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Incredible, isn’t it? Three months ago, the idea of AIM having its very own website was just a vision; a goal. Today, not only has it been installed but it now serves as the respository of literary compositions and news items about the Membership. In short, AIM has joined the global village. Ilonggos worldwide, know more about the Ilonggos in metropolitan Washington, DC and have now the opportunity to see us up close.

There is a very wise saying that runs like this: "kon indi kita kahibalo mag tan-aw kon di-in kita naghalin, indi guid kita makasampot sa aton kaladtu-an."

This adage can aptly be applied to all those who’ve demonstrated their loyal and active support to AIM. Madamu guid nga salamat kay Drs. Elmo and Offie Gayoso who readily put up $75 as an incentive or prize for whoever can submit an eye-catching, meaningful name for the Newsletter. Nestor Camina’s entry, "Budyong," had the Membership’s resounding approval. Without as much as batting an eyelash, he, in turn donated the $75 to the Association! How’s that, for boundless generosity?

Yes, we have a notion of what "budyong" is, but, do we really know its role in the lives of our ancestors?

One day, while I was surfing the web, I happened to come across a website, "Tambayan." Curiosity got the better of me and before I knew it, I was scrolling down the different topics, stumbling over a rare find, er… "friend." Lorna Montilla, (an Ilongga, whose parentage – Gelvezon hails from Guimbal) is Tambayan’s in-house historian. She lost no time in furnishing me with the history of "budyong," for which I am deeply grateful. Here’s what she wrote:

The budyong is a shellhorn used to sound off a warning or an
important event in the village. An artist is usually hired to do this. Since Moslem piracy and maraudings were rampant before the Spaniards came, a lampitaw
was employed to stand watch on the highest hill, roof or tree to see what
was going around -- especially on the sea. It was also used to announce the birth
of a child, especially a son to a member of the nobility. (Firecrackers, since then, have replaced the budyong.) It was also used to announce festive occasions such as
the arrival of royalty or the death of its members. Bells and sirens have replaced the budyong, but, in Iloilo it is still used to announce the Dinagyang fest and in Antique, the Binirayan festival. 



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