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chilling out

Rachel's Igorot Naming November 18, 2006 Saturday

Rachel's Igorot Naming

I was at Log Cabin enjoying my dinner when Sig and Rachel showed up inviting us to attend her on-going Igorot naming. Rachel has been active with her community service. The usual suspects were there - Steve, Sig, Chi-Chi, Rachel and myself. It's my first venture to an Igorot naming ritual. I was curious.

Bugan is Rachel's given Igorot name. Igorot legend has it that there was a big flood that left only 2 people - Bugan, a princess stranded on Mt. Kalawitan, and Adon, who was marooned on Mt. Data. Seeing Bugan's fire, Adon paddled his way to Mt. Kalawitan. The meeting of the 2 started the Igorot nation.

Why Do You Get Named?
The first time I got wind of such a tradition was when I met the French chef, Philippe (aka - Aklay) 2 years ago. I assumed that if you endear yourself to the people of Sagada, they eventually accept you by being given an Igorot name. Later on, Aklay simply said he was staying long enough so the locals decided to give him a local name. It's not necessarily because of one monumental deed.

The Ritual
Traditionally, at the cornerstone of the feast, Pinikpikan Chicken is prepared - the chicken is patted with a stick until it dies. Its feathers are then burned off before it's cut-up for soup. Etag, Sagada's smoked/salted ham, is added. A prayer is said before the eating takes place.

It's not a village-wide celebration - only close friends and relatives. It's a small intimate party - guys drink and play darts, and social conversation takes place in a friendly and relaxed atmosphere.

Naming doesn't extend any special privilege (i.e. - it doesn't mean you can now buy land), but it's a wall breaker, kinda being told you're not a stranger anymore (although you're still an outsider). If your intention is to be absorbed into the community as one of their own, it's certainly a very positive first step.

--- TheLoneRider

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