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Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Layad Nen Sikhafan

RELATED POST: "Love Song of the Igorots"

“Layad Nen Sikhafan”: Cordillera’s Most Popular Song
by Anatalia Magkachi Saboy, Ed.D.
(May/June 1993, Cordillera Tangguyob)

Contemporary researches on Cordillera musicology reveal that even before the Spanish colonizers set foot on Philippine soil, the aboriginal inhabitants of what is now known as the Cordillera Region had their own pristine culture, alive with native songs and dances. However, it was only during the early years of American Occupation of the Philippines that Cordillera songs found their way to the written documents now available to students of musicology.

Among the earliest documentary studies on Cordillera music was conducted by an American couple, Mr. and Mrs. Fay Cooper Cole who recorded Tingguian songs which were later examined, analyzed and notated by Albert Gale, an American musicologist of the University of Chicago. Subsequently, an educator, the late Alfredo Pacyaya of Sagada and an American anthropologist, Fred Eggan, made special recording of Sagada songs which we also notated for posterity.

Later, researches were undertaken by American and Filipino educators on the different Cordillera songs which found also their inclusion in the early textbooks on Philippine music. A number of these songs were notated and are found in the Progressive Music Series textbooks in Philippine grade and intermediate schools up to the Commonwealth Period of the Republic.

Not all of these Cordillera songs in the textbooks found their way to the hearts of Filipinos because with Western Culture spreading fast throughout the country, love and pride in the country’s indigenous songs were relegated into the background in favor of American or Western music. The renaissance of indigenous Filipino music came after the Philippines was granted its political independence on July 4, 1946. The nationalization of the country’s educational curriculum helped rekindle the Filipino’s pride in their culture and Filipino indigenous songs began to dominate the songs sang and taught in the schools.

Yet, it must also be admitted that the songs brought in by our western colonizers have influenced Cordillera bards and warblers. An example of this is the song, “Nan Layad Nen Sikhafan” (hereinafter, “Layad” – sms), which is facetiously known as the “Bontoc Cordillera Hymn” for having originated and having been widely sang in Bontoc.

Among the most popular Cordillera songs today, “Layad,” curiously, is a native song with a foreign melody. In 1976, while this writer was teaching in the Mt. Province Comprehensive High School, she stumbled upon a song in an American hymnal whose melody was strikingly similar to that of the melody of the popular Bontoc song “Layad.” This song in the hymnal was captioned “There is Beauty All Around” with music attributed to J.H. McNaughton (1863) notated in four voices.

With some modifications in the composition to suit the lyrics and slurs of the Bontoc version, this writer taught the four-voiced song to her school choir which she had organized. For the first time, “Layad” was sung in four voices to the delight of the Bontoc folk.

“Layad” is an accomplished love song. This is the reason why it is intimately and heartily sang by people of different ages – from the grade school children to the ageing parents fading into the twilight of their lives. The lyricist is not known but its authorship is generally credited to the late Timothy D. Chaokas,* a native Bontoc educator who rose to become one of the colorful political leaders of the old Mountain Province, serving as Provincial Secretary and later as Vice Governor of the old Mt. Province.

The song was popularized by a Bontoc singer, Pedro Chinalpan who had it recorded in phonograph discs in the 1960s while working as bus driver of the Dangwa Transportation Company. 

Since then, many parodies were produced by enterprising Cordillera Singers. Some of the guerilla songs of the New People’s Army (NPA) an Cordillera People’s Liberation Army (CPLA), which were composed to suit their morale-boosting songs, were sang to the tune of “Layad.”

It is to be stressed, at this juncture, that the melody of “Layad Nen Sikhafan,” is not, indigenously Cordilleran. But like other ethnic songs sang in the region, this popular Bontoc ethnic song has given additional color and historicity to the eclectic culture that the Philippines today owns as a result of years of acculturation.

Nan layad nen likhatan/sikhafan,
Tet-eway sikhab.
Layad ay nen likhatan,
Nar-os cha am-in.
Seg-ang yangkhay nan wad-ay
Sik-a et achi mampay
Yangag kasin ta angnen
Nar-os cha am-in.
San enta nen fowekhan
Ad-im ngen semken
San enta nen pachangan
Nar-os cha am-in.
Sik-a et achi mampay
Em e-gay sin-sinmek na
Sampay taynan si Ama
Nar-os cha am-in.
Tak-en mo naimwasan
Sumeg-ang ka man
Ta kasin ta lebnayen
San layad ta’y chuwa.
San layad ta’y chad-ama
Wed-wedcha’s fangonenta
Ta’t mampay men-among ta
Omafong ta’y chuwa.
(Sang only as a refrain after the third stanza)
Layad ta, chad-ama
Ento pay kasin cha-chi
Nar-os cha am-in.

* In my interview with Mrs. Mary Peckley Irving, a native of Bontoc, she opined that the lyrics actually came from the pen of a certain Mr. Oakes, also an yFontok. – smsaboy


popoy said...

from old Wordpress blog, 1 of 6:

54 Responses to "Layad Nen Sikhafan"

Shalin Francin Egsaen, "Dagwanay" | July 7, 2008 at 6:02 pm | Reply

i am really proud to say i came from the Igorot tribe of Bontoc where this song originated.. even though a long time has passed since this song was made, it still remains with us, running through our veins, so to speak. i salute you my Bontoc, my home sweet home!!!
scott saboy | July 7, 2008 at 8:16 pm | Reply

napalalo nan layad ko tay adu nan kailyan ay menlaylayad pay laeng ken “Layad Nen Sikhafan.” ingatz, Dagwanay! :)
eClair | September 3, 2008 at 7:23 pm | Reply

Nice one.!!!!
Have a good idea of publishing the song..
jaynell | October 25, 2008 at 12:11 pm | Reply

gawin nyo nman nah tgalog ung inyong gnagawang knta k pwab cleaw tnx!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
jaynell | October 25, 2008 at 12:12 pm | Reply

he ang fngit ng knta nyo
Igorotzky | September 11, 2009 at 7:17 pm | Reply

huh!nalastolastog nan tangalog ay nay mo.
min ngurongur ko et nan tenged mo!
hoy Jaynell wag ka ngang angas, di mo lng naiintindihan yung kanta kaya ka ganyan.
Tawaw ka kitdi ah! huhahahaha!
scott saboy | October 25, 2008 at 2:49 pm | Reply

hi “jaynell,”

di ko maintindihan kung bakit gusto mong isalin namin ang Layad sa wikang Tagalog samantalang hinusgahan mo nang “fngit” ang kanta namin.

anyways, you are entitled to your value judgment on one of the most enduring Igorot songs. i am willing to grant that this is not another ethnic slur from a non-Cordilleran/Igorot; I am not really offended for I’d like to believe that you’re just being honest with your opinion about the matter. nasa taste naman natin talaga kung ang isang kanta ay pangit o maganda. at kung hindi talaga tayo nakakarelate dito, talagang pangit ang dating sa atin.

wag lang sana nating kalimutan na ang mga uri ng kantang gaya ng Layad ay may kinabibilangang kultura na kung ating pag-aralan o intindihin ay maaaring makapagbibigay sa atin ng matamang batayan ng ating aesthetic judgment ukol sa mga kantang ito.

amani! :)
christopher estolas | November 18, 2008 at 10:53 pm | Reply

got this website through a friend.just want to extend my regards to all fellow cordillerans.matago tago tako losan.Agbiag ti Cordillera!!!

popoy said...

2 of 6:

kc | January 29, 2009 at 5:36 pm | Reply

magay amamom adi ay man-appreciate si esa ay kanta..Tagalog ka didan sunga di amom ay kanta yan “you”,”you” et enggay……….ay tan igorot ka gamin ta engka il-ilan kakanta cna………………IGOROT number 1

scott saboy!!!correct,,,,,,,,,,,,,,neng-neng da gamin sunga adi da ammo di mening na heheheheheheheheheheheheheheheheheheheheheheheheheheheheheheheh……..

tynanah tan | September 20, 2009 at 8:50 pm | Reply

hi kc..i agree with u..i’ve read that poor girls comment..sorry to say but she’s trying to get some attention coz as i can see in the other side of her she likes jigorots, but jigorots doesn’t like’s just like saying something bad to someone or somebody..means she’s describing herself..mirror effect ba..and i bet she’s trying to sing that song but the song doesn’t like other words wala xa boses..bwahahahaha..kababs wahhhhhhhhhhhhh…sorry no offense meant..

ABEGAIL,IBIKIGAN SI APOK | March 28, 2009 at 5:00 pm | Reply

jeynel”’d kita masisisi if your saying fangit ang kantang ito lalo na pag d mo maintindihan but its a great song you know that?its a full of meaning’DON’T JUGE A THING IF YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND’AND LEARN TO APPRECAIT OTHERS OK “”"”NO HURT FELLING JEYNELLLLLLLL. IT JUST A CORRECTIOPN FROM ME”"”"”"

Martin Apopot | April 3, 2009 at 12:07 pm | Reply

To say that this song (Layan ninsikhafan) is a good song is an understatement. It is a meaningful song that mostly only igorots who understand the lyrics that can appreciate it. Like most igorots from the mountain province, I learned to sing this song even when I was a little kid. For Jaynell who says this song is fangit, she doesn’t know what she’s talking about. It’s just like me saying, Ang boy friend mo o kaya ang nanay mo ay pangit, kahit hindi ko pa sila nakita.
manonton dalan | April 11, 2009 at 8:53 am | Reply

there’s strong commonality between pangasinan
and igorot language. it’s a cohesion of pangasinan,
ilokano and chinese sounding words.f is polynesian.

igorot pangasinan

sin-simnek sinsinek
men-among ta man-among ta
taynan taynan
sik-a sika
sikam bengat sikan bengat

maybe we are neighbors that’s why.
i love that song wanasdi, suspetsa, komboy(they help
us a lot from upper/lower market to bus station n back)

salamat ya balbaleg.

popoy said...

3 of 6:


scott saboy | April 11, 2009 at 9:09 am | Reply

and thank you too for sharing your thoughts, etad ko. :)
nicol | August 27, 2009 at 7:03 pm |


Ivy rose Banga-an | April 20, 2009 at 12:21 pm | Reply

I just read jaynell’s comment about the song LAYAD NEN SIKHAFAN. Yes it’s so true that we are entitled to our own opinion but this freedom should never be abused for freedom isn’t free at all.
It’s bec. jaynell you’ve got no right to say that the song is “FANGIT”. You even claim that you don’t understand it at all bec. you only have little knowledge about it and don’t you know that little knowledge is very much dangerous? And look what you are now.
Your statement really sounds degratoy but I don’t really care bec. a FULL BLOODED IGOROT like me doesn’t treat it as a big deal. Actually jaynell you gave me much reasons as well as my Co-IGOROTS to be more proud of our ETHNIC ORIGIN and to stand firmly, to fight assertively and to defend our rich culture against people like you who don’t even understand what they’re saying. Thanks jaynell!!!
scott saboy | April 20, 2009 at 1:50 pm | Reply

ayeh, ngag kay ngata nan isungbat jaynell sisa hehe. thanks for posting your comment etad ay rose… :) manong martin, christopher, and the rest, salamat iti panagbisbisita yo iti daytoy nga blogsite.
michelle | May 16, 2009 at 11:37 pm | Reply

kayat ko lang ibaga nga mayat ta nakitak diay lyrics nan layad!!I love the song so I copied if it’s alright. I guess if you’re not an igorot then better not to comment because you can never really understand the meaning and the beauty of the song. Igenek na lang and not to post comments on the web because it’s rubbish… If you want to understand the song then ask nicely… be gentle next time…
scott saboy | May 17, 2009 at 8:24 am | Reply

awan problema michelle, maymayat ketdi a no maiwaras ti lyrics na tapno maadal met dagiti dadduma. di bale talagay nin-genek et si jaynell, lesson learned for her hehe. g’day!
YingYing. | July 5, 2009 at 8:26 pm | Reply

may mga ibang example pa ba ng mga ethnic songs sa Cordillera Region? tulong naman po, oh. :]

scott saboy | July 6, 2009 at 7:15 am | Reply

ay marami pa Ying. :) i can lend you my mom’s book (NCCA grant), Indigenous Ethnic Songs of the Cordilleras. location mo? kung lapit ka sa Baguio, pwede mo namang saglitan sa UP Baguio — dito ako sa DLLA, College of Arts and Communication. Kung malayo ka naman (basta wag lang abroad hehe), pwede kong i-snail mail sau then balik mo na lang pag tapos ka na. :)

manonton dalan | July 6, 2009 at 8:34 am | Reply

waday kantan kabenguetan ed youtube.
dakdake san mabuyam itelpek san pc mo.
esa: youtube-udan. eyak naadalan mansulat
nan igolot nen mailak san kantan waynasdi
ni margaret locano ed mankayan, benguet.
(eyak igolot ed asinan)
i hope my words makes sense. i’m just learning.
laylaydek man-adal san duman dayday-eng. eyak
mayat san agew

popoy said...

4 of 6:


scott saboy | July 6, 2009 at 11:47 am | Reply

wen adu iman nan kanta da. nan esa ay paboritok ay nadownload ko ket (Manbaliw ka) “Bigis” :) thanks for the input

jocelyn sapki | July 11, 2009 at 9:30 am | Reply

hi! i am also proud of being n igorot nd i love ur songs!!!!
Melvin Banggollay | July 21, 2009 at 9:41 am | Reply

It’s nice to have websites promoting our native land,
and showing the virtues of a true blooded cordilleran,
painting in poetry the charm of our indigenous tongue
and the melody of our native songs and cultural brand.

Thanks and more power for a job well done.

scott saboy | July 21, 2009 at 11:33 am | Reply

& thanks for visiting… :)

Melvin Banggollay | July 21, 2009 at 11:43 am | Reply

thanks also for posting my comment.
betsy | July 28, 2009 at 2:47 pm | Reply

thanks..thanks..i’m proud to be from bontoc..hehe
betsy | July 28, 2009 at 2:55 pm | Reply

gogogo..ifontok..matago-tago nan layad tako..
Melvin Banggollay | July 29, 2009 at 9:26 am | Reply

Ti sapin ti igorot
Imputiput insiglot
Ngem di da la ammo
Dal-likan me ket tanso
Balay me ket bimbato
Atep na’t bimmalitok
baba inga na’t tuktok
Ta nagaget kam agsukisuk
Ta dakam ket igorot.
Melvin Banggollay | July 29, 2009 at 9:48 am | Reply

Without hesitation
or any indignation
I’m proud I’m igorot
using G strings with ease
beating gongs to please
audience on cultural feast.

A BIBAK always a BIBAK
manonton dalan | July 30, 2009 at 1:06 am | Reply

mayatmayat binuybuyak san sada nan
BIBAK ed hampton roads grand kanyao
25jul09. waday sakuting, sada san gubatan,
salidumay.adu sak-en naadalan. waday apo
nantugtug nan kaleleng, gawis.

magay pinikpikan.adu pinuo manok ya babasit
san daing.naimas.(just practicing few words
i pick up) can anyone teach me kankanaey and
ibaloi, i can understand’s my email
Melvin Banggollay | July 30, 2009 at 4:22 pm | Reply

layed ko tut-uwa

Se layed ko anji ka (My love to thee)
Tut-utut-uwa an-na (so very very true)
Kama asse vurawen (Just like a gold)
ippon inna al-latiyen (that never rust)

Urey ge kam-ana tawon (Even it take many years)
e vilangok da vitowon (that I’ll count the stars)
No siana layed ko piom (if this is your wish,my love)
Anu-anusak pige e ko-on. (I’ll be patient to do it )

Te sika ang-ge layed ko (For you are my only love)
Ing-ga na asse katoy ko (until the day I’ll die)
At urey ge jiponak pion (and even if you don’t love me)
Sika ang-ge iyak pipion. (only you, I’ll always love)

popoy said...

5 of 6:


manonton dalan | August 9, 2009 at 5:57 am | Reply

adi melvin adin kankanaey
san daniw mo? kalinga?
ngem way pangasinan ya ilokano.

on your poem “pion” is new
word for me, semek in ibaloi,
layad in kankanaey, ayat in
ilokano, aro in pangasinan
which is cut from word amor.
most of the words use in mt.
prov. dialects are the same
or they change few letters,
maybe it’s the pronunciation,
the farther from pangasinan
less pangasinan on it but
more ilokano.

igorot | July 30, 2009 at 4:30 pm | Reply

Pedro Chinalpan, the original singer of the song, migrated with his family to Tabuk, Kalinga. His son, Melchor, was a good college friend at the University of Baguio a decade ago. Kaya lang, since those days, wala na akong narinig from him. Just want to know where he is now.

Padre Melchor, agpaangot ka met ah. Aye ta ililimeng mo ti asensom mo hehehe. Hanibal is managing his own computer shop along Session Road. Pag andito ka sa city, just drop by.
roxanne | August 7, 2009 at 7:53 pm | Reply

helo to all …..i am ilocana here in isabela…pro s totoo lng wala kming sawa s panunuod ng youtube video ng mga kankanaey song…gustng gsto k lalo n ang ank ko paulitulit niang binabnggit ang yng kntang suspetsa..hehehe…hindi mahanap ang lyrics nia…pwdpo b pakibgay nmn po ang lyrics nia sakin….gstng gsto k din yng lalaki iycordillera…
manonton dalan | August 9, 2009 at 5:35 am | Reply


(pasensiya no ashi
pandeng-ngen si sak-en
gamin si sak-en pangasinan
ya ilokano)

suspetsa no mamingsan
wada di mailag adan
ad-adu di masaksaktan
am amed no suspetsa
yan magay ebidensiya
siya et pan-iibawan
siya et pangugulu-an

way dua ay mangayyem
da Pnadaki ken Meg-eng
maymayat si buybuyaen
dan very sweet da pay laeng

ngem asakbay madismaya
tan manlugi ay man-ibaw da
asagma ammuan di gapu na
wada bege di suspetsa
ta way nagisodsod
ay si Pandaki ay boyfriend niya
wada kanoy kati-textmate na

manlugi pa ed sidi
din suspetsa nen ari
engga na ay mawaswas
ayat da ken Pandaki

suspetsa o suspetsa
ad-adu dinadael na
mangayyem o manbarkada
sin asawa, pati pamilya

suspetsa no mamingsan
say panat iguraan
say adi pankina-awatan
pati din man-abalayan
wada di mankatugangan
say enda pansusungbatan
mairaman ken kaiyan
sa di pan tribal waran

suspetsa no mamingsan
no adi maliklikan
say gapu si pansisinaan
di ba kay naasawaan
ta ngarud adi masayang
siged ay nankakad-duaan
suspetsa ay di ilisi-an
ta urnos koma kam man

suspetsa o suspetsa
ad-adu dinadael na
mangayyem o no manbarkada
sin asawa, pati pamilya

suspetsa o suspetsa
tet ewa ay problema
suspetsa o suspetsa
no mamingsan tel met ewa
suspetsa o suspetsa
no mamingsan tel met ewa

(usto ngata ek pandeng-ngen
san kanta nan kankanaey. ata
san kabalin ko adi pasinsiya kan.
no mamingsan
Melvin Banggollay | August 10, 2009 at 8:26 am | Reply

Thanks brother manonton for the comment. Well, in maducayan dialect, a sub tribe of igorot in Natonin, Mountain province, pion means to love or like.

manonton dalan | August 10, 2009 at 12:09 pm | Reply

i wonder why they call it pion
was it pi symbol is like a house
and on is yes from pangasinan…
thereby giving the meaning that love
stays in the house.

Melvin Banggollay | August 10, 2009 at 1:08 pm | Reply

Well, looking into the entomology of the word pion or piom, pi means two and on means yes in the english alphabet. In our native dualect, On means yes, hence when someone would ask you piom sakkon ” means do you like me” the anwswer in our tongue is either on for yes or ajjipon for no.

Hope this will enlighten you on the matter.

take care,


popoy said...

6 of 6:


manonton dalan | August 19, 2009 at 1:55 pm | Reply

inyaman tako adi melvin.
scott saboy | August 20, 2009 at 7:32 am |

Melvin, MD, thanks for continuing to share your thoughts with our readers. really sorry i can’t reply to or comment on every post but please know i appreciate your willingness to enrich the content of this site. :)
manonton dalan | August 20, 2009 at 10:10 am |

adin madanagan adi, naladsak si sak-en
mansulat, no wada di saludsod ko sapay koma
ebatan mo. inyaman tako. md igolot ed asinan.
waday koma dawat ko en sik-a 100 words san kankanaey
ya patalos san ilokano.kalpasan ek mansulat san daniw
san kankanaey…tet ewa (

namingsan waday nakasaok san kankanaey ngem kanan
na “dimmakkelak ti baguio adik amtan mansalita san
kankanaey” magay naadalak abe.(am just practicing
learned direct from youtube-correct me please if am wrong)
inyaman tako.

Bulova | August 16, 2009 at 1:00 am | Reply

Thanks brother manonton for the comment. Well, in maducayan dialect, a sub tribe of igorot in Natonin, Mountain province, pion means to love or like.; Thanks brother manonton for the comment. Well, in maducayan dialect, a sub tribe of igorot in Natonin, Mountain province, pion means to love or like.;;

manonton dalan | August 19, 2009 at 1:51 pm | Reply

inyaman tako adi buluva.
naladsak si sak-en makaadal.

maducayan | August 19, 2009 at 9:06 am | Reply

ingaw pon e kar-argo
melvin banggollay

Ingaw pon a kar-argo (Gone are the days)
Arem ta ge matago (When we hardly live)
ay ay alilay ay ay
Um-maan ta ge manguma (gently we clean the fields)
ta awed ge se kanon ta (that we have to eat)
ay ay

Asse siana e tiempo (At our present time)
e um-madar dahe tago (that men was educated)
ay ay alilay ay ay
pala um-madjuwen lumawa (Why many become poor)
as dahe amin e lutluta? (accross every land?)
ay ay
maducayan | August 20, 2009 at 8:56 am | Reply

Welcome brother and thanks a lot too for letting us share in your site which I really found to be so significant in the promotion and development of our indigenous culture and pride as cordillerans.

Matago tago tako lusan
tiffany joy | February 9, 2010 at 1:40 pm | Reply

i really enjoy reading comments esp. to the comment of miss jaynell. i hate her for what she said…..sinabi na ngang pangit pina tatranslate pah…. hay naku parang baliw talaga ever…..
Angel | March 4, 2010 at 7:17 pm | Reply

Halu everybody!,layad nan likatan means love of nature para kadagiti montaniosa jejeje,
Aldous Echegoyen | March 19, 2010 at 5:48 pm | Reply

Kapatid, musta na? Miss you bro.

popoy said...

scott saboy | March 22, 2010 at 2:03 pm | Reply

Aldous! sori a late reply ko. musta na? M.U.2 brodie hehe. sabihan mo me kung me magbabakasyon kayo sa Baguio ha para matreat naman kita kahit balot man lang nyahaha. pag nagawi uli me Manila, inform kita beforehand para kitakits tayo. Tagal na ring wala tayong eyeball to eyeball no? siyanga pala, baka gusto mong magcontribute poem or short story or creative nonfiction para sa Ani 36 ng CCP (see Last year sa Ani 35, nagcontribute me ng 1ng CNF at 1ng tula. Sali na! :)

TOROGI | May 7, 2010 at 12:54 am | Reply

shela gongon | July 9, 2010 at 2:16 pm | Reply

hi!i’m shelah from barlig mt. prov. i would like to ask if there is there a particular video portraying the story behind the song nan layad? thank you,

scott saboy | July 14, 2010 at 10:14 am | Reply

hi shelah, mid ammok ya but it would be be terrific if one kailyan can come out with that aya g’day!