IT SURELY was a different life we had then when my sisters and I were young. Back then, we spoke both in Ilocano and in Isinay -- very much unlike kids in Dupax today (be they of Ilocano or of Isinay ancestry) who no longer speak a word of the native Dupax tongue -- only Tagalog which they learned from watching too much TV, and reinforced by the educational system that gives preference to using Filipino and English for instruction. We also had insects for toys and playmates then (such as the cotton weevil or baka-baka in the photo above) -- compared to the play stations and computer games that kids now commonly have.
Bits and pieces of information I got here and there from conversations of old folks and Isinay classmates revealed that Kudus Hill was called as such because in the olden days there was a huge cross on its peak that served as end-point of the Way of the Cross prayers done around town, with the small lime-and-brick dome-shaped structures as stations.
The structures were also called kudus. We had one such in front of the Salirungan house, on the intersection of the road to Auntie Tibang’s house. We used the said kudus mound to test our prowess at jumping from up high. It was for us kids then a big thing and woe to those who could not climb on it then jump down on the grass below. Once in a while we would use the kudus structure as “save” when on fullmoon (tallivung in Isinay) nights we would play tuttut or kukulandoy (hide and seek games). One such structure stood in front of the Boada family’s house. I think I have climbed that also when the Boadas would tender a lunch gathering for the Castro, Boada, Daran clan to celebrate Uncle Ado and Aunti Tanacia’s wedding anniversary or something.
Probably built in the 1940s or earlier, very few remnants of such structures are left and I feel the urge and the duty to one of these days take photographs of them for posterity. --CHARLZ CASTRO