THE early-morning 8 to 12⁰ Celsius temperature that we have been experiencing in Baguio this January brought back memories of what children in my part of Isinay land did when the weather was tungnin podda (very cold).
|Photo I took when my sister's grandchildren came from Dupax to Baguio in December 2010 and joined my nephew Dustin and niece Haina (two bigger kids on the right) in doing the aniru at the basement of our house.|
Called inudo (or panaginudo) in my other mother language Ilocano, the practice of aniru taught us kids then with valuable know-how that had to do with trees and the use of fire.
Unlike today, there were no ukay-ukay sweaters for us children in Isinay land then. Neither did we have cold-weather clothing sent home via balik-bayan boxes by relatives earning a living as OFWs in Hong Kong or in the USA.
Thus, the aniru may have played a huge part in making lesser endowed kids survive nippy weather in the 1960s.
Apart from getting warm, a side event then was the insenso we boys who went to the dawn masses during Christmas, played with during aniru time. This toy consisted of a tin can with holes on the sides and which we filled with burning charcoal sprinkled with the powdered resin of the tree we call antong (anteng in Ilocano, pagsahingin in Tagalog), and equipped with a long string to imitate the gadget the priest and his sacristan used to "smoke" each other during the mass.