Maybe you have no idea about the life I lived for over 80 years. It was tough but throughout my existence, i have tasted the marrows of life and its bittersweet memories.
It also taught me lessons which I wish all younger Igorots will take to heart. It can help guide your journey. As our elders would always say ‘denggen yu kuma’
1) CHOOSE YOUR HUSBAND/WIFE WISELY
One of my suitors before was apparently a ‘baknang’ from Kabayan. He owns a land so wide that it will take a horseback ride from morning to noon just to go around the property. I didn’t know that before I met him. I was working as waitress in a small restaurant at Hilltop when I first met him. He was supplying the ‘natengs’ for the canteen.
He was very shy and his clothes were shabby but he stood out the most because he had good manners. He cleaned up the table after he ate. But, when he asked me out, I asked him tough questions.
Are you ready to get married? Do you know what love means? Can you feed me?
Of couse he passed the test. Listen girls and boys, you married life will define your life on earth heaven or hell.
2) NEVER LOOK DOWN ON OTHERS
One thing I notice is that more people are educated these days. But I am also saddened by the fact that some people take advantage of the plagues our society. Why do some people look down on people who are less fortunate than them? Even within their families.
Be that as it may, you should never look down on others. And do your best to give back to society when you attain success. For now, when you are served, always say thank you. And GIVE. Maybe you are not rich but there are people that are poorer than you.
Never look down on others. Rather, help them. During our time, everyone is like a big family in the community. Everyone is manong, manang and adings. There is no distinction. In a canao, everyone gets the same portion unless you are an elderly, so you get more and the youngest get the best parts.
3) ALWAYS RESPECT YOUR PARENTS
These days, i hear about younger Igorots talking back to their parents. That was never a case during our time. Life was very tough when I was growing up as my parents were not educated. They didn’t have any property and they had no stable work. ‘Emey da lang makipulpuldiya.’
But we always respected our parents. Respect doesn’t mean always doing what they want but it means loving and forgiving them in spite of anything they may done or haven’t done for you.
Now that I am a grandma, i know how difficult it is to raise children. I know your parents may have never said the words ‘i love you’ but believe me, they do.
4) WORK HARD AND PRAY
I imagine everyone wants to be somebody. In our time, we work from morning until evening ‘ed galden’ for a days wage under the sun. Now young people can build their career and make a name in industries which in our time would be impossible.
Now, you can stay in an airconditioned room and get paid for enjoying what you love doing.
Now young people talk about passion and work life balance.
But during our time, and I hope you take it with you. We never forget to pray. Every sunday, i wear my most special dress just like the one in my photo. We read our Bibles and we sing hymns.
Work hard, play hard. I mean PRAY hard.
5) MARRY WHEN YOU ARE READY
Too many young Igorots these days get married when they ‘fall in love’. When they feel the unexplanable sensation that makes them feel good and ‘itchy’. I got married at the age of 19. I regret marrying at such age. I wasn’t ready.
You know why I got married at young age? Because nobody wrote a piece like this to tell me that married life is a huge responsibility and it needed preparation.
Don’t get me wrong. Love is the best thing that happened to me. Now I have 26 grandchildren from my 7 children.
But if I were to do life one more time, I wish to have married when I was ready.
Love is a commitment and a huge responsibility. It’s not just about choosing wisely but marrying at the right time.
Share this and you might help someone.