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by: Kristine Sanchez 

"Kinaray-a" or hinaraya is derived from "iraya" meaning "upstream," "ka" meaning "companion," with infixation "in" meaning "to have undergone something."  It refers to the language of Antique (from "Hamtik," or large, red ant or wasp) and the upland parts of Iloilo and Capiz.  Kinaray-a, says the writer Leoncio Deriada, is the "mother of mellifluous West Visayan lingua franca, Hiligaynon (Ilongo), and the less well-known child, Aklanon."  He adds that Kinaray-a "is the Ilongo contribution to the mixed languages of Romblon, Palawan, and Cuyo Islands, some parts of Mindoro and Masbate and the southern towns of Negros Occidental and Oriental."  Kinaray-a speakers outnumber Ilongo speakers in Antique, most of Capiz, all of the central Iloilo towns, and the coastal towns south of Iloilo City; Ilongo is mainly limited to Iloilo City and all the coastal towns to the north as well as in Bacolod and most of Negros Occidental (Ani 19:11). 
Ilongo has long enjoyed primacy in the region because it is the language spoken by the ruling classes in the region, namely the hacenderos on both shores of the guimaras Strait and the Chinese compradores from the Molo Parian, while Kinaray-a has long been identified as "the language og the sacada and the muchacho" (Ani 19:12).  The Spanish priests added to the development of Ilongo by publishing grammars and catechisms in that language, while producing none in Kinaray-a. 
Despite having a disparate vocabulary, with usage differing slightly from town to town (for example, the English "here" could be rigya, rugya, digya, di-a, depending on the location), Kinaray-a speakers understand one another whether they come from Antique, Capiz, or Iloilo.  Apart from the population of Antique, which was 419,000 in 1990, the populations of Iloilo towns west, north, and northeast of the towns of Tigbauan, Santa Barbara, Pototan, anilao, and Dingle inclusive, and the towns of Tapaz and Jamindan in Capiz, all speak Kinaray-a.  All in all, there may be around 1,000,000 Kinaray-a speakers. 


According to the tales of the Maragtas, Antique once enjoyed primacy among the realms carved out in Panay by the 10 Bornean datu (chieftains), who, fleeing from the tyranny of Sultan Makatunaw of Borneo, bought the island from the Ati King Marikudo and established the sakup of Hamtik, Aklan, and Irong-irong. The datu supposedly landed in Malandog, Hamtik, where a marker commemorates the event which is reenacted in the Binarayan (literally, "place where the boats landed") Festival. In Hamtik ruled the wisest among the chieftains, Datu Sumakwel, whom Datu Puti designated as the primus inter pares among the seven remaining datu who formed the confederation of the Madya-as. 
In Spanish times, Antique was adminished from iloilo, and remained a backwater of the colony.  When Miguel Lopez de Legazpi transferred his headquarters from Cebu to  
Panay, his men came upon the village of Bugasong and Hamtik.  Encomiendas were established in Pandan and Hamtik in the 1570s.By 1581, the Augustinians set up a mission in Hamtik, establishing the first parish in Antique.  This was followed by Barbaza, 1596, San Jose de Buenavista, 1733, Bugasong, 1742, San Pedro, 1744, Sibalom, 1745, Pandan, 1752, Patnongon, 1761, Dao,1771, and Culasi, 1773. In the 1660s,Antique belonged to Ogtong, one of the two provinces carved out from the island, the other being Panay. In 1793 Antique became a separate province. 
The Antiquenos did not welcome the Spanish rule. The natives, called mundo and cascado, refused to live in the cabeceras or town centers, a problem that occasional Muslim raids along coastal towns did not help relieve. In 1828, secular priests participated in serious revolt launched againsts the alcalde mayor, Don Francisco  
Oreta, which ended when he was replaced by Don Benito Domingo.  In 1888, the Igbaong, secrest organization in San Remingo led by Gregoria Palmero revolded againsts abuses by Spanish officials and Augustinian clergy. It was pacified only seven years later. 
When the revolutionary movement was launched, Panay became an active area for katipunan recruitment.  On 21 Sept 1898, Gen Leonardo Fullon landed in Inayawan, Pandan and captured the town, holdingthe parish priest captives.  The following day, Fullon and his army landed in Culasi, forcing the Spaniards to withdraw Tibiao. The Filipino soldiers under spanish command muntinied and placed themselves under the command Fullon.  A week later, the forces of Fullon clashed  with spanish troops in Bugasong in a battle that momentarily stopped Fullon's succesful southern campaign.  Fullon retreated to Culasi.  Spanish success was short-lived, however, as another filipino no mutiny decimated the spanish officers. By 23 November that year, Filipino revolutionaries had taken San Jose de Buenavista. Fullon then beacame Antique governor. 
During the Philippine-American War, the Americans did not land a force in Hamtik, until January 1900.  Not long after the revolutionary forces under Fullon were forced to shift to guerilla warfare.  Fullon held out until 22 Mar 1901, when he surrendered to the Americans. In April the civil government was established and Fullon was elected governor. A lasting legacy of the revolution to Antique is Iglesia Filipina Independente, which was founded by Gregorio Aglipay, Gen Emilio Aguinaldo's Military Vicar General, and labor leader Isabelo de los Reyes. Next to Ilocos, Antique has the greatest number of Aglipayans. 
In 1939, in anticipation of the Japanese invasion, Antique became mobilization center.  WWII saw an active anti-Japanes guerillacampaign led by Col Macario Perlta and other officers of the 61st infantry Division of the USAFFE ( United States Armed Forces in the Far East). The firstsubmarine-borne supplies to the 6th Military District (as Gen Douglas McArthur designated the Panay-Negros area) were landed in Libertad, then a barrio of Pandan.  Guerillas operated rather freely in Antique, as their mountain bases in Mts Baloy and Madya-as were located on the border of the Iloilo and Capiz.  Moreover, the Japanese were garrisoned for most of the time in the capital of San Jose. 
The Japanese would occasionally sortie north to pursue guerilla forces in actions that the people would call as "penetretion" and associated with"evacuation". The guerilla warning system worked effectively in evacuating the people from the town centers whenever Japanese columns would venture out of San Jose, such that the majority of the people Antique could say that they never saw a Japanese soldier during the entire war. Looming large in the public imagination were the horrors, not so much of Japanes atrocities as of the guerilla killing fields called Badyang, a place where suspected collaborators were executed.  Stay-over public officials and traders were most vulnerable to charges of collaboration. 

In general, Antique has kept a low profile in national affairs.  Its mountanious terrain, lined by a narrow coastal plain, as well as its lack of good roads, ports, and other transportation and communication facilities have prevented Antique from raising its standard of livingdespite being a net surplus producer of rice, sugar, and other agricultural crops. Antiquenos also partly attribute the lack of development to politics, especially as they tend to support the opposition.  For instance, in pre-marital law days, when the president was Nacionalista, the Antique governor was Liberal. 
During the Snap Elections of 1896, the pro Corazon Aquino led by former Gov Evelio Javier conducted a succesful campaign against entrenched pro Marcos forces led by Assemblyman Arturo Pacificador, but after the elections, the charismatic Javier was gunned down in broad daylight in San Jose.  The assasination intensified the tension that culminated in the EDSA revolt 11 days later. 

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Religious Beliefs and Practices 

The spiritual world of the Antiquenos is inhabited by numerous engkantu, fairies, and other supernatural spirits.  They are encountered at the headwaters of junctions, shallow wells, isolated places, enchanted trees, thickets, and lonely trails at high noon or late evening (Magos 1978:58).  The province of Antique itself has been identified as a plpace of the aswang, the generic term for a creature of the netherworld which takes human form during the day and transforms into viscera-sucking, flesh-eating ghouls, polymorphing creatures, or witchcraft practitioners during the night.  There are dwellers or residents in the towns or barrios who may also be aswang or maranhig.  The aswang has a double, according to belief, and so can appear or change form easily.  The maranhig, on the other hand, cannot cross a stream, otherwise he turns into a worm.  These spirits and supernaturals are the cause of people's illness and many of the evils that befall them. 
The maaram or medicine man counters or neutralizes these creatures.  In places where there are no doctors, the maaram becomes a general practitioner as well as specialist - a medium or rite officiator, diviner, herbalist, bone setter, midwife, and extractor of foreign objects poaced by supernatural forces or beings inside the body of the individual (Magos 1978). 
Being an isolated province, Antique is a culture area where the connection of traditional magical practices can be studied in relation to economic survival (Magos 1978:25).  Each stage of the rice production, from planting to harvesting, is punctuated by ritual; the same holds true for the production of corn, cassava, sweet potato, beans, kadios, jackfruit, coconut, and so on.  The presence of a menstruating woman or an animal urinating before or during planting are considered bad omens; planting should be done during low tide, or during the time when the moon is full, so that the fruits or tubers will grow large; and so on. 
The Sulod believe in a double or soul-spirit who removes itself from the carnal body upon death and travels from one place to another until it reaches a lake which it has to cross with the assistance of Bangle, the ferry man.  According to this myth, Bangle asks the soul-spirit several questions before he takes it to the other shore.  If the soul answers that it has had more than one wife, it is congratulated and immediately carried across on Bangle's shoulder.  If it has had only one or remained a bachelor, then it is told to hold on to Bangle's pubic hair and to swim across the sticky water.  (As there are no recorded cases of polyandry, it cannot be assumed that the same questions apply to the female soul.) 
The soul has yet to pass another stream guarded by another deity called Balugu, who asks him the same questions.  After passing the examination, the soul is admitted to Madya-as (a mountain nearby), where it participates in a cockfighting game.  Then it is taken to the rest house called haramyangan.  If its relatives in th earthworld perform the right ceremonies, it undergoes a strengthening process, after which it takes its place in the center of Madya-as, where it leads a normal life and eventually turns into one of the environmental spirits which guard every aspect of Sulod society. 
Sulod religion is inextricably intertwined with social and economic activities like fishing and hunting, which are influenced by defined environmental and ancestral spirits.  All phases of the agricultural practice, like preclearing, begin with an invocation to the ancestral spirits.  The sagda ceremony, for example, is a postclearing chanting ritual as a gesture of apology to the spirits who may have been hurt by the burning of the field during the clearing process. 
It is believed that illness is caused by forest spirits who must, therefore, be appeased.  A procession is led by the baylan who dances to the beat of gongs and drums to invoke good and evil spirits 

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Visual Arts and Crafts 

Several towns in Antique have the distinction of producing quality ware ranging from salakot and sawali from Belison, bamboocraft from San Jose, ceramics from Sibalom, pottery from Bandoja, Tibiao; mats from Pandan and Libertad; and loom-woven patadyong (barrel skirt) from Bagtason, Bugasong, the only one of its kind in the Visayas and well-known throughout Panay. 

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Performing Arts 

Puedan was able to collect 92 folk songs, nine of which are ballads.  "Juanita," "Sa Baryo Sang Burok-Burok" (In the Barrio of Burok-Burok), and "Esing" deal with love's frustrations and tragedies; "Composo ni Dieme" (Compose of Dimme), "Sa Baryo Sang Gamad" (In the Barrio of Gamad), and "Sa Banwang Culasi" (In the Town of Culasi) take off from the senseless deaths of certain persons; and "O Mga Senyores" (O Dear Sirs), "Kanta Sang Pagsulod sang Hapon" (Songs About the Arrival of the Japanese), and "Composo Guikan sa Guerra" (Composo from the War) recount experiences during WWII.  With the exception of the last two songs, the Antique ballads cluster around a single event.  The stories are told dramatically, using dialogue for emotional impact. 
Children's songs range from the ili (lullaby) to adaptations of Tagalog and English originals.  Greed is parodied in "Tatay Beroy Tikwaog," spinsters are satirized in "Nagtanum Ako Pinya" (I Planted a Pineapple).  Mothers ask their children to perform "Ang Tatlo Ka Pato" (The Three Ducks), complete with hand gestures imitating ducks flying and rear ends waddling.  "Lubi-lubi" (Coconuts) is a mnemonic device to remember the months of the year.  "Ang Tilapia" (The Tilapia) tells of an impetuous fish who escapes from the aquarium. 
Love and courtship songs are still sung as serenade, which are prevalent during harvesttime when girls from out of town help their kin in the fields.  
While Modern swains have been heard to strum pop and old tunes like "Serapin Sang Gugma" (Angel of Love), "Pagkalum-ok" (Softly), "Ako Ining Kailo" ( I Am a Poor Lover), "Bilin Sang Kabuhi" (My Life's Desire), "Didto Nayon sa Bukid" (There in the Mountain) are still heard.  The most popular of these are "Sa Pugad Sang Pispis" (In the Bird's Nest), "Karom kay Tingadlaw" (Now That It's Summer), and "Maghihirupay Kita" (Let's Share Our Love). The latter invites the beloved to share the lover's affection, so that they could be like two birds on a bough. 
"Sang Diutay pa Ako" (When I Was Small) is about a maiden, being courted, who sets impossible conditions for her love.  Another rejection song is "Igso-on sa Tabuk Nayon" (Godbrother Across Our House).  "Ang Gugma" (Love) advises ladies to choose their husbands carefully, while "Dalawidaw" (The DalawidawBird) has a happy ending, with the girl reciprocating her suitor's love. 
Songs that have been adapted in other Visayan tongues include: "Lumabay-labay" (If Passes By), which compares the sweet things in life, like love, to smoke which dissipates: "Dandansoy," which was composed by roman who hailed from Culasi; and "Ay Ay Kalisud" (O How Sad).  The latter two are standard numbers in the repertoire of Visayan singers, and are well-known nationally. 
Other love songs, which invariably speak of lost love and hearthache, include: "Maminglaw nga Dalamguhon" (A Lonely Dream); "Mahapdi ang Dug-han Ko" (My Heart Aches); "Pispis nga Adarna" (The Adarna Bird); "Ang Pana-ad" (The Promise); "Rosing, Yanang Yuhom Mo" (Your Smile), "Nadura ang Paglaum" (Hope is Lost); "Ginamingaw Ako" (I Feel Lonely); and "Nene Ati." 
Work songs include: fishing songs like "Si Tarok, Ang Belong-belong" (The Belong-belong Fish); "Ang mga Manunura nga Ansyang" (The Ansyano Fisherfolks), and "Si Felimon."  The latter two, and the nonfishing song, "Ako Mananggete nga si Ikot" (I Am Ikot the tuba gatherer), have references to tuba, indicating that they are generally sung during drinking sessions.  "Si Filemon" os a tongue twister because the song is repeated over  and over, with the various vowels converted to the one called out by the song leader: "A!" - "Sa Falaman, Sa Falaman ..."; "U!" - "Su Fulumun, Su Fulumun;" and so on. 
When drinking, the old favorite is "Dandansoy, Inum Tuba Laboy" (Dandansoy, Drink Laloy's Tuba).  But the work songs and humorous songs do equally well: "Nagligad and Adlaw" (A Day Has Passed), "Bisan Tamun Ati" (Though We Are Aetas), "Sa Banwa sang Kape" (In the Town of Coffee), "Kalantahon sa Adlaw-adlaw" (The Everyday Song), "Puyayang" (Jelly Fish), "Tahur" (Gambler), "Si Manong, si Manang, Ako ang Prinsipe" (I Am the President, "Manok nga Bukay" (My White Rooster).  The first four songs use metaphors for sexual organs and intercourse. 
Three polgnant songs express grief over the death of parents: "Binhi sang Paghihugma" (Seeds of Love), "Ang Ilo sa Iloy" (A Motherless Child); and "Ako ang Nailo" (I Am An Orphan).  These are sung furing funerals.  There are also songs that praise knowledge and winged creatures, and game songs. 
Two wedding songs, "inday, Himus-himusa" (Inday, Prepare Your Things) and "Laylay" have similar patterns.  There are instructions to the woman to prepare her things as shw is getting married, and to the men against maltreatment of the wife lest the relatives take her back; the eventual reply is that the woman can no longer be separated from the man because they have been married by a priest. 
Weddings showcase the Antiqueno's dancing prowess.  During their pamalaye, the parents of the groom in Anini-y town perform the soryano before the parnets of the bride.  The soryano has two counts to a measure, and is danced to guitar music. 
The wedding procession is marked by sinurog dancers up front, shouting and making considerable noise with drums, empty cans, basins, and other percussion instruments.  The dancers, all boys, having fierce masks of black and red.  They wear red trousers , dark colored under shirts with long sleeves, red bands or kercheifs around their heads, and a dark-colored length of cloth worn over the shoulder and knotted at one side of the waist.  Some sinurog dancers wield spears, bolo, and daggers.  The dancers are believed to frighten and drive away evil spirits that might spoil the happiness and welfare of the newly married couple.  
During the reception, the bride and groom may dance the padang-padang, the music of which has three counts to a measure.  The partners shake and clap hands, bow to each other, and move in a sway-balance-hop sequence. Ideally only the married couple dances while the guest shower them with presents of cash and valuables, but the members of the entourage may also take part (Reyes-Tolentino 1946:203-206). 
In response to the pandang-pandang, the parents of the bride and groom perform the kandang-kandang. The dance, which is named after a seaside plant, uses a tune similar to the pandang-pandang. It also has three counts to a measure, but has more steps which is characterized by reversed arm positions, step-hops, and flirtatious brushes punctauted by beginning motions from the boy and point steps, leaps, and occasional kneels. 
The urukay from Anini-y also has the parents-in-law dancing each other. This is lively and vigorous dance where the male tries to assert his supremacy over the female by making her kneel and crawl in between his legs.  The woman retorts by snubbing the man and elbowing him as she moves away. 
Other Dances found in Antique include a number of waltz derivatives, such as the escopiton malandog, from Barangay Malandog in Hamtik, which is danced by couples and feature kumintang movements; the regoniza, also found in San Jose, which is dance for important guest; the yano pandaninio, a delicate dance from the northern town of pandan; and the salidsid, a dance for fiestas and other special occasions, produced by the people of the island town of Caluya.  The salidsid is vigorius, using body twist, trunk jerks, knee bends, and tapping steps, among others. 
The kuratsa, a perennial Visayan favorite, has two versions, the kuratsa San Jose and the kuratsa Tibiao with the latter having more complex steps.  The haplili is a stylization of the dance step of that name.  The count is two to a measure, with two pairs performing.  The girl's main prop in her movements is her patadyong.  The virgoire, which is derive from "Virgo-Eres" (You are a Virgin) is like a kumintang dnce but is performed barefoot by a girl wearing patadyong and camisa or long-sleeved blouse with stiff sleeves.  The Antique version of the itik-itik os performed in Tibian invariably during social gatherings.  Dancing two counts to the measure, the couples are in closed ballroom dnce position chracterized by slide-close and itik-itik steps, topped by a quarter turn at the end of each sequence. 
Nuptial ceremonies among the Sulod are repleted with prototypes of theater, literature, song, and dance.  The pagbati is the ceremonial meeting of the two sets of parents, who pretenc ignorance of the couple's engagement, so that they may formally confirm it.  The marriage negotiations are conducted in the form of a poetical joust, in which the girl's family again pretends ignorance of the boy's intentions.  Part of the joust includes the haggling over dowry.  This accomplished and the boy duly accepted, the boy sevice to the girl's family begins.  He brings to ther house symbolic objects, such as banana leaves, which signify the virtue of "righteousness giving shade and protection to the couple in their life's journey" (Jocano 1968). 
The wedding day begins with the hungaw, another poetical joust between two spokepersons.  This is recited as the wedding entourage takes some numbered steps from the gate to the stairs of the house.  After the wedding, the feast begins but is regularly interrupted by another poetical joust, in which the bride is referred to metaphorically as the "flower of the house."  For such occasions, heirloom plates called lahang and the sibulan, the ancient chinese jar in which rice wine is fermented, are taken out of storage and used. 
Antique theater has depended largely on traveling komedya troupes from Iloilo which perform during town fiestas.  There have been no recorded writers of Kinaray-a komedya or sarswela. 
The advent of electronics, however, has opened up venues for writers, enabling them to rpoduce radio dramas.  Foremost of these Kinaray-a writers is the late Russell tordesillas, who wrote the scripts for the long running radio serial Olayra: Ang Prinsesa Sang Dagat played over Antique radio DYKA. 
Writers are gradually responding to the renewed literary and institutional interest over the prootion of Kinaray-a.  Aleks Santos (Ani 19) published Lupa, a one-act play detailing the hardships of women left to tend their farm after the menfolk went to work as sacada in Negros.  D. Javier with R.C. Lucero and E.A. Manuel 

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