July 21, 2024

IN YOUNGER TIMES, circa 1996, when I grouped with the ‘Baguio’ Ibalois to organize the [now widely acclaimed] Adivay, the Baguoites – or Ikafagways (as some of them prefer to be called this) often mistook me to be from Bokod, Benguet. So
THEY ‘LAVISHLY’ REFERRED to me – or addressed me as Aguin Ibokod/Ibokot, i.e. “Sibling/brother/relative/etc. who is from Bokod”.
SAME, YEARS BEFORE – when I was a Capitol Guard. The Construction Engineers and their staff, the carpenters and workers, even my fellow Guards thought or ‘knew’ me as taga Bokod. And
YEARS AFTER – INCLUDING these days (sometimes). When discussions ensue, I suddenly am asked: ‘what does our Ibokot kuya say?’ Or, ‘Is that the same case with you over there (.. don’t ask, they’ll finish saying:) – in Bokod?’ Or, even an outright direct question like: ‘Mr. Morr, you’re from Bokod, aren’t you?’
THIS TIME, AFTER – all these years of mistaken locative identity, I can only smile and savour back the enjoyment and vicarious reverberations of being referred to as an Ibakot for: in fairness to their hasty or ‘erroneous’ verbal countenance on me, I always am tickled, and overjoyed if they may directly – or in reference to me, say: the Ibokot!
“AND/BUT WHY?” you may ask? And here are my answers: if the criteria be ‘by ancestry, yes(!), I’m ‘partly’ and/or largely and Ibokot. [Ask further, dear Reader: “what or how do you mean?”]. I’ll answer this a-way:
“ALL OF US have two parents, four grandparents, and eight great grandparents, right? So let’s begin from the great grandparents’ generations. My matrikins or mother’s line first:
PUCAY OF AMLIMAY (Buguias) married Dominja, the Irekdan (Daklan, Bokod), and they begot Sandag (or Emang), who married Nahjon of Nawal, (Bokod) and they begot Pedro Lampitao, who married Paula, an Irekdan – Idusod (Itogon) mestiza, that’s my mother’s father’s line. And her mother’s mother’s line? Here it is
FERMIN ABANCE OF Tuba-Itogon? Married Cincha, the Irekdan and they begot Paula my mother’s mother or my maternal grandmother. Now, my patrikins or father’s line
BANNICKAS OR SINIZIN of Bashoy, Kabayan and Bila, Bokod married Backing (or Binquan?) of Tuvdai and they begot Pungayan (or Sinisin?); who married Dohshai Agsawal/Agtawa of Virac, Itogon, and they begot my father, Tadeo. His mother’s parents were Agsawal (III?) from Tublay and Batan, Kabayan and Dangaja, the Iacupan (old Itogon): If we go, to the deeper generations back (6th -> etc.), you’ll notice
WE HAVE ITOKHON (early/earliest rural arrivals), Ifugao (Southern), North-Central Cordi and other ancestries too! Promise, and dig up to the 11th generations – available now among Ibaloi family-tree-holders. And so, you finally ask:
“YOU’RE NOT THEN an Ibokot ‘heavily’, as some say? And I should answer – also in fairness, “that’s right. By ancestry and so on, undeniably I am, however:
HONESTLY, TECHNICALLY, AND locatively. I am from dear, old Itogon/Ytokon. My late father was born at Suyo, Poblacion, and my late mother [God Rest their souls, GRts] was born in Binga, Lucbuban (now, Binga, Tinongdan, Itogon). But I am also honoured – to be referred to at times as an ‘Ibokot’ – much as how my blood tingles, with unbridled pride and accuracy – when people directly address me as the I-ytokon, or: ‘the Itogonian’! Ayo! Ayo! Ino!