Saturday, April 5, 2008
MY GREAT GRANDFATHER
I remember my great grandfather singing the ullalim whenever we were seated around the hearth during evenings. He would chew his "moma" (beetle nut concoction) and belt out his song about the great warriors of the past, about legends and many more. I did not understand then his ullalim because he focuses on one word and let it roll so long in his tongue, like he was savoring every letter of the word; one word kept him 30 seconds to maintain it in his vocal chords. ...."kanang kano de ullalim eh....." A good "singer" is usually one who can shift from high pitch to low pitch with the corresponding great sounding ululations and tremor. The ullalim is similar to a ballad, and is also sang with great emotion and candor. It is a custom worth saving.