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99.99% Sagada Igorot

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Paying Tribute to My Departed Ones

Three of my grandparents died before I became aware of the big world. My grandmother Dolores Baniaga- Lizardo passed away when I was 14 at the height of a typhoon.

My grandma’s death was a memorable one. She died on a Monday when a typhoon hit Sagada, and was buried on a Friday when there were no more strong winds and heavy rain.

There was no current that time so we got lamps to light the house. My cousins cannot join us during the wake because Halsema Highway was closed due to landslides.

It was an unusual death. According to beliefs, people who die during typhoons are extremely hard-working individuals.

The death of an aunt is also a memorable one. Aunt Agustina Lizardo died on the 26th of December. Thus, we were mourning while celebrating on the New Year’s Eve.

This afternoon, I paid a visit to her final resting place at Pyramid Cemetery in Buyagan. I also visited the tombs of my other loved ones at the nearby Buyagan Public Cemetery.

I first lit a candle in front of the tomb of Uncle Kabudod (Pablo Lizardo Jr.). He died two years ago of some complications, months after my aunt Esther Lizardo- Kitongan passed away.

The death of my uncle Marion Lizardo Lardizabal is another unforgettable event of my life. He was buried the day after my licensure board examination. Gratefully, I passed the board exam.

Beliefs cannot be wrong with this: people pass away carrying the misfortunes of the family and leaving luck to the living. 

During a ritual held before the death of Aunt Esther, an elder orated that “children who are taking the board exams shall pass”. The sweet "passed" tag came after sleepless nights of reviewing notes, and let’s say the “suwerte” left by these departed.

I also paid a visit to the tomb of Uncle Wilbur Lizardo who died when I was eight or nine. Beside his resting area is the tomb of Edward Lizardo who died before I was born.

Near the two is the resting place of my Grandaunt Christina Lizardo Lardizabal  and her husband Agapito. These names are just legends to me since I only learned about them when I did a research on our family tree.

I am very lucky to know these people. Some cousins do not even know about them. That’s the problem with having a huge clan. Here are other pictures that I took during the visit.

Christian is a Marketing Communications practitioner in Quezon City. He is an Igorot from Sagada, Mountain Province. To get in touch with him, please shoot an email to christianaligonow@gmail.com.


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