Cebuano folklore lives through “Matod Pa sa Lola ni Noy Kulas”

Storybook launching_photo_3

THE winning entries of “Matod Pa Sa Lola ni Noy Kulas,” a Cebuano story writing contest, are now available in print and online.

The launch of the book, also titled “Matod Pa sa Lola ni Noy Kulas”, was held in Casa Gorordo, Parian, Cebu City by Sun.Star Cebu Superbalita and Sun.Star Network Exhange (Sunnex), with the support of Smart Communications Inc. (Smart) and the University of the Philippines in the Visayas Cebu College-Central Visayas Studies Center (UPVCC-CVSC).

Featured are 10 winning entries, as well as a story written by Sun.Star Cebu Superbalita’s language consultant Lamberto Ceballos; Ang Buaya ug ang Bitin by Elaine O. Versoza; Si Kan, ang Agta nga Dangas og Agtang by Fred Fuentes Monternel; Gikaibgan sa Dili Ingon Nato by Nilo S. Ejercito; Ang Gikalisangang Dakit sa Catmondaan by Glecerio P. Ares Jr.; Ang Linaw sa Naukban by Christian Q. Salta; Ang Kamatayon ni Leon Kilat by Rey Briccio A. Alesna; Ang Kahoy nga Bolbolan by Ailee M. Anoba; Pung-olanan sa Ulo by Carla Mae Sumalinog; Kasugiran ni Maria Tang-an o Maria Cacao by Judith L. Abellanosa; Kinsa si Carmen Rubia? by Homer V. Landiza; and Ang Kapitan ni Maria Cacao by Ceballos.

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“The book complements the ongoing cultural heritage movement and the town history project of Cebu Province. We now have a source of stories written by local writers which describe our local culture and these stories are published for the first time. Our children will now be able to read a book not about Cinderella or Beauty and the Beast but about beautiful local stories of Cebuano myths and tales,” said Dr. Madrilena dela Cerna, head of the UPVCC-Central Visayas Studies Center.

The stories can also be accessed via the contest site, and Smart’s Doon Po sa Amin (, and Smart Schools Program websites ( and

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The launch of “Matod Pa Sa Lola ni Noy Kulas” kicks off a series of activities in celebration of Superbalita’s 15th anniversary and coincides with the Children’s Month celebration.

Hence, Smart invited pupils of Buagsong Elementary School and children from the PLDT-Smart GK Village in Budlaan, Cebu to listen to some of the stories narrated by Cebuano celebrities Budoy and Chai Fonacier.

The children are beneficiaries of Smart’s summer reading tutorial, storytelling and feeding program also known as “Read-to-be-Smart”.

“Matod Pa Sa Lola Ni Noy Kulas” is an initiative by the Sun.Star Group of Companies to promote the use of Sugbuanong Binisaya as a language and to help preserve indigenous culture by documenting oral transmissions of traditional beliefs, myths, tales and practices of Cebuanos in a book. (PR)

Winners of the story writing contest


Click on the links to see full story (PDF)

Matod Pa Sa Lola ni Noy Kulas (cover)
Talaan sa mga Sulod
Pagpalambo sa Sugbuanong Tradisyon/Katuyoan ning Proyekto
Nagpaluyo sa Mugna


1 Ang Buaya ug ang Bitin

(Ni Elaine O. Versoza)

2 Si Kan, ang Agta nga Dangas og Agtang

(Ni Fred Fuentes Monternel)

3 Gikaibgan sa Dili Ingon Nato

(Ni Nilo S. Ejercito)

4 Ang Gikalisangang Dakit sa Catmondaan

(Ni Glecerio P. Ares Jr.)

5 Ang Linaw sa Naukban

(Ni Christian Q. Salta)

6 Ang Kamatayon ni Leon Kilat

(Ni Rey Briccio A. Alesna)

7 Ang Kahoy nga Bolbolan

(Ni Ailee M. Anoba)

8 Pung-olanan sa Ulo

(Ni Carla Mae Sumalinog)

9 Kasugiran ni Maria Tang-an o Maria Cacao

(Ni Judith L. Abellanosa)

10 Kinsa si Carmen Rubia?

(Ni Homer V. Landiza)

11 Ang Kapitan ni Maria Cacao

(Ni Lamberto Ceballos)

So: Goodbye, Snow White; Hello, Maria Cacao

ONCE upon a time, the stories of Leon Kilat and Maria Cacao were told by word of mouth. The thing with oral stories, you could smell the sour breath of the storyteller.

In the new millennium, Sun.Star Superbalita [Cebu] and Smart took care of the unwanted smell, not by giving mouthwash to the storyteller but by compiling selected Cebuano folklore in one Bisaya storybook.

The storybook “Matod Pa sa Lola ni Noy Kulas” is as Bisdak as it can be. The folklore is about a place in Cebu or a Bisaya character, written in the Bisaya language by a Bisaya and illustrated by a Bisaya.

Snow White is not in the book; neither are Hansel and Gretel. There is no mention of castles or cherry blossom or fireplace, which kids in many of Cebu’s public schools have never seen or can identify with. The book does mention pigs, carabaos, chickens, rivers and trees such as manga, acacia and bolbolan and other stuff familiar to anyone living in Cebu.

“Matod Pa sa Lola ni Noy Kulas” is a Bisaya storybook. Its 11 stories are easy to read; all are written in simple and conversational Bisaya, illustrated in color, and thankfully short.

Some, like “Ang Buaya ug ang Bitin” that tells about the legend of Buayahan in Medellin, are humorous. Others, like “Ang Kahoy nga Bolbolan,” have a scary plot. (more)

10 days of national mourning for Aquino

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo said the Philippines lost a national treasure with the passing away of former President Corazon Aquino, who was diagnosed with colon cancer last year.

A 10-day period of national mourning will observed in honor of the former president, added Arroyo.

Aquino died at 3:18 a.m. Saturday (RP time) in a Manila hospital, where she had been confined for over a month before her death.

Aquino restored democracy and rule of law to the country when she toppled the 20-year repressive regime of Ferdinand Marcos in 1986 through non-violent protests.

“Our hearts go out to the family in this hour of grief and sorrow. The nation prays for Cory and her family,” Arroyo added in her message.

Former President Cory Aquino dies

President Corazon Aquino, who toppled a dictator on her way to becoming president in 1986, died on Saturday, her son said. She was 76.

The widow in yellow who harnessed prayer and peaceful protest to overthrow tyranny was diagnosed with advanced colon cancer last year. She had been confined in a Manila hospital for over a month before her death.

Her son, Sen. Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino, said his mother died at 3:18 a.m. Saturday (RP time). Read rest of story

In the midst of a standoff

A standoff between the Arroyo administration and disgruntled marine officers ended five hours after it began. The potential threat to President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s leadership ended peacefully after the marine officers agreed to end the 5-hour standoff that began when their commander was relieved of his duties.

Former President Corazon Aquino, center, showed up outside the Philippine Marine headquarters where the standoff happened. She talked with police and others, disregarding threats to her safety.

Marine officers backed down when their appeal for people to defy a ban on rallies and turn out to protect them “from aggression” drew only about 3,000-4,000 opposition figures, leftist leaders, and their followers. (AP photo)

Ninoy death anniversary

Former President Corazon Aquino speaks during the 23rd anniversary of the assassination of her husband, Sen Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr., at a memorial park in suburban Paranaque south of Manila on Aug. 21, 2006.

cory_ninoy death anniversaryThe assassination of Ninoy sparked protests and led the “People Power” revolution three years later that helped propel her to the presidency.

In her message, Aquino, who joined in the calls for President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo to resign following allegations of electoral fraud and corruption, has urged the nation to pray for Arroyo’s “enlightenment.” (AP Photo)

Dabawenyos mourn death of democracy icon

Cory-Arroyo Former President Cory Aquino and President Gloria Arroyo kiss during a mass commemorating the death of Ninoy Aquino.

DABAWENYOS are one in mourning the passing of former president Corazon Cojuangco-Aquino, who died early morning Saturday after a year of fighting cancer.

Aquino died of cardio-respiratory arrest at 3:18 a.m., just three weeks away from the death anniversary of her husband, former senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino. She was 76.

Though anticipated, Cory’s death nevertheless brought grief to many Dabawenyos. Read rest of story

Militants thank Cory

cory-dinkyFormer social welfare secretary Corazon “Dinky” Soliman (left) chats with former president Corazon “Cory” Aquino, to whose custody she was released around midnight of March 19, 2006. Beyond their names and government experience, the two share something else: a common call for President Arroyo’s resignation. Soliman was arrested together with activist Vicente Romano for leading a silent protest in Manila of about 30 people, all wearing T-shirts marked “Oust Now.”

MILITANT groups expressed their condolences for the death of former President Corazon Aquino and assured support to her family.

Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) president Elmer Labog said the labor sector is one with the nation in mourning the passing of the 76-year-old People Power icon.

“We in the Kilusang Mayo Uno join the people in mourning the passing of former President Corazon Aquino. Mrs. Aquino became the leading figure in the people’s uprising against the fascist US-Marcos regime. In her last years, she joined mass demonstrations against the US-Arroyo regime, which seeks to outdo Marcos. She spoke against moral bankruptcy in the government, state terrorism and charter change,” a KMU statement said. Read rest of story

For safety, Cory relied on nuns

Aquino Corazon--former president ask Arroyo to resign--07-09-05p1A huge blow to the President’s struggle to survive is a move by former president Corazon Aquino, who asked President Arroyo on July 9, 2005 to resign as the easier constitutional means to resolve the conflict. (AP Photo)

BEFORE history swept her into Malacañang, Corazon Aquino sought refuge for a few hours in a monastery in Barangay Mabolo, Cebu City.

It was February 1986, and more than 20 nuns of the Carmelite Sisters of Cebu were surprised when they received a call that Cory would be staying with them. Ferdinand Marcos had claimed victory in the snap elections earlier that month, but Aquino’s supporters saw through the sham.

Aquino arrived in the monastery on Feb. 22 with her daughter, Kris, her brother Peping Cojuangco and friends Antonio and Nancy Cuenco. Around them was a palpable sense of fear that death could come swiftly. Read rest of story