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“Bagdao and Marogay”

Among the several descendants of Bagdao the terrace builder was a beautiful girl named Marogay who lived with her parents in Imbose. Once, the family was invited to a peshit in nearby Loo. 

During this time, head-hunting was rampant north and east of Imbose. Especially known as fearsome headhunters were the braves of Sabañgan, Bontoc and Ahin-Pallatang.

At the same time as the aforementioned peshit in Loo, a group of Sabañgan braves were camped at the top of the Mount Data, waiting in prey likely travelers from Loo and its adjacent areas. Unfortunately, they encountered a harsh spell of cold that blanketed the whole plateau with snow, covering both the trees and grasses. To save themselves, the men burned their shields, bows and arrows and spear handles. Bagdao, the youngest among them, was instructed to forage for food. He descended Mount Data and was digging for camote from a kaiñgin when he heard the sound of kalsa and solibao. 

Abandoning his task, he approached the feast and mingled with the crowd. Asked to join in the dancing, he accepted and was paired with Marogay, the lady of Imbose. Each time was asked to dance, he was paired with Marogay. Soon each was attracted to the other. 

As guests dispersed after peshit, Marogay and her parents headed for home. Bagdao followed, not wishing to return to his companions in Mount Data. He asked for work in Imbose and was given a piece of land to terrace, it being known that people from Sabañgan were good terrace builders.

While Bagdao was at work on the terraces, Marogay informed her parents of her love for Bagdao. A whole year followed during which Bagdao rendered service to the family of Marogay as was the practice of the time. His character and industry was put to a test and he was not found wanting. Bagdao and Marogay subsequently married and were blessed with a daughter, Shaelja. They lived happily in Imbose. 

Ancestors in these times relied heavily on root crops for staple food. Rice was used mainly on special occasions and for rice wine. Yet even then, Kabayan had rice fields, People raised pigs, chickens and other wild animals that they could tame. These animals were in turn butchered primarily for social gatherings and as sacrificial offerings to appease the spirits of departed ancestors who made known their wishes through sickness among their descendants. The practice and belief in the curative powers of the celebration of certain cañaos still exists among kabayan people today. 

The term cañao is collectively used to denote several native feasts that are primarily for the purposes of appeasing spirits of dead ancestors, curing illnesses, ensuring prosperity, and promoting social status in the community. Undeniably, the same are based on an entire belief system of the Ibaloy and are very imprtant components of his entire world. Briefly discussed in the following paragraphs are several cañaos celebrated by the Kabayan people. None of these are of recent origin and are in fact considering among the legacies of ancestors from earliest times. 

AMDAG – This offering is made to the Supreme Being called In-amdagan. It is believed a cure for stomach ache, headache and other body aches. A chicken or several chickens are butchered for this occasion. 

AMPASIT– Performed with chickens as the only sacrificial animal and behind the house of the afflicted person, this ceremony is intended to cure sore eyes or feet of a person whose infirmity is caused by the “ampasit”/spirits, believed found in woods and water. The person is afflicted when either travelling or swimming in rivers. 

There are generally three identified “spirits”, the Ampasit who live in woods and water; the tinmungawor dwarfs; and the pasang who live in air. 

AWIL – Sudden and unbearable paing is attributed to the ampasit/tinmungaw for whom this offering is made. Chicken or pigs are butchered for the occasion and wine is served although there is no native dancing. 

BAENG – A pig or two is butchered for this cañao, believed to cure a sickly child as well as to hasten delivery of a child. During prolonged and painful childbirth pains, this offering is made in behalf of the mother. 

BAJOG – Performed to please spirits of ancestors, this is an offering to the ka-apuan who assist the family, together with other native gods, during the feast. No less than two big male pigs are butchered and the cañao lasts for one to two days with dancing and drinking. 

BASIL – To cure diseases associated with sexual organs, including chills and fever, caused by sexual indulgence, a horse or dog is necessary for this ceremony. It was necessary to kill a horse because the Ibadoy believe that non-marital sex is a cardinal offense.

BATBAT – This feast is started in the evening and ended the following day. At least, two big pigs are butchered, one in the evening and the other the next day. There is no dancing during the celebration of this cañao. Batbat is performed to ensure prosperity of the family. It may also be performed to cure lingering illness in the family. 

BUANG – The Mambunong presides over this ceremony at which chicken and tafey are offered to cure deafness. 

DAWIT– Oftentimes, especially during the period of mourning, souls or spirits of the living are frightened and believed to leave the person and wander off. To call back these souls or spirits, themambunong performs the rituals during this celebration to allow the person to become whole and live well. This cañao is performed most often after death occurs in the family circle. The performer offers blankets, chickens and pigs among others to please Kabunian and Kabigat. 

DIYAW – Several reasons are covered by this offering of one pig during the occupancy of a new house. Among these reasons are to ensure along and progressive life among  the occupants; prevent the occurrences of itches, boils and other skin diseases among the family members; induce good appetite and in turn good health; and ensure well growth of family plants. 

DOSAD – To cure chest pains, the mambunong holds a spear against the chest of a hog and starts the prayers. The hog is later butchered as offering. 

KAPI – If successful, by interpretation of the mambunong, this offering precedes progress in the life of the performer.  A pig may be sufficient to celebrate this cañao unless the mambunong decides otherwise in which case the performer slaughters more. Unlike the other mentioned feasts which have “curative” effects, the kapi is performed whenever a family member or the whole family experience strange phenomena, when lightning strikes near the family home, or when family members have strange dreams. No dancing is performed during this feast.

KECHAO – This feast may be performed by offering a chicken, a pig, a carabao or any other animal as required of the mansihbok or as dreamed of by a family member. The offering is made to native gods who are believed to ask for such a sacrificial animal. This cañao is also believed curative of any kind of illness. 

KIYAD – The kiyad is rendered to satisfy the spirits of dead ancestors. No pig is butchered during this feast, only a carabao, a cow, or a horse. The offering is believed to have curative effects as well as the capacity to prolong the life of a performer. There is no dancing during this cañao but rice wine is served. 

KOLOS – A small pig is offered with tafey or a chicken to kolos, water god, to cure stomach pains or diarrhea. 

KOSDEY - This ceremony is distinct in its being community-based, each household in the barrio holding the ceremony bound to participate. It is a tradition to alleviate suffering brought about by failure of crops and the resulting hunger and famine. 

Presided over by the mambunong, the ceremony is held in each household with the lightning of a fire started by the “KOLIDI”, a piece of bamboo split at one end. Pine tar is placed between the split ends and another bamboo piece is continuously rubbed against the first until fire is started. This is believed the manner in which Kabunian introduced fire to the Ibadoy. The ritual is repeated in each house until the whole barrio is lighted. The fire remains lit from dawn throughout the day and through the night. At every house, a pig is butchered. 

It is necessary for all who participate in the kosdey to observe the ngilin, or taboo, restricting movement for as many as five days. 

NANSA-ANG– To cure a person of headache, a cup of tafey is placed over the cup. The mambunongthen holds a chicken over the cup of tafey and prays over the afflicted person. 

PALIS – Celebrated to cure the victim of man-mantala or wizard. A dog and a jar of tafey is procured. The mambunong proceeds to pray and the assembled kin sing the angba. After the angba, a loud noise is created with the beating together if bamboo sticks or wood pieces. One men then dances with a bolo held and brandished in one hand and later with the skull of a dog’s skull is tied under the house to prevent any further harm from the wizard. 

PASANG – Appeal is made to Kabunian and Kabigat by a childless couple who performs this offering with one or more pigs. In some localities chickens, preferably roosters are butchered. Should the native gods be pleased, the couple is then cured of their barrenness. 

SABOSAB – This feast is similar to that called Bokod and is performed to cure deformity of the human body. One pig is normally required of this offering but the number may increase upon the decision of themambunong or manshibok. 

SIKOP – Principally to cure “coughs”, this ceremony is performed without the necessity of sacrificial animals or tafey. The mambunong rubs ginger and salt solution on the neck of the sick person while praying along. 

TAWAL – Intended to call back the soul of a person, imprisoned in some unknown spirit world, the tawal, or call, is resorted to with one chicken and one jar of tafey for offering. 

TEMMO – Performed to cure or prevent “sleeping sickness”, the temmo is a relatively simple occasion during which one or more dogs are butchered for offering. 

TINGITING – When a house is burned, the Ibadoy believe the souls of the occupants are also burned and fly away with the fire ambers. The tingiting is then celebrated with dried meat or kinoday offered with prayers recited before the meal. 

Imbose, earliest remembered settlement in Kabayan, today is rice fields but remains a very important part in the peopling of the town as well as the rest of the Benguet province. It is to this river valley that the most of the “lead” families understandably trace their ancestry for Imbose is the home of the baknang. Lineage in the settlement would be traced by tawid or inheritance of such traditional measures of wealth as rice fields, porcelain of such traditional measures of wealth as rice fields, porcelain jars and copper gongs. 

To Imbose would refer the story of how, during the first remembered pechit thereat there were no poor people to be sent on errands so much so that “sahdin ni animal e shahidan sha tan i-puol shay na-mit” or that the feet of the butchered animals were what were used as stove rests and the fat of the animals the firewood. 

Such an exaggeration is matched by the story of Balong “Pip-Pip”, resident of the adjoining settlement of Kagaw, now an abandoned site, home to the abitag of Kabayan.