December 7, 2023

NOW, SOME OF my ‘fond memories’ of Dalupirip during my first stay there as a Payroll Clerk under the then RP/UNDP program: I hereby disclose without favour or disfavour, without understatements or exaggeration, but with plain, sincere, and indelible Fondness, and so I ask the Dalupiripians’ permission to disclose and divulge: hereunder I posit thus:
THEY NEVER TREATED me as a stranger – Afil la to-o. Rather, I was always welcome in their midst – whether in the circle of men and/or women; or, in gatherings of the younger ones, the aman bahdeg (Literally, “still growing up” but more meant: ‘ages younger than parents or couples’).
THEY’RE VERY PROUD and consistent in their historical narrations viz. though still in Oral (History) forms, they could tell you where the first settlers, ancestors, or pioneers came from, and which – (respectively) part of Dalupirip did they start cultivation; or, what were the first occupations or livelihoods of the earlier generations of the Dalupirip people; and so on.
THEY’RE VERY AWARE of their genealogies i.e. even though mostly orally and undrawn in family trees (When I was there in those three years or so, I was never shown a family tree).
FOR THIS, I may pose myself as an example: they traced me usually in conversations as an agui – a general term to mean variably: ‘relative’, ‘kin’, but also symbolically [even] ‘sibling’ or ‘brother’ or ‘sister’. But this despite
SOME OLDER FOLKS then thereat told me my late father was their ‘cousin’ – 1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc.; or my mother was their close relative, nai essop, by the genealogical lines of her mother Paula; or her father Aliw-iw. All these, I experienced being told – by speakers, using no notes nor family tree copies (cf. this time).
THEY WERE HONEST and truthful to their occupation, trade, or means of livelihood. They showed me and allowed me to work with them, like:
GOLD-PANNING AT SHUROWAHE – upper area riverbank from the Asin Loading Station; Planting rice seedlings at Taleddang and Sitio Calew; and working with them under the auspices of the local Reforestation Administration at Pekkhes and its adjacent mountains – West ward from Payket, or Southeast of Sitio Sajo.
THEY HAD NO ‘ethnic’, nor biased stance who was to become one I-Shalupirip’s future partner in life.
THOUGH DURING MY stay there, there was only arranged marriage and fortified by Engagement rites – they call it Kaising tan kolis, there was already the beginning of direct courting – i.e. through ‘bridges’ or messengers.
SOME KIND SOULS tried ‘messengering’ for me – unfortunately, none was successful and why?
MAYBE BECAUSE THEY – and I too, considered ourselves as ‘already a kin’ – or Agui, an impediment enough for young men and women that time to push for marriage or serious engagement. In each of two or three of those ‘messengerings’, I was not (– or never) discriminated for my being a non I-Shalupirip. I was treated fairly – but mostly or rather as an Agui or relative.
AH, DALUPIRIP, DURING those times, I haven’t seen too the distinctions e.g. of the poor and the rich, the ‘native’ and the ‘mestizo’, the educated and the unschooled, the beautiful, the good, and the not-so good, et cetera.
ARE YOU STILL those – or some of these? I was 17 or so then. One day, God-willing, I’ll visit you again! Ayo, Ayo, Ino!