WEB AND WEAVE: ILOKANOS AS MIGRANTS

The fact that Ilokanos are ubiquitous is no longer a myth. It has been established throughout the ages. They are everywhere.

Just go back to the lessons of Sakada circa1906. They are really migratories!

One good thing is that they all came from the famed town of Candon.

Let us, this time, look into the adventures of the Ilokanos in other lands – domestic, so to say. Probing how they penetrated the territory of the other non-Iluko speaking people.

Two questions are worthy of consideration here (refer to the statements below). Hopefully they shall be pretty well answered when you’re done reading this investigative work.

Happy wandering!

THE ILOKANOS IN MINDOROLAND: VICTORIES OF MIGRATION IN VICTORIA

ABSTRACT

This study revolved around the Ilokanoness of the wandering Ilokanos who migrated/settled in a different province peculiarly different from theirs. Specifically, it tried to assess the experiences of the Ilokano migrants/wanderers of Oriental Mindoro particularly the town of Victoria (formerly Borbocolon, a part of Naujan town), named in 1953 after the daughter of President Elpidio Quirino. The bugging questions: “Did they bring with them their cultural practices?” and “How did they face the challenges of acculturation?” were resolved in this investigation. While living in the new-found land, the socio-cultural practices of these Ilokano wanderers along the following variables were taken into account: kinship gathering, indigenous culinary arts, beliefs in the supernatural, socialization, recreation and sports activities, and values.

The descriptive method of research was used. A formulated questionnaire written in English and translated into the Iluko dialect was prepared as instrument for gathering of data; interviews via community immersion of the principal researcher was also utilized to elicit the true scenario and witness the wandering Ilokanos’ experience.

A total of 136 Ilokanos were taken as convenience sample size of the respondents living in the numerous barangays of Victoria.

The Ilokanoness of the Ilokanos in Victoria, Mindoro is still intact (as manifested/ perceived in their conversations, and other cultural practices.) However, the Ilokanos’ (especially those siblings born in the province of Mindoro) constant exposure to non-Ilokano speaking people has somewhat made them “fiddle with” prevailing and multi-dimensional lifestyles.

The respondents who mostly came from Region 1 have stayed there for quite long years already and have borne children who partly adapted the customary ways of the Mindoroenos. Nevertheless, being Ilokanos is in their hearts; they continually radiate much influence to their siblings who hardly speak the language but greatly capable of understanding it.

The trademark of the Ilokanos as industrious and hard-working is still identifiable among them in Mindoro. Their search for lands to till has borne fruits, thus they are, at present, the sturdy and dependable farmers of vast tracts of lands in Victoria.

Much to their desire and identity, the Ilokanos in Victoria continue to practice many cultural and unique traditions but has absconded trivial rituals partly due to their religious convictions and inherent proclivity. Many of their deep-seated values as Ilokanos like bayanihan, sympathy, hospitality, friendliness, discipline, hard work, sincerity among others are unscathed and remain to be their pride. On the contrary, which is sad to say, (negatively viewed), the value of being “kuripot” has metamorphosed.  Vices like gambling, drinking and some unproductive activities including beliefs in the supernatural are scarcely displayed by them.

      (To be continued)