May 30, 2023

IT IS OFFICIALLY listed as: ‘Barangay Dalupirip, Itogon, Benguet Province’. The near 99.9 percent Ibaloi population thereat pronounce it however – and often, as: Shalupirip; some in-laws and others manage a: Dalupidip; but let’s stay in this Discussion with the official name of: Dalupirip.
BY THE FOUR main directions of the Wind, it is bounded on the East, by the municipality of Kayapa, Nueva Vizcaya; on the West, by the municipality of Tuba, Benguet; on the South, by Barangay Fianza, San Nicolas, Pangasinan; and on the North, by (Southern) Tinongdan, Itogon, Benguet.
THE PEOPLE THEREAT speak the Ikulos Nabaloi ‘accent’, which, except for some suprasegmental aspects like: tone, height, stress, intonation, etc., is much the same ‘accent’ spoken in two other municipalities, North of Itogon, viz. Bokod and Kabayan. Now, to the fond memories, said prior.
I CAME TO Dalupirip – or Shalupirip, ‘by-chance’. We may say that; for, unlike my stay in Southern Tinongdan – wherein my mother went to ask personally the Favour of her cousin – Mrs. Purosina Sarape, of letting me stay with them, while in Grade IV yet, mom only learned much later – that I was with the I-Shalupirips. So again, how did I come to Dalupirip?
PERCHANCE BY THE guidance of some ‘higher-form’ unseens of departed kin, and certainly by the Grace of God, one day, I was ‘discovered’ by three Dalupirip men. I was already half-dazed with the four bottles of beer (pale-pilsen), they had treated me into by rounds – or ‘all-for-one and one-for-all’ when suddenly, the three of them were one-after-another saying: ‘Come to Dalupirip this time’; ‘there will be a wedding tomorrow; you’ll meet relatives there’, etc.; and one – Joseph Costina (still healthy and well, as of press time), finalized the urgings with: “oh, they’ll just love to hear you there sing your Ibaloi songs, you’ll see! Come, come! Kala et, etti! The ride (jeepney) is almost to start!” And dazed and younger as I was,
TO DALUPIRIP, WE rode on that jeep. Then, there-upon arrival, we stopped at some stores for more few bottles of beer, until:
EARLY EVENING, WE arrived at Joseph’s house. There were his parents (now to the Beyond, God rest their souls, GRTS). They were smiling. Joseph’s mother said, “Salamat soni Apo, Thanks to the Lord, you came here!” [then. to the two other guys, she said]: “Thank you too, where did you met him?” And the father said to them: “this is my nephew Morihei, your relative close, nai essop. Did you know that?” [The heads of the two were still, or quite stunned, they said nothing; they just smiled.. Even me, even Joseph – we said none]. Then, the father spoke again:
“HE IS FROM Binga; yes you know; but it’s time you also know that his grand-mother Paula is from the same ancestors as my father [Octavio] is. Come let’s serve you some coffee and (sweet) potatoes (Kape tan Dokto).
ON THE TABLE, he asked the four of us: “Do you intend to attend the wedding party, Kasal, you just passed by?” And we all said: Yes, Ama! And his face brightened some more as he finalized by saying:
“YES YOU GO, introduce Morr there to some more of our relatives; then, when the night deepens, escort him here again. Your mother here, si nanang jo’d jai, shall fix your mat and others!” Then, he looked at the four of us, smiled, and stood up. He went to the kitchen.
WE STAYED LATE in that Party that night. At break of Dawn, I thought of coming back home to Baguio, but
MY LIMBS WERE heavy and lazy – mansadsarot, to move. I remember, we had drinks and polutan too many that night. My thoughts were cut when Joseph’s father spoke anew:
“ANAK, SON, HOW was the party last night? Stay here meanwhile – why not [that is] if you have no important things yet to attend to in Baguio. Besides, you’ll be late, the Jeepneys at the Asin loading station have already started their engines. The last trip there is about 7:30 a.m. you got only 15 mins, it’s now – 7:15 a.m.?”
AND STAY THERE – at Dalupirip, I did. I didn’t go up to Baguio the day next, next, and so on. After some three weeks at Dalupirip, I was offered there a job, as Payroll clerk – under the RP/UNDP Program. And I worked and stayed there for two-three years. Ayuhh, Ayuhh!