Issue of January 15, 2017
Mt. Province

Panagbenga Flower Festival
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Spending time with ‘ethnic’ folks

LET US FIRST greet you reading – as well as our other readers: a merry, happy new year to all – aminapo, awanlabas! So,

HOW DID YOUR Christmas – plus ‘semestral’, plus ‘office break’ go? That was a long period, wasn’t it? In UB, for instance, the students went on vacation December 6, 2016, and came back for enrollment January 3, 2017.

[OF COURSE, FOR the Admin, Faculty, and other employees, maybe shorter.. because of things they have to take care of or set in place like grades, schedules, others.

[THIS UB MODEL could be longer – or shorter, in terms of the vacation ‘period’ compared to other institutions, companies, LGUs, and PVUs; still the ‘break’ or rest-periods these last few years recent have been more lengthy than those in previous years of the decades preceding, now..]

THE CHRISTMAS SEASON indeed longer than years usual, how do people now in our midst wisely spend those freetime hours of the day? Perhaps, earlier in November’s last week, they already start planning? Or..

THAT THEY DON’T blueprint a guia itenerario, but rather have the most of the period spent for sleep, rest, and relaxation than for: sports, travel, and adventure like Mt. climbing and island hopping? Or..

THAT THEY JUST let the hours free-ly pass by..celebrating this or that special segment of their respective life histories, without favour or extra-attention – the laissez-faire principle.. in unrestricted modes of execution?

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WELL, YES: MOST of us – or all of us, wisely spent our vacation – each to his own unique, special – planned, unplanned, even ‘spontaneous’ way(s).

COUSIN PAUL TOTTO for instance told me he spent his mostly missioning, “in service to the Lord and for love and concern to fellows – gaits near and far and the kakailianes.”

ANOTHER COUSIN–KNOWN in the clan circle as ‘Uncle Pat’ texted me often to say: with his calling as an incumbent Municipal Councilor, his vacation “was maximized..attending mostly to my constituents, to fellow public servants, to family, friends, and relatives.. how fulfilling, indeed!”

* * * * * * * * * *

IN THE PARTICULAR case of my clan or family circle, we did same – and some parallel; and to give you an eyeview to wit:

ONE OF MY daughters preferred to spend vacation with her daughter, husband, and in-laws; another daughter went local tourist with her husband in the Visayas – el Nido, Cebu, Boracay; and another daughter preferred to stay Baguio home with people close to her heart and roots – her siblings, bloodkin, friends – both special and batchmates. And moi? How was my vacation spent – aside those times spent with my clan, family circle, and friends?

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IN SEPARATE DETAIL, let me share my vacation days and hours with my ‘ethnic’ folks in those times when I did not meet with my children – as they had their own schedules, parties, and classmate ‘renewals’.

IN DIRECT REFERENCE to my title of ‘ethnic folks’, I mean my Bingaan folks – or those who speak (n.b.some just ‘used-to-speak’) the Bingaan language I so endeavour to continue working for, and hope one day to be able to revive.

[THIS IN FACT is my matrix strain – though I have others, both distant and local.. the largest of which – counted to the 9th generation, is the Ibaloi or Nabaloi and which in turn is the one which is poised at overshadowing or ‘exterpating’ the Bingaan history, language, and culture].

I JOURNEYED THREE times – during my more-than-a-month Christmas/New Year ‘break’ – to renew ties with my Bingaan‘ethnic folks’ and hereunder I share the ‘lessons’ learned in said renewals, to wit: first,

CLAN OR BEYOND-CLAN news are surprisingly always ‘fresh’, ‘new’, and ‘interesting’; e.g. “Your cousin Trudes’ son, Kung Fu, got married and they’re blest with twins – both handsome!” or, “Boyakh Lomerez just went abroad, his wife petitioned for him.. he is now in Canada;” or, “the fish ponds of Balthazar Dorente Sr. is now revived.. self-effort.. it is again teeming with tilapia”; or, this informative one: “this and that clan – both in Mambolo, Poblacion, recently had reunions respective last month.. you were not invited, because they know you were in school”; and so on. Second,

RENEWAL OF KINSHIP ties “is never lugi” (once said and I first heard from cousin Whigas Cilo); never a losing venture indeed: you meet or talk or exchange news and views with your relatives and you feel happy, light, and plain ‘good’. Khawi-Khawis yahh! Third,

LEGENDARY ORAL ACCOUNTS about our folk heroes and ancestors are still very much alive – told and re-told in many a story-sessions in cañaos and like gatherings; for example:

Though some have gone ‘part-editing’ – like this time: they say ‘Bajes, the Ibatan’ was not really from Batan but rather from Tinoc and marrid in Batan; some accounts have remained ‘intact’ was originally told like: the case of ancestor Anno Ng – who, it is said had extraordinary strength and agility, nan bahsos; and some not only just re-told but ‘fortified and given living evidences.. as with the accounts attributed to ancestor Sangkoi Dagdagod – raconteurs now say it must be really it that he came up from the seas.. an Asian swordsman named originally as San Koi or San Toi;

That his later in-laws and subsequent villagemates attached the by-name Dagdagod in recognition of his many times leading them drive back raiding enemies..and so forth.. Fourth,

THE SIMPLE, HUMBLE, honest ways demonstrated me by my Bingaan ‘ethnic’ folks have inspired me multi-fold. Expressed for instance by Jes-james Apse–and concurred in by peers Nichols de Mambo and Moonrow Durants:

“Angken ayshi pila-pilak.. (transl. ‘Even if no money..’) as long as we stay healthy and happy, our New Year is already much okey!” Fifth,

THE ‘NATIVE’ DISHES – and the traditional ways of preparing them, admittedly refreshes the Psyche and the Body and deep within. One time you come by Bingaan and:

Try the Pising (gabi or taro leaves main), the Khinnodai (smoked or dried deer meat); the Sebbeng (Ibaloi vinegar), the Amke(or Bingaan hot sauce), the Kintoman red rice or the Balatinaw violet rice, etc., and you’ll see the real-treat difference!

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