Friday, March 11, 2016

Top 5 Practices of I-Kalingas that You Should Know About (When Visiting)

If you plan to travel to Kalinga, you must know at least the basic practices that they observe. As the cliché goes, “When you’re in Rome, do what the Romans do.” To help you enjoy your stay in Kalinga, here are Top 5 practices or customs you may want to learn. Of course, these are ancient practices, which may no longer be observed in large households, but still, it pays to learn about them.

Sofronia Ollang aka Supling (Info by Nellybeth Ballog Diaz), Image credit: Lydia Ballog

Custom #1 – You must take off your shoes when entering their dwellings

There are various cultures that observe this practice. In Korea, people take off their shoes and wear indoor slippers or go barefoot inside their abodes. In Kalinga, it’s a sign of respect not to allow the dirt on your shoes to touch the floor because in small huts, the old folks sleep on the floor. Kalingas are clean people, they keep their small house spic and span. They usually go barefoot and wash up before entering their homes.

Custom #2 – Water/coffee is offered to visitors to show that they’re welcomed

If you’re not offered water/coffee or anything to drink when you stepped on their homes, it means they don’t welcome you into their houses. A water/coffee offering is their way of acknowledging you as their visitor and responsibility. Hence, they’ll see to it that you’re secure and safe during your stay. (Thanks, Limmon Langngag for the info).

Custom #3 – If you refuse the food they offer, they’ll consider it an insult

When offered food, don’t refuse. If you don’t like to eat it, just have a taste. Outright refusal is considered an insult – unless you’re an accidental visitor.

Custom #4 – Nakedness is natural

When you encounter topless women and naked people taking a bath without any cover, don’t be embarrassed. Although, i-Kalingas are now fully clothed and wear undies when taking a bath, the old folk may be in their birthday suits. There’s no malice in this practice. Adam and Eve wear nothing until they have sinned and noticed their nakedness. 

Custom #5 – They’re not particular about the clothes they wear, as long as these are clean

The old folk are not into fancy designs and the like when they dress up. They are contented with clean clothing. However, the ginamats and g-strings are proudly worn during special events. 
An information from a reader from Taloctoc, Therese Zyrrah Daluping: (Thank you.)

 "One practice is when a family has visitors, they will let the visitors eat first before them and the best blanket will be offered to them." (From a Taloctoc reader, Therese Zyrrah Daluping)

Another reader from Taloctoc, Lyre Nagoy Balbin, contributed this: (Thank you.)

“Before visitors leave, the native folks are all lined up to give almost everything of their products ; woven baskets, brooms, clay pots, crops like beans, coffee, kurbasa (yellow squash), ugadiw (fish delicacy during summer), and many more native items.

Lots of changes had taken place in Kalinga, and the customs and practices were affected by people from different provinces. These customs may no longer be practiced strictly but, still, knowledge of it will help you enjoy your trip to Kalinga.