September 25, 2023

(2nd of a Series)

A LASTING ANNECTODE on the making of early Ytogon (Itogon):

WHEN THE INSULAR government learned of the earnest desire of the village elders to move to Balingway, the higher ups sent a team, with an Iluko-speaking guide:

THE ELDERS CITED the abundant water sources, the wider space available, etc. but the team members wanted to be satisfied even by just a mere distant ocular view of the place they’ve been calling: Balingway. So

THE ELDERS LEADING the way, the y tried to find a point/area where they could do the viewing. Sooner, one of the Elders stopped and said:

“THERE! BUT ONLY a little part of it can be seen from here. If not for that reclining mountain, Balingway could be viewed clearly from here!” [original re-quoted text: No awan diay nanpiging nga bantay, makita ti Balingway!”).

AND TRANSFER THEY did: from Virac to Balingway, but vey significantly to be noted: the reference of el pueblo de Ytogon did not change to el pueblo de Balingway (cf. Supra).

WHEN THESE EVENTS were happening, or a bit before (?), two key figures were already in the background – one way or the other. They were half-brothers Pinao-an and Inngosan – sons influential of To-to, the Ifasdung (lit. “the Northerner”).

INNGOSAN EXERCISED SOME kind of Dominion over a vast area of Pasture (?) land, ‘from near Loakan to Tabu, Dalupirip’ – the Oral narrators say.

SO THAT, EACH time he came to visit, he brought along some of his family circle and some cowhands of course, and they say he also frequently visited Apo chief To-to Domagto of Ampasit (between somewhat of what is now Bakong (Itogon) and Loakan.

OFTEN, THEY WOULD jest – with their elders, or among themselves, of intermarriages – ‘to strengthen their ties’, sai on esso essop pay.

ALWAYS (OR MOSTLY) in company with them in those visits was young Shomingkis – ‘adopted son’ of Pinao-an (but actually too: a nephew of his, since, by blood, Shomingkis’ mother – Catorai, was his cousin).

IN ONE OF these jestings, Sengsengkit, chief Domagto (To-to) took the first initiative: he offered his daughter Bacjot, in marriage to Inngosan, or any of his Party.

DECLINING SINCERELY THE chief’s offer, Pinao-an and Inngosan instead suggested Shomingkis to be their man for the dilemmas to wed.

SUBSEQUENTLY, SHOMINGKIS and Bacjot were married, and they bore: one boy, and three girls. The boy was to be Fianza (Jose Smith) himself – known in some books as “the Kinglet of Eastern Benguet”.

THE SHOMINGKIS–BACJOT marriage clandestinely gives direct answers to the questions of today’s observers why ‘the closeness of the Southern (e.g. Itogonians) with the Northern Ibalois, and other Benguets.

BACJOT WAS OF Ehnontog descent, therefore genetically allied to the Ituba (including Baguio) and the Bued River (Kennon) settlements, towards Doco (Ylocos) and Rosario, La Union.

SHOMINGKIS – ON THE other hand, was descended from Nugal the Ibokot (‘native’) Bokodian, in present reckoning). His mother Catorai, was one child of Sangkoi Dagdagod, the Swordsman, and his mother Saguinay, a sister of the celebrated To-to, and therefore a descendant of Baglao – a reputed warrior from what is now known as the Mt. Data (Mt. Province) area.

ALL OR SOME of these ‘native nobilities, origins, etc.,’ had perhaps enhanced Shomingkis’ rise to fame? He was the last of the ‘capitanes del pueblo Ytogon.’ Then, came and rose – to equal ‘heights’, his son Jose Smith Fianza, the Kinglet (Supra).

MOST OR ALL of the data I’ve poured in this ‘2nd of a Series’, are the results of my own personal researches, readings, and observations – plus and also from the sources and references herein disclosed; [and] with whom I’m in deep gratitude. It dawns now upon us, in the Field, to resolvingly undertake

A DEEPER, MORE exhaustive research and record on Itogon, Balingway, and the populations thereat – for greater ‘heights and discoveries’. Di po ba? Ayuhh!

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