Friday, September 3, 2010

pan hay

Do you know how our Island came to be known as Panay Island?
In 1569, the Portuguese bombarded the first Spanish settlement of Miguel Lopez de Legaspi in Cebu which left the Spaniards famished. In fact a historian by the name of John Foreman described them like walking skeletons because they were left to eat cats, snakes and rats for months.

Coming to the Island, the soldiers shouted out in glee “Pan! hay en esta isla” because food was found in abundance. Later they came to Ylong-Ylong, as Iloilo was then known, and they were attended to by the natives because of their sorry condition. However, after recovering their strength, Legaspi and his men took advantage of the hospitality of the natives and forced them to become their slaves (beware of foreigners, to this day we never learned from our experience). 

The natives, however, fought back and the Spaniards were forced to flee. The group came to Aklan where the natives were more receptive to them, baptizing in a day a thousand natives. That is why to this day, the place is called Kalibo which came from the word Sanglibo (one thousand) commemorating the ready acceptance of the Akeanons of the Catholic faith. 

 Again the natives were duped by the foreigners who forced the young men of the place to be trained as soldiers of Spain to fight and later conquer Maynilad, while the women and older men were forced to work for food.

Pan! hay . . . There is food.

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