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Monday, February 29, 2016

About Panay Island












One of the largest island in the Philippines, Panay consists of the following provinces: Aklan, Antique, Capiz and Iloilo. Guimaras was formerly a sub-province of Iloilo until 1992 when they became independent province.

Panay has had several names.

Before 1212, Panay was called Simsiman. The community is located at the shores of the Ulian river and was linked by a creek. The creek provided salt to the Ati people as well as the animals which licks the salt out of the salty water. The sim means simsimin or to lick thus the place was called Simsiman.

During the time of Datu Pulpulan, father of the Ati chief Marikudo, the island was called Aninipay from words "ani" to harvest and "nipay," a hairy grass abundant in the whole Panay. The hairs of this grass though short is very sharp and easy to prick the skin but very difficult to remove. Once the hair sticks to the skin it can cause an unusually itchy feeling. For this reason, Datu Pulpulan enacted a law that whoever among the Atis will use the nipay grass to endanger others will face death as punishment.

The victim who was pricked with the nipay grass hair will feel uneasy. His or her skin will be swollen that will also be very itchy. The hair will only go deeper into the skin once the victim scratches it so its advisable not to scratch the affected area. The only way to remove the nipay grass hair on your skin is by using soft clothe dipped in coconut oil and rub gently on the affected skin and the nipay hair will easily be remove from the skin and stick to the greasy cloth.

When the Malay settlers arrived, they call the island Madiaas after the highest mountain in Panay thought to be sacred dwellings of the gods called bathala and where the dead thought to be judged. The picturesque mountain which stood majestically in the area was thought to be the sacred place of Bululakaw, their supreme god or bathala. The island was so named by the Malay settlers due to the splendid beauty and allure of Mount Madiaas.

A Spaniard named Gonzalo Ronquillo reached the island and gave the name Pan hay which means "there's a bread (Pan)"  in the island. The place was then called Pan-hay which eventually became Panay.

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