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My beloved Onjon; my beloved Ibaloys.

December 3 marks my one year stay here at Baguio, and now more than ever, I feel at home.

 |  2 min read

An artwork featuring the Avong, Photo from the Facebook page of Onjon ni Ivadoy Association, Incorporated

Growing up, I never had a lot of conversations with other people. It's because I don't have lots of friends and I never liked going outside unless I'm doing fieldwork or I'm in a library or in a museum. If I'm not at school or in a seminar, I'm usually at home writing, reading, or listening to music and this kind of setup works just fine for me. But recently, more or less two months now, I noticed that I'm out three to four times a week, I am around a lot of people, and I even converse about things that I do not even tell my closest friends. Before COVID19, there are very few reasons why I do 'OT' at work, it is only when I'm required to attend events or asked to look after students. I've been contemplating for a week now the possible reasons why I started longing to be outside, to be around other people. It was only this afternoon when I was put in a difficult situation relating to my research and advocacy that I realized that it is not being out it's being at the Avong, that it is not being around other people it's being around the Ibaloys.

Talking and being around other people is never been this easy for me. But whenever I'm at the avong it is as if I live there; I'm making my own coffee, serving my own food, eating whatever is on the 'coffee table', cracking jokes, stating my opinions, asking complicated or personal questions, etc. But what makes my heart skip a beat every time is whenever they'll use 'tayo' instead of 'kami'; whenever I update them on my research and they would say 'buti nandito ka'; whenever they'll ask me of my whereabouts or why I didn't come the other day. These are just some of the many things that made me realize that they are my bias; they are my people.

I used to think that I'm a wallflower, but being with the Onjon ni Ivadoy, being with the Ibaloys, made me realize that I'm not really an introvert or even a shy person I'm just with the wrong company.

My heart is so full.

Im not an Igorot but I do love their culture and history, makes me proud to be a Filipino.

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