By Regie Wacas
Joining an IEC (Information Education Campaign) caravan of the local government unit of Balbalan with Mayor Sonny Mangaoang, brought me to Barangay Ab-abaan, a landlocked Barangay just adjacent to the
From earlier accounts of the LGU employees who have been into the early itineraries of this activity it’s quite physically tormenting going up to the barangays but the ordeals usually are mended with the festive atmosphere that is being brought by the conduct of the civil mass weddings. Even I have more interest on the mass wedding after I was informed a priest will also be there to validate for the church. Balbalan people by history are always in high spirits in social celebrations and in the Ab-abaan mass wedding, it was indeed a typical show on how they really put their heart into such occasions. But in my observation, it might even be gauged as more than the usual considering the attendance of nursing mothers who have stayed with us till morning the following day and maybe trying to deduce the meaning of their beloved barangay’s name with their babies lugged on their backs.
It was getting dark when we arrived at Ab-abaan but our worn out energies were recharged with the warm reception we received from the villagers. We came upon a mass about to be started by Father JB Mubeke, A missionary from
While on the sidelines watching the celebration going on and snapping a few shots from my camera, I ask Fr. JB if he could recall one occasion in his priestly life having been a party to weddings solemnized simultaneously in the civil and church rites. His answer was none. I raise the same curiosity with the mayor and still the answer was in the negative. Even my memory can’t recall of the same occasion to have happened at least in Kalinga. The rarity of Ab-abaan mass weddings being done in civil and church ceremonies put historical ingredient on its occurrence and that’s now were the point of interest lies in writing about it despite the many other issues that could be tackled on this column.
Much has been said about “only in Kalinga” stories”. The potteries of Dalupa, the loom weaving of Lubuagan, sleeping beauty of Tinglayan, the pinikpikan festival of Rizal. Now, like its neighbor barangay of Poswoy made known for its sweet “Poswoy Olen” Barangay Ab-abaan will now put in the map and be added to the long list as host to that historic mass wedding. And what about another rare show of sportsmanship during the last Barangay Elections where the losers carried on their backs the victors of that election and made a round of the school plaza. If that’s not historic then it’s still a proud of the “InabAba-abaan”.