My best experiences in Sablan, Benguet
MY BEST EXPERIENCES – humourous, not so~, or otherwise, in Sablan [you may pronounce it Sab-dang – they’ll be tickled there, to hear that native rendition, oftentimes aptly said], let me share them to you today – both for: Learning and Reflection.
MY MATRIKINS – OR relatives on the ‘mother-side’, now and then articulate in many a reunion as well as in personal conversations, that our I-andimay (c.f. Amlimay, Buguias) ancestor, Pucay Catores, had a sibling or Octop (one father, one mother sister/brother) who got married in Sablan or Sabdang, ages ago.
TO BE EXACT, Afu Pucay is my MFMF (or Mother’s father’s mother’s father) or, in straight English parlance: my great-great grandfather. Ergo, his reputed Sibling Octop’s descendants would be my ‘fourth-cousins’. But
UP TO NOW, I have yet to see a family tree indicating the details of my great-great grandpa Pucay – and his Octop sibling’s genealogical connexions. Yes, I have a copy of Afu Pucay’s family tree and descendants; but not yet of his reputed I-sabdang sibling. Some basic questions on this linger even: was it a sister or a brother? Where exactly in Sablan did his octop marry? et cetera. So
IN MY PARTICULAR case, I always say the I-sabdang are my ‘cousins’, insans; but to prove that, I could not yet. Now, to my best experiences thereat.
MY FIRST EXPOSURE in Sabdang was when I met Recording artist Rod Danggol from Bayabas, Sablan. He sang first on-record before I did. He first came out with his Nonta kaootek ko (When I was yet small) and Iliw ko son si-kam (My longings for you).
THEN, I FOLLOWED too with my first release of Nanlapoak di Kalahan – a Kalanguya song, flip-sided with my Ibaloi adaptation of Enahkhas malay saya (A tear fell). Rod Danggol became my constant companion – in our radio programs – with DZBS, DWHB, DZWT; sometimes, in some Ibaloi gatherings too in: Baguio, Sabdang, and elsewhere.
IT WAS DURING those times, I was introduced to my Sablan relatives at Bayabas – the Binaldos; and also to Mr. and Mrs. Pitas thereat.
MRS. MAGDALENA PITAS was our favourite bet in the Provincial Board and my family and Kailianes used to buy from them in their fruit store market at Baguio City. Now, the lighter – and somewhat humourous experiences with the Isablan:
IN 1995, I ran for the Position of Provincial Board Member, under the then ruling Lakas-NUCD. There was a time we had a rally at Sablan, at Poblacion?
THE AREA FOR said rally was a private residence offered graciously by a couple supporting us. Near 4 pm, we started the Program/rally. Oh! how the many people in the audience clapped, when we were introduced – one by one, by then incumbent Gov. Dr. Andres R. Bugnosen. And thus proceeded the speeches, some songs, and so on. The first speakers were
THE MUNICIPAL CANDIDATES – for Mayor, Vice-Mayor, and councilors. The reason was: they were to cover yet other barangays that time or later – and pass word about us Provincial Candidates ongoingly engaged in a rally at the venue where we were. The next batch of speakers’ turn: we – the Provincial candidates.
THE ONE FOR Governor first, then vice-governor, then for Board Members. The second to the youngest, I was – the last to speak. I already knew – hours yet before; that people were slowly leaving – little by little, as the night drew deeper.
WHEN I WENT close to the Microphone, I bowed to the hosting couple – still smiling; but oh, no more audience, except: one man holding a ‘roundpost’ empty bottle of gin, three old folks near the ground fire, and two young people by the kitchen window – perhaps tending to the coffee pots! Eight (8) to vote for me come Election time, I consoled myself
AT ANOTHER TIME, we went to a place – quite far from the Naguilian Road traversing Sablan. Upon alighting from a vehicle, we walked down, down to a creek below, the road. When we reached the base of said creek
WE WERE GUIDED to proceed upstreamwards – pahseddong. Oh, the long-winding walk; we arrived there after near-two hours? Our shirts were wet with sweat, we had to dry them under the sun, while resting a bit. The venue was a small school (Primary?) nestled among the trees and radiant bushes. Then, the Program – speeches, songs, shaking of hands, and the like. Enjoyed; we did.
WHEN WE WERE leaving, a group of young people were in eye-excitement to see me, wishing me well especially saying: “we are your townmates, we’re from Kapangan too! I bowed, and smiled, and thanked them. (N.B. there’s a place in Kapangan municipality; one Barangay Pungayan Ü). Hearing my name somehow kindled their hearts to lend me support! Ayuhh kha!