Friday, March 30, 2012

A Wild Fruit for Toys and for Pigs

I JUST POSTED in my Facebook account the following photo plus an accompanying note:

Fruit-laden tibig tree in Langka, Dupax del Sur, Nueva Vizcaya. (March 19, 2012 photo by charlz castro)

These are fruits of the Ficus nota tree (tibig in Tagalog, tebbeg in Ilocano). Long, long before plastic, metallic and electronic toy cars came to our part of the country, my friends in the barrio and I used the fruits as wheels for our sardine-can "trucks". We also used them as throw-away turumpo (spinning top). And when we ran out of river pebbles, we used them as "bullets" for our slingshots when we were assigned to drive away the hundreds of tamsi/ibon/billit called maya (billit-tuleng in Ilocano) that loved to raid the milky grains of our ricefields.

IT DIDN'T TAKE long before comments came cascading in. The first came from a young Isinay guy working in the Middle East, followed by those from two Isinay ladies now based in the USA. There's also one from a lady forester working with the DENR, and an enlightening feedback from a medical doctor in Dupax married to a forester. 

I'm sure some more back and forth exchanges will come in but I couldn't help sharing -- now, while they're still hot --  the excitement I got and the memories resurrected by the exchanges I had with the initial batch of reactors. 

Here, friends of Isinay Bird, look at what a single harmless picture could do:

I'm a big fan of your informative posts, uwa charlz. More please. =)

Salamat, idong. Alimbawa na ta uriam tay naila, dioy si blogsite u an pangit-ittua^ si mas anduoy on mas kumpleton sinulat u. Just Google-search Isinay Bird and click the months in the archive section to read older posts about trees, people, beliefs, etc. especially in our beloved Dupax.

There were a lot of these near the Abannatan between the lot of Carpio Magno and Nelly Castro before... Madamo pa ang lote ni Nelly noon.

Josie, sayang... Uria^ naila ren pun si lavay siren namummutoja^ tay. Amplamu siri Pitang ya nayyit naila^ -- andoj-olan omoya lad di Daya an mangeyat bebbevoy u.

Ay o attoj, to my fellow Isinays in Aritao, Bambang and Dupax -- the Isinay name for tibig is "lavay". Those of you who have heard the Isinay "Anino^" songs would probably recall that one version carries the lines: "Amung lan savung si lavay... anay... susun bi-alar an navayvay! Mavves lan bebbevoy si lajay... kada lavi an naolay!"

Hahaha! Nice lyrics! Naughty, yet funny and very isinay.

Charlz, maserot an mantanom anut deen atna an ayu toy mangamung anu net danum? Santuwo isi-a toy forester a ya siguradon amtam de... Uria amta mu joy tay si panalayapon besan. Saren ayu ya domonan ilamoj si bu-e ri tuvu na. On biyu-u^, bunga nar te ya^ panlojos si dalah. Pumuraw poda sanggup nar. Naramita^ lojom darate den navilay tay si Epic toy amoy daya an mangeya.

Salamat, Sally, toy inpanomnom mu isaon daranen panalayapon on biyu-u^. Otoy ta man-uluwa^ mot si adyomar an dalah an pumuraw podda sanggup nar! It would be nice to find out, indeed, if these vanishing edible wild plants could be propagated.... The panalayapon is a tree called panalayapen in Ilocano and malarayap in Tagalog. I'm not sure if the biyu-u^ is the same as the du-u that Ilocanos call ariwat and is a vine (waaj). Aboleyam ta mu omoya^ Dupaj si satye umaliyar an pista (Abril 21-22) ya anapo^ darane. If Wa Epic got them from daya, I'm sure my relatives in Palobotan would still know where to source them.

Ay o attoh, Sally... about the tibig as water collector, I'm not sure about that. What I know is that this tree loves to grow near streams or in areas where there are springs (tayo^to^). This is probably why -- a tip for plane crash survivors or jungle-survival enthusiasts! -- they say that the presence of a tibig is an indicator of the presence of tubig (water) in the vicinity.

Kala ko sa amin lang, brod, sa inyo rin pala... Gone were the days of ingenuity. Sayang, di na naexperience ng mga bata ngayon. 

Sis Roni, tulad ninyong lumaki sa rural towns of Quezon, panay organic din ang laruan namin noong kami ang batang-paslit. Correct, those were the days of ingenuity. Ibig sabihin, noong wala pa ang mga PSP, maski patpat ng kawayan, buto ng sampalok, dahon ng niyog, o palapa ng saging -- happy na tayo noon.

Apion mi iman dalij si latan trak-trakan. Mangeya amit aytun si niyuj, saru walis tingting, sari di appion min connection na.

Adday, Josie, I didn't know that you were some sort of a car engineer when you were a kid! Da^mi ilad di poto^ miyar an as-asup Pitang ya logging truck anumalla ri appion miyar ira Oret Calacala. When we were a bit older, we made bigger trucks ot darare mot si pangisahayan mit upa^ si troso on slab on kusut an omoy min eyan siri sawmillar si sahungon di sementeryowa. (Those of you from Dupax who are now in their late 50s would probably remember that sawmill as well as the noisy logging trucks that used to pass by the Dampol bridge.)

Charlz do you know na these fruits are very nutritious? These are food to native pigs or organically grown pigs!!! We did try it and the meat is far better than chemical feed-fed pigs... Healthy living... healthy diet... and stay young and healthy!!!

Nutritious? Coming from a doctor, that's a great revelation, Manang Jean! All the while, I was thinking na sayang ang maraming bunga ng tibig kasi as far as I know hindi siya kinakain. I might as well try to experiment tasting it myself very soon -- for the sake of science. Who knows, aside from serving as freely available feed for raising organic pigs (maybe even cows!), the tibig may also be made into candies or fruit jams.

Try it! What I mean is, for animals especially pigs, so that we eat the real native pigs not the hormone-fed ones nowadays!!!  For human consumption! We had a project then but nawala when we got so busy, anyway would like to go into it again! Healthy diet... health and wellness!!!

Good! Sige, try for the sake of science! And better business... less expense for feed, quality food for every one... especially for Dupax people.

Real native versus hormone-fed pigs... I just remembered that to augment my teacher-father's income, my mother and I raised black pigs when I was little. Yes, they were certainly organic because, aside from rice bran (duhi in Isinay, tuyo in Ilocano, darak in Tagalog), we fed them with binugbog (boiled pig food) that included green native papayas, gabi stalks, kangkong, kamote leaves, ngalug, kwantung (spiny amaranth the young seedlings of which we call kalunay in Ilocano and suwit in Isinay), ngalug, and tigi (imbayang in Isinay, pongapong in Tagalog). For their snacks, I used to gather fallen guavas, starapples and mangoes for them.

NOTE: To Isinay Bird friends who wish to have translation for some of the Isinay texts in this post that you could not understand by context, please feel free to type in your questions on the COMMENT section below. Alternatively, you can also please e-mail me at:


  1. Great post, you have pointed out some superb details, I will tell my friends that this is a very informative blog thanks.
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    1. Many thanks for dropping by, Ranjan. And thank you, too, for advertising this corner to your friends. Namaste!