January 30, 2023

THE BAHDIW IS that form of Oral Poetry delivered among the Cordis (or ‘Cordillerans’) during Special or Ritual occasions: Peshit/Pedit (Prestige Feasts), Pinatjan (Funerals), Kafi (‘Celebrating’, ‘Thanksgiving’, ‘Commemorative’, ‘Culminating’, etc. shorter ritual feasts), Ngilin or Kasal (Weddings – native, ‘mixed’, or ‘split-level’), Ad adkos (decorative Discussion, Debative Display or ‘Exhibition’ (!)), and so on.
THE MABAHDIW IS the ‘player’, chanteur, recitor, or singer, of the Bahdiw – or Ba-diw (some writers spell it that-a-way).
HE STARTS AS an avid listener (Ehmantettetneng); then, a try-and-correct enthusiast (Papadparas); and then an Ehmanbadiw (occasional chanteur); and finally: a Mabahdiw – a learned one in the ‘ways of the Bahdiw’.
HOW LONG (?) WILL it take him – shall mostly depend upon his initiative, diligence, and perseverance – nahmil, khaget, tan pemmasiya to, over his goal, i.e. to: one day become a recognized Mabahdiw.
THE BAHDIW – ON the other hand, is the ‘Poetry Piece’ – it may be called; if you were trained in the Graeco-Roman tradition; but those things aside, it could be some little ‘more’.
IT IS USUALLY Oral and spontaneous. One does not ‘prepare a copy’ of his Bahdiw.. then sing or deliver it when his turn comes. Nay, not even a written outline!
A CHANTEUR OR singer he is of a Bahdiw – his own or otherwise, his delivery should be ‘right on the spot’; and as he proceeds,
THE LINES AND the wordings come a-flowing-in succession; ‘in-accordance’, nan aanam, and in great meanings and candor!
WHY DO THESE things happen? Is it due to the deliverer’s skill, ‘magic’, or expertise? Maybe so. But not always – we may say. For even the ‘beginning’ – or ‘progressing’ Chanteur could still ‘manage’ a good delivery.
THE BAHDIW HAS established “rules”. You follow those “rules” and you’re in Base 1 or 2, at once!
ONE SUCH ‘RULE’ – basic and fundamental to any Bahdiw form, is the family-name wording. This means each important term used in the ‘piece’ has a corresponding family-name word. Let’s cite but a few examples:
IN THE PINATJAN (Funeral) Bahdiw form, Ama (father) or Ina (mother) is paired with the family-name word: Binngisan(Literally: “from whence we came forth”). Thus the recitor is expected to address the dead one – when still in the bier: Ama (or Ina) Binngisan.. (Transl: “Father/Mother from whence we came forth”). So that,
YOU NEVER HEAR an old man (or woman) being addressed (or referred-to in Narrations) as Binngisan. Rather, they’re just Ama/Ina, or Ama (plus name), Ina (plus name).
IF BY LAPSUS Linguae, one uses Binngisan, he is still corrected, reminded, or advised not to repeat the grave or Pehjew ‘error’. Similarly,
IN A NGILIN or Kasal (Wedding) Bahdiw the Bumalo (bull) is the family-name word for the ‘groom’, and bistida (dress) is for the ‘bride’. Ergo, you may hear a line going: Bumalo mi.. (“Bull our..) egto amtan mengesharo”. (It does not know how to [work with the] plow”). Note: Idiomatic: “The groom [our ‘side’] is not yet honed into the ways of work and life..” And they end such line-kinds with:
AG PAY NOMAN a manso.. (Transl: “It is not yet tamed (from wild, crude ways..”).
EVEN ANIMALS ARE accorded ‘proper’ (and permanent) family-name words, viz. Angalan for the dog; Mihmih-an for the goat; Bangkili for the water buffalo. And places too:
BUYAGAN FOR LA Trinidad; Arolos for Daklan; Danas for Gusaran (Kabayan); Teltelpok for Mt. Pulag; Binalyan or Dukyagan for TInek (now, Tinoc, Ifugao), et cetera.
NO WONDER: SO many trying to study or learn the Bahdiw raise their hands.. in Surrender?


Postscript: Feb. 22, my Adeline passed away, devastating our hearts with poignant grief. Our deepest gratitude for all your help and support. Farewell, beloved one: May you find eternal peace in God’s omnipresent Care and Protection.
Amen.