November 29, 2022

IT IS NOW Campaign Period for the locals as well, and as in previous Elections, our people are very ‘active’ anew – in spite of our Pandemic cases all over.
HERE IN ‘THESE Heights’, ditoy Kabanbantayan, many individuals and families(!) just keep silent when asked about the aspirant(s) they’re planning to support e.g. from Congressman, Governor – to municipal Councilors.
SO THAT, IF you ask them, they’ll mostly say [or do], any or all of these: “I’m not yet decided who”; or, “my list is not yet complete.. er, what about you?” Or, “Secret..” [and smiles]; or, even a gestural pressing of the pointing finger against the lips, followed by glances on the right and left sides. But there are some though, who are ‘open’ and who divulge who they are supporting. How and Why – let’s try to take cognizance of them. They’ll not directly say: “Vote for~”; or, “Let’s elect again~” or other similar-worded come-ons. Rather, in a group gathering or in party discussions – when asked to comment, they’ll begin with: Si iman enak tep~ (It’s him/her/name because~”), then the whys for their choice[s]. For instance:
SI IMAN ENAK Polano (cf. Sp. Señor Fulano, “Mr. So and So”) tep kait noman (Transl: “It’s him/her – in my case IMPL, because he/she is a kin/relative/next-of kin CONC-ession”).
THIS IS ONE reason – unique enough, ‘umanayen’, for individuals, families, clans, even a whole Sitio ‘going for’ a particular aspirant, i.e. ‘simply because he/she is a Kait/Gait/Gaet. ‘Traditional’? Maybe so, but in the old days, you start trust beyond your immediate family, next – your neighbours; next, your village-mates, and so on. Most of these are your Kaits/Gaets.
Another reason-example is language – sometimes erroneously referred to as ‘dialects’ (erroneously because if they are, they must be dialects-of-a ‘Standard’ one; but they look up to no Standard form; ergo they’re languages plain, technically)
IN BENGUET, THERE are about nine (9) different languages viz. Kankana-ey, Nabaloi/Ibaloi, Kalanguya, Ikarao, Iowak, Mandek-ey, Bago, and the almost ‘extinct’ Kataguan and Bingaan.
SOMETHING REALLY DIFFERENT here: when you speak any of those village languages, it is already a marked ‘advantage’, Quod erat demonstrandum, Q.E.D., this has been proven, cited, and recorded previous. Confer, if you speak the wider-area languages, viz. (Cordi) Iluko, Tagalog, or English. [sometimes funny but true: you’ll hear from an inquisitive listener question: “Why is he/she using Tagalog; isn’t he supposed to be Ibaloi or Kalanguya?” Or, “there he goes again – the English-speaking one”; and like comments]. But for one speaking ‘village’, he/she usually earns the favour or compliment of:
SI IMAN ENAK, amta toy essel tayo! (Transl: “It’s him/her IMPL in my case, he knows/uses our language!”). Finally, the personalized reason of:
SI IMAN ENAK tep kunsunadak e ugadi to (Transl: “It’s him/her, etc. because, I really admire his character!”). An example he may cite additionally is: naanos, marunong, tan matalyaw: ni kait ono aligwen kait (Transl: “kind, regardful, and recognizing: kait or otherwise!”). Ayo! Ayo! Ino!