Wednesday, January 19, 2011

the night i wished i was an Igorot

it was raining when we left Manila night of the 30th of December though i knew weather the next day will be fine in the Cordilleras, still i was thinking if my parents can actually handle the cold climate of Sagada. while we were on the road, i noticed that we've actually brought more sweaters and jackets than clothes. took out the Lonely Planet Philippines travel guide and showed them the long Halsema Highway leading to the Mountain Province. my father and mother are used to long trips so i knew the trip will be fine but not the climate as it is their first time to go beyond Baguio in the Cordilleras. of the many trips that i get to grab along friends to the Cordilleras, i believe my parents deserves to see it as well.true enough, the long and winding road went well for them as they enjoyed the scenic mountain views from the window of the chicken bus that we took. the locals actually gave way to the window seats as i mentioned that it's my parents first time to take this route.
on the bus' last ascend to the town center, the rock formations quite known to Sagada came into view, which resembles to the amazing Tsingy de Bemaraha in Madagascar. we arrived just in time for lunch.
despite walking being the best activity in Sagada, i didn't plan to bring them to those sites that required walking beyond 30minutes. dropped by St. Mary's church and brought along with us lemon and egg pies from the town's famous shop.came night time, the temperature was so low that my mother had to overlap her sweater with another sweater. it was around eight o clock when i heard gongs and firecrackers from outside. went out to buy some chips and noticed that the sounds of the gongs actually came from a group of locals who were gathered outside a nearby shop.
there were tables on one side with food and drinks of which the locals offered me while i was watching some of them dance to a typical Igorot beat. i was drawn by the idea of how the locals of Sagada actually celebrate the eve of a new year. something unique. something so different for me.
around six men mostly just around the age of 30s played the gongs lined up following the one infront with dances rooted to their ancestry. the ladies follows the same routine but with arms stretched and shoulders tilted on one side. all these done with smiles and laughter.
the joy of celebrating a new year and of ancestral traditions combined was impressive. we, as visitors were not spared from joining them as they brought us in the circle along with some foreigners. i ended up playing the gong myself and struggling to follow the dances which sometimes required one foot partly raised. the night went so fast that it was only the sound of the bell of the town church reminded me that it was already ten o clock. the time when the mass at St. Mary's was about to start. went back to the hotel and spent time with my parents waiting for the remaining hours of the year 2010.at exactly 12midnight, we did the usual family tradition of first eating three raisins and made three wishes. though we were away from the rest of the family, we knew we were celebrating the joy and the blessings we've received as a family.
the sound of the gongs continued and so i invited my parents on the street to experience the Kankana-ey way of celebrating. in many ways, it was also similar to a typical Filipino new year in some provinces where different families would gather and play some traditional games.
the foreigners ended up playing including Koreans who seemed to jive with the fun. food was offered from time to time while they continue to dance in different beats and moves which symbolize the many rituals. it was two in the morning and when we asked what time the dancing will end, they say until six. awesome! seeing the way they embraced this culture was such a great experience. it was then a night when i wished i was an Igorot.
location:
island: Luzon
province: Mountain Province

escape factor:
road trip experience: 4.5
mountainscape: 5.0
new year experience: 5.0
seclusion: 4.5
overall escape factor: 4.5

35 comments:

Chyng said...

one memorable new year's eve. ang galing. and what's with the raisins? havent heard of that before.. hehe

MOKS™ said...

gusto ko rin maexperience yang Sagada adventure mo at makipagsalamuha sa mga igorot, parang mawawala lahat ng problema mo pag nandyan cguro ako, ang sarap ng buhay, malamig, simple lang at walang luho.

Rizalenio said...

oh wow. this story will pass for an episode of a travel show. its poignant in many ways - bringing your parents to share with them the beauty of that place, seeing the tradition of our folks there on new year, dancing with them with other tourists, etc. Wow!

A lot of many WOW factors on this entry. Bravo!!!

witsandnuts said...

It's good that you have shared their not so ordinary means of welcoming new year. You and your parents are lucky to have witnessed that.

Pilipinas said...

Bakit Late posting ka akala ko after mo umuwi ipost mo na hehe... Doming Ganda pala New year mo thanks for sharing how they celebrate new year... Sana all your wishes/prayers will be answered...Nice pics...reminder lunch natin....

Sidney said...

Looks like a memorable New Year ! Is that you sleeping on the bench in the last picture? :-)

Abou said...

if i will the chance to celebrate new year in that place, i would

:-)

Photo Cache said...

i would love to experience this too. how neat to welcome the new year in an awesome surrounding and culture.

thepinaysolobackpacker said...

when you said you'll spend the holiday in the Cordilleras with your parents I thought you're kidding. Like them, I'm pretty sure it was one memorable holiday. you're lucky to have spent the holiday with your dear parents surrounded by such an amazing community and culture. kaka-touch! :) I'm really envious! I'm thinking of making gaya nxt time. haha I spent the New year alone. I'm missing the holidays in the province kase, kaka-bore na sa Mnla.
I agree with Lito, pasado to sa travel show. and besides, bihira lng nakikita ko na guy travel bloggers na nagpo-post about a travel with their parents, you and ferdz palang ata. It speaks a lot of how much u value your family. nakakatuwa! :)

lakwatsera de primera said...

nakaka-inspire naman story mo Dong, gusto ko din makita ng parents ko ganitong lugar although pinag-iisipan ko before kasi hirap na din sila sa mahabang byahe at lakaran, the best part for me I guess is celebrating New Year in a unique way in a beautiful place and with your love ones :)

alicesg said...

Lovely of you to bring your parents out on the trip. Looked like you end the year happily. Why do you have to take raisins to make a wish? Just like to know the origins of it.

Borneo Falcon said...

What a breathtaking mountain view.

gillboard said...

looks like you had fun. i think sagada is in my itinerary for the summer.

hopefully that will push through.

Missy said...

a totally new experience on welcoming a new year! how I wish I could visit Sagada, one reason that hinders me to go there is the long hour-trip ;-)

SandyCarlson said...

As mysterious as it is engaging. What a place.

BlogusVox said...

Awesome experience, dong. Pinoy tayo pero meron pang ibang kulturang pinoy na hindi natin naranasan o alam.

I learn something here. Thanks!

docgelo said...

3 raisins for 3 wishes?
dito ko lang nabasa iyon, dom.
wow, may ganoon pala. hehe.

it was nice of you to take your folks for an extremely unique holiday experience.

Reena said...

1. so nice that the locals let them have the window seats.
2. ooh, watched a feature on madagascar. ang ganda dun! add to your bucket list.
3. where's the pic of u dancing? :)
4. what's up with the raisins? what did u wish for?

Archie said...

Sagada is really enchanting in many ways... nice entry!

dong ho said...

In reply to the question about the raisins, it's a family tradition to eat three raisins on new year and make three wishes. this was passed on to us by our grandparents.

Richard said...

i wanna celebrate my new year there with my family next year.how i wish! nakapunta na partner ng kuya ko dyan at ang ganda nga raw.nakakaexcite..

Skippyheart said...

such a super cool way to welcome the new year!

I find the 3 raisins, 3 wishes thing very interesting. :-)

pusang kalye said...

pag nagkita tayo uli tatanungin ko secret mo=---parang me something sa mga pics mo these past few months. ang crisp ng dating sakin. i want that.hehehe

at iniisip ko yung pic na may 2 lalaki na nakatalikod tas me bonfire behind them. in front is Sagada Municipal hall. If i am not mistaken.yan yung ginagawang bldg na bago ayt?
panu ka naka-akyat dyan? hahaha

Raft3r said...

i love the title
=)

Ria Jose said...

Sounds like a really fun and memorable New Year. :)

Luis Batchoy said...

Sagada because of one thing! Coffee! Sana next time ma alala mong pasalubungan ang kofi adik mo na follower hehehe.

nuts said...

now ko lang nalaman yung three raisins, well of course di mo pa nashare in any of your entries. sarap naman, kahit ako, i would want to be igorot kahit once lang din in my life. to join the fun and experience the tradition they still keep these years. nakaka-pa sigh naman, ilang balik kana sa sagada, til now, hangang dream palang at makibasa sa blogs mo.. sigh talaga..

Bengbeng said...

i enjoyed this post, Dong. I am a regular reader Dong so sometimes i fear my comments might seem repetitive but i am always honest in my feedback to u. It feels like i was there, part of the experience thanks to the pics and partly due to the reference to yr parents who shud b more or less my age. subconsciously i put myself in yr parents' shoes :)

sheng said...

I didn't know of the three raisins tradition, that is obviously new to me and many others here, but thanks for sharing dom, you might want to expound on that furthermore.

Pietro said...

A really nice way to celebrate the new year. I enjoy all the images, the mountain views are thrilling!

THRIFTY FASHIONISTA said...

wow! dancing till 6am?! :] very nice culture!! the photos! ang ganda! super ganda ng mga views papunta dun!

Beth said...

What a way to celebrate New Year!!! Sobrang lamig nga siguro dun :)

I like what the locals did, that they gave way to your parents dun sa windowside ng bus. :) Very heartwarming.

One of my wish is to see an Igorot ritual like that. Simple lang talaga buhay nila...nakakatuwa.

beero said...

ang gandang experience naman nito kuya dong. i'm sure nag-enjoy ang parents mo. sana magawa ko din to with my parents kahit sa ibang lugar. what's with 3 raisins nga pala?

princess_dyanie said...

Awwww ang sweet mo naman Dom! Glad they enjoyed! :)

Reiza said...

What a cool way to spend the holidays with your parents. They sure are lucky to have a son like you, or is the other way around? :) Fantastic photos, by the way. Kudos!

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