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Saturday, March 16

Sagada Canao and A Dinner with The Igorot Family—Aligos/Lizardos

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Old dancing Igorot photo courtesy of BALIKTANAW.WORDPRESS.COM

The parting time with our newly met backpacker friends were nevertheless the last time, but for the night it was so. We have to go home to Christian’s house for the dinner. I was shy to actually join them in their dinner but there we went. Besides it’s free haha so who was I to decline?

Nothing Beats Plain Nature Adventure: Sagada

It would have been a dinner in a restaurant but it was an honor to be joining a dinner with them—the usual daily Sagadan style. I’m not sure already but he said it was their grandfather’s death anniversary, in celebration of the canao where the families of their relatives gather in an event. I was a bit culture shocked because, really, they have gathered that night. And it’s the usual.

So I have to tell a story that the Igorot culture really defines what “family ties” is all about. By the way, Igorotsis what do you call to the people of the different tribes in the Cordillera region, collectively. So Ibalois and Kankanaeys are Igorots. If you are visiting Baguio City or Sagada or Banaue or just wherever you are in the mountains, chances are, you are talking with the locals and they are Igorots. Respect them and their culture once you get there. You don’t want to be in trouble, do you?They are friendly anyway.

In our own home, we were just about four, my lola, aunties and siblings have already their own homes. Christian Aligo and his relatives were so close with each other because it’s like there is their own community and around ten of them are living in a particular house. He told me it was their culture to be seeing each other a lot in their homes that’s why their families were the so-called “extended” when we talk about the family size. So when I say extended, their lolos and lolas (grandparents) were still living with them, and their parents’ siblings too, even if they already have their own families.

Christian told me about his grandfather or great grandfather in the surname “Lizardo”. He told me he was a mayor before…and I cannot remember already hehe. He told me that the owner of GL Trans, the only bus that serve Baguio-Sagada route was their relative. The ‘L’ in GL is Lizardo. It was really a branched blood connection, and I guess he can plot a big family tree of their clan. Some of the photos were framed on the wall. That’s also when Christian told me the stories of Sagada, where it was derived and some underground stories I cannot tell here already.

The dinner was simple, and we ate “pinikpikan”, Sagada style. So what’s pinikpikan again? Pinikpikan is an Igorot way of cooking chicken. It is somehow similar to the Tagalog or Ilocano way cooking “tinola” but there is this way of preparing the chicken which is different from “tinola”. You might not like the concept but it’s the term itself “pinikpikan” was prepared because the chicken was “pinikpik” or hit or smashed or how do you call it. It’s a bit morbid but it’s a different thing already when you eat it. It’s for you to know the difference of pinikpikan and tinola. They look like the same but there is a big difference on the meat. Besides, they use “sayote” and not papaya.

I heard there was this “etag” in their pinikpikan but I did not notice it. Anyway, I will be explaining what “etag” is in my next posts. It’s another Sagada-authentic food you have to try when you are taking a vacation in Sagada. What is vacation without the food anyway?

It was a short dinner with them, nonetheless it was meaningful. I got to understand more of the Igorot culture in this particular Sagada trip. I admire some of their traditions and way of living.
I got no time to take photos with them. Maybe next time. So the dinner was all about knowing more of Christian’s family and the rest of Igorot community. It was already past 9 PM when we decided to go to Misty Inn where I booked for a night.

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