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   Aklanweb                       an online review of 
        Aklanon history and culture
 
 

HISTORIOGRAPHY 

 

The following are some issues or points of contention about  the history of Aklan (specifically its supposedly pre-hispanic past): 

*  Uncritical historiography

   Some local historians in Aklan (usually "chronologically advanced" Aklanons) do not follow "proper" historiography:

*  no evidence -- no documents, no archaeological evidence, nada -- for their accounts: in effect, their historiography should be called "hallucinatory historiography" or, perhaps, "feel-proud historiography"

*  no citation of sources or references in their texts
            
*  no complete bibliographic information on their sources/references (if  sources/references are cited)

*  disregard for -- or lack of knowledge of (?) -- contemporary scholarship

*  involvement in a limited "circle of fire" (according to an amused observer),  an unorganized group of local "historians" who quote one another's work and ignore the basics of proper historiography

*  disdain for writings/authors critical of the "sacred components" of Aklanon history:  Code of Kalantiao, Code of Maragtas, Bornean datus, Datu Bendahara Kalantiao, Golden Salakot

 

*  Code of Kalantiao  (visit the link)

       The so-called Code of Kalantiao has been considered as the "centerpiece" of Aklanon history by most Aklanons, especially by local historians in Aklan. It has been compared to the Code of Hammurabi.

       The Code was described to have been "in use in 150 (?) since 1433" and was codified and enforced by a certain Datu Kalantiao -- later called Datu Bendahara Kalantiaw -- who ruled in an ancient civilization -- a sakup called Aklan, with Batan (or Batang) as its center of government.

        According to  William Henry Scott, the late historian who investigated the provenance and authenticity of the Code of Kalantiao, the real author of the Code was a certain Jose E. Marco of Pontevedra, Negros Occidental, who also wrote La Loba Negra which was previously ascribed to Father Jose Burgos. 

        The fantastic story of the Code of Kalantiao originated from the two-volume manuscripts called Las Antiguas Leyendas de la Isla de Negros  which, according to Marco, were written by Jose María Pavon. The manuscripts were actually a product of Marco's fertile imagination.

        Wrote Prof. Scott: "The shift of the Code from Negros to Panay presumably began with [Josue] Soncuya's conclusion that Rajah Kalantiaw -- as he called him  -- had written the code for Aklan because of the presence of two Aklanon, rather than Hiligaynon, words in the text." (Josue Soncuya, one of the founders of Centro Escolar de Señoritas, was from  Banga, Aklan.)



*  Datu Bendahara Kalantiaw

       Datu Bendahara Kalantiaw (or Kalantiao), of course, was the so-called great ruler of a pre-hispanic civilization who codified a set of rules, the so-called Code of Kalantiao.

        In 1956, Digno Alba (a native of Batan, Aklan who was a  government pensionado to the US in 1903) wrote a pamphlet which stated -- without any supporting evidence -- that Kalantiaw chose Batan as the capital of the ancient sakup of Aklan.

        In 1966, Sol Gwekoh wrote in the Sunday Times magazine that Datu Bendahara Kalantiaw was born in 1410 -- again, without any supporting evidence.

        In 1970, Gregorio Zaide included in his book Great Filipinos in History other details:  that the Datu's real name was Lakan Tiaw (which means, according to Zaide, "Chief of Brief Speech") and that the great Datu allegedly said "The law is above all men." The Datu was said to be the only son of Raja Bendahara Gulah. All these assertions had, of course, no supporting evidence. 



*   Bornean Datus

        The account of the voyage of ten datus and their followers from a foreign land to Panay and their subsequent settlement in this Visayan island is narrated in a book written in Hiligaynon by Pedro Monteclaro, a native of Iloilo.  

         In his book, Maragtas kon (historia) sg pulo nga Panay kutub sg iya una nga pamuluyo tubtub sg pag-abut sg mga taga Borneo nga amo ang ginhalinan sg mga Bisaya, kag sg pag-abut sg mga Katsila, Monteclaro narrated that the ten datus came from Borneo where the tyrant Datu Makatunao ruled. The datus and their wives were Puti and wife Pinangpang, Sumakwel and wife Kapinangan, Bangkaya and wife Katurong (who settled in Aklan and whose son Balingsanga could not pronounce the letter  r ), Paiburong and wife Pabulanan, Padohinog and wife Ribongsapaw, Dumangsol and wife Kabiling, Dumalogdog, Lubay, Balensuela, and Dumangsil.  

        No archaeological evidence, however, has been unearthed to give credence to this tale. No historical support for the voyage of the datus and their subsequent settling in Panay exists. 

        In the Maragtas, Monteclaro wrote:  "... akon diri igasambit nga duha ka talamdan ang akon naayap..."  (I would mention here that I obtained two documents.) However, nobody has ever seen those two documents.

       

*  Code of Maragtas

       The datus, who had settled in Panay, divided the whole of Panay among themselves. Definitely, they had to have some sanctions against polygamy, adultery, inter-racial marriage, robbery, and other cases contrary to their customs. So, a "code,"  later called the Code of Maragtas, (then, still a little later, called the Code of Sumakwel) was said to have been devised. La-di-da...  Manuel Carreon wrote that the Code of Maragtas antedated the Code of Kalantiao by over two centuries!

        Guillermo Santiago-Cuino surprised historians and other people interested in the Maragtas when his article "El Codigo de Maragtas" was published in the 20 February 1938 issue of El Debate. He boasted that his writing was a direct translation of "ancient Filipino writing." However, he could not produce any evidence. Moreover, the word "Maragtas" first appeared only in 1907 when Monteclaro's book was published. Santiago-Cuino's article is, therefore, the only source of the so-called Code of Maragtas. 

      

*   Golden Salakot

        Wow!!



*  Aklan as the oldest province in the Philippines

        Huuumm... zzz....zzzzz.....