The Igorot Faith with Pinikpikan and Tapey

July 22, 2011

Staying in multi-cultural melting pot Dubai, I've learned more to respect the beliefs of others and keep mine tacked. The point at how we live our faith religiously is what matters, and what others probably care is that we can live harmoniously amidst our different beliefs.

In the olden times, the offering is burned over wood.

Going home in Baguio two weeks back on a vacation, I switched gears to adapt to certain practices attached to my Igorot "ethnic" beliefs. I'm not well rounded on these beliefs but the basic is listen and do what elders say.

An example is when one morning, the rice cooked the previous day got spoiled sort of starting fermentation. This amazed me too since it never happened to leftover rice the previous days. So my mom supposed I have an unseen visitor just too glad I'm home. She surmised it's my Lola Kullulan, my paternal grandmother whom I've been staying with every vacation when I was younger. In answer, I went to visit her grave the same day. I'll tell you that while I've grown in an urban setting with Christian upbringing, there's just un-explainable instances that I leave it to my Igorot beliefs to explain and deal with. But ironically, you'll get me hard to follow non-Igorot/ non-Christian beliefs.

The Igorot faith is strongly grounded on the belief in the after life. Setting aside any Christian beliefs we have, our prayer sessions are always a call to Kabunian (the one omnipotent God that Igorots call to), followed by a call to each of our ancestors already in the after-life. The petitions are usually to ask guidance for good health, for against harm, for guidance so that we achieve a purpose, among others.

Prayer rituals usually start with slowly beating the live chicken's inner wings, de-feathering, burning it over fire, washing and boiling it. (Pigs are used for bigger thanksgiving or greater petitions.) The meat is taken out separated from the soup, then placed on the floor along with tapey (rice wine). It's believed that the wafting smell of the burning feather/ pig skin and the tapey is identified by the spirits that calls them over. Everyone sits quietly on the floor except for someone who stay guard on the door/s to keep dogs away. The elder in the house recites the prayer/s, which finishes in about five minutes.

On the day of our flight back to Dubai, my Papa initiated below preparation and prayed for our safe trip back and everyone's good health:

The plainly boiled offering

The offerings. Tapey (rice wine) replaced with a European wine.

Among us Igorots are further geographical divisions with further (not significant) differences in practices.

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  1. we Filipinos, we eat all the parts of a chicken. Thanks for sharing this. I'm glad you were able to go home. I'm thinking of going too maybe next year. Ako rin, di masyadong nakakavisit sa mga blogs ang daming nagpapasulat sakin ngayon which is a good thing.


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