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My Joy My Friend

Joy is a nurse. She has been based in the United States for the longest time. This photo was taken after she passed the Board and we went to Makati now a city to gallivant or hangout, as they say today :-) That's what we usually do when we were bored stiff with life.

Oh those were so fun days, unfortunately (for me), cut off when Joy went abroad to seek and fulfill her dream to be rich. And fulfill she did. She married a rich Jew businessman and they lived where Michael Jordan used to have a house. We were writing each other then. But, time somehow forgot that we were still around, but far from where we started.

There was a year she came back as a Balikbayan (return home citizen) and I am glad there was an effort to reach out. I was happy to see her and I think she was too. I would have loved to reminisce the good old days, but she seemed uninterested and instead, talked about all her travel vacations in different parts of the world, non-stop. It was good. And then she had to leave.

I haven't seen or heard from her since. Still I here from my cousin who was actually a high school classmate that she's good and well and on to her globe trekking.

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The Ibanag Family in Retrospect

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No one ever talks back. Let alone me. I can not recall if there ever was an instance when I mastered enough courage to explain anything even when there was a chance to do so. But it sure did happen one day when I was already 26 years old and had 2 children. Swell. :-)

The elderly are treated with respect in the Ibanag culture. Deference is essential if not required and is lavishly displayed and shown. Proper language and the right tone of voice characterize conversations with the elders. It is not uncommon to take the elder’s hand, bring it to the forehead or kiss the hand to show courtesy and respect.

Women are venerated in the Ibanag family. Most of the time they have the last say in decisions involving family affairs. Although Filipinas are kn…

Ibanag and Filipino Childbirth Rituals

"For parents, birth rituals and ceremonies provide an immediate sense of connection as well as inclusion of the child into the clan, tribe or community. These rituals establish at a very early stage, who they are. The rituals also serve as guideposts as they grow and develop their own sense of identity. Even if they drift away from or reject their heritage, their early experiences give them a place to return to if they so choose".

The Ibanag culture is filled with childbearing rituals and practices which have been handed down from one generation to another. Here are some of them.

1. It is said that if a pregnant woman has a lot of blemishes or pimples on her face, her baby will be a girl.
2. If the mother glows and radiates beauty, the baby will be a boy.
3. If the mother craves for sweets and other carbohydrates, the baby will be a girl.
4. If the mother is craving for oily or fried foods, the baby will be a boy.
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Learn the Ibanag dialect?

As I mentioned in one of my prior posts somewhere in one of my blogs, the Ibanag dialect is somewhat difficult to learn because when you speak it you can sound like a chirping bird :-)

I learned the dialect by just hearing it from my Mother who use it everytime her relatives come to our home to visit. And this was not that often. You see, her relatives from Isabela, that's where she was born, come to spend their vacation with us every summer, yes the whole summer months. And yes, EVERY summer of EVERY year. Well, they don't come empty handed. They bring sacks of rice, ample stocks of meat enough to feed all of us for 1 month. They bring live animals too, like chicken, piglets, not to mention baskets of fruits and vegetables, even our neighbors get their share.

Wherever Ibanags are, you know they are around because they are so loud and so noisy. They have this habit of speaking all at the same time :-)Sigh. Now if that is not enough reason for anyone to learn the dialect, I …