WEB AND WEAVE: Student Researches of UNP Candon

One basic ingredient of the total education of the students in UNP is their involvement in functional researches. Just like what we attempted to hammer in the previous columns, faculty members don’t necessarily confine themselves within the four walls of the classroom. They need to bring their students to places where direct, purposeful experience is guaranteed. In this case, we are assured that we graduate our students with the necessary skills, competencies and vision.

As assisted by this writer, this research of Jennilyn G. Dula, herself a native of Tubo, Abra is a manifestation that there is such kind of student involvement in the vast field of knowledge. Our students don’t just conduct action researches, rather they attempt going outside their comfort zones and explore the world with their very own senses. As a future teacher, Ms. Dula recognizes the need to embark of such kind of intellectual exercise.

This beautiful research, focused on two Cordilleran songs was presented in the First International Conference on Cordilleran Studies at UP Baguio last February. There, with other research scholars, this output was a meat of discussion. Indeed, Ms. Dula went home not only with a certificate but a handful of rare and precious insight and experience, mush less a ring of social networks.

Let’s try looking at this paper. Perhaps, we can also draw similar experience and valuable insights after perusing it.

TWO CORDILLERAN SONGS – UGGAYAM AND DUNG-AW – BRIDGES TO UNDERSTANDING  

Introduction

All throughout the world, people love to hear music, much more, love to sing melodious verses. It is said that music is the soul of one’s life, hence, this activity serves as an outlet to free expression and sentimental journey. The perpetuation of people’s spirit could be attributed to songs (Banas 1975 citing Kalaw: 1927) especially local music in Kundimans, Balitaws and other folk songs.

Just like what Leopard and House (1959) as cited by Brillantes ( 1987), folk music is an integral part of one’s environment; this constitutes the culture or the way of life of a particular group of people. Much more, it encompasses a definite national character for it embodies the customs and traditions of the fatherland or a particular nation.

The Cordillera Autonomous Region is not exempted to this truth. In fact, Abra as a mixture of Tingguian and Ilocano population, has sets of indigenous music which could be classified as war songs, occupational, love songs and miscellaneous songs.

The indigenous peoples of Abra are aptly called Tingguians, also called Itnegs ( a contraction of the Ilocano word, Iti Uneg which means “in the valley”).  Tingguians are divided into two – the Upland or Mountain Tingguians and the Lowland or Valley Tingguians).

Accordingly, there are ten dialects (languages?) used by the different tribes of Abra. However, it is an innate ability and skill of these people to understand each other even when one is speaking his own dialect. The Ilocano language is likewise understood and spoken by them.

The Tingguians are very rich in indigenous songs, to name a few, Ading, Alba-ab, Salidummay, Dangdang-ay, Dalleng, Daing, Kalkalimusta, Uw-wawi, Baya-o, Palpalubos and Uggayam.

These ethnic songs picture the natives’ life, heart and soul.

It must be specifically mentioned here that only the Tingguians, not the Ilocanos are the ones involved in the singing of the Uggayam. To them, this is an activity of shared life associated with the ceremonials of life, and death (largely for dung-aw ( an Ilocano term which means dirge) or Baya-o and Sansanna-e in the Itneg dialect.)

It is not a product of a reflection and self communion ( Madrid: 1977).

Brillantes ( 1987) asserted that the culture of the Tingguians dated far back from antiquity. But sadly, they do not have written records of their forefathers’ invaluable melodies; however, these are continued to be sung orally by the old folks during various occasions. To preserve this beautiful heritage, and for it to flourish, they instituted the Amung Di Gimpong (Tribal Festival Program) that works closely with DZPA, the local radio station of Abra, in airing these melodies.

Objectives of the Study

This study attempted to highlight Uggayam and Dung-aw (Baya-o and Sansanna-e) as Cordilleran songs that foster closer relationship between and among the folks.

Specifically, it aimed at the following:

1.    To document Uggayam and Dung-aw as unique Cordilleran songs during social gatherings.

2.    To look into the social and educational implications of these ethnic songs.

3.    To find out how these songs bring about understanding among the people of Cordillera.

    (To be continued)