Alamada, was formerly known as Ragayan and coined before a great warrior Datu Amaybulyok Alamada, was reach with natural resources. It was a vast rain forest filled with huge trees and wild life to include undomesticated boar and deer. Life during that time was simple. The Iranons were the first native occupying the area ruled by a warrior-leader of the community. He served to be the chieftain that gives command to whatever directions they tend to pursue for the welfare, progress and development of the community.
It was a public land as declared by then President Elpidio Quirino on March 10, 1953 and was a resettlement site under Proclamation No. 376. After its declaration as a resettlement area, President Quirino designated the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to implement the “Land for the Landless Program”.
In continuity with the proclamation made by President Quirino, prior to the creation of the municipality, President Ramon Magsaysay considered the area as pilot project for resettlement for the HUK surrenderees where the Genio Farm was established in 1954 and known to be the largest EDCOR (Economic Development Corps) farm with 863 settler-families cultivating an area of 4,959 hectares. As the EDCOR model farm settlement with the greatest per capita productivity, it is visited annually by hundreds of Philippine and foreign dignitaries and observers. Massive road opening were made for accessibility to interior areas tilled for farming.
The Iranons claimed the kingdom to be their property and according to old folks, they trade in land ownership with goods like rice and sardines for parcels of land. Iranons embraced the settlers who came from Luzon and the Visayas and lived harmoniously. Land during that time was not an issue considering that the ratio of land against the native and the settlers is very high.
Natives And The Settlers And Their Culture
Iranons are the original natives of the area who have been very particular on their traditions and culture and up to now they kept on passing to younger generations their beliefs and lifestyles. Their lifestyle was simple. They often wander from one area to another to do hunting of wild animals and till land for them to grow plants for foods. They usually live beside the river for water is very important in their everyday living. The river is the source of their food and used as drinking water, laundry and bathing.
Iranon clans have been very meticulous in tracing their descendants calling it SALSILA- an act of making family tree. It is believed that a sultan can never be enthroned sultan if he is not a descendant of the pioneering datus of Alamada. They call their parents “ama” for father and “ina” for mother. Men used Kufi cap or Sungko on their heads for religious purpose. It is believed that the Islamic prophet Muhammad used to keep head covered, therefore making it mustahabb-commendable to cover the head in order to emulate him. They usually wear them during the daily prayers and women on the other hand used hijab or tondong in the presence of any male outside their immediate family, which usually covers the head and chest. The term hijab can refer to any head, face, or body covering worn by Muslim women that conforms to Islamic tradition or standards of norm for modesty.
In traditional form, it is worn by Muslim women to show and maintain modesty and privacy from none relative males. It is written in the Qur’an instructing Muslim women to wear dresses modestly which some Islamic Legal Systems describe this type of modest clothing as covering everything except the face, hands up to wrists, and feet. The use of “tondong” is also a prerequisite specially when Muslim women are in the Mosque or they are praising Allah.
Settlers of Alamada came from the Visayas, specifically in Negros Occidental and were beneficiary of the resettlement area for the HUK surrenderees. Beliefs and lifestyles were also brought with them and passed on from generation to generation. Ilonggos from Negros were known to be soft spoken and hardworking. The very reason why most of them owned land in the so called “Land of Promise” was their hard work wherein they were able to cultivate vast area for farming. Believed to be hardworking, they cultivated agricultural products like corn, rice, cassava and sweet potato (camote) which were consumed and a commodity for sale and for trading.
Ilongos are fond of accommodating visitors during fiestas where crowd of people went for gathering in an open house and consume served foods. It is their way of sharing their festivity for good harvests and good health. During different occasions, the presence of roasted whole pig and chicken (lechon) are always present as a way of sharing moments with the family and friends in thanksgiving. Lechon in the table had been a manifestation of a bountiful celebration during birthdays. It cannot be called birthday without the presence of this sumptuous foodstuff.
Ilonggos are also known to be polite. They called their parents “nanay” for mother and “tatay” for father. They show respect to elder brothers and sisters by calling them “manang” for elder sister and “manong” for elder brother and the same name calls to elders not related to them. The custom had been carried to younger generations and other tribes had been using similar call names to show respect to elders.
The Cebuanos or the Bisayas are locales coming from Cebu who went to Genio Farm during the time of President Maysaysay. They brought along with them their culture and traditions which up to this time young generations of Cebuanos live with it. Cebuanos are known to be religious and devotees of Senior Santo Nino (the Infant Jesus). Since Genio Farm was considered a resettlement area, they also make use of the opportunity of cultivating areas and used it as farm land for tilling agricultural products which are consumed for living. Produced products were also traded in to the natives of the area which in return gave then the authority in cultivating additional farm lots until such time native absolutely gave the verbal ownership of the land in exchange of food.
The Cebuanos loved to sing, fond of entertainment and a jolly persons. Even now, they still carry the trademark of a good singer. Singing has been their way of expressing emotions where “harana” is still done when there are celebrations like birthday. It is a way of showing importance to the celebrant. In return, the celebrant has to offer food like hot coffee or cocoa (tablea) accompanied with “budbod or puto”- Visayan terms for native food and rice cake.
Cebuano settlers brought with them important relics which linked them to their origin and had form part in the history of the municipality. They have with them wooden and steel boxes, sewing machines and many mom for preservation and conservation.
The Ilocanos were one of the settlers of the municipality who came from Luzon. They are known to be hardworking and thrifty. They often cultivated farm land and used to graze animals. Their hard works pays off and they were able to own land for permanent crops. They mostly cultivated corn crops, palay (usually irrigated) and camote.
The Ilocanos had become an influence to other settlers for being thrifty. Ilocano farmers are distinguished because of their brown and ash brown colors. They can sustain under the heat of the sun as they devote farming as their primary source of living.
Ilocanos were hospitable and calling their parents “inang or mamang” for mother and “papang or tatang” for father. Showing respect to elders would mean calling “manang or ate” for elder sisters or women and “manong or kuya” for elder brother or men. Aside from being family oriented, Ilocano loved to make sweet delicacies the “kankanin”-grind rice blended with coconut milk and brown sugar slowly cooked upside down.