Itneg Victory Chant: Idemdem Malida

Ever heard of Idemdem Malida? It is a traditional Itneg victory chant arranged into a chorale piece by Prof. Elmo Makil. This video is an interpretation of the song by the University of the Philippines Concert Chorus. The singers look kinda silly with all that arms-waving (I’m not sure it fits the song) but they really sing well. Nice eh?

Lyrics courtesy of a poster in this Ilokano forum.

Idem-dem malida inabak mi dâida,
Idem-dem malida!
Yommayom agdagdagil, yommayom, oo..ah.
Idem-dem malida, inabak mi dâida, ah..oo.
Dong dong ay sidonilay insalisallidummay.
Ilailalay, iddem-dem malida.
Dong dong ay sidonilay insalisallidummay.
Yommayom agdagdagil, yommayom, oo..ah.
Idem-dem malida, inabak mi dâida..Ai!

17 thoughts on “Itneg Victory Chant: Idemdem Malida”

  1. Hi,
    Thanks for dropping by. Sorry, I only know “inabak mi daida” which means “we beat/defeated them”. And of course, “dongdong ay … sallidumay” is a common Cordillera chorus which , to my knowledge, doesn’t really mean anything. Parang “lalalalala”.

  2. i just watched the itneg victory chant. i think they didn’t do justice to the piece. why would the winners appear and sound solemn, as if they were the ones who were trampled upon? fellow igoys from abra must be offended by how one of their proud moments is portrayed. compare this with the manner with which players from new zealand (usually done by the rugby players) perform the hakku (their VICTORY CHANT). i once followed their achievements in a tournament, which also included players from argentina, italy, australia, etc. this happened in the early 2000’s and it lasted for a few weeks. pardon me for the memory lapse but my point here is that the kiwis went on to win the tournament and the best part of the show for me was when they did the hakku. there they were, with all their indigenous looks, (i say this, of course, to stress their contrasting appearance with their mostly white opponents) with their arms waving, their feet stomping, their shaved heads nodding (some had a few strands left on their forehead), shouting whatever it was that they were shouting. only they understood what they were saying, but what the heck! they won! i was watching and something in that moment stirred me. i said, “yeah! i’m proud to be ethnic!”

  3. LOL. You have a good point there! Victory chant nga pala ito. Your comment, somewhat similar to Natz’s in the Kalinga video, raises the question on whether we should appreciate those artists who seek to “present” our culture but end up misrepresenting us.

    In fairness to the singers, I think they would be more excited/energetic if they were performing and cheering their team in a sports event and not in a concert hall.

  4. i still think that it’s a demonstration of a bad case of choreography and direction. (ake ke ke, keg ngan di ammok is choreography ya direction is.) if anything, it would have been an opportune time to rouse the audience from its slumber. (i would imagine the other parts of the show to be really somnolent if a victory chant is delivered that way. sori po sa mga taga up concert chorus.) the audience did seem to appreciate it though… anyway, we really should be careful in making these comments lest we be accused of being onion-skinned. but here’s hoping that there will be no more future ‘mispresentations’ of our culture. (poor we! all we can do is hope.)

  5. Hi Anonymous,
    Thanks for dropping by. I didn’t know that our brother and sister Tingguians are more into music and dances. This makes it all the more important for those who appropriate their culture and use them for entertainment purposes to be more informed and to be more sensitive about what they are adopting. Eh kasi baka ang gagaling ng Tingguian na sumayaw pero yung gumagaya sa kanila ay hindi naman magaling baka ang sabi tuloy ng nanonood na hindi pala magaling ang Tingguian. Which is not the case.

    Thanks again and we hope you continue to drop by.

  6. Hi Anonymous,
    Ay, isu nga kankanayon ka nga agbisita ditoy ta maikkat ti iliw mo 🙂 Thanks for visiting us and adding your comment, we hope you continue to join us in the future.

  7. thank you for creating this blog.it helped a lot with my research though little facts are presented.thanks a lot.i hope i can count on this blog again. 😛 our choir sang this song too; i think we did more justice on the tayoktok part than upcc..haha!just kidding..:D thanks po ulit–denise (wala po akong google account of whatever so anonymous na lang :D)

  8. Hi Anon,
    You’re welcome. It’s good to know that we can help. Hehe, natalo ninyo UPCC ha :-). Thanks and we hope you continue to join us.

  9. Yep, this is a victory chant after a war or some battle. the “solemn” part, I believe, is when they cry for those who died in the battle: mourning the dead. then they go back to the singing and dancing about their victory.

    in all fairness, this is a choir concert and not an Itneg tribal festival. their movements must have been based on Itneg tribal movements (i’m assuming) but they couldn’t really go all the way tribal lest they want to scare their audience away…

  10. Hi Anonymous,
    Your explanation regarding the solemn part does make a lot of sense. Thanks 🙂

  11. the song is indeed a tribal victory chant after a war… and anonymous was right about the mourning part. although it is a chant for victory, please take note that just like everyone else, it is also part of their rituals to commemorate those who risked their lives for the war that was won. take note also that UPCC’s choreography isn’t out of nowhere… the choreographer always does a thorough research about the song before they decide on what movements to incorporate.

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