Aklan Islands Philippines
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Political System: Aklan Province Islands Philippines

Late 16th-century accounts such as Miguel de Loarca’s and an anonymous manuscript now referred to as the Boxer Codex say that traditional Panayanon government was headed by the Datu, who, as head of a sakup, was the judge in matters of dispute, the protector and defender, and a feudal lord. His subjects were called sinakpan, whose property he appropriated when they died. Any of the datu’s sons could claim succession; hence, warfare could erupt among brothers competing for the throne. Or the disgruntled brother of a newly installed datu could start his own sakup.

A class of warriors called timawa owed fealty to the datu. Their main function was to protect the datu, including tasting his wine for poison. They accompanied him on raids and were on familiar terms with him. They themselves were descendants of datu, the first-generation timawa having been the illegitimate sons of the datu and slave women. Often the Hilt of the "Talibong" or machette distinguished the rank of the holder and identifies him as head or official official of the sinakup. The rest of the sinakpan were the oripun, who economically and politically supported the datu and timawa, as the latter two did not engage in agricultural or industrial activity.

Legislative decisions by the datu were done publicly and with the guidance of the ponu-an, a council of elders knowledgeable in matters of custom law. Although law was handed down by tradition, amendments could be made with the consensus of the other datus. The datu decided on a case after listening to the sworn testimony of the conflicting parties. All crimes, including murder and disobedience to the datu, were punishable by fines, which could be paid for with servitude.

Folk history considers the Maragtas Code, also known as the Sumakwelan Code, as the earliest legal system. It covered aspects of human behavior and relationships, such as property rights, inheritance, contracts, and family relations. Village criers, called umalahokan, rang a bell to call the people to a gathering place where the datu’s message was announced. To this day, the system of calling the townspeople to assembly is practiced in the rural areas. The punishment for the violation of laws was varied: humiliation, forced labor, shipping, drowning, and burning.

Aklan province was created under Republic Act 4979. It is classified as a fourth-class province according to income. A governor, vice-governor, and a provincial board administer the province. Aklan has one seat in Congress. (RR’s Philippine Almanac 1990:136-137).


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Common dishes

Popular catches include tilapia, catfish (hito), milkfish (bangus), grouper (lapu-lapu), shrimp (hipon), prawns (sugpo), mackerel (galunggong, hasa-hasa), swordfish, oysters (talaba), mussels (tahong), clams (halaan and tulya), large and small crabs (alimango and alimasag respectively), game fish, sablefish, tuna, cod, blue marlin, and squid/cuttlefish (both called pusit).

More details at Common dishes


Boracy Island Aklan Islands Philippines
Aklan Islands Philippines

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