Monday, April 30, 2012

Ansisilud, Kiaw, Kebkeb, Tariktik and Other Now-Rare Fauna of Dupax

A COUPLE OF weeks ago, while waiting for a tricycle in the waiting shed at the welcome point of Palobotan, Dupax del Sur, I saw an insect that I have not seen for more than five decades now. Here's one of the photos I shot of that creature:
Hornet shot in Palobotan, Dupax del Sur, on April 22, 2012
I have to Google-check this or ask help from an entomologist, but I guess this insect is either a hornet or a wasp, if  those two insects are different. 

Its almost two-inch length and reddish brown color nevertheless remind me of the rather large wasps/hornets that used to be common in the sandy-loam grounds of I-iyo/Palobotan when I was still, oh well, an insect of a kid in that Ilocano village upstream of central Dupax.

Ilocano-speakers call this particular stinger ansisilud then. I have yet to ask its Isinay name.

The ansisilud is different from the akut-akut (mud-dauber) that is colored black and imprisoned butterfly larvae in mud catacombs on corners of walls. The ansisilud was reddish brown and made holes on the ground and we feared them so much that when we see a hole nearby with the insect going in and out, we moved to other areas in the neighborhood or played other games.

Anyway, thanks to this chance encounter with a long-unseen creature of my boyhood, a stream of other now rare -- if not extinct -- creatures in my part of Planet Earth, oozed in a bitter-sweet manner in my memory. In no particular order except for their being categorized into fish, mammal, bird, and reptile, let me string (ubunen in Ilocano, tutu-on in Isinay) them down like newly caught mudfish for this blogpost.


Ar-aro is a small carp that used to be common in the rivers and ricefields of Dupax. Now no more.

This refers to the native catfish called pattat in Isinay, paltat in Ilocano, hito in Tagalog.

Earlier, there was talk of burasi and ikan. This ikan I only saw as dried fish bartered along with pindang (dried meat of ugsa or alingo) by the Ilongots that used to come downhill. For payment, members of this IP (historically known for their head-hunting practice and we Isinays used to call Ivilao, meaning “crazy”, but now officially called Bugkalot) accept salt, rice, and iron bars we presume would later be blacksmithed into sharp spears or bolos the better to cut Christian heads off when the bagbag (Erythrina) trees bring forth their blood-red flowers.

Ayungin in Isinay, Ilocano and Tagalog. A white and silvery fish that swims and feeds along with tilapia.

Dalit in Isinay, igat in Ilocano, palos in Tagalog.


Eyaw in Isinay, kalaw in Ilocano and Tagalog. 
The mountain clockbird. A hunter from outside Dupax dropped by Apong’s house once with his bloody catch – huge red bill, wings somewhat bigger than a roosters.

Tariktik in  Isinay, Ilocano, and Tagalog. Very noisy bird but our slingshots could not reach their kallautit tree perches.

Philippine Ostrich
Kebkeb in Ilocano. This must be the Philippine ostrich, said to be extinct. A large grayish bird that always went in pairs, making “keb-keb” sounds with their necks above the ricefields when fishing. Uncle Carting Manmanaas caught a pair in Mammayang once, using a tabukol. He didn’t even bother to call me to have a taste of the birds.

Koyaw in Isinay, kiaw in Ilocano, kilyawan in Tagalog. Aside from their distinct yellow plumage which no other bird had, you won’t mistake these birds fro the sound they made in the mango trees.

Labban in Isinay, kali in Ilocano, lawin in Tagalog.

Uwop in Isinay, puek in Ilocano, kuwago in Tagalog.

Wild Pigeon
Manaleban in Isinay, alimuken in Ilocano.

Wild Chicken
Kalatan in Isinay, abuyo in Ilocano, labuyo in Tagalog. 

Plep-plew in Isinay, pirpiriw in Ilocano.This is a beautiful bird that came around where ever there are honeybees.


The mammals in the forests of Dupax were partly responsible for the town's name.

Laman in Isinay, ugsa in Ilocano, usa in Tagalog.

Civet Cat
Amunin in Isinay, motit in Ilocano, musang in Tagalog. Sometimes referred to as wild cat. 

Wild Boar
Bavuy si eyas in Isinay, alingo in Ilocano, baboy-damo in Tagalog. – Apong once talked of a variety with white-sided face. He called it bangor.

Araw in Isinay, sunggo in Ilocano, unggoy in Tagalog. Sometimes alternatively called buengon in Isinay, bakes in Ilocano, matsing in Tagalog. – I heard local tough guys use the word buengon to refer to a not-so-popular instructor at St. Mary's and almost immediately we could guess that his side profile indeed was somewhat resembled that of a Cromagnon photo. These were aplenty in the days when Apong and company were still active kaingineros. In Mammayang, I used to delight seeing them walk in line among the runo and karabasa patches. I wrote somewhere that one pet even shredded my straw-hat once.


Banbanyahaw in Isinay, bambannagaw in Ilocano, hunyango in Tagalog.

Ine^eyaddang in Isinay, beklat in Ilocano, sawa in Tagalog.

"Iraw an dioy si siina" in Isinay, alibut in Ilocano, bangkalang in Tagalog.

No, we don't have crocodiles in Dupax. Even as Dupax had been unexplored jungle country for many decades before the inroads of commercial logging, and even as Nueva Vizcaya may not be very far from San Mariano, Isabela, where remnants of the native crocodile (Crocodillus mindorensis) have been found and are now being protected, there have been no mention at all of the dreaded species in the earlier accounts written by Isinays or about Isinay land.

There are certainly a lot of stories that other Irupajs can contribute as regards any or all these formerly common fauna in Dupax. I'll try to invite them in my Facebook account -- to fish out their individual memoirs, en route to a collection of sorts.

Meantime, the next time I'll go to Los Baños, I’m going to visit the UPLB Natural Museum again, this time to get the scientific names of these wild creatures and further sharpen my mental images of them.

No comments:

Post a Comment