More on Layad Nan Likhatan

As we noted in an earlier post, one of our visitors found this blog by googling “Who is the singer of Layad, one of the greatest song in Cordillera Administrative Region in the Philippines?”

We said that, to our knowledge, the song was popularized by Lourdes Gomeyac-Fangki who, if we’re not mistaken, has a blog here.

In the comments, Cheryl Daytec-Yangot, added this information about the song which we found to be very interesting and so we decided to upload it here:

The one who wrote it is a Mr. Oakes from Bontoc Central but it was first sang and popularized by Pedro Chinalpan.

According to Aunt Salma Martin (who prodded me to let everyone know the truth about the song), Mr. Oakes was so in love with a fair Bontoc maiden. However, the relationship did not prosper because the woman married a Mr. Claver.

Heartbroken, Mr. Oakes wrote the song. No wonder it is about a love that went wrong somewhere. I wonder why it is sung at weddings when its mood is so somber it could actually move you to sadness and tears.

Yun lang. This is just to give credit where credit is due.

Thanks, Cheryl. Cheryl also added that the melody is actually from an American song called “When There’s Love at Home”.

We must say that we’re a bit disappointed to hear that the song is not entirely “ours”.

But, true enough, when we googled “When There’s Love at Home”, we found out that the song was composed by John Hugh McNaughton. You can read more about the composer and his song here. And you can listen to or download recordings of the song here.

So now that we have established that we actually borrowed Layad nan Likhatan’s melody, we think that the title, “Greatest Song of the Cordillera Administrative Region” is still up for grabs. What song do you think deserves the title?

Anyways, the above video is a another version of the song, this time with an “upbeaty” sound, by the Pe’tune band. You can read more about this new version at Bontoc Ikholot.

RELATED POST: Blog Visitors: Your Questions. VIDEO CREDIT: wgacusana.

32 Comments
  1. Lourdes Gomeyac’s interpretation of Layad is so hauntingly beautiful. And thanks to her distinctive voice, the song became so popular that the whole Cordillera assumed it was hears lyrics, music and all.

    Bill and FTB regulars, why don’t we all try to find out what happened to the Layad lyric composer Mr. Oakes (I thought at first it was spelled ox as in oxen. Hehehe.) and then we will blog about it? His story has to be continued. (Hey,what a shame. Mr. Oakes wrote a great song and we do not even know his first name. It isn’t fair, di ba?)

  2. Opps..there is an error in my comment. I should have said, …”the whole Cordillera assumed it was hers (Lourdes’)- lyrics, music and all.

  3. kailyans,

    for a fairer look into oakes and layad (which I think is still the greatest to come out of the cordilleras), I suggest we get in touch with Mrs. Sofia Oakes Bacwaden (Oakes’ daughter) or Mrs. Winifred Comafay Ananayo (Oakes’ apo). Both are in Bontoc.

    yah, Lourdes sings well but her “country flair” does not so much reflect the mood of the song. (hers can do to awaken beer shoddies in folk dens he he!) Methinks, that, with the song being Central Bontoc by birth, a Bontoc worth his salt (diction, enunciation and all)can still see the reason why Chinalpan’s is the more authentic and expressive rendition!

    Chyt and Bill, many, dami,adu, daghan , banyak nga salamats! Khawis ta waday kayo ay mangnunungnung ay mangiwalakhawag isnan am-in ay enkhawisan nan ili tako ay Cordillera (“cordiyera” according to a favorite politician on this blog he he!!!). Itut-uloy yo tay siya nan mangipafikhas ken chatako!Nan kinagkhawis yo nan mangipakedser ken chakayo ya nan pamilya yo et ma-id masaksakit!

    Bill, you asked if your “finontok” was okay? Wen, mabfalin! Khawis met!Saka umey iska markit id Fontok ta maki kapi ka isnan amam-a et maawatan cha nan angnem ay enkali!

    Sige ngalud ta mamoknag ak et tay chey pumaway!

  4. I like the late Pedro Chinalpan’s version better , still remember singing the english and igorot version in grade 4 which was then taught by Mrs.Veronica Ngadao Pongod (wonder where she is now)

  5. nice.. one of the very few igorot songs i remember. i like the remix, thats great so this classic song will get the interest of young ones. at least it now sounds hip..

  6. Ay ayeeeee….gawis..gawis nan ilikhat nan layad tapno tet ewa ay sika ya tapnu uray nar-os cha am-in ya tet ewa pay lang.

    Ya…sha, ta satako et semken nga agpayso ta isuro tako sinan ungung-a nan kanta id kumasin ya baken langgay Britney Spears na ammu da he he. .

    Matago tago tako am in!

  7. Hi Chyt,
    Thanks. Oo nga, we have to do an update on the lyricist. Paging anyone who know more about Mr. Oakes, please give us more info about him. It’s really embarrassing that we don’t know his first name at all.

    Hi Anonymous (6:48)
    Thanks a lot for that information. I know Manang Winnie Ananayo. Maybe I’ll have coffee with her whenever I am in Bontoc.

    Salamat at nakapasa ang aking Finontok :-)

    Hehehe, basta andiyan kayong Cordiyera readers we will continue to be here. Kilala ko yung Cordiyera politician na iyan ha. Thanks again.

    Anonymous (7:40)
    I hope we have a recorded copy of Mr. Chinalpan’s version. Para naman hindi natin malimutan. You’re lucky your teacher taught you this song. Thanks.

    Hi Edwin,
    The remix is interesting ano. I agree that the young ones will get interested if we do things like this, without forgetting the originals of course :-)

    Hi Nadjhin,
    Hehehe, your Britney comment made me smile :-) I don’t know any of her songs at all because I’m already an oldie. Thanks again.

  8. After watching the video with my son, he said, “che forte”!(how strong, great or wow).

    Is the composer related to Dick Oakes?

  9. Was the late Mr Chinalpan a former dangwa bus driver or conductor? I
    remember this guy from Bontoc who I think composed and recorded an English song that goes like this:
    I was brougth up by kind parents
    I was once their pride and joy – only these two lines stuck to my brain all these years. Our Ifontok kailians, please shed some light on this.
    Bill, believe former Winnifred Comafay is a sibling of Preston Comafay (former bibak San Diego president). Ask Winnie if she still remembers my older sis, think
    they were classmates at MPHS in the 60′s. Cheers!

  10. yes, Dick Oakes is a grandson of the late Lakay Oakes of Layad.

    yes, Winnie is the older sister of Preston (in San Diego)

    yes, the late Pedro Chinalpan was for sometime a Dangwa bus driver….

    yes,as a school 3rd grader I remember him singing that BUT AM NOT SURE IF HE WAS THE ONE WHO WROTE that song…”I was brought up by kind parents, I was once their pride and joy, but I started drinking and gambling, all my life got the best of them all…” ahhh si Chinarpan ay kanan cha…his voice deep and with some streak of rustic eloquence..that’s what I remember

  11. Anonymous (the immediately preceding one), it looks like you know the Oakeses well. Please try to find out the first name of our Layad Oakes. We have to pay him tribute.

    Naglaing met gayam ni Pedro Chinalpan. Tingnan ninyo ang taga-Cordi, ang mga bus conductors nila ay song composers. Sosyal. Did you know that Ringo Starr of the Beatles became a bus conductor when he was already an ex-Beatle? And Jim Croce was a truck driver yata. Tinulad da man ni Chinalpan.

    We should also work together and gather as much info as we can about Mr. Chinalpan. Their contribution to our culture should be at least a footnote in the history of our people.

  12. Ay sus! Nawala ako sa usapan. Biglang pinunta ni Sir TB sa 60s. Hmmm… Im thinking who to ask about those info.

  13. chyt,bill-

    Let’s also try to get more info from:

    Andrew Chinalpan residing in QC (a_chinalpan@yahoo.com).He is a nephew of Mr. Pedro Chinalpan.

    Joy Christine Bacwaden at CHED Manila (jcobacwaden@ched.gov.ph). Apo of lakay Oakes. Joy is daughter to Sophia (and the late Santos from Besao as you know.

    Hope this helps. Thanks again.

  14. Hi Lovelyn,
    I’m glad he liked it :-). According to Anonymous 6:15, the composer is the grandfather of Dick Oakes. Thanks.

    Hi Trublue,
    Wow, so Mr. Chinalpan composed songs as well. Too bad, I haven’t heard that song yet.

    Yup, will ask her. Cheers.

    Hi Anonymous (6:15),
    Hey, thanks so much answering some of the queries. Did Pedro Chinalpan ever release a tape, or album? How did people get to know his songs? Thanks.

    Hi Chyt,
    I agree with you about gathering info about Chinalpan and Oakes. Hope we can get to know more about their works (and life as well).

    Didn’t know that Ringo Starr and Jim Croce were conductor /driver. Pero, as you said, ginaya nila si Chinalpan. Thanks :-)

    Hi Fongakhan,
    Hehehe, kunwari ka pa, di ba you’re also a child of the 60s? (joke joke)

    Hi Anonymous (11:57),
    Thanks for those info. Will get in touch with them to tell them about our discussion here as well as to more info. Much thanks.

  15. Hi Bill,

    Chinalpan had this 45RPM (san kanan tako ay “plaka” for “phono” turntables), blue and silver labeled if my memory serves us right! One side was Layad and the flip was a Japanese song interspersed with some English narration and musical lines..”I live because of you only, I live because we have love…”. Ahhh born in the 80′s, I can’t recall all ha ha ha so pasensya na bro!

  16. Ms Fongakhan – let me give you a lesson of the awesome and beautiful 60′s..hehe….

    It was the very height of the civil rights movement

    Vietnam war was raging and casualties were mounting each day

    The world was on the brink of a nuclear war

    Key civil rights leaders and politicians were assassinated

    Opposition to the Vietnam war was common in America as evidenced by constant protests

    Joan Baez and Bob Dylan emerged articulating the effects of the war and civil rights movement in their unforgettable songs

    Baguio was like Little America with Burnham lake’s clear water full of kois and gold fishes as well as Wright Park’s elongated pool. Camp John Hay was a premier golf destination of the elites as well as american servicemen

    NOW, Baguio is like the Philippines. Even your hometown Bontoc looks like Dagupan City with all those tricycles, hehehe..

    Rod Stewart, who popularized the song “Mandy” used to be a gravedigger in Great Britain. No wonder he looks like he has seen lots of ghosts…Rod joke lang!

    Did the late Mr Chinalpan ever recorded that english song he composed?

    Cheers to all and you too Rod.

  17. Trublue, I know also that John Denver who like Bob Dylan and Joan Baez is a musician I admire wrote Leaving On A Jetplane in the 1960′s.

    And John Denver was also opposed to the Vietnam War.

  18. Hi Anonymous,
    Thanks. Sayang, wala na yatang mga plaka ngayon. I really hope someone converted Pedro Chinalpan’s songs to the format we can play today (CD, etc) because otherwise we would not be able to listen to it and appreciate it. Thanks again.

    Hi Trublue,
    Much thanks for that. Yup, the 60s, one of the defining moments in history. LOL st your comment about the present day Baguio and Bontoc. Siguro iyon ang progress na hindi talaga progress kundi retrogress. Cheers.

    Hi Chyt,
    Thanks. Leaving on a Jetplane is one of my favorite John Denver songs :-)

  19. i still love if the song for the video is follow the leader ..the original i think…..but i love that song in the original instrumentation…sa male singer if i am not mistaken…

  20. Pining for the 6os then, Sir TB? Hehehe… As the lyrics of Nan Layad nan Likhatan goes, ‘Ento pay kasin chachi? Nar-os cha’t am-in.’ (sigh) Thanks for the much needed education of that era. I appreciate it!

    Yes, Bontoc does look like Dagupan not only because of the tricycles but also because of the houses that sprout here, there and everywhere. The local government does not seem to have the foresight to plan and map out the whole town in keeping with its rapid growth.

  21. Hi Nats,
    I agree, pinakabagay talaga yung follow the leader sa video footages. :-) Thanks.

    Fongakhan,
    Bilis nga ng devt sa Bontoc. Napuno na ng hotels yung rice fields ng Samoki. Thanks :-)

  22. oh, if he is related to Uncle Dick Oakes, i might ask some information about him but not now since the family is still going through pain right now. :) it was a good thing you guys wrote this stuff for us not to be mislead and give the credit to the one who really deserves it.

  23. Mr. Christopher “Inglis” Oakes is not the sole writer of the song “Nan Layad En Sikhafan” although it is generally attributed to him. According to my Mom (Sofia Oakes Bacwaden), it was composed in fun by a group of young men, one of whom was Ikit Inglis. The story behind it was that a certain Ilocano was deeply in love with a young lady from Payag-eo who, however, rejected him. This young lady eventually married Congressman George Tait.

    I guess through the years stories have become mixed up because it was my grandmother Fantek, who was courted by Mr. Claver. By the way, Christopher Oakes was more popularly known as “Inglis” because he spoke English very well.

    The song uses the music of “Love at Home.” It was first sung in public in 1947 during the Bontoc Town Fiesta celebration by young high school students who were home for the summer vacation. They were led by Atty. Jaime K. Gomez. My Mom said she remembers my grandfather dictating the lyrics to them as they sang the song.

    In the versions of Ms. Lourdes Gomeyac-Fangki and Mr. Chinalpan, the first line of the chorus has been changed from the original melody.

  24. Aaahh! What a song (NAN LAYAD EN SIKHAFAN).Palalo ya tet-ewa nan ma ‘inlove’.Either it gives u inspiration or desperation.Loving someone makes u cry or gives u a smile Geeeee! What a feeling so difficult to DEFINE grrrr! He he he you gals and guys out there come out to share what yuo know about these song composers(Mr.Oakes and Mr.Chinalpan) and be PROUD of your great ALAPOS’ talents. Isu gayam a nga nalaing ni mnong Dicdic kano nga agkanta lolo na sigurado ni Mr.Oakes.
    Also, To you dear freind Joan Chinalpan Bocyong ikit mo nget si Mr.Pedro Chinalpan tay mayat nan boses mo ay inkanta.I envy you of your voice tay sak en ket broken voice which is irreperable.pity pity me. My kids complain that they got my “pangit”voice not their dad’s who also sings well.Gee!

  25. im proud of my race . .and to my aunt sofia bacwaden who made a nice impression in singing layad en sikhafan . .Kudos!

  26. jamieline: how did the popular phrase “Bacwaden has the key” originated from? Heard it so many times before.

  27. I spoke to my 90 year old cousin and he sang this song to me beginning with the lyrics “I was brought up by kind parents…I once was their pride and joy”… My cousin
    sent me all of the words via e-mail. If anyone is interested, I’ll send the rest of the verse/lyrics.
    Mari

  28. i’m very proud to be an igorot and of course, one of the son of mr. pedro chinalpan sr…the first professional singer and composer in the codillera…yap, he compose nan layad nan likatan when he was a dangwa bus driver then…salamat sa mga nakakaalala sa aming ama…

    .

  29. My dad songs will always remember him “Nan Layad Layad” is the most popular song that even sang and recorded by others. Thanks for all your appreciation . He was a great father to us.

  30. i still remember our old Ikit Inglis in his old rattan rocking chair. He wasn’t singing his song, at that time, but his eyes were as cool and as charming as his SONG! Ang gwapo po nya!!

  31. Love to tell more about my father, Pedro Chinalpan known to many as “Ckala” from Samoki.- was married to Cecilia Sumeg-ang from Chackong, Bontoc. Although he made Calanan, Tabuk home for his wife and 13 children, his heart was still the genuine Igorot. He was a Dangwa bus driver doing the Baguio- Tabuk route which was then called “straight bus” (there was no stopping over in Bontoc for a rest except during meals and toilets). He claimed that singing was his way of entertaining bored passengers at the same time keeping him awake from the long drive.

    “Nan Layad nen Likhatan” was surely a favorite “anthem” among his passengers. Some other favorites were other Igorot and Ilocano songs he wrote. The family I must confess do not have a complete set of his vinyls (originals were ruined by fire). I would very much appreciate anyone who got his records to keep in touch on this blog. Cheers all

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