Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Best Way to Talk to Strangers

The Taloctoc custom of hospitality is ingrained and inculcated in each Taloctoc native. That’s why when people from town, cities or neighboring provinces visit, the people welcome these “strangers” with open arms and offer them the best they could.
In this Internet world though, people are wary of trusting strangers. But when you want to talk to strangers without endangering your privacy, then you can do it at iMeetzu.

Here are some options you can select from in this amazing site.

• The idea of “open source conversationalism” has never been done in any website. Most similar sites would request you to register, provide lots of personal information before you are allowed to interact. This site allows you contact immediately upon clicking one button. It is an ingenious and fascinating concept to be able to feel free and communicate with other people on a broader range.

• You can chat with a “stranger’ without registering. All you have to do is to tick on the button and you are all set.

• You can use the iPhone application for free and enjoy your chatting experience.

• You can have interesting conversations with people you meet at random in the site. This would broaden your social network and would increase your online integrity.

If you want to make the most out of your online interactions, then this is the place to be.

Friday, November 26, 2010


By: Prof. Manolo Ballug & Jena Isle

The betrothal practice in Kalinga - specifically Taloctoc - is done by having a "contract" between parents for the marriage of their children. The practice is binding among the natives.

It starts of when a family decides to have its son or daughter be betrothed to another by sending an emissary who should be a respected and influential member of the community. This emissary must at least know how to sing the "ullalim" as it is through this that he would make the initial proposal. In most cases, the proposal is accepted by the other family.

When the proposal is accepted, the emissary would go back to the proposing family and everyone would be informed about the acceptance. An announcer from each family would go around and inform all of their relatives and the community, and everyone would be invited to the celebration. The date of the celebration should have been previously approved by both concerned parties, this is to officially inform everyone in the community about the contract.

During the day of the celebration,the emissary from the girl's family would go to the house of the boy as early as 6 AM to officially announce the celebration. All the relatives of the boy should be there to receive the emissary. As soon as the emissary arrives, the father of the boy would instruct any of his relatives to slaughter a pig in order to entertain the emissary with "ullalim" until such time that the breakfast is ready.

After breakfast, all the male relatives of the boy would line up and one of them would carry the head of the butchered pig; this is called the "lungos". This is then taken then to the house of the girl to signify the start of the celebration and to manifest acceptance of the marriage proposal.

The emissary would then lead the march followed by the boy, who must carry a bundle of firewood. All of the male relatives would also carry bundles of wood or one of the 6 musical instrument called " patonggok". This 6 musical instrument would produce rhythmic sounds. The "patonggok" is made from bamboo and are whittled to regularly, decreasing sizes, from 1 & 1/2 foot to 6 inches in length. The alternate beating of the "patonggok", which would produce a melodious sound that would accompany the group to the girl's house. The sounds are loud enough for the whole village to hear, thereby prompting them to go to the celebration.

All the relatives of the girl will gather at the girl's house and wait for the marching men. As soon as the marching group arrives at the girl's house, an important, influential and respected "ullalim" singer would officially present the boy to the girl's family.


A man from the girl's family who should also be a good "ullalim" singer, would sing the acceptance of the boy into the girl's family. This will signal the start of the celebrations. A program would follow with "ullalims", "salidsids" ( courtship dance), "salip" (wedding dance) and the "tadok" (dance for all).

Other activities may be initiated, like games for children and adults, while "basi" (native wine from sugar cane) is available for the men, and cakes for the women. More pigs, cows or carabaos are slaughtered and everyone in the village would be invited to take part in the festivities. The meat is boiled in one big cauldron without any salt or condiment and that is it. The feast usually lasts a whole day and is considered a holiday in the village, that means everyone is expected to be there. It is considered improper and impolite to be away working on such an occasion. The old folk from both parties would be discussing the future security of their betrothed children.

During the enforcement of the contract, the betrothed children must not pronounce or state the names of each other's close relatives (father, mother, siblings and first cousins) as it is believed that this would cause the persons to get ill with boils. This practice is called "paniyao". The parents are expected to share with each other whatever things they have like vegetables, sugar, clothes, salt, bread , etc.

When the betrothed children become grown-ups, they are expected to help their respective father and mother-in-law in any way they could. The boy would gather firewood, fish and fetch water for the girl, while the girl is also expected to cook, wash and clean the house. In some instances when the father-in-law is too old to work, the boy is required to live with him to help out with work . The parent's boy, on the other hand are expected to take care of the girl as their own, through financial assistance and the like.

In rare cases where the "contract" is broken, especially on the part of the boy, he would be required to replace the animals which were slaughtered during the celebration, or he would have to pay in cash. This is a unique contract in which the whole village is a witness.


The lovely picture is provided by Camille of Memoirs of a Med Student. She is a 22 yr - old, Med student who has interests in books, movies , food and - believe it or not - PC games and basketball.

Aside from pursuing Medicine, she also puts aside time to watch movies and to read books by Coelho and other well known authors.
Her blog is very stimulating because of the diverse interests that Camille has. Go visit her blog at Memoirs of a Med Student.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Elegant Bathrooms, a Dream Come True with Better Bathrooms

I previously enjoyed living in the far-flung barrio of Taloctoc. But living in the city now has changed everything for me. Now, I have updated technology that I could use whenever I want to get connected with the world from the corners of my room. I have also the comforts of modern living and of course a spic and span bathroom. I am very particular about my bathroom because it is one of my favorite places in the house.

If you are like me, who wish for better bathrooms, then this site can provide you with the best tiles and bathroom materials that you can take advantage of. They have tiles offered at half the price, and elegant bathroom suites that come at affordable prices.

The bathroom suite can be a cloakroom and basin set, a modern toilet and basin set or a traditional toilet and basin set. You may also opt for reliable heated towel rails, classy bathroom mirrors, or select from an array of awesome designs and styles of bathroom taps. These are made of durable solid brass with an excellent chrome finish.

You have various styles and features to select from. Bring elegance and pizzazz to your bathroom by grabbing this opportunity to remodel your bathroom.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Tribal Wars Still Exist

I was disheartened to learn that tribal wars still exist in my beautiful native province. A relative just visited and informed me that after 6 pm, everyone should be inside their houses because of existing tribal wars between villages or barrios.

After all these years, they still exist? What can be in the mind set of my co-Kalingans? Wasn't there enough bloodshed already? Could we not give peace a chance?

The beautiful picture is courtesy of Nats Dalanao. Thanks,Nats. Nats is the author of the wonderful blog :"Kalinga Tambayan,". Visit his blog and enjoy more of the culture of the Kalingas.

What can be the reasons for this continuing bloodshed? I can't find the answers, anyone who can help me?

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Choose Your Airport Taxi Transfers Well

Comfortable and affordable Airport taxi transfers can make your travel a wonderful experience. Taxi transfers from the airport can prove difficult if you have not planned properly for your travel. Traveling can be fun if you have prepared your itinerary meticulously. Your plan should include transportation from the time you leave your house up to the airport, and from the airport to your final place of destination.

If someone cannot fetch you from the airport, taxis are your best mode of transportation especially if you are traveling with babies and children. If you have additional pieces of luggage like sports gears, then you have to plan your transportation carefully so that you will not panic when transport is not available.

Utilize excellent transfer services to ensure a smooth and trouble-free journey. Prepare your transportation well to ascertain your safety and convenience. Coupled with these two important factors, is the affordability of the transportation. You can choose private or the less expensive group transfers.

In the case of the Kalinga provinces, you can hire a taxi from the city but this would be at exorbitant prices. You should scout around for less expensive rates. You could also hire one on a contractual basis. If you know where to look, you will be able to find a secure, safe and affordable taxi or transportation.

Traveling should be a rewarding and relaxing experience, and not a harrowing and tiresome activity. Plan your vacation well and enjoy!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Colorful Kalinga Costumes

Vibrant colors characterize the Kalinga costumes. The "bongol" or necklace are precious stones from barter or trade with the Chinese, which are used as wonderful accessories.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Beautiful Women of Kalinga

When was nudity considered a crime and an act of public disturbance? Since people began perceiving it as malicious and a demonstration of bad manners.

In my homeland, nudity is not an issue. This goes to show that our perception of things affects the way we react. Look at this beautiful Kalinga woman who sees the world around her as pure and good. The men respond in kind and respect their women. We are more civilized than most people, methinks! Lol

These pictures are from a superb photographer Nats Dalanao, who has taken upon himself to record them as colorful and significant aspects of the Kalinga heritage. Thanks again Nats, for allowing me to use your pictures.

Visit his blog "Kalinga, the Land of the Brave" and read more interesting stories of the fascinating Kalinga culture.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Lubo, Tanudan in the Eyes of Nats

These are scenic views of Lubo, Tanudan from the mountain crest. The scenes are picture perfect and breathtaking. You should see them in person to appreciate them more. These are only some views that can captivate you. Try the bubbling Chico River, the incredible flora and fauna and the amazing landscape, and you will know what paradise on earth means.

Tanudan is composed of three barrios or villages, Lubo, Mangali and Taloctoc. These three places hold their own attraction and natural beauty: verdant, towering mountains, azure sky with white fluffy clouds drifting by, and the clear, rambling Chico River.

Nats Dalanao took these beautiful pictures and I thank him for allowing me to use them in this blog to let other people know how beautiful Kalinga is, particularly Lubo.

Nats says: “This is my job, administering all the computer network infrastructure of the City Hall, making it sure that everybody is connected to the database on the central server...”

I am sure he does his job well aside from being an artist and a superb photographer. Enjoy these pictures, which were taken firsthand by Nats himself.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

More Panagbenga Pictures and Others

again...These past few days I was so busy working to earn a living. How ironic, at the pace that I’m going I’d probably be gone before I could even enjoy life. Anyway, there are lots of stories I would like to share in this blog and lots of pictures I would like to post too. So watch out for them. I am leaving you with this picture for now. Watch out for the next ones. Back to work. lol.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Indigenous People of the Cordilleras: How Are They Treated?

The Cordillera region includes the provinces of Kalinga- Apayao, Bontoc, Ifugao and Benguet. In the old days, indigenous people had difficulty adapting to the urban life and are therefore treated as naive and ignorant by people in the cities. Oftentimes, they are employed as household help, laborers or gofers.

This changed however when more and more natives earned proper education from the neighboring towns. Alongside with this, progress came through accessible roads and establishment of more educational facilities.

The construction of roads led to an increased exchange of commercial products and also more interaction between villages and towns. Natives learned more of the city life and had brought this knowledge home with them.

The proper education had allowed their active participation in a more national scope. At present, there are popular and famous natives who occupy key positions in local and national government. One can no longer differentiate accurately a native from the city dwellers. Those who still think of indigenous people as ignorant and naive are frowned upon.

Although the physical features are one indication that the person is from the indigenous tribes, this does not indicate that the native is less intelligent. At times, they're even more gifted than their city counterparts.Generally, the Kalinga-Apayaos are usually tall, lanky and dark; the Benguets - sturdy and fair-skinned; the Ifugaos - darker and smaller in built.

The towns and villages also became populated with city people as intermarriages occurred. The children have now inherited both genes and are a new generation of people. The thin line between the indigenous tribes and the people from the lowlands had finally merged into a unique entity.

These children borne of these types of marriages have lost some of the physical traits of their forefathers. You would never guess that a person has a native blood unless he/she reveals it.

Today, indigenous tribes are treated with respect and dignity. They are looked up to in several categories. In fact, even educational institutions recognize the brilliance of the brains of the indigenous tribes. One very good example is St Louis University in Baguio City, which is now considered a center for academic excellence, even better than most schools in the National Capitol Region (NCR). The school has produced graduates who had made it to the top ten of their specific professional licensure examinations.

Although Baguio City is no longer officially a part of Benguet Province, it is still an active participant of the Cordillera's affairs and will continue to be considered its prime city.

The Cordillera indigenous people have come a long way and are now considered as productive members of the Filipino society.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Kalingas in Baguio City, Philippines

Kalingas went to Baguio for the Panagbenga Festival and they won the Street Dance Contest. After the dance, however, I can no longer identify them as they went back to wearing the street clothes of city people. I was more impressed seeing them in our native costumes. The colorful ginamat and ba-ag looked stunning in their semi-naked bodies. I should have taken a picture of them, but my cam decided to bogged down on that particular time. Next time perhaps.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

How the Native Kalinga Maintains Peace

Up to this day, the bodong still plays an important role in the lives of Kalingas.
In the province of Kalinga one of the provinces in the Cordillera Autonomous Region of Northern Luzon, Philippines, the tribes are bound or beholden to each other by a system called the "bodong" (peace pact).

The bodong is similar to the international treaties, in that it has provisions, constitutions, and by-laws that include, territory, people and government which are covered by the terms and conditions of the "bodong".

The provisions also include the following: care, assistance, protection, as well as imposing penalty on cases of violation of these provisions. The "bodong" protects people and visitors from both tribes, especially in emergencies.

The system has an oral constitution and by laws which is called "pagta" (oral statement of the terms and conditions, manner , limitations, ways and means in business, in emergencies in the relationship of all persons within the territories of both agreeing tribes). The penal code is orally given for specific violations. When a problem arises, the leaders of both tribes would convene and would recall the "pagta's" oral provisions relative to the case at bar; and then and there, solve the existing problem.

The bodong is usually established when an individual member of a tribe or barrio has a business relationship with another person from the other tribe. This is a specific example: Mr. Suma-il of Barrio Taloctoc, Tanudan living on the eastern slope of Mt Patokan bought a carabao from Mr. Dumawig of Tanglag, Lubuagan. Dumawig then will barter goods also - a coconut for a cup of beans, etc. - this is called "abbuyog' (sharing).

From there the relationship intensifies; Suma-il now sends a spear or javelin to Dumawig. Dumawig in turn sends a bolo (big knife). This is called "allasio" (the beginning of the peace pact). The People involved may or may not retain the original partners but in most cases, the people retain the original partners out of respect.

During the celebration of the "allasio", the parties may discuss the arrangement for the "inum" the preliminary celebration of the bodong.

When the "inum" is celebrated the discussion on the permanent pact holders may be brought out for deliberation. This maybe the original people involved or their nearest next of kin.

The final selection will be based on the required qualifications of the peace pact holder.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The Kalinga Man and His Clothes

If during the olden times, we can readily recognize a native Kalinga because of his/her costume, nowadays, you can never tell if a person is a Kalinga native or not. If he/she speaks the language , then , you can. But if he /she speaks perfect English and dresses formally, there is no way you can identify him/her.

The Kalingans had acquired urban styles, clothing and speech. There are many inter-tribal marriages that brought forth, beautiful and wonderful people. There are also marriages between the urban or city folk with the natives.

Nowadays, pure Kalinga natives belonging to one tribe exist rarely. Connecting roads and the role of education had broadened the scope of the tribal Kalingan.

Proud of his culture, here is Rene, a Kalinga professional in his native costume. He wears polo shirt to work or coat and tie, but is still proud to wear his Kalinga costume as well. Bravo!

Friday, April 16, 2010

More Native Products

Created by dexterous hands.

Beautiful native products

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Narda's Native Products and Baguio

Dresses made of handwoven material are unique and colorful. Here's an example. This one of the products by Narda's, one of the most popular native stores in Baguio.

By the way, this is not a paid post. I just felt that Narda's products are worth the shout out because they're truly good.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Dismayed at Panagbenga Festival in Baguio City, Philippines

Beautiful and colorful woven native material.

The beautiful flowers of the Panagbenga festival in the Pines City had made me happy after the terrible experience I had at the Panagbenga parade festival. There was insufficient organization of the activity. The visitors and tourists were not given proper orientation, or even arrows or announcements or signs that could help. There were no signs to say that a street is one way, not until you have entered it. And at the oval, the entrance and exit portals are the same. What if a stampede happens? Even the loudspeaker was concentrated only on people who were on stage. What about the thousands seated all around the oval? There are still many dismaying things I've noticed and I'll write about them later.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

The Kalinga Costume- "Ginamat" and "Bongol"

The colorful beads or "bongol" is a part of the native costume. It is always worn during fiestas , weddings and important occasions.

Woven "ginamat" , a beautiful, native costume from Kalinga.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Taloctoc, Kalinga: My Village

Taloctoc is the Village where I grew up since age 5. I stayed in the city and then went home to Taloctoc. It was my small Paradise, an ideal haven for those who would like to escape the hurly-burly of city life. Taloctoc then was has fresh, cool air, clear, sparkling waters, verdant, rich mountains and a flora and fauna that were incomparable. I still have not gone back. I hope in time I can and would still see a remnant of the Taloctoc I knew as a child.

Drawing: by Eugene Supermedtech