(2nd of a Series)
IF WE MENTIONED that Bingaan (later officially shortened to Binga) was in those times the ‘center’ culture-area of the other sub-sitios, it was because of four reasons foremost, to wit: first, it was
THE EASIEST TO access by horseback – which was the mode of Transport and Travel, apart from walking.
THE OTHER SUB-SITIOS had family heads or elders able as well to host an assembly, meeting, or gathering, but said sitios these were with hanging bridges – passable only by foot, thus impossible for the horse. Take special note: the animal and vehicular bridges you can tire your eyes to see these days started cropping only, when?
[OUR GUESS: WHEN – or simultaneous when, the term ‘infra(structure)’ came into the records; except, of course, the Dalupirip animal bridge – constantly sung of, in songs and/or Bahdiws, long before World-War II.
[BUT DALUPIRIP WAS another little pueblo; and did not include Bingaan. Note: in the old tax declarations, the address reads: Bingaan (or ‘Binga’), Lucbuban]. Going back,
THE SECOND REASON why Bingaan was that time the ‘center’ area: it was where the first Primary School was located – not in oldest, pre-Hispanic Sadipang; nor in spacious, ambanaw, Debcöw Dongbaan; not in earlier-occupied/settled Baloy; either.
[INTERESTING TO NOTE among the earlier think-tanks of Bingaan: the school aforesaid was named Baloy Primary School. (N.b. this I should know; I finished Greades I, II, and III there)].
THE THIRD REASON now: it was the frequent stop-over of their Impan-ama – Don Mariano Fianza, sometimes dubbed in local history as ‘the second kinglet’ of Eastern Benguet [the first was his father Apo Ama Jose Smith Fianza. Eastern Benguet, so-called, included partly or so: Bokod, Kabayan, Itogon, and Fianza, San Nicolas (Pangasinan)]..
WHENEVER PEOPLE IN the surroundings hear – or are informed by runners, Don Mariano is in Bingaan, they come flock to where he was.
IN WHICH OR whose house, he directs his riders to have his visit or stop-over, these gallop ahead to inform the family heads/elders – and the preparations are made. Later, he arrives and the joyous villagers welcome him. And then
THEY HAVE THE Adivai =INT interchange of pleasantries, ‘mature’ discussions re-the Sitios, villages, and people – of course, eating and drinking some bits, savouring the usual staples: taro or gabi, sweet potatoes, kintoman red rice, some Pinchang or dried pork/boar meat and: the fermented Tafey or rice wine – it’s never forgotten.
AT THE DAY’S end, some people will be going back to their homes – with many stories or anecdotes re their Impan-ama’s visit; some shall stay until late night – to enjoy listening to the old men Sages, Ehnemneman, sing or recite their Bahdiw (=INT spontaneous/oral, ‘native’ Discourse song or poetry) – with their Impan-ama and the general Audience. [Ah, what nostalgia enough these things bring-in-mind, when narrated by elders and raconteurs – some whose parents or grandies were eyewitnesses or participants!]. The Fourth reason now:
PURPOSES PERSONAL OR special, like: visiting a kin or relative. Bingaan was a ‘meeting point’/settlement of several ‘ethnic stocks’ or groups, viz. Iowaks, Imagangans, Iacupans, Ipasdongs, and so on.
[BRIEFLY SKETCHED, THE Iowaks – still a ‘tribal’ designation in official records as of this time, are original settlers of the Eastern fringes; the Imagangans are descendants of Northern Bokod; the Iacupans come from the early settlement of Acupan [now], in Itogon; and Ipasdong is a general reference for ‘Northerner’].
ERGO, IT WAS not surprising that early Binga/Bingaan used to be the ‘center’ of inter-village/sitio occasions, visits, or gatherings. Not surprising too that they have developed a neo-Ibaloi ‘accent’ or language-variety, being espoused by scholars and observers to be named as: Bingaan (Note: other localities refer to it as: Essel ni Ibinga [Transl: “Language of those from Binga”].
TO THE FOUR main directions of the Wind, there are yet oldest – or older, Sitios that respond to the reference of ‘Suburbs’, in the official registry of ‘Binga and Suburbs’.
TO NAME SOME: Sitios Palew and Padino to the direct East; Sitios Guisset, Bagajao, and Bonecöw straight North; and Sitios Palegwa and Saybuan to the South.
OTHER SITIOS UNNAMED here – but still responding to the reference of ‘Suburbs’, are located in the middle points of: NE and NW; as well as SW and SE. Ayuhh kha nete!
(2nd of a Series)