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Thursday, December 10, 2009

How Alimodian Got Its Name

               The name Alimodian may sound strange and awkward at first hearing. But the fact is, three versions are vying to be regarded as true account of the origin of the town's name.
               Some old folks in Alimodian, believe that the history of Alimodian town cannot be completely told without making mention of Kalipayan and her fair daughter Si Kanugon.with a few other natives, Kalipayan and Kanugon had a kaingin patch in a place called Sibukawan near the present site of Barangay Cagay.
               The hero of this narrative, Agustin Magtanong, was in love with Si Kanugon. Kalipayan, however, was opposed to the idea of giving her daughter's hand in marriage to one who, she claimed was a worthless young man whose only means of livelihood was tilling a small kaingin patch of upland rice.
               This made Magtanong even more resolved to get Si Kanugon by all means. He gathered forty husky men about him and planned for their next move to kidnap the object of his affection.
               On the other hand, Si Kanugon, grieved over the frustrated romance with Magtanong, decided to end it al. Magtanong, however, caught Si Kanugon in the act of taking poison from wild roots. After a brief and hurried exchange of loving words, the lovers decided finally to elope. They went south where, together with Magtanong's forty male followers and their respective families, founded the village of Ubodan.
Ubodan later proved too small a place for the fast growing tribe. Magtanong then prepared another plan to found a town on a plan about three kilometers south of the village of Ubodan.
               The town was named Ali Mudin after Magtanong's first born son with Si Kanugon. That was in 1753. The word "Alimodian" was merely a corruption of the original name given to what is now the Municipality of Alimodian.
               Another version states, that when the founders of the town wanted to break away from the Municipality of Ogtong, now Oton, they had a dilemma as to where the poblacion would be built. Those on the northern end of the twon, now Sitio of Bagumbayan, wanted the poblacion to be located in their place for some obvious reasons. But, of course, the leaders from what is now the Sitio of Balabago in the southern end of the town was not amenable to this. They also wanted the poblacion to be in their place.
Therefore, they had to reach a compromise. They decided to haul logs from the beach of Oton and agreed that in whatever part along the way the rope would snap and break, there the poblacion should stand.
Luckily for the town leaders, one of the ropes snapped on the bank of the Cabudian Creek, where the present town plaza is located. Consequently, the men built their houses around the plaza where the rope was broken, as what was agreed upon. The name, Alimodian was derived from Cabudian Creek, a creek that was flowing near the plaza.
              Oppositionists to this theory of the name's origin ask what if the rope never snapped, or what if it broke on a less suitable place like for example, the slope of a hill? Would the men remain true to their promises?
              The third story is perhaps the most popular one. This is the version that appeared in the anthology of the origin of the towns in Iloilo prepared by Mr. Romulo Pangan, a Pilipino and music professor of West Visayas State University, Iloilo City.
               It tells of how a group of Spanish soldiers called upon a native gathering coconuts from atop of the palms, about the name of the place. Ignorant of the Spanish language and impatient, that he may hit the soldiers with the heavy fruits, the native shouted back, "Halin kamo diyan." The Spaniards, in turn, ignorant of the native dialect, took it as the coconut gatherer's answer and they caled the place "Halin Kamo Diyan." The present name evolved from the phrase.
              According to Mr. Esteban Amparo, a local newspaperman and historian, of the three versions, the love tale of Magtanong and Si Kanugon is the most plausible in point of historical fact, "Halin Kamo Diyan" version, he said, follows the usual pattern of the Spaniards in naming places, thus suggesting the criticism that it might have been an imitation of other tales of such kind.
               These three versions suffer from a lack of strong historical basis. Recent documents discovered by local historians, however, have ascertained that the town's name was actually derived from alimodia or alimodias, the Visayan name of Coix lachryma-Jobi, a grain-bearing tropical plant of the grass family that is ubiquitous in Alimodian. Alimodian residents of the present time know it as puyas. Elsewhere, it is also called Job's tears because of the shape of its hard-shelled pseudocarps, which are fashioned by some into necklaces or rosary beads. 

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