Born and raised in Gueday, Besao, Mt. Province, let me devote this space to an age-old tradition we celebrate every September 30 – Linapet Day. This is celebrated by all who trace their roots by affinity or consanguinity to barangays Gueday, Agawa, Lacmaan and Ambagiw (all collectively referred to as Agawa) in northern Besao, Mt. Province wherever they are in this world. They conglomerate around this time as maybe convenient to them, to prepare and eat linapet. In Gueday however where the age-old tradition originated, each household may have already prepared linapet the day before such that by early morning of September 30, the native delicacy is ready for sharing. By sunrise, the residents and local tourists are already gathered in Dap-ay Awaw to wait for the spectacular sun that would rise and tower atop the huge rock Ambaon Bato, nestled in Langsayan mountain that divides northern Sagada and northern Besao. This happens only at this time of the year. Back in the olden days before the Gregorian calendar came out to indicate the day was September 30, this sunrise event signalled it was time to sow palay seeds for better produce. Each time it happened, markings were made in the stone in Dap-ay Awaw thus the stone calendar which has since become a tourist attraction, the tip however cut and stolen decades ago. After viewing, the linapet is shared among neighbors and friends. It’s exchange linapet.
The linapet is ground rice prepared as sandwich, filled with coarsely ground toasted peanut and added with salt if using ordinary rice, sugar if using malagkit. This sandwich wrapped in banana leaves maybe eaten alone as snack or dessert. The spirit of the celebration is never complete if not shared. Being one from Agawa also seem incomplete if one does not get to taste the indigenous food at this time of the year. Some not necessarily i-Agawas have tried to copy and gone into commercialization but if done so, there is always a missing part and never the real linapet and should not be called such.
By composition, the linapet is high in calories from the rice and the sugar added. It contains sodium if salt was used. The caloric content depends on the serving size but can be as much as 100 calories. The peanut added contains protein, oil and fiber – all beneficial for the health. It substituted the butchering of pig in the early times.
More in the celebration which also serves as thanksgiving for all life’s blessings, is that it keeps the i-Agawas united and bounded to their customs, traditions and values especially the “inayan.” Have a happy Linapet Day celebration! To those interested, be in Gueday before sunrise of September 30 to see the stone calendar and watch the awesome sunrays that would change color.