Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Laji: An Ivatan Folk Song

Laji is the oldest traditional music of the Ivatans in the islands of Batanes. The laji are ancient lyrical songs that are supposed to be sung when they are merry or just finished work. There are only few people nowadays who could sing this song. I was lucky to find young girls in the sitio of Itbud in the town of Uyugan to sing for me this Ivatan folk song. They were actually members of the local choir. After hearing the mass of Fr. Maliglig, they let me listen to the song with the accompaniment of a guitar. Its so admirable that this young people are familiar with the song.

This song was featured in the movie Kadin. There should be preservation efforts to make this song live in the hearts of people one generation to the next. The other popular folk song is the Kalusan which many are familiar to it. It is being sung during work. The kanta is another folk song of the Ivatans.

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