Thursday, May 17, 2012


[NOTE: This is Part 2 of what I would like to call "belated book review" of Dr. Ernesto Constantino's presumably now rare book on Isinay. As in singing a song with a guitar, this post is still part of the "pasakalye" started in Part 1. Succeeding parts will contain excerpts from this "nabalitu-an an libru" (Isinay for "golden book").]

Page 1 of Dr. Constantino's ACKNOWLEDGMENT. Note the rubber stamped mark on the bottom of the page: THE TYLOR LIBRARY, SOCIAL ANTHROPOLOGY, UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD. This was where a copy was sourced by UP Baguio Anthropologist Ikin Salvador-Amores who said she found it about to be discarded by the said library.


I DON'T KNOW about my fellow Isinays, but when I first learned of the book as mentioned above, among of the questions that played in my mind were the following:

Who is Ernesto Constantino? Which part of Dupax, or Bambang, or Aritao did he come from? 

If he is not an Isinay, how in the world was he able to write a book like that? What qualifications did he have to come out with so thick a volume (561 pages!) about Isinay?

Definitely intrigued, I Google-searched "Ernesto Constantino." And here's what I got from his curriculum vitae in --

Academic Rank: University Professor
Primary Academic Unit: Department of Linguistics
College of Social Sciences and Philosophy
University of the Philippines 

Date and Place of Birth: 
August 25, 1930   
Sto. Domingo, Nueva Ecija 

Educational Background:
AB English (cum laude), U.P., 1953
PhD Linguistics, Indiana University, 1959
Summer Program in Linguistics, Linguistic Society of America, University of Michigan, Summers 1956, 1958
Post-doctoral studies in Malayopolynesian Linguistics, Yale University, 1958-59
Graduate Studies in Linguistics, Cornell University, 1955-56

Positions Held:
University Professor,  U.P., 1993-1999
Professor of Linguistics, U.P., 1969-1992
Associate Professor of Linguistics, U.P., 1965-69
Assistant Professor of Linguistics, U.P., 1959-65
Graduate Assistant, U.P., 1954-55
Student Assistant, U.P., 1952-54
Chairman, Department of Linguistics, 1963-72, 1982-85
Chairman, Department of Filipino and Philippine Literature, 1969-74
Visiting Research Professor of Linguistics, Institute for the Study of the Languages and Cultures of Asia and
     Africa, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, Tokyo, Japan, 1981-82
Senior Specialist (in Linguistics), East-West Center, Honolulu, Hawaii, 1968-69
Associate Linguist and Associate Director, Philippine Languages Project, Pacific and Asian Linguistics
     Institute, University of Hawaii, 1968-69
Fellow, John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, 1963-64
Fellow, Southeast Asia Program, Cornell University, 1955-56
Fellow, U.P., 1955-59.

Other services or contributions:

I was able to contribute significantly to the adoption  and development of the Filipino national language. The 1971 Constitutional Convention adopted the proposal, popularly known as  the "universal approach", submitted by the UP Department of Filipino and Philippine Literature and the Department of Linguistics, both of which I was the chairman from 1969 to 1972, for the development of Filipino as the national language of the Philippines in place of Pilipino. Subsequently, the 1986 Constitutional Commission adopted Filipino as the national language of the country even though as early as 1970 the UP had already adopted and started using this language as the national language. Thus the Filipino national language is the distinct contribution of  the UP whose linguists were singularly consulted by the 1986 Constitutional Commission for the adoption of this language   by the 1987 Constitution as the national language of the Philippines.
          I was one of the three U.P. faculty members who made decisive contributions to the framing of the final version of the law entitled "AN ACT CREATING THE COMMISSION OF THE  FILIPINO LANGUAGE, PRESCRIBING ITS POWERS, DUTIES, AND  FUNCTIONS, APPROPRIATING FUNDS THEREFOR, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES."
         I have attended meetings and conferences in linguistics and Austronesian languages in the USA, Great Britain, Japan, Malaysia, Thailand, Moscow and Jakarta in which I read papers. I have attended far more meetings and conferences (including symposiums, seminars and workshops) in the Philippines on linguistics, Philippine languages, language in education, language in science and technology, folklore, and other topics. In almost all these academic gatherings, I was a paper reader, or a discussant, or a reactor.

(Continued in Part 3)

Ernesto Constantino's ISINAY TEXTS AND TRANSLATIONS (Part 1)

In case I would not be able to finish (before my 'expiry date' comes) the Isinay-English and English-Isinay dictionaries that I have been working on since 2008, and someone or some concerned group more able and hardworking would continue the 'Isinay revitalization thru dictionaries' mission I have committed myself to, I strongly recommend that he/she/they get a copy of UP Professor Constantino's Isinay book. It is not only a pure mother lode of Isinay vocabularies from Aritao, Bambang, and Dupax -- it is also a paradise of folktales, songs, documents, and historical bits that has yet to be fully explored and enjoyed by those who care for Isinay country and its culture.

*  *  *
THE ABOVE OPENING may be a mouthful, I know, but it might as well sum up what I wanted to say about Dr. Ernesto Constantino's Isinay Texts and Translations, a 561-page book published in December 1982 by the Institute for the Study of Languages and Cultures of Asia and Africa, with office at Kita-ku, Tokyo, Japan.

A photo capture of the cover page of the book, along with some of Isinay Bird's paraphernalia in attempting to compile Isinay words en route to what may yet be the first comprehensive Isinay-English dictionary.

I first came to know of the existence of the book in 2008 when I Google-searched for any material about Isinay available in the Internet. The internet hits I got showed a greenish and unadorned cover of the book and said it is available in this library and that.

I found no book review whatsoever was made of the book, and the sites that allowed a sneak preview of its pages did not go beyond its table of contents and a snippet here and there of the inside materials.

For contents, here's what I found in --


    A. From Aritao = 14
      1) Tale of the Turtle and the Monkey = 14
      2) Prince Juan of Two Spans = 22
      3) The Deer and the Snail = 40
      4) Beautiful and the Beast = 46
      5) Juan the Oracle = 64
      6) The Salt Springs in Salinas = 76
      7) The Princess of the River Marange = 82
      8) The Mermaid in the River = 88
      9) Origin of the Name Aritao = 92
      10) Story of the Isinays in the Town of Aritao = 94
    B. From Dupax = 102
      11) Tale of the Turtle and the Monkey = 102
      12) The Bird Called Sippayut = 110
      13) Three Bachelor Friends = 112
      14) Little Pedro and Big Pedro = 118
      15) The Legend of Ping­ao = 120
      16) The Story of the Ghost in Abannatan = 122
      17) The Story of a Ghost = 126
      18) The Princess of the Dampol Bridge = 126
      19) Secret Story of Saint Vicente Ferrer = 128
      20) Saint Vicente Ferrer = 132
      21) The Name of the Town of Dupax = 134
      22) Barrio Banila = 134
    C. From Bambang = 138
      23) Mr. Snail, Mr. Bumblebee and Mr. Dragonfly = 138
      24) Juan the Pitch­Coin Player = 140
      25) The Dog That Knew How to Talk = 146
      26) The Town of Bambang = 154
      27) The Name of the Town of Bambang = 156
      28) Story of the Town of Bambang = 158
      29) Story of the Town of Bambang = 162
      30) A Short History of the Town of Bambang = 170
      31) Origin of the Magat River = 172
    A. Riddles = 176
      a. "Let's Tell Riddles" = 176
      b. The Riddles = 178
    B. Proverbs = 190
      a. "Listen to What I'm Going to Tell You" = 190
      b. The Proverbs = 192
      c. Proverbs from the Comedia ­Estoque­ Isinay, Life of Don Juan Pugut of the Kingdom of Escocia = 200
    1) Song of the Suitor = 204
    2) Who Owns This House? = 204
    3) Before You Stood Up = 206
    4) Here is My Humble Self = 208
    5) Farewell = 216
    6) Like the Light of a Candle = 218
    7) Oh Star! = 220
    8) Where are You? = 220
    9) Pity My Heart = 222
    10) Beloved Rosing = 224
    11) My Promise = 224
    12) The Happiness on Earth = 226
    13) We Who are Merciful = 228
    14) Lullaby: My Child will Go to Sleep Now = 228
    15) Baliwaway: Neneng, Just Go to Sleep Please = 230
    16) We are Three Women = 232
    17) We Who are Here Suffering = 232
    18) God is in You = 236
    19) Hymn to Our Mother Saint Catalina Virgin and Martyr = 236
    20) The Angels = 244
    21) Lovely Night = 246
    A. "My Life" = 250
      1) Eufracio Toje = 250
      2) Juan Mallo = 250
      3) Magdalena Larosa­ Aliaga = 254
      4) Ambrosio Pating y Umamos = 262
      5) Carlina Liquigan Felix = 272
      6) Anastacio Acosta = 274
      7) Narcisa TungPalan = 276
    B. "My Experiences During the Japanese Period" = 278
      8) Juan Mallo = 278
      9) Magdalena Larosa­Aliaga = 286
      10) Gavino Madumi = 292
    A. Old Customs of the Isinays Concerning Marriage = 300
      1) Eufronio Larosa, Sr. = 330
      2) Edgar L. Daniel = 320
    B. Old Customs of the Isinays Concerning Death = 330
      1) Eufronio Larosa, Sr. = 330
      2) Edgar L. Daniel = 336
    C. Documents = 344
      a. The Patayav for Eufronio Larosa, Jr.(1934) = 344
      b. The Testament of Margarita Larosa. Granada(1925) = 352
    1) First Isinay Diary
: Diary of the Quiangan Troop This Present Year Which is One Thousand Eight Hundred and Ten = 362
    2) Second Isinay Diary
: The Things Which the Alferez Did Which We Did not Like = 400
    3) Third Isinay Diary:
Diary Which Records the Things Done by the Troop Sent by the Lord Commander Don Juan Mallo from the town of Bagabag on Order of the Lord Mayor and on Order also of the Superior = 414
    Making the Sign of the Cross = 524
    Our Father = 524
    Hail Mary = 526
    I Believe = 528
    The Salutation = 530
    Commandments of God = 532
    Commandments of Our Mother Holy Church = 534
    Sacraments of Our Mother Holy Church = 536
    Articles = 536
    The Sins from Which the Other Sins Originate are Seven = 540
    The Virtues Which Oppose the Seven Sins are Seven = 542
    The Acts of Mercy = 542
    Blessings of the People = 544
    The Powers of the Soul are Three = 546
    The Senses of the Body are Five = 548
    The Enemies of the Soul are Three = 548
    The Virtues Which are Called Theological are Three = 548
    The Virtues Which are Called Cardinal are Four = 548
    The Destinations of Us People are Four = 550
    The Gifts of the Holy Spirit are Seven = 550
    The Fruits of the Holy Spirit are Twelve = 550
    The Gifts of the Body of People Shared from God are Four = 552
    The Whips of God on People on This Earth are Three = 552
    The Acts Which are Done in Payment Sins are Three = 554
    The Sins Which Clamor for Retribution from God are Four = 554
    The Sins Which are Clearly Opposed to God the Holy Spirit are Four = 554
    The Sacramental Acts Which Can Cause the Forgiveness of Small Sins are Nine = 556
    The Confession = 558
    Manner of Repentance = 558


Thursday, May 3, 2012

History of Dupax (Part 8): Destruction of Lives, Properties and Institutions During the Wars

[NOTE: This is the last part of a series of historical texts from the unpublished HISTORY AND CULTURAL LIFE OF DUPAX (not dated, author unknown, 11 pages typescript).]

DURING THE Philippine Revolution, Dupax did not lose so much life and property. Practically all the work animals of the people, however, were either slaughtered for food by both the Katipuneros and the Spaniards or confiscated for work.

A young carabao being axed prior to butchering as part of the festivities during the Dupax del Sur town fiesta in 2011. Events like this must have occurred by the hundreds in Dupax during the Philippine Revolution since the town used to have plenty of carabaos.

Between 1941 and 1945 the only lives lost were those caught and suspected guerillas and spies. Almost all of the houses and buildings, however, did not escape the bombs and destruction made by the retreating Japanese soldiers.

With the people helping themselves and the War Damage Funds from the generous Americans, reconstruction and rehabilitation took place. About 90% of all the families in Dupax got war damage claims from P100 to a little more than P1,000. These were payments made for destroyed houses and furnishings and lost animals.

History of Dupax (Part 7): Important Facts, Incidents or Events [1811-1946]

[NOTE: Still continuing on our "re-publication" of the History and Cultural Life of Dupax script, the text in italics are again the annotations made by your Isinay Bird.]

1811 – There appeared in the firmaments a comet which lasted from October to December. [NOTE: My Internet/Wikipedia search revealed that, indeed, one comet appeared that year. Called the Great comet and discovered by H. Flaugergues of France, it graced the evening sky on March 25, 1811 and stayed on March 28, March 31 and April 1, then resumed April 11 and “became a very bright object during October 1811.”]

1812 – At about 8:00 in the evening of August 17 the bridge over Abanatan creek collapsed. The bridge was reconstructed in 1819 when the work began on May 5 of the same year. Since then the bridge has been alright.

1880 – Founding of Ineangan, the largest barrio in the municipality, by Rodolfo Dueng.

1882 – There was an earthquake which lasted for about a month. Daily masses were said outside the church. It was said that at times water from jars spilled out because of the violent shakes caused by the earthquakes. [NOTE: I Google-searched records of earthquakes in 1882 but only got one that says earthquakes occurred in Oregon, USA that year. The earthquake-causing event closest to the Philippines and to 1882 was the eruption of Indonesia’s Mount Krakatoa. This volcano exploded on May 20, 1883 -- its “blasts were heard 4,500 kilometers away” -- and had minor eruptions that continued from May to August that year. I guess that the one-year discrepancy was probably caused by human lapse in the recall or that an error was made in the writing of the year.]

1892 – Erection of a building which was exclusively for the girls.

1898 – August 3-4. A fierce battle between the Philippine Revolutionary Forces (Katipunan) and the Spaniards took place. The Spaniards and their followers were entrenched in the church yard. The Katipuneros were under Col. Calixto Villacorta and were joined by many citizens from Dupax.

1898 – November 19. The American Forces (Cavalry) entered the town without any resistance.

1901 – Don Mariano Cutaran was made the first president of Dupax by the Americans. The first school where English was taught was also organized and established.

1915 – President Genaro Evaristo began the construction of the Gabaldon building of the Dupax Elementary School. It was completed during the administration of Don Torcuato Albano. The building was destroyed during the war and was rebuilt with war damage funds from America.

The Gabaldon building a few years before it was demolished and wiped out from the landscape of Dupax. (Photo by Jose C. Latar)

1927 – Dupax was linked with other towns of Nueva Vizcaya by better roads. This was largely due to the efforts of the then incumbent Governor Alfonso Castañeda who is from Dupax.

1942 – On June 25, 1942 the people of Dupax first saw the Japanese Imperial Forces.

1946 – June 6. The American Liberation Forces arrived in Dupax. There were no more Japanese soldiers reached as the Japs escaped to the mountains during the raids conducted the months before.

History of Dupax (Part 6): Important Facts, Incidents or Events [1726-1778]

[NOTE: Except for the text written in italics, the following were lifted verbatim from the typewritten document History and Cultural Life of Dupax (not dated, author/s anonymous, publisher not indicated).

THE FOLLOWING are some important facts, incidents or events that took place in Dupax which could be recorded:

1726 – Fathers Nicolas Norbante and Agustin San Juan, Agustinian misssionariesarrrived in Dupax. They found the natives hostile.

1729 – Arrival of the first Spanish soldiers who placed the people under control.

1731 – April 22 Founding of Dupax

1735 – Opening of the sitio of U-yu and converting the place into ricefields with irrigation canals under Capitan Ajamus. [NOTE: The U-yu mentioned here is most probably sitio I-iyo that is now called barangay Palobotan. Ajamus, an Igorot, was head – then called “Capitan” – of Dupax in 1735. He was succeeded by Tiun Pising, an Isinay, in 1736. Preceding them were Mandalito, an Ilongot, in 1732; Ibarrat, an Igorot, in 1733; and Inyu, an Ilongot, in 1734. The ricefields must have included the ones in Dalijan where until recently stone walls called “tuping” lined up one inner ricepaddy. The “sitio” (the equivalent of the present “purok”) was smaller than a “barrio” (now called barangay).]

1737 – Opening of the sitio of Allawan as ricefield under Capitan Laccay. [NOTE: Allawan is still a rice-growing area between Santa Maria and Barangay Mangayang. Capitan Laccay, probably an Isinay who was later given the first name Diego, was the fifth recorded head of Dupax. He again served as Capitan in 1760.]

1745 – The sitio of Uanguen was opened into ricefields under Capitan Agustin Aboloj. [NOTE: Uanguen is now called and spelled Wangeon. It is located between Malasin and Lamo and is now part of Dupax del Norte.]

1749 – The Patron Saint of the town was changed to San Vicente Ferrer. San Vicente Ferrer is still the Patron Saint of Dupax today.

1775 – Father Manuel Corripio, a missionary of the Dominican Order, came from Pangasinan and began construction of the town’s Catholic church. The work lasted for four years with free labor. [NOTE: It is probable that Father Corripio brought with him trusted assistants from Pangasinan. As a Dominican Spanish friar, he must have also imported brick-makers and church construction workers from Cagayan which was then the seat of the Nueva Segovia and had older churches than those in Nueva Vizcaya. The bellfry or campanario took much longer to construct – the first tier in 1772, the second tier in 1776, and the third tier and cuppola in 1886.  As implied, the “free labor” was unpaid and was thus actually “forced labor” (called “polo”) as was the norm during the Spanish colonial period of the Philippines.]

1778 – Capitan Dionicio Telmo caused the construction of a permanent bridge over the Abanatan creek. This creek divides the poblacion into two districts. [NOTE: The bridge later became known as Dampol and is reportedly one of the oldest existing Spanish-era and brick bridges in the Philippines. Formerly called Districts 1 and 2, the districts are now officially named Barangay Dopaj and Barangay Domang, respectively.]

History of Dupax (Part 5): Historical Sites, Structures, Buildings, Old Ruins, etc.

The construction of the town’s Catholic Church, a living monument of the Spanish occupation, began in 1775 under the direction of Father Manuel Corripio, a missionary of the Dominican Order and who came from Pangasinan. It was originally roofed with pan tiles but were replaced with galvanized iron not long.

[NOTE: The mural of the St. Vincent Ferrer Church in one of the buildings of the adjacent St. Mary's Dupax carries a historical account that, among other things, says: The cornerstone of the church and convent commenced in 1771, it was completed 1776. Before that, the sacristy behind the convent was finished in 1771, and the convent was later completed in 1776. The bell tower was built by stages and completed gradually for a span of 15 years: the first in 1773, the second in 1776, the third in 1786, and the fourth in 1788.]

This 1954 vintage photo of the St. Vincent Ferrer Catholic church of Dupax shows the pockmarks created by bullets fired at the church during World War II. (Photo from the Isinay Friends Facebook group, contributed by a member)

The church was badly damaged during the War of Liberation from the Japanese Imperial Forces. It was reconstructed in 1946-1947 by Father Jose Anseew, a Belgian missionary who was able to raise sufficient funds with his initiative and resourcefulness.

Old folks recall the existence of a brick-work school building in town which was exclusively for girls during the later part of the Spanish regime. The building was constructed in 1892 and destroyed by a very strong typhoon in 1926. Before its destruction it housed the Municipal Government of Dupax.

At the town plaza at present is a cylindrical tower-like construction of bricks which used to be the foundation of a very tall flagpole where once the Spanish national color proudly flew.

The Dupax municipal building, a semi-permanent one was constructed during the administration of Don Tranquilino Orden. It was able to survive World War II with little damage but not the Huks’ fire and propaganda on August 27, 1950.


This little known brick structure at the northern corner of the Dupax del Sur plaza was erected in 1878 under the church leadership of Fr. Antonio Xabet. Years before the Philippine Revolution, it  used to hold the flag of Spain, signifying that Dupax was under Spanish rule.

History of Dupax (Part 4): Town Heads 1898-1951

ON AUGUST 16, 1898 the following officials were elected in compliance with decrees from the Revolutionary Government:
Don Genaro Evaristo – President
Don Alfonso Castañeda – Vice President
Don Mariano Cutaran – Police Deputy
Don Florentino Reyes – Finance Deputy
Don Pascual Pating – Justice Deputy

The following were the heads of the town during the American occupation:
1901-1902 – Don Mariano Cutaran – President
1903-1904 – Don Genaro Evaristo – President
1905-1907 – Don Alfonso Castañeda – President
1908-1909 – Don Genaro Evaristo – President
1910-1911 – Don Marcelo Doctor – President
1912-1913 – Don Daniel Galeon – President
1914-1915 – Don Genaro Evaristo – President
1916-1918 – Don Torcuato Albano – President
1919-1921 – Don Inocencio Madalang – President
1922-1925 – Don Jose Dueng – President
1926-1928 – Don Inocencio Zuson – President
1929-1934 – Don Tranquilino Orden – President

Commonwealth Period:
1935-1941 – Don Servillano Palugod – Mayor

Japanese Occupation:
Servillano Palugod – Mayor
Domingo Ramel – Mayor
Dominador C. Boada – Acting Mayor
Juan Castañeda – Mayor

Post-Liberation Period:
1945 – Mr. Servillano Palugod
1946-1947 – Mr. Benito Allaga (Appointed)
1947-1951 – Mr. Segundino Nilo (Elected)
1951-1955Mr. Cirilo V. Magaway (Elected)
1955-1959 – Mr. Eriberto Albano
1959-present – Mr. Pacifico Palugod
ISINAY BIRD’S NOTE: The text in red were not part of the typescript but were handwritten insertions in ink the penmanship of which I recognized to be those of my father, Vicente M. Castro.