If Capul island is “forgotten” then the dialect spoken in this island is endangered. Its actually amongst the 10 extinct dialects in the Philippines.
Amazing enough, Inabaknon is not classified under the Visayan language along with Cebuano or Waray. It ‘s group with the Sama-Badjao language, a dialect mostly used in the islands southernmost part of Mindanao. This brought me to research on the origin of the Abaknon/Inabaknon language.
According to historians, Capul Island is inhabited by the Agtas (they look like the Aetas of Zambales, short, dark-skinned, curly-haired and pango) which I believe the original natives of the Philippines.
Followers of King Abak and the Mohammedan Conquest of the 13th Century
During the upsurge of the Mohammedan Conquest in te 13th century, the followers of King Abak, a ruler from Java, Indonesia resisted Islam as they have their own religion. They went off aboard 3 boats to the Sulu archipelago. From Sulu, they separated themselves and went on different directions, one group stayed in Sulu, another followed an easterly route and landed in the Marianas Island. While the last group sailed northward and found themselves into the island of Capul.
They settled there and adopted the island as their own. After sometime, they intermarried with the local Agtas. This intermarriage resulted to a fusion of cultures, languages that created Abaknon or Inabaknon.
Some Abaknon phrases I learned:
Mahalap al’law si kaam dimuan– Good day to all of you!
Mahalap nalong– Good morning (and so on)
Kakan– To eat
Tal’ok– To drink (usually alcoholic beverage)
If you want to learn some Inabaknon words, you can check this Inabaknon Dictionary
Secrets of Northern Samar is a series of blog posts that encourages intrepid travelers to try the out-of-the-usual-tourist-trail. This happened last February 2011, one of the no-plans-whatsoever trips I made. I have a ticket to Catarman and I just said to myself, go and let’s see what’s in it for me… So I found these: