July 19, 2024

WITH PRESSING INSPIRATION and vivid recollections about the times I spent in Dalupirip with the folks there – who are kin and kith to both my father and mother’s line, now must I write again – this time, on these special cultural features truly unique of them and their adjoining areas. Said features are: the Papag, the Dinti, and the Kalaskas.
‘BARRIO DALUPIRIP’ – AS known before, lies South and adjacent to my (present) Barangay Tinongdan – of course now, it is accessible by car from where I’m located, in Binga; though not so 35 to 40 years ago. Yes,
SO NEAR NOW – but those years ago when the Baloy Bridge was not yet reconstructed, we had to hike for hours to get there.
YES, THAT NEAR now – but when I was in Dalupirip in younger years, those features – the Papag, the Dinti, and the Kalaskas, were all a treat to me – as we didn’t have those in those days in Binga – or (old) Bingaan. Surprisingly or not,
WE STILL DON’T have (or practice the use of) those in Binga these days. Let me describe briefly what are they and how they’re done:
THE PAPAG. THE same term and use in Ilokano. I’ve seen many of those in Agoo when my children were yet small.
IT IS A lying-down space- built in the fashion of a rectangular or round table, around the trunk of a mango, or any (shade) tree. The flooring is made of bamboo (bambusa vulgaris) strips – the skin part on surface.
DUE TO THE heat – especially during the hot months of the Dry Season, we go, they go, to sit, relax, and have some fresh air on the Papag. Each house in Dalupirip before had at least one. How welcome a sight those Papags used to be!
THE DINTI. WE may call it “night hunting” of what? Usually, the wild little animals for food, e.g. the Amki or civet cat? The bowet or cloud rat, the Sabag or wild chicken, et cetera. The hunter’s equipments usually are: an air gun, a hunting knife, and most importantly: the flash lamp light – they call Dampa – which they say renders helpless the eyes of the hunted prey; so that, when stunned or dazzled, this gives the hunter a chance to get or shoot it.
TAKEN AND BROUGHT home, the hunted find or Naanupan usually stirs the folks in the morning and after. Usually, it is shared when cooked, to the neighbours and friends visiting, if there are any. It is not kept by the hunter and his family members alone.
[NO WONDER: IN those times, we always knew: there was a night find, naanupan, in the earlier hours of the day – by this or that hunter; and often shared we did, as we were always welcome to partake.
AND YOU’LL KNOW too what is it: a Sabag, an Amki or Angiw, etc.; your choice; just give your reason if you prefer to just watch!].
THE KALASKAS. IT involves fishing in the (Agno) River (and/or tributaries) for a large-quantity catch – usually in preparation for a big gathering where the village folks expect some important, special, or close-kin visitors to come grace the occasion: a Reunion? an all-Sitio meeting? an Assembly? a political Rally? Name it. The favourite catches are the native pike fish or river Bonog, the tasty-tasty Daring/Wading, and the rare, unique thin and slender Baroy!
THE LAST TIME I partook in a Kalaskas catch was in the house of Mr. and Mrs. Trazon and Mildred Fianza at Kereng, (Southern) Tinongdan. The occasion was a big, big Reunion of the Sangkoi Dagdagod and related clans. In attendance were: then Rep. Ronald M. Cosalan, Apo/Gov. Crecencio Pacalso, among others. The Kalaskas servings consisted of: the pike fish Bonog, the Wading, and some eel, kiwet, meat. Southern Tinongdan shares practice of the Kalaskas with adjacent Dalupirip.
THE PAPAG COULD have been an ‘influence from’ (– or else a co-practice with, kagiddan) neighbouring next town San Nicolas, Pangasinan; plus commerce (dry goods, kitchen wares, etc.) and inter-marriages with Lowland folks, since earlier times.
BUT THE DINTI and the Kalaskas – one still wonders: why are these not done in Binga or Northern Tinongdan? Some responses I have gathered from sources reliable, don’t yet give watertight explanations. Ayo, Ayo, Ino!