Friday, 29 June 2007

Its Ok

We went to the mall today to buy an additional wardrobe. The family is getting bigger and we're running out of cabinets. Pick and paid what we want but they still have to order the woods and make a new one. Showroom displays are really just for a show. It will be delivered after a month.

The husband got him an additional lens. Lukie had a Kid's Scrabble , Pimpa(DVD-Cd), an additional mini CD for his PSP and 2 matchboxes for his collection of cars. For Dyland, ABC rubber mat for his crawling craze.

How about me? Stuffs for the kitchen, seat cover, and a wider mat for the beach.

When we got home and everyone was opening what they bought, my husband said, " I got this, Lukie got these and Dylan that. Don't worry Mama, the cabinet is yours and we laughed".

I didn't realize all the things I picked up were all for the house. Maybe that's what mothers do or I'm just getting old?

Thursday, 28 June 2007


Post 8: Lolo Ramon's Story

"Luknuyan had gone to Baguio with one of Amekano's Igorot crew. They worked as stable boys to a certain American. I never knew how he came to meet a 'haciendero' from Negros Occidental whom he later joined to work in his 'Hacienda'."

"He stayed in Visayas for three years and came back a different man. He was wearing clothes! I didn't recognize him at first till I saw closely his nose that the rest of the family has. Each one of us had a present. I had my first pair of pants and a shirt so big that shrunk me. I held my thought, why didn't I get a pair of what is on Lakyag's feet? Shoes!"

"Luknuyan said he just came to visit and to ask mother for Lakyag to join him. His employer is in Baguio for business and will be leaving in a week. My mother said, " Hi Ramon e' al-em, ag'tu amtan mangngan-nop"(Take Ramon instead, he doesn't know how to hunt). "

"How my weakness paid off. It was very frustrating when I was sent to hunt and most of the time, I come home with nothing. Now it felt like its the best thing I ever did."

"I really wanted to go with my brother. I haven't seen Baguio and soon I'll be riding a ship. Luknuyan described it to us and I was puzzled how a thing would float with people on board. How does that 'bay-bay'(sea) look like? Ahhh, my brother was able to buy my pair of pants, how can I not believe him."
"It was impossible for me to sleep that whole week. I was thinking , I will soon be wearing Lakyag's shoes", from excited Ramon.

A half day walk to Baguio and ten days before they have reached Don Armando's Hacienda. My grandfather was so sick when they arrived and recuperated for a week before he joined his brother and other workers in the plantation of corn and sugar cane.

" Don Armando was so kind and liked me instantly. After a month of working out in the hot weather, the Don Asked his driver to teach me how to drive his Willies Jeep. I was then asked to join the 'muchahos' quarter ( as my brother describes it). A small neat cottage near my master's mansion with the cook and some of the male servants." Hey muchacho", Luknuyan calls me. I didn't mind."

"Then I came to feel for the first time, maybe it was love. Senorita Gloria, the first daughter of Don Armando...."

Wednesday, 27 June 2007


Its better to write when the kids are all knocked down. Sleeping there like angels gaining strengths for another "work play" tomorrow.

As I tucked my eldest son with his eyes about to drop, I whispered, "I love you Lukie". He answered, "I KNOW MAMA!" This kid doesn't stop melting my heart, draining my backaches away and dragging my tears to flow. My son just knows what to say- simple, honest and true.

Monday, 25 June 2007


Post 7: Lolo Ramon's story

"Timbangay, my father, died after five years and my mother, Sagay, moved the family to Babatan. Its only three kilometers away from where we used to live. Its a better place for farming. I heard my older brothers telling my mother that the soil is dark brown, soft to till and no occupants for as wide as eight hectares. They also said that a river runs from the top and would provide an easy access for water." Ramon continues.

" A land you occupy before is understood yours. Me and my brothers tilled that land for five years before we moved to 'Boted'. Another four kilometers away. We made sure that Babatan will remain ours and continued farming it."

'Boted', was the old name of Ambassdor ,Tublay, Benguet,_Benguet which means bamboo. The family made Boted their final home. The place's name was changed on 1910 by an American who settled there with his crew for gold mining.He employed many natives including Ramon and his brothers. Sagay, her two daughters and the youngest, Ventura continued doing the farm.

"Amekano is what we call him. He was tall and was so white. He was always writing and likes eggs very much. I thought his skin has something to do with eating eggs all the time. My mother would always give me cooked "lukto"(camote) for this new friend of mine. "Thank you", were my first two English words". Ramon said.

It was this American who changed my grandfather's name to Ramon and the youngest to Ventura. His Igorot name was never known to us nor by my father. Ramon was almost 15 years old when this American came and was very fond of him. He was the one who taught him how to read and write. Only for four years, the American had stopped the mines and went back home to his country. He had to go and tend her ailing wife.

Sunday, 24 June 2007


Lukie got these(henna tattoo) from a Bangladesh at the beach for 6 euros. His preferred choice over the dolphin I want him to have. Lasts for 2 weeks 'daw'.

Woke up with a good mood for school and asked me for a short sleeved shirt. He came back telling me his teacher loved it.

The next day he asked for a sleeveless again. Then came home with more 5 year old made tattoos all over him. He said his friends had them too. Thanks to black colored pens, my son taught them how to be "IN".

What's next, piercing?

Saturday, 23 June 2007


Post 6: Lolo Ramon's Story

I never liked staying in Piloy except for the river. Its where me, Lakyag and the youngest, Ventura(Igorot name changed into), would spend the whole day catching 'gak'ke'(crab) and 'ki-wet'(eel). Our work and play, we lift off the stones and find our catch then use the stones as the buffer of our pond. Its literally hitting two purposes with one stone. I like it after it rains. Because our pool was washed off by the strong current, I'm always excited to build a new one".

"Me and my three older brothers always go to all 'Kalot'(Canao or Igorot Ritual Feast) held by our one mountain away neighbors. We were never invited but we would still go. Being new and not of their tribe, we were considered as outcasts. During meal time, we always get 'tabtaba' (fat portion) as our 'wat-wat'(Share of meat). I never minded though because just with the soup and rice, its already a treat."

"Not with Luknuyan, my remaining oldest brother. One time, he got fed up seeing at the others 'wat-wat' . He turned his back from the line, extended his foot forward causing the 'taga wat-wat'(distributor of the meat) to stumble. Magic! All the meat were scattered on the ground. Me and my brothers took what we can and then run. Some men chased us and being the youngest I could not keep up with my brothers. I don't know how I got home. All I can remember was the meat full of soil I was still holding and my very cold butt. My 'kubal'(G-STRING) was caught by one of the 'alad'(fence) and I was lucky to get away with out it."

Every time my Daddy relates this part of the story, he gets teary eyed and his voice would go trembling and that we can't understand his words. That is my father, he easily cries. He showed me that its alright for MEN to cry.

We also hear this part of the story when we don't like the food that was served on the table. At the back of my mind, I'll say, " Oh-ohh! Here comes the "conscience wat-wat" or the "kubal lecture" again!"

Thursday, 21 June 2007


Post 5: Lolo Ramon's Story

"Back in Tinoc, my father, Fontano and Lanog would go hunting for our meat. Lanog would always come home late with his own prey - just in time to feast on whatever my father and Fontano had brought home first. My mother would ask my father as Fontano hands her the meat, "Mhen Tu'wah Lanog?"(So, where's Lanog?). He will not answer but looks at the woods like someone is about to come out. Hours would pass, no one appears."

"My mother and my sister, Dalen-na, will cook for supper while my other sister, Sab-ot, looks after the baby."

"I like staying out and wait for Lanog. When he does, he walks straight to my mother and seems not aware I was there anticipating his coming. I always thought, maybe because he is hungry". Ramon remembers.

My Dad's extended imagination may be possible if I stayed young. He said, "Maybe Lanog had reached Pangasinan and their dialect originated from our Kalanguya.

Back when I was in college, I speak Kalanguya with my classmates from Pangasinan and they do the same with their lingo. Another is when I go buy fish from the Public Market, I'll ask the vendor, "San piga?"(How much?). Pretending I speak their tongue, I always get a discount.

It makes me smile and think of the people from Bokod Benguet who knows this old Ambuklao joke. About the typhoon that drifted some Bokod Ibaloi folks thru the Ambuklao River down to the low lands. They then became the Pangalatots. The slight changes of their dialect from Ibaloi was the cause of amnesia. Those head bumps would be a unique lineage for the said race if it's true.

Was it then the Ibalois or Lanog?

Wednesday, 20 June 2007


Post 4: Lolo Ramon's Story
After two nights and three days from 'Sayangan Atok Benguet', the family settled. Lanog , the second child did not stay. He went with the other travelers in search for a lower land. "Maybe Lanog has got used to walking and now, its the only thing he knows." Ramon's young thought.

"My father had chosen a place almost at the bottom of a mountain. I liked the river which is just down bellow."

Today, you can find that site ten kilometers away from the main road of Km 18, Halsema Highway. Its called 'Piloy, Ambassador Tublay, Benguet'. More than two hours ride from Baguio City.

"The last 'inatep'(Nipa Hut) we passed by, the dwellers spoke a dialect different from ours. It's 'Ibaloi'. It wasn't hard for us to learn it eventually. Its similar with our 'Kalanguya'. We pronounce "S" as "H" like 'asin'(salt) to 'ahin'. They change our "D" to "SH" like 'diman' to 'SHE-MAN'(there)."

Tuesday, 19 June 2007


Post 3: Lolo Ramon's Story

Map of the CAR -

When they had reached Sayangan Atok(one of the 13 municipalities of Benguet, The eldest, Fontano, decided not to go on with the family march. He decided to stay and try his luck in that part of the world.

" I never understood why my brother just sat down , stooped there and didn't look at us. My father just told us to keep walking, after he spoke with Fontano. No one asked why. Or maybe of too much exhaustion, nobody had the energy to talk. I thought Fontano was just resting and he would later catch up." recalls my grandpa.

"When my father told us to stop for the night after a day of travel, my brother didn't come. I was thinking, will I ever see him again? How can he bury himself if he dies?"

" I was just so tired and hoping we are already far from what's making every one sick. Hoping this is the place where we are going and when I wake up, we'll start gathering "Sap-sap"(kind of grass) for our hut. Sleeping on the cold hard ground seems the most comfortable reward for that long walk. It even made me forget about Fontano.

Monday, 18 June 2007


Post 2: Lolo Ramon's Story
I’ve read great stories that started with, “ I believe each one of us has his own story to tell. “ For one who reckons the said phrase, here's one I came up with during one of my nocturnal madness brought about by pee retention intolerance worsened by baby kicks.

I may get different reactions, naturally. Like, "here comes the sender of topics to the pit of the archives" as I observed when I do my postings here. But what the heck, I'll go on! Some people have the time to read.

Ideally, a child's bed time story are that of prince and princesses or Cinderilla’s dysfunctional family. But for me and my siblings, it was The Story of Ramon, my grandfather. A drama, a fairy tale , a parable or it depends on how my father will end it. I guess it wouldn't harm if I'll tell it here in preparation for retelling it to my sons when they can finally understand.


A curse, that's how my great-great grand parents called it during the late 18th century. An outbreak of a disease described as "Peste" (endemic disease) in Tinoc Ifugao

People were dying. It starts with fever, chills, diarrhea and vomiting then they eventually die within a day. My Dad's grandparents decided to leave when one of their 10 children was taken by this disease.

They left and just walked, uncertain where to go. A couple with nine children . 4 months is the youngest, 2 in their teens and the others were below nine years old including Ramon, my grand father.

I can't exactly tell how many kilometers is Tinoc from Buguias Benguet . Its in that town where they buried the 4 month old baby. What Ramon remembered was her mother’s cry. Tightly she held the lifeless baby as his father was taking it from her.

" As we walked with blisters on our bare feet, my mothers sobs were making me float. Float to go fast and run away from the curse that may come and dig my grave. I might be the next." Ramon remembers it vividly.

Saturday, 16 June 2007

Daddy's Graduation Photo

Post 1: Lolo Ramon's Story

When I was pregnant with my second son, Dylan,
hormonal imbalance made me recollect my childhood memories.

I first shared it on Baguio City Online where a fellow 'forumer'introduced me to blogging. To add up my net consuming time, I gave it a try but started it on Friendster. Till my purpose to blog(Lolo's Story) was not written because I honestly don't know how to start again.

To prepare me with my series of narratives, here's my Dad's only High School(SLU Boy's High) graduation photo. From left to right: First line; Daddy Danny, Uncle Francis and Auntie Gloria. Second line; Uncle Roger, Unknown 2 ladies, Lola Meding, Lolo Ramon and Uncle Juan.

Gracing My First

Finally, here I am typing my first entry on Blogger with out worrying that I can't log-in the next time. After more than 3 times of creating an account, I thought my title is really living it's name and I'll end up merely 'attempting'. Blame it on my laziness to browse the 'help' section to cover up my knowledge on computers. It was after all the 'cookie' I need to fix.

I'm still groping. Which font?(Whatever) Picture?(Nahh...delete!) Lay-out?(Changed more than once). As always, first time is an excuse!

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