Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Ilocano Trademarks - The Rolling 'R'

Q: What is the Ilocano for helicopter?
A: Chopperrrr!
Q: How about traffic?
A: Bumperrrr to bumperrrr!

Of course this is a joke. It tries to humorize how Ilocanos rolled the 'r' in the end of a syllable. There is also this song "Bumper to Bumper" by Bituin Escalante which exaggerates the rolling 'r' in words like passenger, flyover, etc. This has became an identity of Ilocano pronounciation. Ilocanos were not aware about this but non-Ilocanos often notice it and try to exaggerate it when they mimicked the heavy 'r' accent.

They say, Ilocanos were identified when they speak because of the rolling 'r' pronounciation. I was amazed when Deo Macalma, an Ilocano anchorman of DZRH in Manila once identified a caller as a fellow Ilocano when the caller spoke the word importante.

The 'r' is really a trademark of the Ilocanos and how they speak it. It can be found in many words of the Ilocano vocabulary. Comparing to other ethno-linguistic groups in the Philippines like those natives of Cordillera which can not pronounce 'r' and the Tagalogs which has a very few 'r' in their vocabulary (when the borrowed foreign words are not included). It maybe considered that the Spanish has a heavy influence in the Ilocano language. The Spanish has the rolling 'r' accent. Spanish verbs (which all ends in 'r') is very numerous in the present Ilocano language. Words like abandonar, kuntar (contar), kortar (cortar), labar (lavar), proponer, pundir, eksplikar (explicar), desidir, komprar are some of the derived Spanish verbs which are now part of the present Ilocano vocabulary.

And yes! Ilocanos always stress the 'r'...

Ilocano Heroes - Juan Luna, The Great Filipino Painter

Juan Luna was a patriot, but he was more known as the great Filipino painter if not the greatest. He was born on October 23, 1857 in Badoc, Ilocos Norte to parents Joaquin Luna and Laurena Novicio.
He received his first education at the Ateneo de Manila Municipal. He became an apprentice officer at the Escuela Nautica de Manila on 1873 and received his certificate as a seaman at age 17. While pursuing this course he took painting lessons at the Academia de Dibujo y Pintura of Fr. Agustin Saiz.

Later in 1877 he left for Barcelona for advanced painting lessons as he was encouraged by Don Lorenzo Guerrero, his first painting tutot. He entered Escuela de Bellas Artes de San Fernando in Madrid where he received the school's only academic prize at that year. He also took private lesons under Alejo Vera, a famous contemporary painter in Spain. Vera took him in high regard and brought him to Rome to undertake certain commissions.

In Rome, Luna was exposed to the immortal works of the Renaissance. In here he painted his "Daphne e Cleo" where he received a silver palette from the Liceo Artistico de Manila. He exhibited several works at the National Exposition of Fine Arts in 1881 where he received silver medal with "The Death of Cleopatra".

While in Rome, Luna worked on the Spoliarium. It was said that the scene in this painting was based on the situation of the Filipinos under the Spanish government. He entered it at the National Exposition of Fine Arts in 1884 where he won one of the three gold medals. Because of his growing fame, he received several government commissions. With these commissions that he produced his many great canvases like the Peuple et Rois, Espa Filipnas and the Battle of Lepanto where he won his second gold medal at the Barcelona Exposition.

In 1885, he moved and established a studio in Paris. His studio became a gathering place of the Filipino community there. It was here that Jose Rizal together with other Filipinos organized the Indios Bravos. The following year, 1886, he married Maria de la Paz Paz Pardo de Tavera, a prominent Filipina, with whom he had a son, Andres.
"Parisian Life", also know as "Interim d'un Café" was painted in 1892. It won a silver medal at the St. Louis Exposition (World Fair) held in 1904.

At the center of the delicately painted masterpiece is a young and pretty woman languidly sitting in sofa. But more important, historically, is the scene at the side of the painting which shows our national hero, Dr. Jose P. Rizal, Dr. Ariston Bautista-Lin and Dr. Juan C. Luna in a vivid conversation.
Luna`s marriage ended in tragedy. In a fit of jealousy over his suspicion of infidelity on the part of his wife, he killed his wife and her mother and wounded his brother-in-law, Felix, on September 23, 1892. He was acquitted of the charge of parricide and murder by the French court on February 7, 1893. He was subsequently convicted in 1893 and sentenced to pay the victims' immediate kin but one franc each for their loss, as the court had deemed the murders a crime of passion. Later he moved with his son to Madrid, where he finished few paintings.
After an absence of 17 years he returned to the Philippines on April 27, 1894. While in Manila, he finished some Philippine scenes. Early in 1896, he again departed, this time for Japan. He returned a few weeks after the Cry of Balintawak. On the evening of September 16, 1896, he was arrested and confined for complicity in the Katipunan revolt and imprisoned at Fort Santiago. He was among those pardoned during the birthday of King Alfonso XIII on May 27, 1897. The following month, he left for Spain to work for the release of his brother Antonio.
In 1898, after the United States defeated Spain in the Spanish-American War, the executive board of the Philippine revolutionary government appointed him as a delegate to the Paris convention, working for the diplomatic recognition of the Philippine Republic. When the Treaty of Paris was signed on December 10, 1899, he was named a member of the delegation to Washington, D.C. to press for the recognition of the Philippine sovereignity and independence.
Upon hearing the death of his brother Antonio, Luna hurriedly returned to Hong Kong from Europe. He suddenly died on December 7, 1899, because of heart attack. He was buried in Hong Kong. His remains were exhumed in 1920 and were kept in the house of his son, to be later transferred to a niche at the Crypt Chapel of San Agustin.
Among his last paintings was El Pacto de Sangre which won a first prize in Paris and at the St. Louis Exposition, USA in 1904, five years after his death.

Juan Luna - an Ilocano pride. His genius in painting showed the Ilocano artistry and his love of the country.

Ilocano Heroes - Diego Silang

Perhaps he was the greatest Ilocano revolutionary leader during the Spanish colonization.
Diego Silang y Andaya was born in Aringay, Pangasinan (now an area in Aringay/Caba, La Union) on December 16, 1730.
He was a messenger of a Spanish priest in Vigan, Ilocos Sur and travelled to Manila from Ilocos in line of his work. During these travels that he saw the many colonial injustices and these lead him for rebellion. He then wanted to end these abuses and to overthrow the Spanish government in Ilocos and establish an independent Ilocos nation.
When the British came and captured Manila from the Spanish, he conspired with them by offering his help to lead Ilocano forces against the Spanish in the North. In turn he was appointed as governor of Ilocos in their place and promised him military reinforcement.
He lead the attack of Vigan and imprisoned the priests when they resisted his demand to leave Ilocos and transfer the government to Ilocano natives. He victored many more battles over Ilocos.

But Ilocos was not freed as he wanted under his leadership because he was killed on May 28, 1763, by an Spanish-Ilocano mestizo, Miguel Vicos, who was one of his friends.
After his death, the revolt was continued by his wife Gabriela.

Diego Silang - an Ilocano pride. His shown bravery and patriotism is an inspiration to every Filipino.

Ilocano Heroes - Pedro Almazan, King of Ilocos

He was known as the leader of the first Ilocano revolt against the Spaniards. He was the rich leader of San Nicolas. Along with the leader of Bangui, Juan Magsanop, they planned secretly to free Ilocos from the Spaniards. When the Pangasinense revolt led by Andres Malong in 1660 and the Spaniard troops left Ilocos to fought the revolt in Pangasinan they find the best time to . They contacted another leader, Gaspar Cristobal, the chief of Laoag. Cristobal burned the church of Laoag as a sign of his support. They also sought the help of the Kalingas also to kill the Spaniards.

The Ilocanos and the Kalingas crowned Pedro Almazan with a stolen crown of a statue from the burned church. They proclaimed "Long live Manong Almazan, the King of Ilocos". The people waved banners in the street.
The revolt reached the towns of Cabicungan (now Claveria) and Pata (now Claveria) in Cagayan.
On February 1661, the revolt was known by the Spaniards in southern part of Ilocos who were then celebrating the victory over the Zambals and Pangasinenses. They sent a large troop led by Lorenzo Arqueros along with some natives of Cagayan and Southern Ilocos and attacked Almazan's troops. They were taken in sudden so Almazan retreated his troop to the forest. The Spaniards followed them with the help of the natives. Juan Magsanop's group were the first to be captured. Before the Spaniards captured Magsanop, he killed himself with a knife.
When Almazan's group was surrounded next. Filled with rage, Almazan attacked the enemy and died while fighting.
With the two leaders dead the rest of the troop escaped and the revolt ended.

Pedro Almazan - an Ilocano pride. His love of his native land that lead him fighting the enemies until his last breath is a good picture of patriotism.