History is the master of destiny when properly accounted and remembered, she guides us home to peace, progress and harmonious relations between man and nature. It engenders upon us an unequivocal hatred of all things evil.

      But History, when misunderstood and manipulated offers a destiny of cyclical social misery; guiding the nation to endure prolonged economic hardship, corrupt and inefficient government, never ending rebellion, environmental degradation, joblessness, high cost of living, low salaries, poverty, increasing cost of basic goods, social apathy, soaring crime rates, etc.

        A nation so antipathetic to its heritage must endure the unendurable, and bear the unbearable.

      We in the NHI have found out long ago that history holds the secrets for everlasting peace, sustainable progress and workable social justice. We also found out that these secrets are zealously protected and hidden by traditional beliefs, rigid social norms, exclusive educational system and severely restricting laws and bureaucracy created to enforce a status quo of a rich and powerful few and a dominated and silenced majority. A formula imparted to us by our colonial heritage, formula negated by the Katipunan. Today, the memory of the Katipunan is revered and respected in Philippine history, but the core of its being, that of militant agitation against oppression, is being curtailed by the government.

      The book “From Redaction to Subversion A study of the Evolution of the Hiligaynon Corrido” by Ma. Cecilla Nava, an NHI grantee is a story about Hiligaynon Corrido.

      Hiligaynon is the predominant dialect in Iloilo, (a pronouncement of the times challenged by many a Kinaray-a speaker, but that’s another story).

      Corrido is an enduring fore in literary influence. A story of romance told in metrical cadences, they are mostly about chivalrous knight and damsels in distress, love and loyalty, villainy and betrayal, monsters and magic and divine intervention.

        That the Hiligaynon Corridos were reflection of European romantic tradition was never questioned and most of the time these Corridos have their counterpart in Tagalog, with similar theme and content. It was the infusion of Hiligaynon sensibilities into the Corridos that the book focused its contention that the Hiligaynon Corridos acquired its unique presentation in a conscious effort to dramatize an oppressive colonial era.

        There are seventy something corridor summaries in the book. European flavor is readily discernible, but strange twist of plots and locally derived literacy additives decidedly give the Hiligaynon Corrido a distinctive identity. Also, anachronism are a plenty, a reader might be thrown of the track upon reading an Egyptian Pharaoh giving away haciendas. A good scholar of history might be tempted to say that Hiligaynon corrido is stranger than fiction. But then the book has a resounding repartee about this.

        A stranger story, and I am really wondering how it was turned into some kind of metrical romance is the Hiligaynon corrido about King Solomon who had three hundred wives. He then falls in love with Queen Sheba who possesses three magic golden pubic hairs. Sheba is kidnapped by a Muslim king who then becomes her husband. Queen Sheba then give her three golden pubic hairs to Solomon. The pubic hairs have the power to shave off hunger even if one does not eat for a week. After a while Solomon find two soon beautiful women and forgets the queen.