Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Family reunions

Family reunions have become a part of the Igorot’s life. In the past, when we were still young kids, we haven’t known reunions of any kind but technology has changed the life in the mountains and made the life of the Igorots far different from what we have known in our early life.  Family reunions is now one of the most exciting and fun family activities in my hometown and it is always an occasion to look forward too.  In the past, this was not a usual practice but now that Igorots have been modernized, they have now adapted a lifestyle that every Filipino enjoys.

Now, Igorots are scattered in many parts of the Philippines as well as around the world. They aren’t living in the ancient times and aren't anymore primitive people just like what other people think but they are educated and learned just like the other Filipinos.  Igorots may have their own culture to preserve but they could be at par with other Filipinos who are living a modern lifestyle.

Igorots have emerged from the cultural minorities to be at par with the other Filipinos. They have come out from their cocoon of long time ago. Today, you can find Igorots in all corners of the world. They are scattered in all parts of the worlds working in all fields and areas of professions. Some are skilled workers and others have penetrated the world of entertainment and specialized areas of profession.

I attended a family reunion on December 28, 2009 and met a lot of my relatives. We did have a happy family reunion and I came to know about the life of my other relatives. The young generations have made it in the fields they have chosen. There are lawyers, accountants, teachers, engineers, policemen with ranks, computer related skills, nurses and other careers that I haven’t thought they would have interest in.

It was a very successful family reunion. We all had fun and enjoyed the day with lots of good news from each family present. I was so overwhelmed at the achievements of the younger generations. Except for a few kids who aren’t achievers, most of the younger generations are achievers in their own chosen courses and careers. This made me very proud of my family.

This is the first time that I attended a family reunion but I find it the best part of my life. As I stood there in front of all my old and young relatives, I was so proud assessing each of them because all of them have done their best to achieve something in life.

This will be a very memorable event in my life that will be with me forever.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Drying Rice to help the Bereaved family

Drying rice on the road is not an everyday scene in Tadian. 

When someone dies, the first thing that people will consider is the food for the people, so they dry the rice on the road before bringing it to the rice mill.  The cooperation of people in times of need could not be questioned in Tadian.  I have been there and I saw how people all cooperated when somebody needed help and this is without waiting for something in return.  What I love in my people is that they never do something because they are expecting for money in return.  What they always think is the help they are extending to the family in need.  So, every time somebody dies in the community, the bereaved family has no problem at all.

Being helpful and cooperative are some of the special qualities of the people in Tadian, Mt. Province. You couldn’t miss them when help is needed by their neighbors. This is the reason why people who are in need couldn’t be left in a very pitiful state because of the help that comes from every townsfolk.

When someone dies, people gather and cooperate. The simple drying of rice is done by the women. They dry the rice harvest along the road then help each other pound the rice to be ready for milling. The job does not stop there because once the rice is brought home; they have to prepare the meals for the people who are there to sympathize with the family in grieve.  Some women especially those without young children at home stay to help in every way they can tot he bereaved family. 

When I look at how the people work together in order to make the tragedy become easier for the grieving family, I couldn’t help but appreciate how my people could be so thoughtful and considerate of things. The townsfolk are like one big family when adversities occur.

Perhaps this is one of the most valued characteristics of people that need to be preserved. But looking at the people in the town, I’m sure they will always preserve their practices, traditions and beliefs because they are people who value their culture too much.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Tadian, Mt. Province an Emerging Town in The Philippines

by: Felisa Daskeo

Tadian, Mountain Province is just another simple, unknown town in the northern part of the Philippines. Perched between tall mountains overcrowded with tall pine trees and rocks that looked like guards above, Tadian is as quiet as the cold morning breeze and as serene as the mountain overlooking it. The tranquility of the town makes one feel so cozy and at peace with the rich nature surrounding it. Living in this town makes one feel so protected and blanketed with the calmness and peace that easily devours the innermost being.

Yes, this is my hometown that I call home. Home because even if I don't live now in the place, the mere thought of the place makes me feel at ease and safe.

Nature around is what makes the place rich. Nature was so kind. The land is fertile and although it is mountainous is fit for planting. The Igorots terraced the terrains in order for them to be able to plant rice and vegetables. This rice terraces is one of the wonders of the world that kept people imagining how all those rice terraces were so perfectly and beautifully carved in the mountains.
The rice terraces are just a few meters away from the beautiful houses.
But these were not done overnight, instead, the rice terraces were created by the Igorots since the time that man has learned to use tools. I imagine they had made use of the crude tools of primitive times. Until now, men are still building rice terraces in my hometown. That is their way of life and for as long as man is alive the rice terraces will still be built by my people.

Igorots are known as very hard-working people. This was proven by what they could do to the mountains around them. No man could build rice terraces as incredibly as the Igorots. They are natural engineers who love terracing mountains in order to make a living.

Igorots are early risers. They go to the fields at dawn until sunset. The women carry crops on their heads to bring home to their families. while the men carry them on their broad shoulders.
The woman is already in her seventies, but she still goes to the fields.
When I was a little girl, I could still remember how my father and my grandfather woke up at three in the morning to prepare their food and then go to the fields as early as four o’clock in the morning. Nobody was allowed to sleep until sunrise. According to the old men and women, a person who wakes up late will not be able to accomplish something.

The Igorots have emerged with the drastic change in technology and they cannot be left behind. This is not impossible because of their love for education. Most of the new generations are now degree holders and they are either out in the cities or else in other countries working and developing their skills.

Even the types of houses built in Tadian are affected by the modern life. You cannot see anymore the traditional houses around but big, concrete houses that are at par with the houses in other communities in the Philippines.
This house is already an antique house. In the 1960s, this was the best house I have ever seen in my life, but today there are more and more beautiful houses being constructed in Tadian.
Tadian town is now populated with beautifully constructed houses. Below are a few of them.

Some people might think that Igorots are pagans. While our ancestors had their own beliefs and their God, we are Christians and we have our church.
This is a Roman Catholic church.

The old tradition of burying the dead in the yard is not anymore a practice in Tadian. There are two cemeteries in the town which are both free.

My father who passed away in 1994 was buried in the cemetery.

A walk around town will bring you to a memorable place where I finished my elementary education. The Tadian Central School is only a few meters away from our old house and I walked to and from school every day.

Walk further and you will see a stairway that seems to lead to heaven. And there you find the Tadian Municipal Hall.

And then, going up the road, you will finally find the school where I finished my high school education. Now, Tadian School of Arts and Trades where I studied in the 1970s has now become a Mountain State Polytechnique College that caters to both high school and college students.
This is the academic subjects building. There are several other buildings around.
I have walked you around my town and hope you have enjoyed it. Thank you for dropping by.

Copyright 2009 Felisa Daskeo

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

A Poem Borne From The Heart

This Ilocano poem was long been kept in my trunk. My younger brother was still in high school when he composed this poem. I was so overwhelmed when I read it because it touches the deepest chamber of the heart when one truly reads and try to see into the words of this poem. I am sharing this poem to everybody who understands Ilocano.


Uray met ti panunot agtayab
A kas kalapati
Ket suknorenna to kaadalman
A paset dagiti sardam
Saan a nagpayak
Dagiti lagip ko,
Naitalimengda iti kaunggak
Nga aglulua iti dara

Kasano a mailibayak
Ket nakapatpatak ti saning-i
Dagiti agtinnag a tudo
A mangipalagip ipupusaymo?
Uray no daegan to init
Ti nagrupsa a pammategko
Matdaakto latta a mangipalagip
Kadagiti nanglaylay a Sampagita
A tinagibik iti kaawanmo.

I have yet to know how much effort my brother put into this poem as a very young man when he composed this. Perhaps one would wonder how a very young man was able to compose such very heart-rending poem.

To my brother who composed this poem, I give my whole heart appreciation for what you have done. Thanks for composing this poem and I’m sure people will love this just like how I love it.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Legend of the name TADIAN

 The Legend of the name, Tadian, Mt. Province, was narrated to me by my father who loved to tell us stories about our place and our old folks.

There are lots of interesting stories about my place and my old folks and other people of my cultural heritage and this is just one of them. Several stories of long time ago were not written in books but I will try to have a recollection of them and share them with you in this site.

When I heard the story about my town, I was amazed because it sounded funny.

The story begins with an Igorot man caressing a rooster, perhaps early morning in his yard or on the way. Then there was this White man passing by, (it wasn’t told whether the man was an American or a European), all they knew was that he was a white man asking some directions from the man engrossed with the cock. The Igorot man of course was not in a position to comprehend the English language in those olden times and he ended misinterpreting the White man.

So, with no other thoughts in mind but the treasure in hand, the Igorot man thinking that the White man was amused about the cock and was asking about it, he answered, “Manok adi ay natadi-tadian.” (A chicken with crowns.)

From that time on, the town was named Tadian.