June 6, 2023

“HANDLING DILLEMAS THE – Nabaloi way” could have been our topic title today if it was in English; but since the discussions shall venture into actual-situation examples among Nabalois, we have chosen: Nganto y pesing eh~.
ORIGINALLY, AND IN short, it reads: Nganto (i)y pesing? (Lit. transl: “What can we do?”); but the moment the eh is added, the Dilemmas set in.
THIS EH CONJUNCTOR corresponds, more or less, to the English: when, exactly when, if, iff (if, and only if), and the like. Let’s come now to some examples:
A WEEK AFTER filing his Certificate of Candidacy, a mayoralty aspirant was approached by two purok ‘leaders’ who said:
“AMONG YOU THREE candidates, Candidate B is your archrival. As of now, his name resounds (matunog). He is your 2nd cousin, and some of your (mutual) relatives walk with him in his sorties. We’re for you = you know that.. but if ever you’ll consider quitting.. please tell us soon? If not”.. And, aspirant A answered:
“YES, THANK YOU. Give me time until tomorrow morning.. As of now and as for me, I’m all set, and no quitting; but..” [Next day, he told his leaders]:
“NGANTO Y PESING eh man file kita met da. On angat e pamilja; on angat e kaapuan. Mai toddoi ketdi ah!” (transl. “What can we do when: I already filed; our family will be fiery; the ancestors too. Let’s better continue the fight!”).
OUR NEXT SITUATION-EXAMPLE: there’s a ‘closed-door’ conference. Present are two young sweethearts, their parents respective, and some close relatives. The sweethearts are 2nd cousins but have been going out together already for months. There are Pros and Cons to their plan for Marriage; thus now, they have submitted the issue – for Resolution, in this conference. After some pleasantries, the father of the would-be groom now speaks:
NGANTO Y PESING eh no nan dinaw-an kayo; man iinanos ma ah. Kaasian shahita ni Amadsua; mas naalas met no maikowan ji egkayo mantoddoi, ji eta met ja nan sinnemek kayo.
(Transl. “What can we do if you’ve both exhausted your boundaries; let’s (all) understand one another. The Lord Creator shall have mercy on us; it will be worse if we say you need not marry, when (it is evident:) you love each other mutually.”). Next example:
EGMAY IKKOT AND Malip Depey are ‘close’ neighbours; except that their dwellings respective are separated by the great Agno River. Ergo, when one goes to visit-and-talk, maki Adivay, with the other, he needs to cross a long hanging bridge that is part of the pathway to the dwellings aforesaid.
ONE DAY, EGMAY was surprised – but (later) elated, seeing Malip approaching his house.
AFTER RESTING A bit, Malip stated his purpose for his ‘sudden’ coming:
“I HURRIEDLY CAME, I need cash to pay my land taxes. The collector came to our house yesterday. I’ll be needing 20 thousand pesos at least; I’ll give you my new bull and my maiden cow down there in Kesbeng, in exchange?” And Malip replied:
AJJO (EXPR) NGANTO Y pesing eh; kosto et ngo mowan ka di ka mansebbi e ahai ekkal ngo len ta collector ni bines. En ehan ko la sotta 25 dibbo n ja ina egshian ko.
(Transl. “Ajjo, what can we do? Exactly when, you were arriving (when) the tax collector just left. I handed him the 25 thousand (cash) I was keeping.”). Our final situation-example:
KAFE IS A ritual performed for many intentions; viz. as a thanksgiving for: a newly-found gold/treasure; some big money won in a local lottery; a just-concluded case where the celebrant won; a just finished ‘native’ wedding ceremony, et cetera.
ONE NIGHT, ALIWAN Dasto – a ‘split-level’ convert, had a dream. When he told his two closest peers (barkada) the morning after, these advised him: he had better perform the Kafe ritual if he wants the direction of his dreams to materialise to success. But doubting like old Thomas of antiquity, he decided to consult a Prayerman or Mambunong. He related to the Prayerman how his dreams went – cum details and all.
THE PRAYERMAN ASKED finalement: “And did you receive the red cayenne being handed to you by old man Okkat – as you were just saying?”
‘YES AMA, I did!’ replied Aliwan Dasto without hesitation. The Prayerman was silent, eyes almost closed, then declared:
‘NGANTO Y PESING eh inegwat mo hutta eshahel la sili n naikhiyag. Mapteng, magessat kuno etana sinjal. Samma sili baxa iraman.
‘NO SHI KOHKOHKEP kumo e inegway mo y shaxa pan e ahan, mebdin kono. Kafe m kare?

(WHAT CAN WE do if you received (emph-ours) the many cayenne inside the winnowing basket. That’s good, that’s lucky sign, they say. The cayennes coloured red stand for cows or cattle.
(‘IF IN A dream you received what they’re giving, it (your pursuit) will fructify. You perform the Kafe, I suggest?’).
BASTA INEGWAT MO, et mango ah? (If and only if, you received (it))?’ Did he? n.b. In real life, yes he did, and the dream fructified as foretold.