December 2, 2022

OF RECENT, I have had ‘surprise visits’ – that presently fascinate my memory and do much warmth to my heart and person.
BECAUSE THEY’RE UNANNOUNCED prior and so indeed ‘Surprise’ ones, I usually get alarmed, at times even frightened why so suddenly individual(s) come to see me? Only to later realize, they really mean sincerely to come-and talk with me; or, renew uncompleted acquaintances yet before; or, research and/or verify lost or ‘confused’ kinship ties; or, simply or purposely: to pay or render me a short Aadivay. Let me start with the latest one:
SOME PAST 1PM on the 24th of May, this Year, my grand-nephew Dave came in to tell me I have ‘visitors’.
“WHO ARE THEY? From where, or what office? How many of them?” I asked, really surprised. But Dave just shook his head and answered just the last question: ‘five of them, po. Shall I let them in?’ I said:
“NO, IT’S OKEY, I’m coming out to see them.” There they were – four females and one male! They spoke in Nabaloi [thereupon first calming down my surprise]:
‘HELLO SIR, SI-KAMI! Adafu kami did Bagueng (Tinongdan Southwards). Ninemnem min miha di assen ga ngo! (Transl: “It’s us. We just came from Bagueng. We thought of dropping by and see you as well”).
[SOMETHING IN THEIR Accent ‘told’ me they were not from Bagueng – even from bigger Tinongdan; so, I went out my gate, and continued talking with them.
[MINUTES LATER, I learned from them they went to visit Cousin Yolly (Balbines) and they were from the FB Ibaloi (Global). And my old memories – fond as they are, came alive anew:
[YES! I WAS once invited by them as their Guest Speaker and Inducting Officer! Yes, yes! I said to myself – silently and happily]. We continued the conversation, for some time – took pictures then
I INVITED THEM to come in for coffee; but, they said they were ‘going about and around’ some more to see friends, mandike diked sir! And I nodded to signify I understood.
AFTER A WHILE, they handed me some presents – then we bade, with our fists, Bye, bye! and they were gone!
I WAS LEFT here in the house – alone again, but truly touched and warmed – what an experience – I’m blest again! Next visit, prior.
WAS IT A month before – about 3pm. some voices by the gate. Thinking they were neighbours or friends, I called out: Come in po! It was raining. But they didn’t respond: so, I went to see them.
LO! A WHITE vehicle – engine unshut off, with the driver and still some persons inside. There were two women who came out and were standing in the kiosk nearby. Then, two men – one young and the other, an older one, came near and said:
‘WE’RE FROM KAYAPA (Nueva Vizcaya). It took us some time to find this dwelling of yours!
“AH OKAY, I see. You’re..” and the older one said: ‘Yes, we purposely came to see you, although just passing by, Simamad kami. We came just now from South of here, but I told my companions here – it’s better, let’s go see Manong/Cousin Morr. I am Pedro Galate!’ My voice in Excitement:
“MY COUSIN – PEDRO Galate of the Singkangan Sub-clan? So, it’s you. the name, many times I’ve heard – but personally meeting you: only now.”
‘SAME HERE – ANGKEN si-kak. Only now.’ L-A-U-G-H-S. We shook (fist) hands; and so, with the younger man.
I BADE THEM ‘in’ but they said they were going to Mr. Kias’ house – further up Northwest where I was – where we were conversing. Cousin Pedro said he dropped by to ask for a copy of our family/clan tree – that our great grand ancestor Sangkoi Dagdagod had ‘founded’ and where belong my Afagshao Sub-clan and his Singkangan Sub-clan. Though I had no copy to give him that very moment, we both felt happy we were able to see each other, talked with each other – face-to-face. He told me the young man he was with and all the others inside the vehicle were my relatives. I nodded to them all and they smiled and did same back.
WHEN THEY LEFT, they waved and I waved; our hands were waving – longer than needed! Thanks for the visits, Salamat son Apo Shiyos! Amen.