, Angay gid sa baeay nga butong; Tumindog, maghiyom-hiyom, Mat bueak it katsubong. (Source: Beato A. de la Cruz, 1958) Oh Inday So Fair, So Fair Oh Inday so fair, so fair, Fit for a house made of hard wood; When she stands and laughs, She looks like a hibiscus flower. Oh Inday so white, so white, Fit for a house made of fly wood; When she stands and dances, She looks likes the fair touch-me-nots. Oh Inday so brown, so brown, Fit for a house made of bamboo; When she stands and smiles, She looks likes the katsubong blossom.

In the folksong, the womans desirable characteristics are described with the thought of making a house suited for her kind of beauty, which means the man is courting the woman with the intention of marrying her and making a house for both of them. Nowadays, courtship does not necessarily mean marriage in the near future, or that the man will make a house for the woman he is courting. Another folksong describes an Ati pamaeayi (wedding proposal) and the accompanying wedding ceremony: Kuti-Kuti sa Bandi Kuti-kuti sa bandi, Kuti sa bararayan; Bukon inyo baray dya, Rugto inyo sa pangpang. Scrutinize the Dowry (Woman) Scrutinize the dowry. (Man) Scrutinize the house. (Woman) This is not your house! You live across the river. (Man: If you will marry me, I will build you a house) With walls made of silver, Roof made of gold, As golden as the pineapple, And the root of the bitter melon. Bitter melon, malunggay, The root of gaway-gaway; Beat the drums now And lets start the feast!

Dingdingan it pilak, Atupan it burawan; Burawan, pinya-pinya, Gamot it sampaliya. Sampaliya, malunggay, Gamot it gaway-gaway; Gaway-gaway, marugtog, Gamot it niyog-niyog.

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Hurugi kot sambilog, Drop me some coconuts, Tuman ko ikabusog. For I am thirsty and hungry. (Source: Sumra I. de la Cruz-Rojo, 1995, as sung to her by an Ati house-help from Malay.) It is obvious in the Ati song that the man and the woman are just acting out from an established script of an Ati marriage proposal and wedding ceremony. The woman pretends to scrutinize the bride price and the man will reciprocate by scrutinizing the house of the woman. The woman then pretends to hate the mans action, then the man will appease the woman by promising her a house made of gold and silver. The wedding ceremony then follows, with feasting and merrymaking. The Ati song highlights the native customs and traditions of the pamaeayi (marriage proposal) and the wedding ceremony. It is notable that the mans promise to the woman of a house made of gold and silver is still part of todays pick-up lines: Mahalin mo lang ako at ibibigay ko sayo ang buwan at mga bituin! (Love me and Ill bring you the moon and the stars!). The virtue of respect to elders is evident also in the Ati song, as the groom-to-be offers his dowry and formally asks the hand of the bride-to-be from her parents. Nowadays, courtships simply happen at a mall and some men have no intension of paying the womens parents a visit. Another folksong on courtship and pamaeayi is Tukad Akoy Bukid (I Climbed Up the Mauntain). In the song, the man endures the rain and the slippery terrain just to formally ask the hand of the woman he loves: Tukad Akoy Bukid Tukad akoy bukid, Sa anday Kulas bagyo; Madanlog ro daean, Uean pilang bato. Tukad akoy bukid, Eankoy namaeayi; Batunon it sa indi, Daea pilit ro babayi. (Source: Beato A. de la Cuz, 1958) I Climbed Up the Mountain I climbed up the mountain In the place of Kulas Bagyo; The road is slippery And it was raining hard. I climbed up the mountain To propose for marriage; Accepted or not, Ill bring home my maiden.

In earlier times, Aklanon folksongs are popularly used in the schools as part of the daily activities of students. The Aklanon schoolchildren before were singing the folksong Pagbugtaw it Aga-Aga (When I Wake Up in the Morning). The song stresses the virtue of respect for elders, studying hard, and being friendly and cheerful. Pagbugtaw kot Aga-Aga Pagbugtaw kot aga-aga Ro pispis gakaeaeanta, Nageaong ako kay Lola, When I Wake Up in the Morning When I wake up in the morning, The birds were singing; I said goodbye to my grandmother

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Masueod sa iskuyla.

Before going to school.

Bue-on ko rang tueon-an, I brought my books Hapiton rang kaibahan; And walked with my classmates; Kon owa kami it klase, If we dont have classes, Mahampang it liksi-liksi. We play jumping games. (Source: Almyra Cortes of Batan, Aklan, 1995) Some Aklanon folksongs describe the daily routine of Aklanons as they go fishing, farming or other work. The folksong Magmamani (Peanut Planters) of Brgy. Daja Sur, Banga, Aklan highlights the virtue of industry and taking pride and enjoying the fruits of ones labor. Kaming Magmamani 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. (Source: Aida Maribojo of the KPES choir, 1989] Meanwhile, a pitiful experience of a motherless child laborer is told in the folksong Mamumugon (Laborer). The virtue of industry is extolled as well as the value of family and the love of a mother to her child. On the other hand, the unfair labor practices were criticized in the song. Mamumugon 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, Laborer I am a laborer, a laborer To a wealthy master; I eat my lunch at 2 oclock, I go home at angelus. But when I arrive at home And ask for rice, My father would tell me, Go and pound the palay at the mortar. What would I do with the palay We Peanut Platers We peanut planters are so poor, We peanut planters are so pitiful, We peanut planters have nothing to boast of, Just the fruits of our labor here in Daja. Oh so pitiful, we peanut planters, Our skirts are made of abaca, our necklaces are made of peanuts, Our rings, bracelets and earrings are all made of peanuts, We are proud of the fruits of our labor here in Daja.

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Eawas ko karon ginabudlay; When my body is so tired? Kon buhi kunta si Nanay, ay, ay, If only mother is alive, Makaon ako, mapahuway. I will just eat and rest. (Source: Piologo Tabernilla of Makato, Aklan, 1995) Some Aklanon folksongs speak of the virtues of patriotism, bravery and courage, like the komposo from Brgy. Tina, Makato, Aklan that narrates of the exploits of Aklanon freedom fighters during the American period. Trinchera sa Tina Trinchera sa Tina nga nagkaeapukan, Einupok it baril ro pinamatian; Bumaeos ro Pilipino, matsa ginlintian, Ro Tina ag Pudyot ag Kalimbahan. The Trenches at Tina The trenches at Tina had already surrendered, The frenzied firing of guns was all that was heard; The Filipinos retaliated with thundering charge, At Tina, at Pudyot and at Kalimbahan.

Suminggit si Tan Juan, "Carga y descarga!" Tan Juan shouted to his men, Continue the charge! Sumabat si Bagyo, "Senyor, retirada kita!" Bagyo answered aloud, Sir, let us now retreat. Sumunod si Simon, "Manong Laki, dagaya sanda!" Simon rejoined in, Manong Laki, we are outnumbered. Laloy! Laloy! Sang fuego ro ana. Laloy! Laloy! He was shot dead. Ro nailaan ko gid sa tanang valiente, Imaw si Tente Ondoy, but-anan nga jepe The man I admired most of all the valiant that day Was the young Tente Ondoy, whose head was firm always But-anan sa tanan nga mga eaeaki, He stood by his men while shots rent the air, Indi magtalikod mientras gaatake. He held the line bravely till the attack ended. (Source: Beato A. de la Cruz, 1958, original text and translation) The value of pagsinaeayo (harmonious relationship and the sense of community) is again highlighted in the folksong Duro ro Atong Kalipay (How Glad We Are). This song is always sung during reunions and homecomings as a finale number to end the special occasion and celebrate the unity and camaraderie of friends, relatives and loved ones. Duro ro Atong Kalipay Duro ro atong kalipay, Ku aton ngarang pagtililipon; Napupuno it kasadya, Ro atong tagiposuon. Ag do mga kalisud sa dughan, Hay nabubuoe it dayon; Hay aton eong nahakit-an, Ro mayad-ayad nga paghiliuyon. How Glad We Are How glad we are When we are together; Our hearts Are filled with joy. Our pain and suffering Are lifted away As we witness and enjoy Our camaraderie.

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Ay abaw gid sa kasadya, Kon kita magtililipon; Hay kon makara eang kunta hay, Matsa owa it kamatayon.

How happy we are If we are together; It seems we will never Experience death.

Ay abaw gid sa kasadya, How happy we are Kon kita magtililipon; If we are together; Hay matsa iya katon It seems Ro eangit makaron. We are now in heaven. (Source: Aida Maribojo of the KPES Choir, 1989) Conclusion Aklanon hueobatons (proverbs) extol the virtues of patugsiling (the Golden Rule), kapisan or kahugod (industry), and kahipid (thriftiness), as well as the value of pagsinaeayo (harmonious relationship and the sense of community), among others. The Aklanon hambaeunons (idiomatic expressions), on the other hand, humorously exposes the vices and negative traits of Aklanons, while the Aklanon kaeantahons (folksongs) speak of the ideal beauty, respect for elders and native customs, hard work, patience, fortitude, patriotism and the sense of community. The Aklanon cultural concepts of pinaniiran (learning by observation; upbringing) and dungog ag huya (honor and shame) are central to the understanding of the Aklanon folk literature and Aklanon culture as a whole, and a more comprehensive study on these and other cultural concepts should be done to better appreciate and evaluate Aklanon culture. Aklanon folk literature is like a tuburan or spring, a rich repository of Aklanon virtues, values and ideals that the townsfolk continually tap into for sustenance, guidance and inspiration. This abundant source of material for community development and nation-building may also be tapped into by DepEd teachers who, with the implementation of the K+12 Program, are in need of resources for their mother tongue-based instruction. The different oral literatures of the different languages in Western VisayasAklanon, Kinaray-a, Hiligaynon, Ligbok and Inati should be collected, preserved, evaluated and promoted for use of schoolchildren who should be culturally immersed on their own customs and traditions. The virtues, values and ideals in indigenous literature and culture should be rediscovered, revived and re-popularized in the schools and in the community as a whole as West Visayans search for their heritage and identity. References Barrios, John E. and Alexander C. de Juan. (2009). Diksiyunaryo Kultural ng Aklan (Aklan Cultural Dictionary). Unpublished research funded by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts. Clavel, Leothiny. (1972). Oral Literature of Capiz. M.A. thesis, U.P., Quezon City. 2 vols. De Juan, Alexander C. (2010).Aklanon. Unpublished monograph on Aklanon history and culture, a research funded by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts.

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De Juan, Alexander C. (2002) Ang mga Literaturang Binibigkas at Inaawit ng mga Ati sa Aklan: Mga Sakit-buot (Sama ng Loob) at Gustong Maabot. Palayag: CWVS Monograph Series. Iloilo City: Center for West Visayan Studies, U.P. in the Visayas. De Juan, Alexander C. (1999). The Tongue and the Pen versus the Spanish Rule in Aklan. Palayag: Selected Papers from the Proceedings of the 7th Conference on West Visayan History and Culture. Iloilo City: Center for West Visayan Studies, U.P. in the Visayas. De la Cruz, Beato A. (1958). Contributions of the Aklan Mind to Philippine Literature. Rizal: Kalantiao Press. De la Cruz, Roman A. (2005). Five-Language Dictionary (Panay Island): English, Hiligaynon, Filipino, Kinaray-a, Aklanon. Kalibo: Macar Enterprises. Dignadice, Fe Java. (1955). A Critical Study of the Folklore of the Western Visayas (Antique, Capiz, Iloilo, Negros Occ.). M.A. thesis, Silliman University, Dumaguete City. Cited in Eugenio, Damiana L. (2002). Philippine Folk Literature: The Proverbs. Quezon City: University of the Philippines Press. Eugenio, Damiana L. (2002). Philippine Folk Literature: The Proverbs. Quezon City: University of the Philippines Press. Locsin-Nava, Ma. Cecilia. (2002). The Contemporary Value System in Ilonggo Proverbs. Palayag: CWVS Monograph Series. Iloilo City: Center for West Visayan Studies, U.P. in the Visayas. Macogue, Ruth. (1975). Aklanon Folk Literature. Term paper for Comparative Literature 231, May 19, 1975, U.P., Quezon City. Cited in Eugenio, Damiana L. (2002). Philippine Folk Literature: The Proverbs. Quezon City: University of the Philippines Press. Manyas, Peping Tansinko. (1926). Tagiposuon nga Hueowaran. Kalibo: Limbagan nay G. Francisco J. Albar. Martirez, Ivy. (1978). Aklanon Folk Literature. M.A. thesis in progress, U.P., Quezon City. Cited in Eugenio, Damiana L. (2002). Philippine Folk Literature: The Proverbs. Quezon City: University of the Philippines Press. Purposeful Living: In Maxims and Sayings. (1971). The West Visayas Quarterly, 2, 2, (Oct.Dec. 1971): 23-24. [Contains 14 Aklanon proverbs with English translation]. Cited in Eugenio, Damiana L. (2002). Philippine Folk Literature: The Proverbs. Quezon City: University of the Philippines Press. Reyes, Vicente Salas, R. David Paul Zorc, and Nicolas L. Prado. (1969). A Study of the Aklanon Dialect, Volume Two: Dictionary (of Root Words and Derivations), Aklanon to English. Kalibo: Public Domain.

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