(Response to Ms. Roa's Past Speaks column, published on Tuesday)

Here's my shot. I would not call ourselves Bukidnons, which would mean we came from the province of Bukidnon. Did we not come from a tribe called Higaonon? Were they not inhabitants of Misamis Oriental and Bukidnon? Who were the "gali's"? Were they not referred to as people from the mountain, uneducated and ignorant? Did the term "Bukidnon" come much later when the province was created?

My father always assumed that his grandfather, Gaane, came from Maranao bloodline although he was told that the Gaane was originally from Indonesia. There is a town in Indonesia called "Gaane". His grandfather was married to a Neri named Julia Neri that we cannot trace. From his maternal side, the parents originally came from Cebu named De Los Reyes but since they were wanted by the guardia civil, they fled to Mindanao particularly in Talisayan and changed the name to Caharian.

For updates from around the country, follow Sun.Star on Twitter

On the maternal side of my mother, Valdehuesa, they came from Tagoloan.

My nephew and a group have been collecting Kagay-anon and spanish words which according to them have many similarities. He argues that we can easily learn Spanish because many of our words are already Spanish. My mother who can understand Higaonon (she grew up in Sante Fe, Bukdinon), says that there is hardly any Higaonon word in our dialect.

When we held the "Mindanao Experience" last October showcasing Mindanao's cuisine, culture and products, one of the food we served was "lupot " as suggested by my mother. During the Bukidnon Association picnic last summer, I asked the crowd if they knew what "lupot" is. Only one elderly lady knew. It is nothing but cooked rice wrapped in banana leaves. When the rice is still hot, we wrap it in banana leaves that give the rice an aromatic flavor. Yes, that's what we served among others.

According to my mother, the “lupot” was used during ceremonial services but I know that farmers and hunters do this for their baon. By the way, Indonesia teaches in school how to make “tipuso.” You can Google it.

Going back to our identity, I think we were Higaonon first then mingled with Maranaos and later the Visayans, then Spanish and Chinese. All these make us Kagay-anons but the dominant culture is Visayan whose dialect prevailed to this day. Roy Gaane
(Email: rggaane@earthlink.net)