Ilonggo Terminology 101: Malulo

Feb 14, 2011 by

“Closely related to being mapinalanggaon, or loving, is the word malulo, or affectionately gentle. Kalulo connotes tenderness, compassion, kindness, love and sympathy manifested in a tangible way to the point of self-denial.” — Prof. Henry Funtecha, UP Visayas

Whenever I go to Manila and be introduced to people other than my friends and they gather I am from Iloilo, they always remark how beautiful our manner of speaking sounds like. This is the malulo factor of our dialect (which is Hiligaynon). It has a sing-song pattern so gentle for an impression. In fact, other people cannot decipher when an Ilonggo is upset because the tone of speaking is still genteel. When an Ilonggo is angry and remarks sharp words like patyon ta ka karon (“I will kill you”), the phonetic context is like saying “I love you” with the sing-song pattern.

Manila people always ask me to speak in Ilonggo because they get ticklish listening to the Hiligaynon dialect. I indulge them by saying the sweetest possible phrases I can proudly share to a non-Ilonggo. A list of these phrases will be written about in the future, so keep visiting my site. ;-)

“But the gentleness of the Iloggos must not be misconstrued for softness. They are both feared and respected for being maisog, for fighting to the death for what they believe is right. It’s not uncommon to hear people say, “Ang mga Ilonggo malulo na sila, apang maisog.” The Ilonggos are gentle but can be very tough when provoked.” (Funtecha, H. Iloilo: A Rich and Noble Land)

Iloilo Paraos: A way of life for the Iloilo fishing industry. Photo source – Iloilo Provincial Capitol

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1 Comment

  1. Willy Schott

    I guess Ilonggos are pretty much like the Saxons in Germany, particularly people from a region called Vogtland. Those also speak in a very soft and melodic dialect, and tend to avoid any harshness in speech. The famous self-characterizing quote of a Saxon is like this: “I’ve never met an angry Saxon in my whole life, but it must be horrendous!”

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