Sunday, December 25, 2011

Kalinga Male Native Costume, Igorot Male Costume

The male Kalinga native costume is very simple. It consists of a woven, long rectangular cloth which could be used to cover the male private organ. There are no upper clothing.

Feathers could be worn as a head dress and beads or “bongol” can add “glamor” to the Kalinga male native costume.

In the olden days, tattoos were worn by proud warriors. The more tattoo a male had, the more prized heads, he had cut off. It is a proud symbol of bravery and courage, in the olden times.

Image credit: Bryan Elevado

Friday, December 23, 2011

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Sunday, November 27, 2011

The Beauty of Kalinga - Clear, Flowing Stream

Brook in Boundary of Tabuk and Tanudan
Image Credit: Nats Dalanao

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Common Taloctoc, Kalinga Greetings and Their English Translations

Common Taloctoc, Kalinga Greetings/Sentences

Umma Ayam? -Where are you going?
Umma ngadon no - What's your name?
Umma idon no -Where do you live?
Laydok sika - I love you.
Mangantako - Let's eat.
Umalikat na - Come here!
An-amos tako - Let's take a bath.
Intakkon - Let's go!
Umma igaw no - Where are you?

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Remembering the Kaingin in Taloctoc

Kaingin at Dupag Naneng,the kaingin in Taloctoc looks the same
Image Credit: Nats Dalanao

I have worked as a young girl in the kaingins of Taloctoc. When young girls my age were used to the climb every morning and the descent every afternoon, I was not. So I stayed behind with my grandparents at the kaingin in a small hut just enough for us to sleep and eat.

I have loved the early mornings when I woke up while the sun was still shyly peeping from the rim of the world. I would pick up my bamboo container and fetch water from the spring located further down the slope. I felt like a boy, carrying the bamboo container on my young shoulders.

After this chore, I went mushroom hunting, savoring the rejuvenating, and morning breeze playing on my face. I would stand up at near the highest peak of the denuded forest and look down upon our village Taloctoc. It gave me “power” to be able to observe the village from above like some Norse Goddess looking down upon her people.

It was so peaceful and tranquil; I had wanted to capture that moment forever in my heart. But time ticked and life went on.

By then the gentle sun would be happily beaming from behind the clouds. Give it a few hours, and it would be fiercely beating down upon us, relentlessly, so I had to hurry. I would scurry back to the hut and get my gears and get ready for another day of labor at the kaingin. Those were the days…

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Kalinga Song

Kalinga Song by Jovie Sag-al
Video credit: wilson1234896/YouTube

Kalinga songs have character and great melodies.

Here are more videos of Kalinga songs.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Tales of the Paranormal : The Patao

I grew up in the hinterlands of Taloctoc, Kalinga Apayao. But before that, I stayed in Baguio City till I was 6 years old and then went home with my family to the province to continue schooling, as my paternal grandfather was from there.

Taloctoc was a paradise to me then because it was far from the deafening honks of gas- emitting vehicles and away from the barrage of audio “machines”. It was a 2- hour hike (if you are a seasoned hiker) from Lubuagan, the town proper but a 5 – hour hike for me, because I was not used to the hard mountainous trek.

I used to take a refreshing dip in the clear cascading waters, basked in the peacefulness of the place and then while my time away picking the juiciest guavas in the riverbank, before I finally went home.

(Nowadays, however; a narrow road was constructed to connect it with the next municipality which is Pasil.)

The barrio nestled snugly between a river that had snaked its way at the edge of the barrio and the towering mountains that stood like sentinels all around it. It was a very small barrio consisting of more or less 200 families. Undiscovered terrain was everywhere and together with this, strange things happened that science could not explain.

I grew up hearing about fire –birds sitting atop - a soon to be dead person, people getting lost and coming back weeks later with strange tales of another world - of another dimension.

My father himself told us about how he went in circles in the woods and could only find his way home when he performed certain rituals that the old folk usually did when they were in the same predicament. I, myself saw mist turn into strange shadows and disappeared before my very eyes.

These memories were relegated to the background however, as I returned to Baguio for my college education. They became dreamlike and surreal as I embraced city life and concluded that what was real must be logically explained.

After college, I started working here in Pampanga and forgot all about those “strange experiences. One day, however, we were invited to the wedding of my younger brother- Benny - and I was eager to attend as I had not seen my 8 siblings for a long time.

Of course, the relatives and natives from Taloctoc were invited; (we try our best to look back to our roots.) The wedding ceremony was native inspired also. There were “gangsa” (gongs), “Tadok” (native dancing) and “Ullalim” and “salidummay” (native songs). The young and old alike “gonged” and “salidsided”. It seems the whole barrio was there. I was bustling from one place to another like a waitress, serving food and wine as we were short of manpower.

My grandmother was there too (God bless her soul,) and she approached and whispered to me: “Nuw, awad da Lubay, inka kanida ta maila daka” (Lubay and company are here, go and greet them hello). Lubay was one of the old folk whom they believed had paranormal powers. She possessed a “patao” (a small wooden, carved image of a man’s face and chest, about 5 inches long and 1 inch wide). Those who owned “pataos” were feared as they were believed to have supernatural powers.

“Lola, I will deliver these drinks first. I will do that later, “I reassured her.

“Inka ot, te unikad mapatao ka.” (Go and greet them first, or they will feel bad about it.) she said worried.

“Lola, don’t worry, I will, “and I went on, thinking they would understand as they could see the number of people waiting to be served - at least they had food already.

Just as soon as I turned my back, I heard the voice of Lubay , “Sa anak pay cion anaya? Ot ipon umali sina?” (This is Cion’s daughter, isn’t she? Why does she not acknowledge us?)

Just as soon as she said this, a strange feeling crept over me. A heavy, eerie feeling of unease. Then my knees buckled and my breathing went shallow. I felt nauseated and I started to sweat profusely. I wanted to lie down badly. I hurried to my sister’s room and went plop myself on the bed.

My grandmother had noticed my absence and looked for me. “What happened to you?” she asked worried; as I was tossing and turning in bed, pale and apparently ill.

“I don’t feel well, “ I croaked.

“I told you,” she said accusingly, “I told you to talk to them.”

In spite of my condition, I smiled, “Really , Lola, how could you believe all those superstitious beliefs”.

She hurriedly went outside and came back with Lubay. There were several people now gawking at me. They all have worried faces, as I grew weaker and weaker. I was so weak to protest as Lubay told me to keep still.

“ Inkayon eh anito, Ikkayon adte igow yo. “ (“You - bad spirits leave this girl alone; go back to where you came from.) She kept murmuring this over and over and some gobbledygook I did not understand, as she blew her tobacco smoke rings starting from my head down to my toes.

As she was doing this, I was saying to myself: “My God, how could I allow myself to undergo this. This is ridiculous!”

But while the ritual was going on, I began to feel better. Just as she blew at the last of my toes, ALL the unpleasant feelings disappeared like magic. I am not exaggerating this.

The “sickness” just disappeared like I never felt them. In fact, I stood up immediately – without a trace of any of the earlier symptoms. My siblings were relieved as they went back to their merry-making. The old folk had little reaction as they had expected it to happen. I - in turn - was incredulous, not yet believing that they were gone in a flash.

How could that be? I did not even believe in all that nonsense and yet - I was “cured”.

From then on, I tried not to be cynical of any paranormal experiences that I read and hear. I had kept an open mind and accepted the fact that there are indeed paranormal occurrences around us; that it is still an area that could be explored and discovered.

Up to this day, I still cannot fully explain what happened to me on that day. Perhaps I will have the answers eventually in another lifetime?

N.B. This has been re- posted.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Taloctoc and E Cigarettes: Looking Back in Time, What If?

I wish the different types of e cigarettes were already discovered when I was a kid in Taloctoc. You see, I rarely came across an elder person who did not smoke. Almost everyone has a roll of tobacco in his /her mouth every time they were out socializing. If they did not have tobacco in their mouths, they had betel nut and some leaves.

It was said to counter bad breath. This left their mouths however dark with the color of nicotine or red with the concoction from the betel nut. It was learned later that the betel nut can increase a person’s propensity to oral cancer and that nicotine from tobacco can also cause lung cancer.

If I were to go back in the future to my village I would bring various types of e cigarettes, so that they could smoke it and be less prone to cancer. There are several amazing types from the V2 cigs, blu cigs, green smoke, Luci, Safe cig, Nyoy and the South Beach.

The electronic cigarette comparison would allow users to select from low, high or ultra-low tobacco content. You will have to decide based on your individual preferences. Each e cigarette features properties for all types of users.

If only these e cigarettes were available during those times, then perhaps more people in my village would have lived longer.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Kalinga Native Products

Assorted "Bongol" Necklace

gewgaw native products

Colorful Bags and purses

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Scentsy and Its Wonderful Fragrances

I have always been a scent-oriented person. I love scents, especially natural scents like the smell of new-mown hay, the smell of early morning breeze atop the kaingins in Taloctoc and the fresh, unadulterated natural odor of the mountain breeze. And would you believe this natural freshness comes in a tried and tested product.

Scentsy has come up with fabulous products that exude natural, fresh and exotic odors that you and your family can enjoy. There are Scentsy Wickless candles, Scentsy Warmers, Scentsy Bars, and Scentsy Travel Tins that would make your world a wonderful place of scents and fragrances.

You can get these Scentsy products at discounted rates by hosting a Scentsy Party. All you have to do is to invite friends and share the delightful world of Scentsy products. You can also convert these products into excellent gift items for your friends and family. Buying any of these products would be a smart move to ensure a great, smelling fresh natural fragrance in your office, at home and in your car.

For me scents and fragrances should be nothing but natural and fresh. Scentsy products offer both and you'll not regret trying one of their refreshing fragrances.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Kalinga Banga Dance - Pot Dance

The Kalinga Dance has been one of the unique cultures of the people of Kalinga. This is a Banga Dance with the ladies carrying more than 5 pots atop their heads while they sway with the beat of the gongs.

Here is a video uploaded by Igorotna. Thanks to igorotna for allowing me to use the video. Mabuhay ka! Intakkon ot Kalinga!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Supermoon; Memories of Full Moons in Taloctoc

When I was a kid, nights with the full moon were memorable nights of playing hide and seek. We would play in the shadows of the celestial wonder for several hours, seeking each other in the shadows of the trees and huts in our little village.

At times, we stared at the moon- after being exhausted from playing- and asked ourselves what would we do if we would ever reach the moon one day.

During those days, it was unimaginable that anyone could reach the moon. But as we have learned later, in 1969- when Miss Gloria Diaz became the first Miss Universe of the Philippines - American astronauts landed on the moon.

Now, whenever I look at the moon, just like the previous Supermoon phenomenon, I remember those care-free nights in Taloctoc, the giggles and the wanton insouciant games, the first stirrings of emotions, and the seemingly impossible dreams that we and my friends once had.


The photo is a genuine picture of the Supermoon this month of March 2011. It was photographed by Dr. Lorenzo Bernardino. Doc Z, as called by his online friends, is a doctor in internal medicine working at the Majuro Hospital, Marshall Islands.

He is a poet and a writer, read his amazing 140 Flash Fiction, and his poems in his blog Zorlone. Now he is into photography as well. Thanks Doc, for allowing me to use your picture.

He says about himself:

Zorlone, an anagram of my name. A title fitting to this blog of mine. Words are created every time such as blogs created online. This site will showcase thoughts translated into words. Dream. Create. Inspire. Follow me in Twitter @Zorlone or visit me too at 140 Flash Fiction.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Travelling in Taloctoc and Superb Hotel Deals

It has been ages since l last went home to Taloctoc. Oh how I missed those days where life was simple and unadulterated. We used to trek the 4 hour-journey from town. There were no means of transportation except our own two feet. No jeepneys, no buses, no trains, no planes and no bikes whatsoever. We carried our meager clothing in a backpack and trekked home through a narrow dilapidated trail that passed by cliffs, rivers and waterfalls. But the enjoyment of the trip is beyond compare. We would satiate our hunger pangs with the wild guavas and berries sprinkled across the mountain tops. Oftentimes, we also picked exotic orchids along the way. We basked in the crystal clear waters before finally heading to the village.

There were times; we had to stay for the night in the mountains because of the raging river current which we cannot cross. There were no hotels to sleep in, but the stillness and blackness of the night was an incredible wonder we would savor. These are moments I would treasure forever.

Just recently, my daughter advised me to travel and visit them abroad. I had a dream of visiting Europe; perhaps Austria, or Switzerland. In terms of their significant values, these are awesome places that I find similar to my village -Taloctoc. I was going over hotel deals that would be cheap and that would offer comfort and elegance simultaneously.

There are some of them that were to my preference. One is the Boston hotel deals which I find to my liking. I love deals that would allow me to save instead of spending.

Like Taloctoc, a wonderful vacation need not be expensive.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Panagbenga Festival: I Can't Help but Post These Last Year's Beautiful Pictures

Singer-Actress Karylle, daughter of Zsa Zsa Padilla.

The Dancing policewomen

AMA's AMAZING float.

Above is the young actor in First Love

SM's Float was one of the best last year, 2010

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Kalinga Women with Tattoos: The Pride of Kalinga Culture

Kalinga Women Tattoos, the pride of Kalinga culture, courtesy of Naty Sugguiyao, thanks Naty.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Kalinga Dishes - Fish Dishes

Fish Dishes

· Kalinga dishes could comprise of fish wrapped in banana leaves, placed in bamboo poles and cooked over direct flame. This brings out the succulent natural flavor of the fish.

· Fish mixed with lettuce or string beans and tomatoes, cooked with a generous amount of water. You should try this without salt. If both products are freshly collected, you would never forget the exquisite taste this will grant your palate.

· Fish could also be roasted directly over low flame.

All of these Kalinga dishes are without any condiment. You can do this at home, but make sure your raw foods are fresh from the fish pond or garden. You would be surprised at how scrumptious a fish or vegetable could taste even without salt or condimentse. They taste incredibly delicious.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Naty Sugguiyao and The Tattooed Women of Kalinga

As promised in the last post "Kalinga Culture", here is a picture of Kalinga women, one in her birthday suit, with their vivid body tattoos.

Tattoos have been one of the permanent components of the costumes of the Kalinga people. These pictures are from a woman whom I have always admired since I was still in High School.

I have looked upon her as a model to emulate; a valedictorian of her class, she is "beauty and brains"and everything I have envisioned a perfect woman should be.

Back then, my young heart have often imagined her to become my future sister-in-law. lol.

But fate has other things in store for her. I am talking about Naty Sugguiyao from Lubo, Tanudan.

Naty Sugguiyao is a well traveled, highly educated Kalinga woman, and who, herself, dons her tattoo proudly to show her ancestry.

She was interviewed on National TV, been invited to present Kalinga Tattoos abroad, written about in the Philippine Daily Inquirer and is a Provincial Officer at National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP.)

If that is not enough, then you may want to buy a book on "Kalinga Tattoos" where she was one of the proponents and models simultaneously.

Naty is the lovely lady in the violet dress.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Kalinga Culture: The Kalinga Native Costume

The Kalinga native costume is composed of a tapis (woven rectangular cloth, worn on the lower half of the body for women). In the olden ages, this was the only costume of Kalinga women. I still witnessed the time of topless women. In our village in Kalinga, during the 1960s, married women went topless once they got married.

Nobody looked at them with malice. The malice lies in the eyes of the beholder. The men in turn wore "bahags" or g-strings, a thin and long cloth which is worn around the man's private parts, with both ends hanging from his body. Tattoos were also in fad.

Nowadays, people wore upper shirts and pants. Some old folks though still prefer to wear the old native costume. Tattoos are also still adapted by the younger Kalinga generation as a way of being proud of their ancestry.


These pictures were taken by Nats Dalanao, an engineer cum photographer. Thanks Nats for the pictures.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Kalinga Tradition: An Ordinary Day in Taloctoc, Kalinga (when I was a child)

An ordinary day in Taloctoc, Kalinga when I was still a child had been so simple, that I wonder now how I had turned my life into a complex hurly-burly. I have made my life complicated. With all the gadgets like cell phones, laptops, video cams; and instant services (almost everything is instant) instant coffee, instant noodles, instant hamburger, fast foods; life passes by in a I can’t savor life anymore, as I should.

I don’t get to enjoy any longer the quiet evenings in the tranquil Chico River during dawn or dusk; the joy of looking down a mountain top and basking in Mother Nature’s incredible wonder. Oh, I miss all these things and more.

A day in Taloctoc during summer had been so uncomplicated, that its simplicity had made it uniquely fascinating. I was 9 years old then, and school was over for the year. I was not yet completely adapted to the village life during that time, because I had come from the city where I stayed during the early years of my childhood; so, it had been an entirely new challenging world for me.

I remember how I would fetch water from the creek down the mountain because I was staying overnight with my grandparents in the kaingin. This was because I was not as sturdy as the rest of my peers, who trekked to the kaingin day in and day out without suffering DOMS. Ha ha ha.

Those days were most memorable for me because I have experienced feeling “Godlike” atop my mountain hideaway, where everything was peaceful and calm; all I have heard were the cacophony of chanting cicadas and the chirping of birds around me. I usually woke up early in the morning and watched as the sun rose from the mountain top, slowly revealing its splendor amidst the white fluffy clouds drifting by. It was a breathtaking view that I would always remember.

I remember gazing down at the tiny huts below and thinking of myself as some sort of God. At an early age, I had loved reading so I had imagined I was some Greek Goddess watching mere mortals below as they labored and toiled.

After I had enjoyed the sunrise and the cool breeze playing on my face, I then proceeded to gather mushrooms from the tree stumps in the kaingin. Then, I would fetch water from the small creek at the bottom of the slope, until I have filled the big drinking pot. I carried a bamboo pole which was at least 3 feet in length on my bare shoulders, just like what the boys did, and I had taken pride that I had slowly adjusted to barrio-life in Taloctoc, Kalinga.

I had my battle-scars to show, so to speak: feet and hand blisters, hardened soles, darkened skin, etc. I oftentimes, had hidden my tears of pain in the night, afraid that someone would see them, and brand me a “sadot” (lazy bones.)

Those were the days, days that are forever etched in my memory. I suffered [physically but I consider them wonderful days of yore that I would always treasure forever.

Coming next, more Kalinga traditions and Kalinga culture.