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Ethnos Ibaloi
Morr Pungayan
4-13-2014


Ibaloi historical chapters in Filipino?
SEATED WITH MAKNIBA Elders Wallace Woolery and Phil Macedon Canute and me – one bright morning in 2006, was a Film agent from Manila who said he and “some friends were interested to enfilm” the 1759 Ibaloi vs. Spanish battles of Apatut, or of Tonglo;

AND HE SAID, they’ll do most of it…except that we provide some “Extras” i.e. locals to play or appear for the ‘minor roles’. You can just imagine our excitement and we said ‘Yes, we’re very interested too!’ etcetera.

HE WENT FURTHER to ask me if there were other locality Elders they can interview to support or ‘deny’ some details written, re aforesaid battles. And we assured him there were. And then, he looked at us and punctuated his piece with:

“BUT THE EPISODES, shall have to be rendered in Filipino..you know.. so that everybody could understand and watch it!” [Boy, his eyes were a mite sparkling, had you seen it!].

BUT BET YOU, he got the Shock of his life: the three of us all fell silent and took minutes.. before we all ‘recovered’ to resume the Interchange. It even ran almost ‘instinctive’ for us three to look at each other before Phil Macedon said: “You mean, no Ibaloi words..even the commands of the Chiefs?” [And Wallace, always the ‘humourous’ one, followed it up with an apparently disapproving tone of:]

“YOU SEE, SIR, even if some of the war-chiefs spoke other languages apart from Nabaloi..those would have been Ilokano or Kalanguya; even Pangasinan..or that time, shall we say “a little” Spanish..but you will agree they were in the frenzy of battle; so, the words that could have emanated from their voices were but those spontaneous from their native tongue!”

SILENCE AGAIN..THIS time longer. I didn’t add any word to the two Makniba Elders expositions..I decided they were emphatic enough. Then, the Film agent, spoke: ganoon po ba? (so, that’s it?). and we nodded our Assents.

THAT WAS THE last time we saw him. Earlier this year, I met the two Elders (on separate occasions) and asked them if they had chance to encounter the agent, and they said No. I told them: neither did I.

* * * * * * * * * *

RECENTLY, I MET another Elder: Apo Sandyshur Shangfas and we discussed awhile about that Event: the once-upon-a-time ‘chance’ to have an Ibaloi historical chapter enfilmed..we focused on the use of Filipino in the Episodes.

“YES, IF THEY mean the Medium of Presentation in Tagalog..why not – like some World War II movies where German generals render their pieces in English, well…”

“You mean the Impact is not ‘as full’ if they did same Role-parts in German, right?” said I, to him in earnest want of Approval.

AND HE SAID: “Nganto mango? (not literal-,”why, that’s the point!”). So, same thing with the Ibaloi-Spanish battles of Tonglo and Apatut. I imagine in the film to-be:

“A BATTLE FILM, indeed; with Ibaloi Filipinos using Filipino as the Medium of Communication in the ‘Roles’ while portrayed Spanish characters (officers, soldiers, and conscripts) using words and commands en español, or..”

“Something to that Line of Thought; I too reckon…was the agent’s meaning,” I gave him all-support to what he was saying; and finished my comments with these ‘Suggestions’ thought aloud:

“Instead – and what about a few Nabaloi ‘ingredients’ in such a Film, for examples: Dimbaban! (Deploy), Digdig jo! (Go clockwise!/ Go counter-clockwise!) Diktob jo! (Surround them!), or Esshep jo! (Extinguish them!). Or “Shapos, Shapos! (Overrun, Overrun!), Shahpos kayo! (Enter-to occupy!); Khayang mah! (now, the Spears!) Ayshi’y on suled! (Nobody pulls out!); Bendian! (not-literal: Let them [enemies] tire, but don’t!).


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