June 6, 2023

MY NEXT MAJOR bout with the EXPR Enayan! was months after I sang my song Enayan iman na on record (45 rpm disc).
[AT THAT TIME, there were already ‘Highlanders’ (– the term ‘Cordilleran’ came much much later) who were singing, nl. Apo Pedro Chinalpan, in English and in Ifontok; Apo Joel Tingbaoen, in Kankana-ey and in English; and Apo Rod Danggol of Sablan – in Ivadoi.
[LATER WHEN I joined their ranks, I introduced Kalanguya – in honour of my great, great grandfather: Pucay Catores who established dominion after marriage, in Daklan, Bokod; but originally and acknowledgely, from Amlimay, Buguias i.e. through my first song: Nanlapoak di Kalahan (“From the forestlands, I came”). The flip-side song was: Enahkhas malay saya (My version of “A Tear fell”).
[THIS WAS FOLLOWED closely by my English composition of: ‘I’ll be yours forever, Igorota’; flip-sided with my Ibaloi rendition of the Christmas song Silent Night. Said rendition’s title was: Manshadsak kitejon ehmin (“Let’s all be happy”). And then
[KALANGUYA ANEW: HAI no waday chansa (“So, if there’ll be a chance..”), paired with another original English composition. Dewdrops were falling.’ Next, my Ifugao rendition of the Ilokano Maysa nga rabii (“One night..”), entitled: Oha a nahdom; flip sided with the Japanese Umarete.. (“I was born..”); and so forth.
[I FINISHED WRITING my original ‘Highland’ Western-inspired Long Journey home and I was going to pair it with another Ibaloi composition of Apaw noman eyai (“Woe indeed this is”), when my producers and mentors – Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Ngalawen, as well as other very close relatives – consanguinal and affinal, plus personal friends and fans: they were suggesting and convincing me to bring out on record too – a Kankana-ey song.
[MY MENTORS AND close ones were so kind to advise me: ‘don’t be discouraged, continue with your original Long Journey home but pair it with a Kankana-ey song; You’ve sung in other languages; this time, go for Kankana-ey’; and the likes of these.
[FOR SOME TIME, I was a bit troubled.. so, what I did.. I went to see my mother in Teggep, Belance, Dupax del Norte. I recall
[WE HAD THAT long, memorable conversation. At middle length or so, I asked: “was not your father – my grandfather Aliw-iw, descended from Baglao, a mighty hunter from deep North, Kafasdungan, in [nowadays] Mt. Data?”
[ALMOST IN TEARS, but she was all smiles and she spoke: ‘Yes! but why, Yes! how did you know that? Yes, apo Baglao was from there.. he told me; even his mother Sandag – or Emang told me, in our old house in Bingaan’ (Binga, Itogon). Then, she paused thinking afar somewhat. and then, she looked at me again and said:
[“YOU STILL REMEMBER why your name is Mollino, don’t you? When you were born – or days after, your father and I had a family visitor who came by nightfall and sought shelter in our house at Debcöw. He spoke the Northern tongue, Mangalkali. In the morning, when he learned that you had no name yet, he said: ‘give him my name; though I’m a traveler, I have good Luck in me; I was buried in a mine cave-in for a month, but I survived, and here I am. My name is Mollino. Your ancestor Baglao is sung too where I come from! Then, he waved goodbye and went his way. You still remember, my son/anak ko?
[“BUT YOUR UNCLES and aunts at Debcöw and in Binga and some neighbours can’t so well pronounce your name Mollino; that’s Northern that’s why: so, they say Morrino, or Morinno, etc.: even your Grade I teacher registered it: Moreno. By the way, my father spoke better Northern than I do. You, my cousins and I, we’re part – Mangalkali too. Remember that too, my son.” So, when I left Teggep, after a week or so, I kept thinking of my bloodline’s connexion, my mother’s resounding words. In Baguio – a few more weeks (or months?) – my thoughts a-gathering, some urgent considerations, a lot more memories, and at length I said: “Yes, I’ll do it!”
ONE DAY, I found myself seated in front of my Highland Records mentors. I revealed: “I’m singing Kankana-ey, paired with my composition of Long Journey home. The title of the song is Enayan iman na. I’ll sing to you now the first stanza”. And so I did – in front of my mentors, husband and wife]:
Enayan Iman na; Yungo si eng engganal Tan aga’y men wingi; Sen essay babae.. (Almost a replica in-tune but not idiosyncratically, with my composition originally of Apaw noman eyai).
BUT THE CONTEXTUAL application of Enayan here (something like: “Woe unto me”), may just give us one or two interpretations. Ah, Enayan, how so mysterious an expression, you truly are! Ayuhh iman. Ay ayuhh!