June 24, 2024

IN A FEW days or so, they stopped to rest and drink, from a water-fresh Tebteb, at Sadipang (now, an abandoned few-ricefield settlement just above Sitio Salesket, Tinongdan).
THE DAYS WENT weeks, and months, and so on. The wild game, the cold weather, the absence of other settlements visible, captured the hearts of many of Matuday’s folks; they begged Matuday to let them stay.
[PEOPLE OF HISTORY always indicate the Iowak foremosts, nangka ngadnan, as brave and strong, but also kind to their folks].
MATUDAY CONSENTED BUT said he had to find their other travelling folks. With his few men – and the families respective of these, they journeyed on – Eastward, but Southward too. One day,
THEY FOUND AN area where the water was fresh and cold, the weather colder, but they liked it: they camped there! [It is now an area-part of today’s Sitio Domolpos – or Shomolpos, Tinongdan, Itogon, Benguet].
NOWADAYS, IF YOU visit Sitio Domolpos, the host-house where you’ll stay is where the mighty Matuday has been sleeping – with other local heroes. The man who is in that house is the ‘chief’ of them all. They don’t vote, meet, etc., for the position of ‘Chief’ or Chieftain. In the Western Thought of yours and mine, their leader just comes there by ‘group Intuition’. And when he’s there – with his household members, nobody objects; nay, not even murmur, nary a whisper.
When I was Barangay Captain of Tinongdan, it was ‘chief’ Papas Matic. The current one now is the 3rd or 4th after him! Whew! Now, you have a spot awareness of the Iowaks, don’t you? Yes, dear Reader?
STILL, MANY QUESTIONS linger – for you and me, researchers local or otherwise, today; like:
IS THE SLEEPIPNG Matuday in Domolpos the same(?) as the Snake-spitting-fire ‘charmer’? Aside from what are told, what others are not – due to Pejew, Verbotenheit, or Secrecy; and which are not yet – but can be later told?
[UPDATES ON THIS/the Iowak research(es): [GENEALOGIST, HISTORIAN, RESEARCHER, and retired Professor Vicky T. confirms the ‘version’ of an Iowak group, long time ago, which stayed – in the Tacdian/Tomay area, but ‘later moved out, according to the stories of folks thereat.’ And
[INFORMANT JESS A., a Liang descendant, says he has heard – not just a few times, the stories about the ‘fire-spitting snake’ at the Upper Liang area; however, “it is about-forgotten now, amangka debkhan mala, because those things happened long, long time ago!”] Ayo, Ayo, Ino!
BUT THE DOMOLPOS people of Today have all the reasons to be happy and to feel really special:
BY DUE DILIGENCE and patience – and of course, with the help of other entities, their area, together with Sitios Lusod, Bacuyan, and the adjoining others, had been granted the status of Ancestral Domain
PLUS THEIR UNIQUE historical background, who would not be proud to stand among them? Areeja! Areeja!