July 16, 2024
GOOD START — The material offerings used during the opening ritual of the Ibaloy Festival signal a good start for the month-long festivity.  — Ofelia C. Empian

A book on the genealogy of the Ibaloys is on the pipeline as the Onjon Ni Ivadoy conducts a tracing of roots as a highlight of the month-long Ibaloy Festival. 
Onjon Ni Ivadoy Association, Inc. President Maximo Edwin Bugnay, Jr. said the different clans have proposed to come up with the book that will document their efforts.

CONTINUING GENEALOGY — The present generation of Ibaloys marvel at the genealogy of the Benguet people traced from 1380 to the 1800s from the 1985 book, “A People’s History of Benguet”. This year’s Ibaloy Festival aims to trace the ancestry of Ibaloys and compile it into a book. — Ofelia C. Empian

“What we thought of is the genealogy. Each clan will trace its roots and then we will compare to find out where our clans intersected,” Bugnay said.
The act of finding one’s roots is important for them as Ibaloys, considered the first ethno-linguistic group to dwell in Baguio City.

WITH BMC’S EDITOR IN THE SKY — Marilyn Golingab Esnara, a descendant of Shuminkis and Bacjot of Itogon, Benguet, showed a picture from the clan’s documentation of the late Baguio Midland Courier Editor Cecile Afable in her prime when she accompanied the clan’s patriarch, Don Mariano Fianza, in meeting then President Ramon Magsaysay. — Ofelia C. Empian

This year’s Ibaloy Festival theme, “Tunton ni kaafuan: Pansaksahey ni pamilja” (Tracing one’s roots: Uniting the family) aims to unite each clan and strengthen their Ibaloy roots. 
The basis for the genealogy is the 1985 book, “A People’s History of Benguet” written by Anavic Bagamaspad, Zenaida Hamada-Pawid, and Bell Balangoy.

THANKSGIVING — Ibaloy elder Felix Siplat led the ritual thanksgiving to the Almighty as well as remembering the Ibaloy ancestors who have gone ahead. — Ofelia C. Empian

The authors were able to research the genealogical tree of the Benguet people starting from the 1800s to 1380.
Bugnay said they would start where the authors have ended, to be able to trace the Ibaloy genealogy.
The group will coordinate with the National Commission for Culture and the Arts to assist in the project.

REUNION — This year’s Ibaloy Festival gathered various clans from Baguio and Benguet which allowed the Ibaloys to trace their roots and see where they intersect to create a much larger genealogy. — Ofelia C. Empian

In the previous Ibaloy Festivals, most of those present are the elders that is why the tunton is seen as a means to get the younger generation to also appreciate their roots.
Twenty-year-old Jay Ralph Galunza of the Shuminkis-Bacjot clan from Itogon, Benguet said the tunton has reignited his passion to trace his roots. 

IBALOY RITUAL — Onjon Ni Ivadoy elders Felix Siplat and Vicky Macay led the opening ritual during the Ibaloy Festival on Oct. 1. — Ofelia C. Empian

While other young people of his generation are not particular with their family tree, Galunza said he knows his roots by heart.
“In our generation, there are only a few who are interested in genealogies.It would be tragic if none of us know where we came from. At least, by then, they could ask me and I could impart what I know,” Galunza said.

KNOW YOUR ROOTS — The 22 clans, each with their respective booths, that participated in the ongoing Ibaloy Festival came to further know about their lineage such as the Cofes Clan of Tuba and Baguio City. — Ofelia C. Empian

Galunza, together with his mother and sister, has compiled the genealogy of the four sub-clans or the four children of Shuminkis, originally of Bokod and Bacjot of Itogon, both in Benguet. The family eventually settled in Itogon, where the clan grew in number.
He said Shuminkis’ first child, Fianza, was the first to be baptized as a Catholic and given the name Smith Fianza.
Despite the Catholicism of Itogon, the family still practice Ibaloy customs.

PROUD IBALOY — The descendants of Shuminkis and Bacjot of Bokod and Itogon, respectively, proudly showed the pictures of their ancestors, which is part of the documentation of the clan from Itogon. — Ofelia C. Empian

Galunza, a second year Bachelor of Arts in Communication student at Benguet State University, said it was the first time he attended the Ibaloy Festival.
It was an eye opener to him to take part in passing down the rich culture of the Ibaloys to his peers and those younger than him. 
During the festival, each clan have showcased their family tree and the highlights of their roots and family. 

The participating clans are the Wakat Suello, Batil-Bitnay and Dangeg; Amey-Matuday and Towao; Serapio Tumpao; Mat-an; Kidit-Kadota; Amistad; Shuminkis-Bacjot; Clara Acop, Amey and Pocoen (sisters); Cofes; Capp (Coljan, Anas, Ponoc, Pilay); Cariño; Tohto; Absan/Apsan Carantes-Elen/Elin/Ellen Lubos Sula/Sola; Avokay (of Moyot); Dati (Dugay, Agnay, Tadaha, Ingko)/Biray/Bugnay, Sungduan-Sepa, Donsokan-Comeray; Shepday; Tomino-Kamos; Sonay-Basilongilong; and Tabano-Omang. 
Bugnay said there are over a hundred clans of Ibaloys, even those outside of Baguio and Benguet, and they plan to include them in the future conduct of the festival.
The group is also aiming to have the festival institutionalized, like the Ibaloy Day, which is celebrated in Baguio every Feb. 23. – Ofelia C. Empian