The toltog palanog, a clay flute, was the earliest musical instrument
in Panay; it had three holes at one end and two at the sides. There
were several kinds of bamboo flutes, or tulali. A child's flute
was the payok, made of stiff rice straw. The dios sios was a set
of reeds of different lengths, tied side by side. The budios, which
sounded like the cornet, was a shell with the pointed tip cut off.
The tan-ag, made of two pieces of lightwood, was the earliest percussion
instrument. A set of these was called the dalutang. The bunkaka
or takup was a section of bamboo with a split end. It was held in
the right hand and struck against a pole in the left hand. Rhythmic
variations were achieved through different ways of striking. The
bulibaw was a drum made of hollowed-out wood topped by animal skin.
The ludang was a smaller drum held on the lap. The lipak-pak was
a clapper made of a narrow section of bamboo, two nodes long, split
in two down to one node, the lower half being the handle. It was
also used as a matraca or clapper during Holy Week.
The native guitar was variously called the passing ("to strike");
boktot ("hunchback") because it was made of coconut shell;
or the culating. The strings were made of fibers or any twine. There
was a guitar with six strings made of hemp, banana fiber or lukmo.
It is now called the sista, from the Spanish word sexta or six.
The buting was a thin bamboo tube whose two ends were strung with
hemp or any fiber, so that it bent like a bow. The kudyapi was a
violin made of thin, light wood and strung with hemp or banana fibers.
The subing or Jew's harp was made of seasoned bamboo.
Aklan dances can tell a story, imitate a childrens game,
or-because of Spanish influence-be choreographed for the ballroom.
Bayong-gayong tells a comic story about Gayong, the nickname for
Leodegario. According to legend and the words of the song, Gayong
and Masiong (nickname for Dalmacio) once attended a feast commemorating
the death of a townmate. While eating, Masiong choked on a piece
of adobo (braised meat cooked with vinegar, garlic, and soy sauce).
Masiongs love for feasts and the consequences of his voraciousness
are held up to playful ridicule by this dance that is part of the
merrymaking in rural gatherings.
Pokoe (pukol in other parts of Panay) is adapted from one of the
oldest native games of the children, and means "to strike or
bump against each other." The children usually play this game
at the riverside or seashore while bathing or after. The dancers
use coconut shells, which are struck together rhythmically in time
with the music. The male dancers roll on the ground to show their
agility and suppleness.
Pahid is a lively ballroom dance, which originated from Madalag
and Libacao. It is very popular in all 17 towns of Aklan, and is
accompanied by a song.
page 2... Performing Arts: Aklan Province