Leg­ends and tra­di­tions in the mil­len­nial world

Sun.Star Baguio - - Opinion -

SUR­VEY re­sult says that mil­len­ni­als are tak­ing over baby boomers as ma­jor­ity of the adult world­wide pop­u­la­tion for 2019 and most likely in the years to come. Just as so­cial me­dia is re­plac­ing old sys­tems of in­ter­con­nec­tiv­ity with por­ta­ble, handy and faster gad­gets, even songs like the "Times They Are a-Changin" by Bob Dy­lan and Madonna’s “Ma­te­rial World” which was con­sid­ered as among the an­thems of change for the pe­riod 1960s to 1980s are rarely heard nowa­days as the young­sters of to­day cre­ated new waves not only in the arts but also in pro­fes­sion, ed­u­ca­tion and way of life.

For the past months, I have kept track of a mil­len­nial’s daily on­line post and just the other day, he com­pleted a great task that has made an im­pact to hu­mans around the world with his one minute daily videos. A teary eyed Arab pop­u­larly known as Nas Daily wrote in his so­cial me­dia feed, “This isn't good­bye, this is see you later and it's been an honor show­ing up on your feed ev­ery day” com­mit­ting to be back with more videos. This guy has posted one minute daily videos he recorded from all over the world in­clud­ing Philip­pines for the past 1000 days and his mean­ing­ful trav­el­ogues has been seen and shared by Mil­lions of ne­ti­zens. This is a good ex­am­ple of what opin­ion mak­ers re­fer to as out-of-the-box think­ing or a break­ing ground for a new tra­di­tion.

As I spent few days of rest and house­hold chores mulling over the loss of my mother, I looked around for what to dis­card and I have col­lected a sack full un­us­able and de­cay­ing pieces of wood out­side our back­door which brings mem­o­ries to our life in the bar­rio. There is a tra­di­tion called “atong” that I grew up with which I of­ten prac­tice when­ever I go home to my mother’s place in Sudipen, La Union back in the 70s and early 80s. It may be seen as a prim­i­tive or pa­gan prac­tice but we usu­ally burn fire­wood and keep the em­bers glow­ing in the “da­likan” or dirty-kitchen stove es­pe­cially at night with the be­lief that the devil is afraid of fire and that evil spir­its spares us from any harm.

We have heard a lot of ur­ban leg­ends be­fore and it seems that even the ap­pari­tion of a white lady ghost along the Loakan Road is no longer heard or read about per­haps be­cause these are over­taken by so­cial me­dia posts that went vi­ral like Baguio’s anti-pro­fan­ity law, Sa­gada’s car­maged­don and scan­dals here and there.

As a cul­tural keeper par­tic­u­larly of the Bago tribe, I once heard of a leg­end pop­u­lar among the lo­cals of North­ern Benguet and up­lands of Ilo­cos Sur. Up in the high­lands of Bakun, Benguet with an el­e­va­tion of about 1,400.00m above sea level, there is a moun­tain called Mount Kabun­yan and it is a fa­vorite des­ti­na­tion of moun­tain trekkers be­cause of its scenic spots, en­chanted caves and most es­pe­cially the leg­end of Doli­gen.

If one fol­lows a trail and cross the moun­tains of Sug­pon and Alilem Ilo­cos Sur from Tagudin or Sudipen, La Union via Kayapa of Bakun just like the up­land traders of the famed Igorot gold dur­ing the early trad­ing with salt, porce­lain jars and plates and bronze gongs with Chi­nese mer­chants, their jour­ney might well be within the his­tor­i­cal loop of the leg­end of Doli­gen.

Doli­gen, a hun­gry and tired mor­tal who must be a hunter walked by and rested in a cave some­where be­tween the high­lands of Bakun (Benguet) and Alilem (Ilo­cos Sur). As he sat wearily with a deep breath, presto, food and wa­ter were of­fered be­fore him served in sparkling golden spoon and porce­lain plates. He ac­cord­ingly fin­ished his meal, burped and thanked who­ever served him food but he also took and bagged the plates with him. The ver­sion of the story as told by my late fa­ther Marcelo Tibaldo has it that Doli­gen was later nowhere to be found and when some vil­lagers hap­pens to reach the cave and look up, they no­ticed a hu­man-like for­ma­tion plas­tered above and they be­lieved that it must be Doli­gen which oth­ers re­fer to as Duk­li­gen who was cursed by the un­seen spir­its called Te­men­gaw or Tu­men­gaw. The mystic food and wa­ter served by un­seen hands at the cave were no longer heard about and the story goes that sparkling clear wa­ter that spurts and drips from what ap­pears to be a pe­nis is that of Doli­gen.

The story about Doli­gen was rarely heard even within the com­mu­nity it­self. Learned tour guides in the area who must have read about nat­u­ral for­ma­tions of sta­lac­tites and sta­lag­mites only point out to moun­tain trekkers that the Doli­gen cave has hu­man rock for­ma­tion and the pe­nis look­ing ob­ject that used to spurt wa­ter for peo­ple to drink has long been dried up.

To­day, wa­ter has long dis­ap­peared at the cave and trav­el­ers are ad­vised to get drinking wa­ter at a spring at the foot of the hill or bring their own bot­tled wa­ter to drink. There is how­ever a sign that reads “Re­mem­ber, this moun­tain is guarded by Spir­its" ac­cord­ing to a post by a trav­eler who vis­ited the site.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Philippines

© PressReader. All rights reserved.