Being in a Cañao
SEE OUR TITLE? At first, I thought of using Attending.. instead of Being.. But to self-analysis, you’ll agree:
ATTENDING.. COULD SUGGEST, all or any, of the following:
DUTY, AS WHEN you’re a student, you’re duty-bound to ‘attend’ your classes on-schedule; or
OBLIGATION. LIKE WHEN you have a child in the Grades, it is your obligation to ‘attend’ those guardian/parent requirements e.g. Brigada, (Christmas) class programs, Getting of Cards; or even
COMPULSION. LIKE WHEN militia – or para-militia personnel are ordered to ‘attend’ trainings, file and fulfill Leaves accordingly, lest they go AWOL; et cetera. So, or But so,
IF A CAÑAO has some bits of these ‘attributes’ of attending, why not you may say: I’ll go attend the Cañao feast of my cousin (=> obligation, since he is your cousin); or let’s go attend the Birthday Party (en grande – like a Cañao) of our father; else, we’ll be scolded eh, fratellino (little brother) – (=> compulsion, since their father has just reminded them about it; or I’ll have to attend the 50th/Golden Anniversary of my great-grandpop and great-grandmom. I’m their first ‘big-enough’ great grandchild! (=> Duty, since by social ‘design’, you’re duty-bound to accord your great-grandparents some display of reverence, especially if you’ve been notified prior about the event forthcoming. Well, these a-ways and the like, we can also use ‘attend’ – i.e. ‘attend’ a la Cañao.
BUT SUPPOSE, YOU’RE none of those in the above-cited cases: you’re not a relative of the host and/or hostess, you’re not notified before/prior, about the event; or, no one is requiring you to be there; or [suppose even] you’re a transient, a newcomer – or stranger(!) in town, does any of these ‘disqualify’ you to be in that feast, party, cañao? Our answer: No, none of that sort.
THE CAÑAO IS a Kalajo, Kalajon ehmin or ‘Come one, come all!’ event. Ask any Cordilleran you’ll meet and he’ll/she’ll tell you the same.
‘EVEN IF YOU’RE not invited?’, you may ask. And “Yes, even if you’re not invited”; often, you’ll be
SURPRISED? YOU WENT there by chance, or else voluntarily, curiosity-clad – with no guide, no notice; but when you’re already leaving the scene, some young man – or girl, is handing you something and smiling, saying: Yama y afag mo/jo! “This is your meat-token!” And unused to it as you are, you may act adamant (or shy?) to accept it. And the man or girl may say:
TEH AH, ALAM! (“Come on/Please take it [further implying]; ‘it’s from the host/hostess, our compliments and thanks for your participation; for gracing(!) our celebration, occasion, or Cañao’)”. Don’t be shocked.
THEY DO THAT – almost always, as an inherited practice and gesture to all who come and participate in a Cañao.
A CAÑAO. YES, but that’s a general term – coined perhaps somewhere in-time; so that, others delicate on Orthography, even render it: Kanyaw – close to how it is actually pronounced in the languages, in ‘these Heights’, or ditoy kabanbantayan.
THE TERM CAÑAO saves us from learning tediously the several or many types it can be of; how long?, for what purpose, and the like.
THERE ARE “SHORT-PERIOD” ones like the Diyao (for a newly-built house), the Khamal (for gathering and piling up materials for a small hut), the Kafe for a considerable find of gold amount/quantity, and so on.
THERE ARE ALSO those ‘big’ ones – like the native-style wedding Ngilin, the ancestral Batbat, and the usual longest: the Peshit – or Pedit or Chuno in the Northern languages. You are interested to learn more about the Cañao? Why not, try being in one or more these times! Irasshaimase! Bienvenido! You’re welcome! They’ll be smilingly meeting you at the gate, with these greetings. Ayuhh! Ayuhh!