December 5, 2023

(ERRATA: In last Sunday’s issue, par1, line1, kindly read July 11 instead of June 27, lengthily not lengthly in par7, and Bunjags or Converts not Bunjags Converts in par10. Apologies po).
OF COURSE YOU’RE familiar with the term ‘hanging bridges’ as used locally in these contemporary times – they’re no vehicular bridges, nor motorcycle (motor-) bridges; nay, not even ‘bicycle bridges’. They’re simply footbridges, for persons or individuals’ Use. And please note, if you’re from near the area.
WE DID NOT use the usual, official reference of ‘Binga and Suburbs’; otherwise, that will be a too-wide area for this Discussion.
WE JUST USED Binga – the most common and (you bet) ‘popular’ term people thereat – whether ‘original’, ‘insider’, or ‘outsider’ – are more inclined to employ in their daily or ordinary use-of-mention of the area or location.
[THIS REFERENCE-TERM] ‘Binga’ has metamorphosized from the original Bingaan (pron. Binga-an) literally meaning “where the Binga (native) shells abound and are gotten.” The suffix –an is a locative marker, LM, in Relational Grammar – similar or parallel to the established applications in related languages, to wit: Aponan “where animals, hunters, people, etc. meet or gather” – i.e. in Iowak, Kalanguya, Ibaloi; Gonhadan (Tuwali or Kalanguya Ifugao) “where people descend in the trails”; Eskwelaan (Ilk) or Eskwelahan (Tag), “where the school is at (as well as its nearby structures or dwellings)”, et cetera]. And now: the five bridges of Binga. We proceed chronologically – which was built first, next, etc.; but also, let’s include the hows and wherefores of each bridge.
ORIGINALLY, THERE WERE only two of those bridges, n.l. the Marian-Riverside and the Binga-Baloy at Sitio Tobob. (Featured detailedly in this column, pre-Pandemic times, Supra).
THE MARIAN-RIVERSIDE was the vital connecting link for the populations of the ‘Suburbs’ and when going to the city (of Baguio), or elsewhere.
THE TOBOB BRIDGE linked the people of Binga (or Bingaan) with the populations of Baloy, Mambolo, and Itogon Poblacion (or Balingway) to the West and all Sitios of [today’s] Lower Tinongdan with Binga.
AND WHAT ABOUT the three other bridges, how did they come to be – if, as deduced from the earlier setting, the Bingaan populations did not see the need urgent of them? Again, we take the first one to be constructed: the Powerhouse-Tobob hanging bridge.
THIS USED TO be a fair-sized vehicular bridge – part of the road opened by the giant companies: National Power Corporation (NPC) – or its allied corporations e.g. PESI or GROGUN (not so versed with them – I was just a kid those times). Said road (– used presently as pathway trail-road) served the Companies’ ‘Tail-race’ at Sitio Bitnong-Sayboan.
WHEN THE BINGA Dam was completed, and the companies pulled out, the bridge was left to the elements.. I walked over it as a young man twice, or thrice, when it was repaired and re-repaired. Later, by some procedures, it ended up a hanging bridge. And then
ALMOST SAME DECADE – or less, the Binga Riverside-Powerhouse was constructed, upon initiatives of the Elders of ‘old’ Binga. Some village narrators say said bridge was at first, not allotted any funding; so that, they had to resort to Khammal or Bataris (Ibaloi-style version of Bayanihan). Now, of course, it is officially-listed as one of the maintaince-funded bridges of the Barangay.
THE ‘YOUNGEST’ BRIDGE is the Lower Marian-Camodinga, some half-kilometer down or away from the Dam’s Spillway.
THERE WAS NO bridge there at first; only a Bolusbus – a native-Ibaloi trolley style transport facilty. But a certain Ruben Tadeo, whose family’s land property was at Camodinga – across the River (Agno) from the Lower Marian riverbanks, decided to fulfill his parents’ wish – that someday, one of us in the family may afford to construct a small house at Camodinga (East).
HE DID, BUT first, he had to engage the assistance of his neighbours and relatives to construct that bridge (– now, called the Lower Marian-Camodinga); thus some personal and/or contributed funds – for the materials. not for the labour, as you might have rightly guessed, had to be shelled out – voluntarily.
SO, THERE! THE five ‘hanging bridges’ of Binga some local tourists love to visit and take pictures of, or in – but all embedded.. with fond narrations and ‘histories’ in their respective early years of making and Use. Ayuhh tet-ewa!