I’ve been thinking a lot what would be the best name to my blog site and there is only one thing that keeps popping up in my mind and that word is Kalongkong. Only few knows what Kalongkong means they are mostly Ilocanos, I find it very unique that’s why I selected it to be my blog site.
I tried searching the Internet the results points out that Kalongkong is a place in Gowa, Sulawesi Selatan, Indonesia to be exact. I dig further information about the place sad to say there is no history posted on the Internet yet. I was also hoping that it would tell something about the place and I will compare it our place.
Oh yeah, you heard it right Kalongkong is also a place in our town just like I mentioned only few knew it. Kalongkong is a deep Ilocano word for “rangtay” which in English means a bridge.
Now I know why Kalongkong is always associated with the word bridge, people from our neighboring barangays often refer us to be from Kalongkong Bridge. My grade school classmates tease me that I am from Kalongkong bridge and they started singing the famous nursery rhyme London Bridge but they changed it to Kalongkong Bridge is falling down, falling down.
That was funny because they can tease a kid like me that lives in Sitio Kalongkong but they are afraid to go there and I know exactly what are the reasons, they had the impression that our place is the little Tondo of Laoac because they see us as uneducated, mobsters, theft etc. but the truth is there is no reported killings up until now though there are reported quarrels.
Some time ago, my great grand parents uses a bamboo bridge to cross a creek or small river to reach the national road. I remember my dad telling me stories about my drunkard grandfather that will come home wet because he slipped from the bamboo bridge whenever he crosses, not to mention no electricity at that time. As time passes by, the construction of the concrete bridge was started but only one vehicle could pass at a time, well it is better than maintaining a bamboo bridge, right?
Alright, you already know what is Kalongkong. Let me now tell you another place that I can say we are proud of and I can also say one of the reasons why some people are afraid to go in our place.
This place has been part of my growing up years, I can say that this is my third home next to school and I always go there whenever I go home to visit my parents. I can say that this place is somewhat famous maybe because whether you like it or not you will be going in there anyway. Want more clue, we call this the white house or mansion, every first day of 11th month of the year people go here to paid visit to their loved ones.
At this time, I know what you’re thinking, yes, what’s on your mind indeed correct it is the final resting place of those who were dead and already joined Almighty God, this place is the cemetery or “Kampo Santo” – Ilocano dialect of cemetery. Think of it as an army camp, Kampo Santo is like camp of saints, haha. Sitio Kalongkong is just adjacent of Laoac Municipal Cemetery.
“Kampo Santo” during childhood has been my playground I call it myself the football field because it was not as populated as before and we had many audience whenever we are playing living or dead, scary right but it is not, it’s all in the mind. In fact, I never encountered any ghost because even late at night or in the middle in the night until sunrise I stayed there or I am with friends we don’t see any.
When I did terrible things and I know that my parents will beat me I spent the whole night sleeping one of the mausoleum. We play kite, volleyball, baseball, we also had a basketball court to play with.
The picture below shows my sisters and his friends spending their afternoon at the near mausoleum and the nipa hut is visible in the background. That’s how close the cemetery and the houses are.
Public Cemetery was like 40 to 50 steps away from our house. In the history of Sitio Calungcung our house is the only one built near the cemetery before illegal settlers built their houses in our land. It’s a long story but think of it like my father is to friendly and whatever reasons he had I didn’t agree with it.
Picture below is our house, that’s my father in a cowboy’s hat and at the background was my best friend’s tricycle. I used to see trees and wide grassland in our backyard (e.g. coconut, mango, star apple, ipil-ipil, santol etc.) now it was replaced by lots of houses. As of this day, I don’t have any plans of putting up a house yet because there is no more space for me haha.
It’s been 5 years that I never stayed on this house as I am working at Metro Manila and got married. I missed my Mommy Jessie, Daddy Tadeo, my siblings that still studying in college at the time I am writing this article, the food and the drinking session with my neighborhood and friends. Our favorite brand is Ginebra San Miguel we prefer “Kwatro Kantos” – a word in Ilocano dialect and water with ice as the chaser.
When I was living in Tagaytay the only available alcohol drink available is this, it was fun and we get sober. Cheers to that! I am looking forward to meet my old friends this coming Laoac Town Fiesta dated February 27, 2011 to March 6, 2011. Happy Fiesta Laoac! Haha!