February 22, 2024

IN ‘IDIOMATIC’ ENGLISH, that would go like: “Come now the first rains of May”.
[OF COURSE, YOU and I are aware that the mention of May is due to the influence of the Latin calendar – like what we find in many other languages and cultures with histories akin to English. So,]
SOME OR MANY in “these Heights”, Ditoy kabanbantayan, may translate our topic title: minus the mention of May; and precisely, that would be the time, the period, the estacion, etc., nl. “[the time/period] when the first rains come” – as then, they, yonder in those mountains used to say.
IF YOU LISTEN to the reminiscing old man, you’ll mostly hear something like:
“AFTER THESE FIRST rains, the women shall be ‘preparing the seedbeds.. for the rice seedlings – [the Ibalois and Iowaks call it] si Ped-ag.’ (n.b. about this point, you may peg his estacion reference in our calendar today with: middle June to early July. And continues he as we take note:)
“AND THEN, SI Tonned – the Planting of the (rice) seedlings (that would be our mid-/or past mid-) July.. and then, we wait for some little time.. then, we do the weeding of the planted seedlings. The Dalakais and the Nangkabahkol (the old men and women) call this: Si Kahmas. (this will be close meanwhile to our calendar of late August to mid-September). He finishes recollecting, with:
“AND THEN, si EBBUL, the time when we go to those small shacks, Abulan, to drive the birds – the Beshing maya; but also the Dodki and the Kirot especially (n.b. the last-two mentioned bird types are seen to be ‘native’ originals, or so usually claimed).
“THEN, SOME COLD winds and mornings – after a brief period of Storm (or typhoon) has passed.. a little wait, and, we’ll have. si Anni (literally, “harvest time”). Others, South or East (to Kayapa, N.V.) or in Imukken prefer calling this Deppas.
[N.B. THIS ‘BRIEF period or Storm’ he is saying is what many anticipate – sometimes the wait lasts really that long.. they call it Powek ni Keling (literally: “typhoon of the Keling [‘native’-variety bird])”.
SO-NAMED BECAUSE ONCE such typhoon has gone, the wait – ‘long wait’, amasmasked, is over. In some areas, which the typhoon does not visit, nor ravage, etc., the villagers will still know: the period, time [quarter-] month (?), etc., of the Keling has passed. How?
THEY’LL SEE: SOMEWHERE in the creeks, in the fields, near the front yard, or where: a Keling bird – one or two in some far-distanced neighbourhood; but enough to tell the story.
WITH THE KELING storm gone, they can now look forward to a kinder, happier, more bountiful si Anni or Harvestime!
INCIDENTALLY, FIRST: You and I can notice that most big Feasts – especially in the Southern Cordi are held after the si Anni.. to correspond with Deppas, “Harvest time”? And
SECOND, I’VE HEARD and verified with my University students that even the Pangasinenses always expect the once-a-year visit of the Keling bird! Ayo, ayo, Ino!