The above title depicts the tale of the people whose narrative is such that, in the most dramatic moments of their lives, escaping from untoward circumstances has characterized their collective experience and consciousness. Here is how their tale unfolded:
In a certain place of Burauen, Leyte, a group of people with their families lived harmoniously and prosperously, vibrant with their peculiar culture and lifeways. They were experts at making handicrafts and other items which they used to facilitate and expedite their tasks. They effectively utilized items such as tibud, kawayan, and many more, enjoying the richness of their culture and native delicacies like bukayo, kurukod, bibingka, linupak, etc.
Amid their peaceful existence with nature, friends, and loved ones, their daily chores and livelihoods were disrupted one day when war broke out between two warring forces that were hostile to each other. Caught in the crossfire, the people found themselves under risky conditions. And so, fearing for their lives, they sought ways to remedy their situation as the war had not just made them vulnerable; their place became a warzone, and they were eventually dislodged from that land, frantically heading nowhere.
In their desperate desire to escape, they prayed to the object of their faith, then—the image of the Immaculate Concepcion. Of course, they prayed to the Supreme Being above all as they needed divine interventions from on high for them to survive and preserve their ethnic ancestry before war would annihilate them to oblivion.
As they awaited their fate, a huge eagle emerged from somewhere and came into full view. The elders then interpreted the sight of the majestic bird as the answer to their prayers. They followed the eagle underneath, making sure they didn’t lose sight of it. The big bird led their way slowly until they came upon a spot that was carefully nestled in between hills alternating with plains. The beautiful place looked perfect for evacuation ends, as a place of refuge, being guarded securely by nearby mountains.
They then settled in that area, built their houses, and made a living by farming, hunting, and harvesting nature’s yield. People from other places who experienced the same plight as they did likewise found safety in that spot so, gradually, the population increased as it became a place of refuge to the dispossessed. Thus, their village became known as Kalaguiwan, or Laguiwan for short, since it became a haven for those who sought safety from various dangers.
The term lagiwan is derived from the Waray word kalaguiw (old spelling for kalagiw), which means escape, in English. Pagkalagiw means to escape; lagiwan refers to the people who escape, and kalagiwan is the area where they escaped to, for hiding and safety. It is still there now, bearing the same name, and inhabited by village people.