MELVIN BANGGOLLAY (11/07/1975 / Natonin, Mountain Province, Philippines)
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Ullalim, The Epic Of Love Of The Maducayan
ULLALIM, THE EPIC OF LOVE OF THE MADUCAYAN
By Melvin Banggollay Jr.
An ullalim epic is a traditional music and poetry form of the Philippines. These are long chanted stories passed down for hundreds of years that tell the exploits of heroes. They are classics of the Malayo-Polynesian language family. The most skilled poets would memorize epic cycles that took two to four days to recite during all-night dramatic performances. Two examples of precolonial (before the Spanish came) epics that survive today are Biag ni Lam-ang (Legend of Lamang) in Ilocano (a northern Luzon dialect) and Ibalon in Bicol (a southern Luzon dialect) . The term ullalim is sometimes used today to refer to that style of song, but the real ullalim is the epic poem of the Kalinga people. An article I read says that the singer would dress up in brilliant, flashy clothes like the hero described in the story.
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