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Sunday, March 13, 2016

The Story Of Alimodian

Alimodian Plaza

Situated at the foothills of a mountainous banana plantation is the progressive town of Alimodian which is about 24 kilometers northwest of Iloilo. Alimodian is the banana capital of Iloilo.

The people of Alimodian recorded four legendary and historical narration of how they got a name for their town.

One of the story is about Agustin Magtanong, founder of the town, to her wife Si Kanugon and to their child Alimudin, named after the Moro leader of Sulu. This leader became the first Catholic sultan of Jolo in 1750 after he was baptized and given a Spanish name, Don Fernando de Ali Mudin.

Kalipayan and her beautiful daughter Kanugon has a small kaingin (slash and burn) in Sibukawan which is near Barangay Cagay. Agustin Magtanong and Kanugon became lovers. The mother of Si Kanugon is against their relationship because the young man is just a mere kaingin man. This does not stop the love of Magtanong. He got forty (40) men in town to get his lover.

Kanugon in her grief decided to end her life. Fortunately, Magtanong was able to caught her ready to drink the poison taken from the roots of wild trees and the lovers decided to elope. They went south together with forty (40) of Magtanong's men and their families. They live in a small village called Ubodan. Later, Ubodan became too small for the fast growing tribe. Magtanong is now ready to establish a town in the plains about three kilometers south of the village of Ubodan. The new community was called Ali Mudin taken from the name of the first and only son of Magtanong and Si Kanugon.

One of the legendary story is the passionate love of Girom, Himaya at Madalig.

There  is also this popular story of "Halin-kamo dyan." During the old days, there is a group of Spaniards who came to the place. While there, the Spaniards saw some men climbing coconut trees. The Spanish strangers asked the men the name of the place however the natives doesn't understand what they are saying. Scared that these Spaniards will be hit in the head by the falling coconuts, a man above the coconut tree shouted: "Halin kamo diyan... halin kamo diyan!" (Go away). The Spaniards heard him saying "Ali mo dyan!". They thought that it was the name of the place. Since then the name of the place was called Alimodian.

The fourth legend is telling that the word Alimodian refers to the name of a small river Cabudian that became the now destroyed and parched river of Alimodian (because of constant quarrying) that flows to the southern part exiting the town. When Magtanong discovered Alimodian, he preferred to build the church and convent near the shore of this river. Magtanong and his men called the place Alimodian from the name of the small river.

These four 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 pseudo carps, which are fashioned by some into necklaces or rosary beads.  

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