From the same tree comes the “solibao” and the “duyo” or “chuyo“. Both have been made by hands that come from one family tree. Mr. Cortes Ebas and his father Lolo Ostino Ebas have unique bonding moments. Normally, the bonding between a father and son is seen when the son is at an early age but the story of the two tells that age isn’t a hindrance for quality bonding between a father and a son.
Mr. Cortes is a T.L.E. teacher at Kamora National High School while Lolo Ostino is a CAFGU (Citizen Armed Forces Geographical Unit) retiree. Both are living in Diboong, Gusaran, Kabayan. They transform a tree into two worthy things that contribute to the culture of the Igorots namely the solibao and the duyo.
When the solibao is struck, it resounds a story of the calloused hands, the sweat, and love of work put into it. When the duyo is used by a family, the curves, the depth of the bowl, and the dish in it tells the dedication of the man that made it. While they are transforming a tree into their liking, they are creating an avenue for trading the culture of Igorots.
It so happened that Lolo Ostino and Mr. Cortes are adept in the culture of the Kalanguya people so both of them attend seminars on Indigenous Peoples Education (IPED) conducted by DepEd. According to them, their relationship as a father and son is effective in sharing their expertise because they complement each other if one needs to answer questions from interested listeners.
Aside from participating from the said seminar, the two are also active when it comes to cultural dances. Both of them are frequently seen playing musical instruments. The sound of the instruments symbolizes the “chemistry” of the father and son taking part in the dance.
The relationship of Lolo Ostino and Mr. Cortes is also evident at home. When eating, they usually are the last two to finish. One time, while the two were enjoying a sinigang na tilapia served in duyo, Lolo Ostino said, “kamadngal e amih ni hida” (one can hear the tasty food). It is an irony that this statement should come from someone who cannot hear well. His statement suggests that the dish was good. He probably heard the sound of his son’s eating especially when he sips the soup.
When disciplining their young family members they do it trough relating their personal and vicarious experiences. To the young, their stories would mean a lot as they grow. The stories will grow in their hearts as the branches that grow from trees that they have turned into useful things. One day, their stories will branch out and result into thoughts and deeds.
Without the solibao, gongs cannot be struck and the music cannot go on. Without the duyo in the table, there will be no chili, no spice for good. The two might go unnoticed someday but they have contributed in the life of a community. It is through their creations that a culture could grow.
It is through their presence that a family could be. In their midst is a tree that draws their family closer to each other. In their hearts is a culture that strengthens their bond and tightens their relationship with their family and even the educational community.
By: Mavis P. Ebas
Source: The Adivay Newsletter Vol.6 No. 2, August-December 2016