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Kayngan Man Dit Oyayo
ni Matok

I am "Matok", a grandchild of Capitan Sagmayan of the famous Tawagun Clan of Bunug, a Tinggian from the Northeastern part of Abra belonging to the Mabaka-Binungan Tribe of Lacub.

Apo Ba-atan, a Shaman of the best caliber, is my great grandmother. Ba-atan wakes up in the morning and chants her prayers as she welcomes the dawn. She thanks God for the daily provisions and the good health of the family and the workers in the farm. In her chanting prayers, she would send the negative spirits away to the end of the river, where they belong. She is always blest with bumper harvests as she keeps on communing with nature.

Apo Ba-atan was a petite lady, according to the elders who had known her. She was hard working, as they had plenty of cattle, carabaos and other domestic animals and always had a bumper rice harvest. All neighboring communities used to come to Bunug to source food in times of famine.

When Apo Ba-atan became bedridden for a long period, one morning at about 9:00 o'clock, she suddenly blurted a tune, with lyrics that prompted Apo Agpili, her cousin who was watching and caring for her, to say, "o oy, matuy si Ba-atan non ta sad kan din oyayo na." ("Oh gosh, Ba-atan is going to die as prophesied in her oyayo.")

This was her Oyayo a few seconds before her last breath:

"kayngan man dit oyayo insakyat
bannanayo ut din gawis di kayo"

It means: "It's a pity the talent was picked up and flown by the songbird on top of the tree."

Apo Ba-atan died a beautiful death because she died in the morning. According to the elders in the community, an elderly person who dies in the morning is one who has an appointment with death, so that she will reach her destination before sunset to meet her Creator.

I came to know this as the story was related by my mother and other elderly. I remember it very well because the tune was also a part of my mother's prayer every morning. I chant this tune everywhere as a prayer for my dear greatgrandmother.

© Julia "Matok" Dugayen
     painting by Waway Linsahay Saway

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JULIA "MATOK"
DUGAYEN
Ay Saliddummay
O Ay Ay

Kayngan Man Dit
Oyayo


FLORENTINO
H. HORNEDO
Anu Kapipahavas Da
Nu Adipasayaw

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