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‘Once I saw..’ in Kamankihang

SOME INFOBITS BEFORE we proceed.

The Pucay Catores Sib (or clan) with home bases in Baguio City, Nueva Vizcaya, Bokod, and La Trinidad announces its 2nd Grand Reunion after a long lull of 15 years or so. A re-organizational meeting is scheduled Friday, the 17th, of next week. For details, consult Overall Coordinator Rogelio “Reuben” Basco.

There’s a new book, entitled: “Rediscovering Ibaloy Wisdom” authored by Dr. Gleemore C. Makie of PMA and yours truly. It is a simplified, illustrative, and modest presentation of Ibaloi History, Philosophy, Language, and Culture, via the auspices of basic Prose and Poetry. Order your copies from the authors or simply text CP #s 09195500883 or 09186832034, or 09436199430. Now, to our topic main on “Once I saw…”

* * * * * * * * * *

Waday non-an kon titit,

Kaman..yap yaptok;

Etkowanko’ysi-gamtitit,

Agay nen: hagged mo ak;

Yet limmawak di tawa,

Ta tatbalen ko koma;

Nam wingi ni payad to,

Anga lay tayab to!

HOW IS THE ABOVE material for those now teaching under the MTBLE program? Its words are simple, brief and metered. In fact, it can be sung; it is re-cast from an old Grade I song that rendered many pupils, to become later great leaders of the village, the province, or the whole country. Said song goes (and I make no elisions.. nor any word-replacements):

Once I saw a little bird,

Come hop, hop, hop;

So, I cried: ‘a little bird,

Will you stop, stop’;

Then, I went to the window,

To say, “How do you do?”

But it shook its little wings,

And far away, it flew!

“BUT, DO YOU recommend ‘the material’ for all MTBLE (Grades 1-3) teachers?” You may be prompting to ask. And my answer:

YES I DO! And for the very basic reason of its ‘modesty and simplicity.’ I say these and I mean

THE ‘CHARACTERS’ ARE: a learning girl or boy – or the MTBLE pupil himself/herself; and/or a learned, but vocationed, Gradeschool teacher whose patience could match the ‘simplified’ words and sounds.

THE REASON I say this is the wordings are tailored to address the difficulty of both teacher and pupil to grapple with a natural, native language. Not-a-few Ethnolinguists call this:

“THE POWER AND charm of the lingua franca”.

LINGUA FRANCAS, AS well as creoles, pidgins, repertoires, etc., are reputed to do ‘wonders’ vice the use of the strict, original, and (often) more complicated ‘mother’ languages.

THE ‘ORIGINAL’ VOICED consonants become voiceless, the ‘hard’ vowels become ‘soft’, plosives become single, regular sounds, etc., resulting to easier, smoother, and ‘more flexible’ versions(!) of the original forms.

[AS WESTERNLY-TRAINED ONES, our best illustrations are: 1) the ‘classical’ Roman Latin, brought to (or enforced upon) the Gauls or early French -> fructifying to Old French, and now: Modern French; and then, 2) Old English or Anglo-Saxon (OE or AS in the dictionaries) – precipilating to Middle English in the later regimes of the Norman Line of 1056-1400; and what we speak today as Modern English]. Now, back to our Intro,

AND YES, OUR illustrative song-example is worded in the ‘now-emerged’ Kamankihang ‘lingua franca’ – a language basically matrixed from old (or Archaic) Nabaloi, and ‘classical’ (i.e. used in the songs and rituals) Kalanguya but

ACCESIBLE TO KANKANA-EY, Iluko, and the Bago (Lowland-Highland) ‘varieties’ of Speeches indigenous. For sample details, we take some words from our song and look closely upon them.

THE FIRST WORD Waday in Old Nabaloi would be Gwara’y and in Classical Kalanguya: wadai or wada e. In ‘deeper’ Kankana-ey, it actually in present time: wad-ay.

THE WORD SI-GAM in the third line, in Archaic as well as in Contemporary Nabaloi is Si-kham; in Modern Kalanguya: Hi-gam; in Kankana-ey, Sik-a; in Iluko and in Bago, Sika.

THE PHRASE ~ DI TAWA in the first line of Stanza 2 would be in Old Nabaloi~chi tawa but in most areas now ~shi tawa..although some localitites still use, like Kabayan and Karao -~chi tawa; ~di tawa is still very much Kalanguya, all varieties (Benguet, Ifugao, Nueva Vizcaya, etc.); although a bit distanced from the Bago and Iluko: idiay tawa as well as from Kankana-ey:ed tawa or ad isdi tawa. But

TECHNICAL ACCURACIES ASIDE, we are saying: we can begin effectively implementing the MTBLE ‘in these Heights’ by using the advantages of middle-way languages or lingua francas, and we offer this song, ‘Once I saw a little bird’, now thus translated to Kamankihang. Waday non-an kon titit, anyone?

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