Any Juan or Maria in Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) or Region 1 will surely be affected with delightful sensations when they eye the living parts of creation, say, the Benguet pine trees, the flowers, native plants, the throbbing land and the people in a flourishing state.
These, in their cheerful freshness, in their most advantageous dress, can inspire gladness into the heart to see creation happy and smiling.
So it ought to give pleasure – pleasure being heightened – if any Juan or Maria is instrumental in contributing to the happiness of our fellow-creatures; or, if we ourselves helped to raise a heart beneath the drooping weight of torment and revive that barren and dry heart where no water was, with refreshing showers of understanding.
Yet, to some, and more often than not, it happens there’s this vital part of mortal, although nature appears smiling about us, to hinder many from corresponding with the rest of creation, and joining in the universal chorus of joy.
“ket anya ngay nga parte ti bagi iti tao dayta dat often hinder us from corresponding with the rest of creation, eh?” Ah Kong last week asked Darlene Doot, 37, a beautiful Cordilleran and resident of La Trinidad, Benguet.
Darlene, seated across a table before Ah, in a coffee shop somewhere in Buguias marketplace, poured coffee into a mug and sipped the hot brew.
Darlene, two others, Marso Aldobe, 46, from la Union and Ines Lawana, 35, from Benguet but both living in Baguio and Ah were on daily labor travel that day after going into Cordillera’s hinterlands and stopped at Buguias for meals.
All were going back to Baguio, a city in the mind of Ah, is a “lugar dagiti Cordillerans, Region 1 and others who are in the categories of gwapo, napintas ken cute.” And if you believe in your heart you don’t fall in the three categories, well, you and Ah can talk about it over a cup of “agua de pataranta.”
Darlene answered Ah’s query: “Ket ti ngiwet, a, Sir, nga saan nga agsasa-o iti pudno ngem daldal a daldal, “Darlene hissed at Ah and spilling her coffee as the hot liquid scalded her pretty lips.
Aah! Now, Ah understood why for the rest of travel of the four, Darlene kept to herself, hardly conversed with them; something bothered her even when they started their trip from Baguio.
Trouble for Darlene, Ah sensed. He sipped coffee and gently prodded her, saying “Something on your mind you want to unload and ease yourself?”
Darlene took a deep breath, sipped her coffee again, looked at Marso and Ines warmly, looked at Ah suspiciously, but then talked.
According to Darlene, words reached her there was gossip swirling about her that tended to discredit her credibility, and she was mulling to file charges but has no money to burn for lawyers.
Proven untrue, but the gossip made damage. The chismis emanated from her close contacts.
Tsk-tsk! Whoever that Filipino who said, “chismis, the favorite past time of many Filipinos,” may be right. No?
How oft, we remember, our elders say, “Anadam dayta panag ngiw-ngiwet mo!”
Ah adds, “Our mouths and tongues! Indeed, our mouths and tongues, both conspiring to spew offspring of chismis and implant the countenance of a counterfeit face, Ha!”
The mouth has been quaintly called the throne of smiles, and smiles are said to be stars. Yet, little do they resemble each other.
Find ye, are mouths simple, innocent, modest yet ingenious. You see mouths so voluptuous and tender it invites kissing, never mind if owners of such mouths will kill you for trying to do so.
While other mouths are witty, petulant, gay and witty, one dreams they have such mouths.
Follow this Cordilleran’s witty mouth conversation with her witty Region 1 pal. Their conversation started this way, no gossip intended:
Ilokana: Anya meaning ti TUAN?
Cordilleran: Haan ko ammo.
Ilokana: Haan mo ammo?
Cordilleran: Haan ko ammo ti meaning na.
Ilokana: Weh, Kankanaey ka, saan mo ammo ti meaning na?
Cordilleran: Kunak ngarud nga haan ko ammo ti meaning ti tuan.
Ilokana: Kasanu nga haan mo ammo ket sao yu met ti tuan?
Cordilleran: Saan ko ammo ngarud ti meaning na! Haan ko ammo ti meaning na!
Ilokana: Ket haan ka agmutmut ah! Ibagam laeng nu haan mo ammo ti meaning na!
And others have mouths that can be satirical, scornful or mischievous. There are many talkers, as indeed, there are many flowers.
To classify them would require the nice discernment and patient perseverance of politicians particularly those voted in the Philippine Congress, members who can discern who is lying and who is not, according to a friend, Onofre Salve, who hails from the lowlands, but resides in Baguio City.
Onofre tells of tale about a mischievous farmer who saw a plane full of politicians crash near his farm. When police arrived they asked the farmer what happened.
The farmer mouthed:” They crashed near my farm and I buried all of them.”
One of the policemen, in shock, asked: “Are you sure all of them are dead?”
Farmer: “Some of them were screaming like, we are still alive! But I could not believe them. You know these politicians; they can lie.”
Of the many mouths that mouth out a lot of chismis, many love the true smiling mouth – with no gossip hissing from it.
You may want to add the true smiling mouth is a symbol of candor and pleasure, its language expansive, mute but eloquent.
But the heard-of mouth is the loose-tongued babbler, one sufficient to set fire to family, friends or a whole barangay at war or disturb the peace and sacredness of virtuous privacy.
Kasla ni Ah, idi, adda nagdamag kenkwana, “Ah, nu adda alingo (wild boar) nga mangdunor kenni katugangam a babae wenno ni baket mo, assinnu ti umuna nga ilasat mo?”
Sungbat ti ngiwet ni Ah, “Syemple, diyay alingo. Ngamin, manmanu metten ti nabati nga alingo iti kabanbantayan ti Cordillera. Dapat salakniban tayo dagiti nabati nga alingo.” Nanipud idi ket kayat ni baket na a panguren ti ulo na.
Like Darlene, who among you, in some time of your life, has been the subject of slanderous gossip – vile slander by the tongue and the mouth?
And by whom has your character been vilified? By whom has your hitherto fair fame been sullied?
By your friend, acquaintances, co-workers, who stab in the back?
As Darlene says, in an excellent discourse, on subject of character assassination, “Maysa lang a sarita, ket addu it ibaga na iti panunot iti kaaduwan nga agdengdengngeg tapnu maaramid ti suspetsa kontra realidad.”
Now, here comes another gud pren, muy mucho gwapo, Romeo Anido, 34, from La Union, who firmly believes in his heart that the reason why many unmarried women gossip is because nobody is courting them.
So he has a solution to such plight of unmarried lassies, but gossipy: He recommends:
“Dagit babbae nga addu riri kadagiti lallaki a di da kanu araremen ida; Kastoy ti aramiden yu. Agaramid kayo ti poster yu asantu ipaskel yu ti lugar nga addu makakita. Ti isurat yu idiay poster ket kastoy: “Wanted Boyfriend! No Experience needed. Just willing to be trained.” Kitaen yu nu di gasut ti ag-apply!
But the gossiper’s frequent, and often only, motive, for slandering a neighbor, could be of envy, revenge for some fancied slight, or pique, at some unintentional neglect of courtesy or respect.
And the innocent and unconscious victim is made the subject of the blackest gossip, and perhaps of the most bitter persecution.
However, mind, gossip seems to punish itself, and the very tales by the offending person, at the end only discredits the author of the gossip.