Ten datus of Madiaas: mythology or history? 2

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By Ver F. Pacete

As I See It

Thursday, March 6, 2014

MY NOTES are almost complete. This could not be the best output but this could be amusing. The expression “to have your name up in lights” means to have your name on a Broadway marquee. I don’t want to be theatrical but it is best to know the names of the Ten Bornean Datus. Six have wives and four are bachelors.

Datu Puti has Pinangpangan. Datu Sumakuel takes Kapinangan. Datu Bangkaya marries Katorong. Datu Paiborong sleeps with Pabulanan. Datu Padohinog shares bed with Ribongsapaw. Datu Domangsol is devoted to Kabiling. The bachelor datus are Lubay, Dumangsil, Dumalogdog, and Balensucla.

Odtojan is the capital of Bornay (Borneo). It is a beautiful scenic spot and the people that live there love the sea. Makatunao, the king of Bornay, was noted for being avaricious, sensuous and tyrannical. He visited Odtojan and seized the wealth of the people, assaulted their wives and daughters and put to death those who opposed. The ten datus of Odtojan were affected by the cruelty of Makatunao. Instead of shedding blood, they left the place using ten big “binidays” (long sailing ships with platforms and broad outriggers).


The Bornays who called themselves “Bisya” or “Bisaya” agreed to start a kingdom elsewhere. It was the month of “Panglut nga dacu” (great cold – December). After a long sea adventure, the ten Bornean datus landed in the Andona creek adjacent to Sirwagan River in the island of Aninipay (the present day Panay). They were able to meet Datu Marikudo at Sinogbuhan, now a barrio of San Joaquin, Iloilo. Marikudo was the chief of the Ati. He replaced his father because he was brave, strong and agile. He roamed the forest alone, and had no fear of forest spirits . . . “tumawo” (fairy), “talayhang” (giant of the forest), and “bawa” (dragon).

Marikudo was the picture of strength, courage and leadership. He was nearly five feet tall. His muscle bulged and his arms showed power and strength. He was a commanding figure when he stood and a respectable man when sitting at the head of the group of people. He was made to choose a wife. His choice was Maniwantiwan. She came from a humble but respected family. She was a rare beauty, vivacious and graceful. (Before the coming of the Bornays, the Ati men and women were completely nude.) (Someone has to disagree, please.)

Maniwantiwan, a dark copper statue of a young beautiful maiden stood a little over four feet tall. Her head was well formed, her nose was not that flat compared to the ordinary flat nose of the Ati. Her lips were sensuous, but not as heavy as the thick lips of her people. Her chin was well-shaped that indicated a strong character. On top of her nicely sloping forehead was a shock of curly hair crinkled at the tips. From the shoulder, she tapered nicely toward the waist then broadened at the hip. Her breasts were well-formed just like a well sculptured figure. (I hope I am not describing Cleopatra, the Queen of Egypt.)

The marriage ritual was unique. There were drum beaters. At the first beat, Maniwantiwan was running like an antelope towards the hill. Marikudo chased her chosen one. Soon she was caught and he carried her in his arms. At first, there was dramatic refusal but later the flowers melted in the heat of the loving embrace. The simple wedding ceremony was over and the feast started.

When the ten datus meet Marikudo, they expressed their intention to buy his island. The bargain did not come easy but the Bornays were very convincing (and honest). Marikudo met his council of Elders at the “Embidayan.” The Ati were generous and just decided to go up the mountains where food is abundant. Up there, animals are roaming freely and staple roots are bounteous. (To be continued)

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on March 06, 2014.


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