Issue of September 17, 2017
Mt. Province

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I have a ‘clan’…

YES, I HAVE – one of many, actually, but this one is the most.. ‘Interesting’, as the Americans would say.

[DON’T ASK ME those perplexing “why?s”, since there is no term to describe them as more ‘capturing’ than the Am-English expression: ‘interesting’.

[NO, NOT EVEN in Tagalog, nor Iluko, not even in Nabaloi; so, let’s proceed], and to wit:

I HAVE THIS clan – or better: ‘I belong to this clan’, by virtue of one of my parents; and the clan’s name is pegged on the Ibaloi name of my grandfather.

IT IS ‘INTERESTING’ really, because being a part of it is ‘like life itself’ e.g. you experience joy but sometimes sadness; or you’re fascinated, but at times you’re irked; you receive kind words, but on occasions, you’re ‘bullied’, etcetera. First thing ‘queer’ about it is:

IT IS NOT yet ‘organized’ formally – no officers, no sub-clan reps, or so, that you may imagine.. but my relatives and cousins call it a ‘clan’. And they’re mighty proud to ‘display’ and talk about it as one, e.g. the younger ones wear coloured sandos bearing the clan’s name.

SECOND THING ‘INTERESTING’ about it is: they recognize the ‘seniority’ of the older members – and even call them ‘uncle’, ‘grandpa’, ‘auntie’ or ‘lola’; however, when in public gatherings, the ‘younger’ clan members do not demonstrate the same recognition in actions; rather, they allow other clans to extend the accords.

SOMETIMES IT BECOMES ‘mighty interesting’ – because in those said gatherings, you’ll feel ‘consumed’ expecting or waiting to be given those direct address terminologies, but.. maybe what you can settle with is a plain smile when you meet them going to the program or gathering; or, coming from there. So that

WHEN YOU ARRIVE home, you’ll be wondering if it is their ‘natural’ attitude; or their ‘normal’ ways? But

JUST THE SAME you greet them because they are your ‘bloodkin’, and you “belong to the same clan”, as their parents, and the folks around, say and know; “ah, come on, senior one:” you say to yourself: “greet them, greet them.. so they’ll learn to do it by themselves, later.. sooner..” Who knows, a ver?

THE THIRD THING about it is: when ‘readying’ for a forthcoming ‘formal’ meeting with appertaining companies or agencies – re ‘clan’ concerns, members – young and old, have a lot in-preparation; but when the meeting proper comes, lo!, you see them on the sides.. like stupefied snails – natuktukan nga bissokol, and same when fourth thing:

BEFORE AND AFTER, the same.. plus additional members, unleash their ‘bright views and opinions’, but the moment the presiding officer says: ‘the meeting please may come now to order.. and during the length of the discussions, they just enjoy listening and watching, without saying.. nunca, not even an utterance of contribution, but wait.. until the final word “adjourned” is pronounced, and their hands come a-clapping! Fifth and final thing about is: there strongly appears a cultural ‘flaw’ among its members, on aspect of leadership, that is:

THEY PROJECT THEMSELVES to be clan-oriented or directioned, but they acknowledge only the sub-clan (sometimes ‘direct’) family lines and speakers.

IT IS LIKE, you’re saying you want a municipal-wide concern addressed but you only believe in your barangay chairman’s views – or, in some councilmen’s advices.

WORST, THERE ARE ‘extremes’ of this type, to wit: those that believe only in themselves; and, on the other end: ‘those who listen to ‘outsiders’ of the clan, rather than to their ad hoc officers or elders, or fellows, in the ‘clan’ which they say they belong to; or, are members of!

SO MANY OTHER things ‘interesting’ about this clan I have – or belong to; but I choose to lift my pen in the meantime – for pertinent self-reflections about it; questions searching me like: 1) my ‘membership’ being supposed-to-be ‘automatic’, by virtue of my lineage with them, but need I sign-up ‘formally’ for inclusion? I could help or contribute ‘indirectly’? 2) some of my other lineage clans where I’m already ‘registered’ a member have the same ‘interesting’ characteristics.. do I have any way to try this one on-topic? 3) we all know that

“NO ‘GROUPING’ IS perfect”; so, this clan is no exception. The kinship constituents plan to formally organize.. end of October, this year. I have plenty of time to reflect: an ‘active’, role-playing, registered member – to be, or not to be: that is the question!

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