Ang Tagbanwa


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A Tribute: One Man Cut Above The Rest

Posted by tagbanwa on January 21, 2009 at 1:27 AM Comments comments (44)

         He looked especially ordinary on his camiso de chino and slacks. His hair, combed neatly like a ‘70s hippie, was white with streaks of grey. Sitting cross-legged on his favorite chair, he looked like a transcendental mogul deciding on the fate of the world. He was a refined, well-mannered man who started his career as a teacher during the American invasion of the country. A gadabout, he frequented a lot of places during his hunting expeditions. With his salary, he started buying cattles and put up his ranch when everyone else was gnawing in hunger. He was short of stature, but he was a sharp and astute leader. He was brilliant, decisive and outgoing. A womanizer during his early days, he earned a reputation for himself. Love and the glory of youth- he lived that with such passion. I remembered him to be a man who would bathe three to 4 times in a day- Whew! spiffy guy. A lot of people would visit his house asking for advice, for money, for food and for his attendance. He was a man of few words, a man who plans things carefully and works through it with temerity. It was told that he feared nothing, stood by his principles and a strong advocate of the Tagbanwa culture. Under his rule, the Tagbanwa tribe had their identity. He stood by the Tagbanwa through thick and thin. Sacrificing so much for the tribe, he wished, while dying on his bed, for his sons to take care of the tribe. Nothing was as important as seeing his tribe survive the centuries to come. I grew up in his castle, ate on his lavish parties and saw how vast his kingdom was. The irony of that is I barely know him. Yet, if he still walks this earth today, I am sure that he will hold the Tagbanwa culture and traditions, the “adat”, more dearly and strongly in his heart.
      Masicampo Ignacio “Am Pun” Joya, that is his name. He was one of the great Masicampos who ever lived and ruled the Tagbanwa tribe of Palawan. It is an honor for me to have a grandfather like him. Nothing fills me more with pride. I am proud of being a Tagbanwa.