Sunday, November 29, 2015

5 Ways to React to People Who Insult You Because You’re an I-Kalinga

We find rude people anywhere in society. There will always be bad eggs, who enjoy embarrassing and belittling people. What more, they can do so with a drop of a hat when they learn you belong to a cultural minority such as the Kalingas.

Lola Carmen Ilacad

If you encounter an a_ _h_ _e like the person described above, here are 5 ways you can react to him/her.

1.      Ignore him

He/she pokes fun of you in public by calling you names such as “monkey” or similar words. Ignore him like you heard nothing. Why stoop down to the level of a moron?  If a crazy person sticks out his tongue to you, do you do likewise? Of course not, because you’re not crazy as well, so act as if he’s not there, and you heard nothing. Just leave him and go your merry way.

2.      Smile at him

He/she says you’re a bumbling idiot because you’re from Kalinga. Smile sincerely at him/her. Smile can do wonders, so why trouble yourself by becoming embarrassed and angry.  It takes more muscles to frown than to smile. Don’t stress yourself.

3.      Ask him “what’s up?”

He/she calls you an ignoramus because of a tiny error you committed such as, putting the fork in the wrong receptacle. Put on your sweetest smile and say; “What’s up man? Or What’s up guys or girls?” Or whatever is applicable. Then proceed to explain your actions in straight English. Watch how his/her jaw would drop. Oftentimes, ignorant people think that cultural minorities don’t know how to speak English. They would be surprised to learn that even older native people are better in speaking English than Tagalog. My late grandmother speaks English better than Tagalog. Watch their mouths clamp once you start speaking English. Truly learned persons won’t embarrass you in front of other people, so don’t worry about encountering excellent English speakers.

4.      Accord him the “Royal Treatment”

In cases when he/she calls your attention to embarrass you in public. Give him/her the “Royal Treatment” How? By talking to him in the Kalinga dialect. Don’t cuss, though. Remember, you’re a learned person with dignity and self-respect. You can say: “Umma laydom? Ippon mambalo de katnat.” Smile while delivering your rebuttal. This is the clincher. He/she will surely stop babbling and leave you in peace, once he/she realizes he/she doesn’t understand your language.

5.      Give him a piece of advice

In a calm manner, ask him/her what’s the problem, and if you can do anything about it. Then after evaluating the incident, give him/her your two cents’ worth.  During the proceedings, always stay calm and collected. Avoid blowing your top for whatever reason. An emotionally mature person can control or reign in his/her emotions properly and effectively.
These methods are just suggestions. It’s a case to case basis, really. Just remember to react calmly and reasonably. Show the rude person the true, good character of an i-Kalinga.
If you have any suggestions or comments, you can share them in the comment section below.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

5 Lies about I-Kalingas; Believe Them at Your Own Risk

There are myths and lies that are often associated with the Kalinga people. Some are outrageously funny and some are outright lies. To help you classify the facts from the lies, here are 5 lies about the Kalinga people.

Image courtesy of Benedict

5 lies about the i-Kalingas

Lie #1 – Majority of i-Kalingas are dressed in G-strings

It might surprise you to know that the i-Kalingas are now unrecognizable amidst a crowd because they dress exactly like everyone. The young Kalinga natives may even be more fashionable than you are. They only wear the native costumes during cultural events or during presentations of their culture. Some old folk in the villages may still wear the G-strings (for men) and the ginamat (for women), but these are few.

Lie #2 – They are head-hunters

Well, this is true during the olden times when tribal wars were rampant. Today, there are still tribal wars and “bodongs” (peace pacts), but they don’t use bolos anymore, now they use guns instead. C’mon. I’m not saying that it’s a common occurrence. I’m just trying to explain that the Kalinga people are now advanced with regards to technology.

Lie #3 – They are barbarians

Quit the thought that mountain people are barbarians. Numerous i-Kalingas are learned and dignified people who are now in government, in the academe, in the entertainment industry and in science and technology. They are intelligent people who have new and bright ideas. The esteemed person next to you may be and i-Kalinga and you’re not even aware of it.

Lie #4 – They are poor

This is a major mistake you can be committing. That simple i-Kalinga lady wearing an ordinary dress is an owner of several rice paddies in their village. She may even have hidden ingots of gold in her treasure chest at home. Kalinga people are not extravagant in dressing up to the nines, so don’t judge by appearances.

Lie #5 – They are naïve

Ooops, as previously mentioned, don’t judge by appearances. They may appear naïve because of how simple they dress and live but this is an outright lie. Kalinga people are highly intuitive of things and events around them. Hence, treat them smartly for your own good. Have you heard other lies about the Kalinga people? If you agree or disagree with this list you can leave a comment on the comment box below. Your thoughts and ideas would be greatly appreciated. “Matago-tago tako losan.” (Long life to all of us.)

Monday, November 16, 2015

Top 5 Reasons Why Your Kalinga Man Won’t Marry You

You met this tall, dark, handsome, witty and intelligent Kalinga man, and you have plans of marrying him, but he has never mentioned marriage or talked about any marriage plans with you. Apparently, there seems to be a problem! So what may these problems be?

Image credit: Benedict Ballug

Here are the Top 5 possible reasons why your Kalinga man has not proposed marriage. These reasons are opinionated and are based on my own observations. Hence, you can leave your comment below if you don’t agree with me.

 #1 - He perceives you as a girlfriend material only 

He’s attracted to you and he’s your boyfriend but he does not perceive you as a wife material. Even during this new generation of women liberation and similar beliefs, at heart, the Kalinga man would still like his wife to be pure and pristine when he marries her.

Yes, Virginia, virginity matters. No matter how he denies it, he still wants his wife to be a virgin. So, if you want him to marry you, don’t surrender one of the most important things to him – your virginity. Don’t be a playgirl.

Well, men, in general, would not want their future wives to be “players.” In other words, treasure and respect yourself, and he will likewise do so - enough to ask your hand in marriage.

#2 – You belong to another economic level 

Kalinga men are not particular about economic levels but they prefer women who can speak the same language they speak, in terms of finances; someone they can bring home and not feel uncomfortable with. In case, you belong to the extremes: filthy rich or the poorest of the poor then learn how to follow his leads.

If he eats on a banana leaf with his bare hands, then you must be able to do so too. If he uses a silver spoon to eat, then you should be able to adjust, as well. His parents would say: “Nuw, umma agumman ne sanat atde koon tako.” (What would she know about our customs?) Learn about the customs of Kalinga, if you’re from another province and you’re not familiar with them.

#3 – You’re too romantic for his taste 

Most women tend to be romantics, but take note that most Kalinga men are not showy of their feelings, so they tend to appear unromantic. They don’t usually hold your hand or demonstrate their affection in public. But it doesn’t mean they love you less. They feel that these affectionate acts should be done in private.

Therefore, don’t demand from him sweetness and similar things, when in public. If he holds your hand or put his arm around your shoulders, then be thankful for it. But don’t initiate the action. You may appear cheap and clingy.

#4 – You’re boisterous 

Most Kalinga men want their wives quiet and attentive - especially to their men. Kalinga is a patriarchal community where men are heard first before women. They don’t want nagging and noisy wives, who don’t know their places in the household. They would prefer to marry women who are reserved and who respect their authority as men.

#5 – You’re lazy 

One of the good traits of the Kalinga people, in general, is industry. They’re so industrious spending their time working wherever they can. It’s very rare to find someone just being a couch potato. You’ll have more points if you know how to do the dishes, wash, and cook. Of course, he’s not looking for a housemaid, but he would prefer marrying someone who can feed him and his future kids properly - even without a maid.

These are the Top 5 reasons why your Kalinga boyfriend can’t marry you. Of course, love conquers all. If your boyfriend truly loves you, then nothing can stop him from proposing marriage.

These are only pointers to help you capture the heart of your Kalinga man. It can also help you gain more “beauty” points to increase your chances of receiving a marriage proposal.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Kalinga Musical Instruments

There are various musical instruments in Kalinga. One very popular instrument is the "tungatong" (small bamboo poles cut to specific proportions to produce a particular sound).

Of course, the leading sound instrument is still the gangsa (gong). Watch the video below and learn about Kalinga music.

The video is courtesy of our good kailiyans who were generous enough to share their videos. You know who you are. Thank you.


Monday, October 5, 2015

WATCH these Kalinga Chants (Songs) and Learn The Dialect of Taloctoc, Kalinga in These Commonly Used Sentences

I was given a chance to get together with my barrio mates and I was able to refresh my skill in speaking the Taloctoc dialect. Hence, before I forget, here are common sentences you can learn.

1. Where are you going? – Umma ayam?
2. I love you. – Laydok sika.
3. Let’s eat. – Intako mangan.
4. Let’s go. – Intakon.
5. Where did you go? Umma ummayam?
6. I think of you. – Sumsumkok sika.
7. The food is delicious. – Mampiya makan.
8. What will we do? – Umma inon tako?
9. That won’t do. – Ippon makwa kaknat.
10. Why don’t you ask her/him? – Imosom pay kan siya?
11. How much is this? – Piga de annaya?
12. What are you doing? - Umma ko-om?
13. Please give me water. – Itdanak od at danum.
14. I don’t want to eat. – Ikpon laydon mangan.
15. I want to take a bath. – Laydok e man-amos.
16. Let’s go to the river. – Intakod dawang.
17. Let’s bath in the rain. – Man-amos tako de udan
18. I don’t know. – Ikpon agammo.
19. You are beautiful. – Mambalo ka.
20. That’s the truth. – Sanat de tottowa.
21. Let’s take a bath in the river. – Man-amos tako at de dawang.
22. Hey, that’s not true. – Noh, ippon tottowa sanat.
23. Shut up! – Guminok ka.
24. Let’s be patient. – Amman tako pay anusan.
25. Please sit down. – Tukdo ka pay.
26. Please be patient. – Ammam pay anusan.
27. I’m coming with you. – Umaliyak kanakayo.
28. Stop crying. – Guminok ka e man-agaag.
29. This is delicious. – Mampiya sana.
30. Please open the window. – Bukatam od de windoo. Open the door - Bukatam od de lewangan.(There are many English words adapted to the Taloctoc dialect, simply because there are no such existing Taloctoc terms. Examples are: “window”, “table”, and “pillow”. The ancient houses had no windows or tables and pillows.

They are pronounced with a Taloctoc accent. Window is windoo, and table is tabol.) Check back later for new sentences.

A group of relatives and friends came together too, to remember the time when we were kids and enjoyed these Taloctoc chants. Watch the video below of Julie, Lydia, Irene, Digna and Aunt Agsama.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Eulogy for a True I-Taloctoc, Kalinga

I am an i-Kalinga. I pay homage to my ancestors by following the native customs of honesty, integrity, respect, bravery, industry, and love for family. I am proud of my heritage and ethnicity.

I am an i-Kalinga, whose ancestors have carved a name for themselves in the Land of the Brave. From the fascinating view of the world-famous “Sleeping Beauty”, to the swirling waves of the Chico River, and to the fertile flat lands of Tabuk, we, the i-Kalingas, lived with pride and dignity.

Our Kalinga history spans an incredibly rich culture of nobility and integrity. In the olden days, our brave tribes fought against the people who wanted to turn our precious ancestral lands into a hubbub of modern electricity, but our ancestors protected our lands with their sweat, blood and tears – with their lives; thus we are able to maintain our ancestral lands.

This is one Kalinga legacy that we’re proud of: the courage to stand up for our own convictions. When we know it’s the right thing to do, we don’t budge an inch to do what should be done, but when we’re wrong, we take the first step to admit our mistakes and correct our misdeeds.

Although, it’s an undeniable that we fought among ourselves to maintain what’s sacred and dear to us, in the end, we opted for peace among our tribes with our “bodongs.” Because that’s what our culture is all about; it’s about maintaining peace and unity as the Kalinga people.

We also welcome change that can promote prompt interactions with our neighboring villages. We have roads now, where there were trails before, and we have safe electricity now, where there were bamboo torches before.

We try to blend with the influx of modern technology without damaging our cultural roots. We value our ancestry and culture.

I wear my Kalinga badge wherever I go. I’m not ashamed to wear it like a priceless medal and certificate of my nobility. I wear it with a song in my heart and a lilt to my steps. I brandish it like an incisive weapon to sever my fears and inadequacies.

There are countless I-Kalingas deserving of praise, and one of them is this person I’m going to pay homage to. This i-Kalinga has served with dedication as a public servant for several years, and has an unquestionable integrity that no one can contest.

He was once a faculty member of the Taloctoc Elementary School, and was eventually promoted as its principal. He moved on to Pampanga and served as a principal there too, and as a teacher, he has been known to work late hours to ensure that all tasks were done properly.

He also taught in college at the Baguio Colleges Foundation for many years.

In all his years as a teacher and a professor, he never placed his self-interest first before his duty. There was once a time that he has severely punished his own daughter for a minor misdemeanor in school in front of all the other pupils to show that not even his children are above the school rules.

His integrity, dedication to work and honesty have proven that he is a true blooded i-Kalinga; in spite of his ¼ Ilocano ancestry.

The trait that I most admired in him is his pride in his being an i-Kalinga. Whenever he was asked about his ethnicity, he would proudly state that he is an I-Kalinga. Hence, I learned from him that being a cultural minority is not something to be ashamed of.

It’s a legacy that everyone must be proud of. He participated in many activities meant to promote the Kalinga culture, and has even wrote a book that would trace his Kalinga ancestry.

He always boasted about the songs, culture and legends of Kalinga to all interested visitors, regaling them with the Legend of the Sleeping Beauty  The Bodong, and other Taloctoc folklore.

Listen to the Ilocano version of the sleeping beauty, and an anecdote as told by the subject of this post: Sound videos are courtesy of Lydia and Tess.

Conversion with relatives:
The bayanihan spirit of the i-Kalinga is demonstrated by the way that fellow i-Kalingas come together as one to console the relatives of the dead.

I personally witnessed this during his wake and interment, where the I-Kalinga’s the i–Taloctocs, and of course, the relatives by affinity, showed their compassion and respect for their elders.

Kin from the far-flung places of Kalinga came to pay their last respects to him.

The first cousins and relatives from the father side, led by Manong Rodolfo and group, the first cousins and relatives from the mother side led by Auntie Edna and group, were there to condole and console.

Most special thanks to the host family; Rene and Gina and relatives and the people of Labayug for their prayers, sympathy and help.

Pictures of relatives:

There were various contributions such as, rice, pigs, carabao, and many items that the wake and funeral can make use of. These came not only from the i-Kalingas, but also from colleagues from various professions, our non-iKalinga friends and relatives, and all those who have joined us in our hour of grief.

This shower of respect and empathy has made us bear the loss less heavily.

Dakkol e pasalamat kanakayo losan.”

I salute this true i-Kalinga, this true i-Taloctoc, because he has not only shown how a loving parent should be but also because he has taught me how to be proud of my heritage as an i-Kalinga.

Bon voyage, Sir Manolo! Safe and happy journey to you!

I tip my hat to you, Papa! Till we meet again.

 N.B. If any of you have pictures related to this event, kindly share them with us through this Facebook account. Just click this link. Thanks.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Philippine Ethnic Igorot Costumes; The Kalinga Native Costume

Male native costume 

The “bag” (bahag) is the common costumes for male Igorots or Kalingas. It is a long woven material about 10 to 15 inches wide and 3 to 5 feet long.

Its main purpose is to cover the man’s private parts. It’s firmly secured at the waist to prevent the clothing from falling off and to ensure that it covers the male organs safely and properly.

Traditionally, there are no upper clothes for men. Tattoos are common in the upper body. The amount of tattoos indicates the male’s authority in the village.

It can also denote how many enemies he has slain with his spear or bolo. Some Igorot or Kalinga costumes include a head gear adorned with feathers, and some arm bands.

Image credit: Charles Romano Wandag (From the village of Taloctoc)

Rene (from Taloctoc Valley)

A male elder

Kiddoe a Kalinga tot

Ethnic costume during a Kalinga dance (taddok)

Ethnic Kalinga costume during a wedding dance (taddok)

A male costume in Taddok

Male Kalinga/Igorot costume during native dance (taddok)

Male Igorot playing an ethnic musical instrument

Panabenga Festival street dance

Ben in his ethnic Kalinga costume


Female native costume 

On the other hand, the female Igorot or Kalinga costume consists of a large rectangular woven clothing about 3 to 5 feet wide, and 3 to 4 feet long.

It’s simply worn like a skirt and secured around the waist. In the olden times, there were also no upper clothing for women, but as the modern era has come to influenced the new generation, earth colored blouses are now worn.

There are still some villages where married women go topless with the older generations. The new generation though has decided to wear upper clothing for decency purposes. However, going topless during the olden days was not considered indecent.

Men didn’t eye women with impure thoughts, and there were no cases of rape. It was like Adam and Eve existing in the Garden of Eden before Eve got tempted by the devil.

During those times, being nude is pure and innocent and not an indecent exposure. The native beads or “bongol” in the Kalinga dialect usually adorns the woman’s upper body.

The weight and amount of beads in the “bongol” indicate the status of the woman.

Richer and nobler women have heavier and multi-layered “bongols”. Here are some Igorot/Kalinga costumes:

Bongol (beads) and ginamat or tapis (woven clothe)


Ethnic Female costume, Image courtesy of Nats Dalanao

Female ethnic costume, courtesy of Nats Dalano

commercialized bongols

Native female Igorot costume

Female Igorot costume

Modernized Igorot/Kalinga costume

Female and male Philippines ethnic costumes

Modernized Igorot/Kalinga costume

Benguet costume

Female and male Philippines Ethnic costumes

Igorot Dance costumes

Female Igorot costume

Female Kalinga costume during a PNP officer's wedding

Erika in her native costume