Tuesday, 20 November 2007

THE FUNERAL

Post 25: Lolo Ramon's Story

"A big spider was carefully knitting it's web. Up, side and down it goes with passion and elegance as it inter tweeds it’s white thread in coming up with it’s masterpiece. A day of labor, it was done. The spider built it’s home like a crown above my father’s casket. A web that awed if not puzzled the people who came for my Papa’s wake". Daddy remembers.

"People kept on coming saying they came as far as Tinoc Ifugao, Nueva Viscaya down from Pangasinan. People who wept more than us telling how grateful they were for your lolo’s help and how their lives were touched and changed by him."

"One chanted during the ‘Day-eng or 'Ba'dew'(Igorot chant) that Ramon was the only mayor he knew who had a house with the ground (soil ) as the flooring, walls and post so black made by the smoke from the ‘pugon’(where to cook with fire woods) and a roof partially ‘kugon’(kind of grass) and rusted ‘si-sim’(galvanize iron). A pauper, you are indeed but a man with a rich soul, his song ended."

"It was a funeral Ambassador Tublay witnessed with so many people from different places. Others camped and slept outside and some were accommodated by our neighbors to be with us during Papa's last days. Their company alone was so heartwarming. Most of them brought foods, kamote, rice, pig to butcher and anything we would all share during the wake. "

Another man’s ‘Day-eng ‘, This is not to mourn your death but the celebration of how you lived life. A life full of giving with no expectations for anything in return.

"Aaahh' the spider web", Daddy continues.The ‘mambunong’(pagan priest) said in his ‘mad-mad’(prayer), 'Panswerti-an adi na, Idawdawat mo ay Ramon di pansangbua-an di an-an’ak mo. Sya san inka ipatawed in dae da' (This is a sign of good luck. Ramon, you are giving your children something meant for a ritual (‘sangbu’or a ritual with a pig to butcher for receiving good luck). This is the inheritance you want them to have)."

Then another ‘Day-eng’ was sang. This crown above you shining so proud are your children and children’s children. ‘Matagu- tago da et dae’day mangibangun sin ngadan mo.’(They will live and raise your name).

"Papa now laid to rest. It was our tribe’s tradition to bury our dead underground and just the soil to cover the coffin. But the people insisted, he was not a common Igorot. He deserved a tomb - a monument . We had followed the tradition yet welcomed his people’s request. We buried Papa in the ground and above was a white huge rectangle cement with a cross and there it simply said – ‘A FATHER’.(The cement was taken off during the 80's because of some Igorot beliefs and a Canao was held after doing so.)

I asked Daddy on my recent overseas call, "Sipa ngay e naala yu ni pagka-noble nen lolo (So what did you get from lolo’s nobleness)? Then he kept quiet for a while. I thought the telephone line was going crazy so I said, "Hello dad! Can you hear me?"..." Yes, you’re clear !", he answered and he told me these, "Nothing I guess if we speak of material wealth. Look, you have to go far leaving home and you have to work hard just to go on".

Then I tried to redirect him to my original question because I know he will be nostalgic again and he said...."I guess aside from ‘dayaw’(honor), it had kept our feet on the ground. Your lolo taught us to understand others, seeing the kindness in them - forgiving and staying good as much as possible. He made us work for the enrichment of what matters most – THE SOUL - and that’s where the real happiness is. If you seek and long for more than that, there will never be peace and contentment"... and the line went off leaving me digesting what Daddy had just said.

6 comments:

MegaMom

Hi Lovelyn! This is a nice post! What a great way to honor your late grandfather, and at the same time reminisce on your heritage.

I am Ilocano on my mom's side and I think we have some cultural similarities with the Igorots. We have "dungaw" sung at funerals too. They are actually poems (they rhyme) and sung in a wailing voice during the vigil.

I saw a person in the Cebu airport (of all places) just today pala with a shirt that said "Igorotak" and I immediately thought of you. :) Little did I know that you were posting this masterpiece.

julie

This is so touching, Lovelyn. Your father is so right, it is not the wealth that is important but the enrichment of the soul.

If only parents can have that value, then we can probably expect the world to be a better place. How I wish this is so.

Bill Bilig

Thanks. I've been looking forward to the continuation of your story. This is a very touching and heartwarming chapter :-)

lovelyn

Ciao MegaMom,

I started writing my Lolo's story when I was pregnant with my second son. I decided to do it for my kids. Its important for them to know their roots specially so that they're growing up in a country not their own.

I didn't know Ilocanos have 'dungaw'.

Ahihihi,the T-shirt made me laugh. Thanks!
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Ciao Teacher Julie,

I keep reminding myself that!

Same here, how we wish this is so. Thanks for dropping by.
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Ciao Bill,

Its been quite some time since the last post for this label/category.

Btw, about the award, all they know at home was its from the Malacanang. Do you know how we could get hold of another copy? Pwede kayang magrequest ng duplicate?

KK aka Tina

Hi Lovelyn,
When will you publish your book? :) There are self-publishing companies out there.

Bill Bilig

Do you know how we could get hold of another copy? Pwede kayang magrequest ng duplicate?

Based on experience, I'm not optimistic about our government office's ability to keep records kaya sa tingin ko mahirap maghanap ng duplicate :-(

Ngem cheers latta nga kuna ni Trublue :-)

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