are some issues or points of contention about the
history of Aklan (specifically its supposedly pre-hispanic
Some local historians in Aklan (usually "chronologically
advanced" Aklanons) do not follow "proper"
evidence -- no documents, no archaeological evidence, nada
-- for their accounts: in effect, their historiography should
be called "hallucinatory historiography" or,
perhaps, "feel-proud historiography"
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 (?) --
* 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
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.
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
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
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
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.
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.
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!
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.
* Aklan as the oldest
province in the Philippines