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Showing posts from May, 2007

Etag con fusion 2

If it's smoked and salted and dried, it's called kiniing in Southern Kankanaey and much of Benguet, or kinoday in Ibaloy. Sagada is the only place I know of where people smoke their etag, and call it etag. I call it etag because I love buying the stuff in the Sagada market, or texting Sagada friends for it, but if you're going to try out these etag confusion recipes in Benguet, what you want is kinoday or kiniing. Recently I made pork and beans from scratch, as a matter of personal redemption. The one time I was given pork and beans at home, I brought the wrath of my mother upon myself. My mother always cooks everything from scratch, with the freshest, in-season ingredients, and with much love. I have vivid memories of my mother expertly drawing one of her precious knives across the necks of chickens I had raised and fattened myself, and holding them over a stainless steel bowl as the bright, red blood dripped from the twitching bird. By contrast, I have few memories of m

Etag con fusion 1

I love etag. I love its mature fragrance redolent of pork fat, salt, sunlight, smoke, and age. I love the way its flavor explodes in my mouth like only old, salted and air-dried pork can. In most places in the Cordilleras the meat is hung out to dry in the sun, but sometimes, as in Sagada, it's hung up to dry in the smoke of the hearth. I love etag with pinikpikan, etag with kaldis, etag with stir-fried vegetables. And I love etag with pasta and roasted vegetables. Yes, etag with pasta. Ingredients: ripe tomatoes, zucchinni, shitake mushrooms (or wild mushrooms), onions, and whatever other vegetables you think will mix nicely with the basics. Depending on how large a batch of roast vegetables and pasta you want, you also need olive oil, etag and spaghetti of course, salt, garlic, crushed black peppers, 1 or 2 lemons, parmesan cheese, and a few sprigs of fresh rosemary. Chop the veggies into bite-sized pieces. Spread them out in a baking tray with the rosemary. Sprinkle with salt, a

I wish (3)

It's been my dream to run a campaign in which my BFF (Best Friend Ferdie) runs for mayor under the Parti Party. We considered doing this and fielding the most unforgettable assembly of nuisance candidates ever, made up mostly of artists and other local vagabonds. The entire campaign would be a string of performances! But then we were overcome by the fear that BFF could actually win. And then what would we do? Also, it would be quite a challenge to raise funds for all the 'batchered' pigs and tapuy that every Parti Party appearance would require. So forget that. But I can still wish for it...

Dirty Finger

I have a dirty finger and I'm proudly giving it to the world! When I went to my precinct to get my hands dirty in local politics, I noted that my name was mispelled. PAOMAPANI, it read. I asked the respectable, motherly teachers at the desk whether I could get that corrected. Of course, they said. And then they did the inevitable. They asked me about my name. "Korean ba ang pangalan mo?" I had to smile. This question I'd never been asked before. It's a sign of the changing times. Now that Baguio is becoming populated with Korean families, Korean restaurants, Korean schools, Korean groceries, and yes, even a Korean beauty salon, anything foreign-sounding but not American, anything different-looking and definitely Asian, must be Korean. I shook my head. "Hindi po." "Combination ng pangalan ng mother at father mo?", asked another teacher. I squirmed. This one I always get. "Hindi rin po." "E ano sya?" "Ummm, kinuha po ng

Random Diss Excerpt #4

READING ADVISORY: Purely descriptive. Not offendingly academic. According to government estimates, 80% of the total area of the province of Central Kalimantan (153,564km2 or 15,356,400 has.) now lies under forest cover (BAPPEDA Propinsi Kalimantan Tengah 2001). The estimates on the rate of deforestation vary, depending on who is assessing the situation. A conservative estimate, discounting illegal logging and forest fires, pegs the loss of forest cover at 1,000 hectares per day (MacKinnon et al. 1996: 400). The World Bank and the national government predict a loss of lowland forest cover in Kalimantan by the year 2010 (Forest Watch Indonesia 2002). Ecologists and people living in the proximity of the forest have expressed the worry that by the year 2005 the peat swamp forests of Central Kalimantan will be irrepairably damaged (Husson and Morrogh-Bernard 2003).... To the villagers, the peat swamp forest is valuable as a place that provides work. The forest is always referred to in terms

Why i hate writing my diss

Because writing the dissertation is turning me into more and more of a stranger withdrawn from many things. It was far better when I was doing fieldwork. At least then I was a stranger among people and things, everyday I learned something new, and by the end of it I was less of a stranger. Now I am a stranger again, and it worsens everyday. Because it makes me feel like my world has shrunken to a pressure chamber the space of a desk, filled with thousands of pages of pulp piled up on top of each other. Because it causes me so much anxiety that anything else is better, even babysitting my daughter's tamagochi. Because it doesn't feel real anymore. Because it's worst than the Roman Catholic Church. I can't go anywhere or do anything without having guilty thoughts about it. Because when people ask me about it I make involuntary, incoherent noises, and I don't mean that as a metaphor for academic jargon.

Lola of Maipon

It's all too easy to fall asleep under the blanket of everyday life and to smother dreams with the mundane things I surround myself with. But once in a while, along comes a sparkling vision that jolts me out of my daily sleep and reminds me of the existence of convictions and worlds so different from my own. "Our beloved LOLA of Guinubatan, Maipon, Albay is the last true messenger of God. So, let us follow her holy teachings so that we will gain TRUE SALVATION without sufferings and without death." In another story I, the intrepid heroine, the adventurer seduced by mysteries, the pilgrim in search of truth, would follow them back to Guinubatan from Session Road, thirsting to see and hear their Lola for myself. However, it's all too easy -- much safer! -- to fall back asleep under the blanket of everyday life, and to smother dreams with the mundane things I surround myself with. Then along comes 9 a.m., and really, it's time to down the dregs of coffee at the bott

Random Diss Excerpt #3

ADVISORY: Nice stories from the field laced with a lethal dose of academic ek-ek. However, I would rate this excerpt mildly tolerable. ‘A man was out in the evening catching bats with his net, a tawang, when a group of Spaniards came by and asked him in Spanish, “What is this place?”. The man, who couldn’t speak Spanish, misunderstood the question. He held up his net and said, “This is a tawang, for catching bats.” The Spaniards said to one another, “Ah, we are in Tawangan.” That is how our place got its name.’ This is a story that is told by the Kalanguya residents of Tawangan when asked about the origins of their village. In another version, also told by several Kalanguya, it is an American who comes. He asks for the way to Buguias, and then the story continues in the same way, except that the American whips out a notebook and mispells the word, writing down Tawangan as the name of the place he has passed through.... The stories about the naming of Tawangan that I presented above a

OED threads

Dear Nash , As a highly educated Oxonian of obviously esteemable pedigree and moral upbringing, did you know that PIPIT was a word in the Oxford English Dictionary? I was surprised to find it there yesterday, when I was looking up PIPE DREAM . I wanted to know whether PIPE DREAM was the right phrase for certain ambitions I've been toying with lately. It wasn't what I was looking for, because apparently pipe dreams are 'unattainable'. However, I fervently believe that I will one day hold influence over the affairs of the world, or the gullible minds of the youth, and have my work read and loved by millions of people. No, not the dissertation. That'd put any insomniac to sleep within the first few pages. I can't divulge any of my plans just yet. Now go on, tell me what you think PIPIT means! No looking in the Bodleian's OED. (Hey does the Bodleian have one massive dictionary lying around for readers to refer to as needed? How big is it?) I left the OED

Random Diss Excerpt #2

CONTAINS ACADEMIC LANGUAGE. PROCEED AT YOUR OWN RISK . ‘The history of an environment is a history of the activities of all those organisms, human and non-human, contemporary and ancestral, that have contributed to its formation. We should liken the environment not to a container or backcloth within or against which life goes on but rather to a piece of sculpture, or a monument, except in two respects: first, it is shaped not by one hand but by many; and second, the work is never complete. No environment is ever fully created, it is always undergoing creation. It is, as it were, “work in progress”.’ (Ingold 1992: 50-51) Ingold uses the term landscape to refer to the aspect of the environment that is immediately visible to us. A landscape is a totality of actions and interactions. It is the unfolding relations of beings and the environment, in congealed form. When we look at a landscape, we see ‘… a record of – and testimony to – the lives and works of past generations who have dwel