Issue of May 24, 2015
Mt. Province

Courier Anniversary Issue
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Floored by Dalupirip fever;
How Ambuclao got its name

Last month, we wrote about a group of schoolteachers from the city of Mandaluyong who chose the village of Dalupirip in Itogon as their “Lakbay-aral-saya” destination.

With them was Norberto S. Arcangel, from Mandaluyong’s Cultural and Tourism Office who wrote the following letter to Gov. Nestor Fongwan weeks after their sojourn:

“The Dalupirip fever among us has yet to subside. That’s how crazy we have become after being captivated by the natural charm and wonders of this mountain community. It was our first time to encounter such a people, who for countless years, have preserved their rich cultural heritage. They are a people (Ibaloi tribe) who are at peace with their simple life and who established rapport, which endears them to even strangers like us. Our trip was truly a far enriching experience. It’s our version of a lakbay-aral which we shall long cherish and remember, and a very good reason to wish to return to Dalupirip – our mountain paradise.”

The letter went on to thank the governor for the warm welcome the group received and the fatherly countenance and good sense of humor that won their hearts.

Of special mention was Provincial Tourism Officer Clarita D. Prudencio in whose office the group found comfort and homey atmosphere.

Mention was made of Councilor Norberto I. Pacio, who saw to the group’s needs and other details and who treated the group to a feast of brewed Benguet coffee, sweet potato fries, and sweet Itogon mangoes at the Tinongdan barangay hall.

There was the small but terrible Tinong-dan PB Benjamin Medino who was friendly and down to Earth as well as Dalupirip PB Joel B. Bauzon who did not leave the group from beginning to end, and who saw to it “that our Dalupirip experience was neither a fantasy nor a dream but a happy reality.”

Finally, the group thanked Mayor Victor T. Palangdan, Vice Mayor Adriano Carantes and the members of the municipal council, Tinongdan Tourism Officer Nestor Camado, and to ka Lita and the other cooks, for having truly made their day during their two-day stay.

Arcangel had earlier enumerated why Dalupirip was the destination of choice: “It has several hanging bridges that do not fail to thrill visitors. It has a river and brooks with inviting waters as well as great rocks and boulders.

The village is surrounded by mountain peaks and it has flat terrain suitable for pitching tents.

There were the endearing traits, the living traditions and the history of the predominantly-Ibaloi community.

For these teachers, the trip was the best way to learn Benguet’s geography, its people and culture. Since most of them will be visiting the place for the first time in their lives, they will be expected to pass on their pupils what they have gained from their trip.

Topping it all, you have authorities who are on top of the situation, so much unlike in make-believe ‘La Presa.’”

* * * * * * * * * *

In Ibaloi here was how Ambuclao (Ambokdow) got its name, courtesy of Bachoy Ikulos, formerly of Bokod now of Canada.

“Nuntan da tempo ni bayag ja eg pay laeng naytuwen i dam, kepayopayow ima Ambokdow. Wara lay naama ja embanaw i payow ton nanngaran ni Tayambong ja nambaley shi askang ni patadan (river). Say baley to nuntan ebadeg ja ayshiy kuwadto to tep motokan ni too. Wara apoyan shi kawa nunta baley et kaukipan ma ni too ima nankinilid.

Pinsak, wary dimen kait ja ikadasan ja sinmabid ma baley Tayambong ja makibah-ti (barter). Nuntan da kaisabi ni ikadasan je medepo alished banda ni Kabayo, Nasqwak, Biscaya i eterik ja afag ni bangol ono ulsa et ibah-ti ra ngo ni pagey. Kabol ja egsha iningsaan ima duga, shinemag nunta ira ikadasan si Tayambong nu mebedin ja mebediw ima patada, et sungbat to I “owen tep EMEBOKDOW” – ja piyan ton aseden ingkatod bokdow I kayang ni shanum. Hajy ja istodja afil et mangoy kibos to tep kabasaan ja mauwang siTayambong, inun an to iraja dimen ikadasa ja kinmaljap shi patadan etp egsha pinusin bediwen ima patadan.”

Roughly translated with some help from Ibaloi elder Sandy Calado:

“In the olden days when the dam was not erected, Ambuclao (Ambokdow) was teeming with rice paddies. There was an elder named Tayambong who owned a wide tract of rice paddies and whose house was located along the river. His house then was huge and spacious to accommodate people who came from near and far. In the center of the house was a fireplace and the people who came would sleep on the sides as there were no rooms.

One time, a group of five men who spoke Kalanguya arrived to barter their goods with Tayambong. In those days, the Kalanguyas from Mt. Kabayo, Naswak or Viscaya were known to trade smoked wild boar or deer meat with palay.

On departure and considering they were not quite familiar with the place, the five men asked Tayambong if the river could be crossed without difficulty.

Tayambong replied “owen tep EMEBOKDOW-- meaning the river had risen to as high as a man’s neck and thus could be crossed.

But this story took a grim twist because when Tayambong woke up in the morning to work his fields, he saw the five men floating lifeless on the river as they were not able to cross to safety.”

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