(a SECOND PART of a series March 3, 2002)

Pagkaon or food is unquestionably, a very significant part of a man.  It is a source of his or her existence. But for a Dipolognon, it is more than a special part of his existence and the source of nutrition.

Being a sociable and gregarious people, Dipolognons find food or the occasions to take part food a chance to be with friends with new faces or renew friendships.

When friends met after a long time of not seeing each other.  Food is their medium to tie what bounded in the first place by saying, “Let’s go have a bite!” .

Lets have a party

A Dipolognon diet is carbo-loaded to a fault. Rice - is Dipolognons’ main dish only supplemented with a small amount of fish or meat. It is said, “A Filipino will only feel full if he is satisfied in his rice intake than any gargantuan amount of viand”.  “Dong, dili gyud ko mabusog kung walay kan-on”, is often heard from a Dipolognon.

If a Dipolognon five meals a day, which is his typical daily eating regimen: rice in breakfast, lunch with rice, and dinner with rice, plus his merienda (or snack) in the mid-morning and mid-afternoon with dukot (burned left over) or bahaw (left-over rice).  It is no wonder because Philippines is an agricultural country and undoubtedly rice is his main staple.

It is no question, a Dipolognon loves rice more than an Italian loves pasta dish or American loves potatoes.  He simply cannot survive a lifetime without it.

Dipolognon lass who is eating her lunch or eating her snack do not find it offensive even if customers would be able to see her eating.  She is often not keen on interrupting her meal to attend a customer.  For forcing her to would make her grumble under teeth, that a customer is rude for interrupting her meal.

A Dipolognon put emphasis on regular meal times.  A Dipolognon would move heaven on earth so as not to delay his regular mealtime.

A foreign book on Filipino culture has observed:  “An American employer and his driver are very late in heading home to lunch.  The employer has likely eaten less all day than his driver.  Yet the driver shows something akin to panic at being delayed at mealtime, so much so that his driving ability may be impaired”.

It might be an exaggerated narration but it has some bearing on truth.

Dipolognon love for food establishments is as fickle as weather in London.

A restaurant or carenderia (a local small restaurant) may be flocking for next few months but it losses its allure as soon as another restaurant opens.  But one thing for sure --- he loves to eat.  


Understanding a DIPOLOGNON  

(First of a Series 8-10-01)  
VISITING DIPOLOG (Second Series 11-18-01)
(read also related article
How its easy to live in Dipolog)

To an outsider, living in Dipolog City, the capital city of the Zamboanga del Norte is like being in a game one had never played before and of which the rules keep on changing as it resembles in every turn.  It seems after every phase of the game; a new set of rule is being introduced.  The author, wishes to provide the reader an understanding coupled with wisdom not only how to understand the game but how to appreciate the game and play the game with joy of knowing the heart, the soul and the spirit, of a Dipolognon.

Getting to know a Dipolognon is easy.  Most Dipolognons speak the language of the 21st Century, the English language. They are people who are easy to get along with, and more than eager to befriend you.

Now let us get behind the smiling face, let us get to know and understand a Dipolognon: his traits, his uniqueness, his idiosyncrasies, his psychological make-up and his cultural and social values.

Who is the Dipolognon?

Residents and natives of Dipolog City are considered Dipolognons as well as to those people who made the City their home and decide in their heart to make the city the home of their choice for numerous reasons. What makes a Dipolognon unique from the rest of the Filipino? Do we need to conduct a research study on this to vouch whatever claim or conclusion we will have?  Or we can ask people living the city to get information, gain an insight for better understanding and appreciation of the City and the people as a whole making things more comfortable and enjoyable not only to the residents themselves but the visitors, both local and foreign. 

Majority of the Dipolognons traced their ancestry from the Cebuanos, Subanen, and Kalibugan tribes.  But later migrants from the other cities and places of the different cities of the Philippine Archipelago who flocked to the famously known as the Orchids City.   But nowadays, a Dipolognon face is a happy blend of several places basically Malay with Chinese, Spanish, Indian, American admixtures.

Since the Spaniards colonized the country for 333 years and another several years by the Americans, the typical Dipolognon has heterogeneously developed its own unique blend of beauty and culture that is distinguishably its own.

The Foreigner and the Dipolognon

Though there are innumerable differences between a non-native and a Filipino, the best thing for the foreigner can do is to simply adjust to the attitudes and understanding the culture and values of the locals. No matter how superior he may feel towards his culture he must not look down on the culture of the natives of the Orchid City for they are very sensitive, as one can obviously see. Respect is what he expects from the visitor. He has to study without pre-judgments on his part the inner logic and coherence of the Dipolognon culture not only to appreciate it but to comprehend it as well. A Dipolognon needs not only sympathy but also empathy, interest form his uniqueness not judgment and acceptance of his culture no matter how absurd or uncivilized the Westerner might feel. He must learn to understand and eager to learn the ABC’s of a natives’ culture.

  Dipolognon Beliefs and Superstitions

The following are some superstitious beliefs that a typical Dipolognon believes in:

·         If a person bites his tongue, it means somebody is thinking of him.

·         A girl with white spots on her fingernails is currently in love.

·         It is bad to sweep the floor at six o’clock in the evening for it means driving away good fortune and graces.

·         It is bad to sweep the floor when there are people playing cards or gambling because luck is being kept away.

·         One should not open an umbrella while inside the house; a centipede is likely to fall from the ceiling and he will be bitten by it.

·         If a pregnant woman sews her dress while wearing it, her baby will be born without a hole in the rectum.

·         If a pregnant woman sits on the stairs, she will have a difficult time in delivering her baby.

·         If a pregnant woman wears a necklace or a choker, the umbilical cord will also be wound around its neck endangering its life.

·         If the direction of the wooden slats of a floor is not parallel to the stairs, good fortune will not come to the dwellers of the house.

·         If sweethearts give each other gifts like shoes or slippers, their relationship will not last long.

·         If a boy gives his sweetheart a necklace as a gift and the necklace is broken, it means they are not meant for each other.

·         If the coffin of a dead person bumps against something during the funeral, someone will soon die.

·         If the coffin of a dead person is too big for his size, someone will soon die.

·         In bringing the coffin down the house, the head should be the first so that the dead will have an easy journey to his destiny.

·         The dead in coffin should face the rising sun upon interment so that his soul will not suffer very much.

·         If two sisters or two brothers get married within the same year, one will have a prosperous married life, the other, a sorrowful life.

·         If a couple receives a crucifix as a wedding gift they will have luck, prosperity and riches.

·         I a church weeding ceremony the first of t5he couple to reach the altar and go out of the church will be the dominant one.

·         If the veil sponsor in the wedding ceremony is still single, she is doomed to be an old maid.

·         If the pregnant woman looks beautiful and kind, she will have a baby girl first; if she looks ugly and cruel, she will have a baby boy.

·         A pregnant woman who gives birth to a baby boy will have a painful delivery; one who has a girl will have an easy delivery.

·         If one combs his hair at night, his parents will die.

·         If one puts his used plates over those of others while some are still eating, the last one to leave the table will have many problems.

·         If one gives a wallet or bag as a gift, he must put some money in it or else such wallet or bag will bring bad luck.

·         Counting money on the midnight of December 24 up to January 1 of the new year will bring a person endless wealth during the whole year.

·         One must pay all his debts before January 1st of the New Year or else he will always be in debt the whole year.

·         Rice bags and salt containers in the home must always be full to maintain a bountiful life.

·         On Good Fridays one must not do hard work, take a bath eat meat or make any noise because “GOD is dead.”

·         On Eastern Sunday, all children must jump high upon hearing the sound of the church Easter bells so that they will grow taller.

·         There must be a feast or banquet on Easter Sunday to celebrate the new life of Jesus Christ.

·         When a person receives as a gift a statue of Buddha with children around Him, the receiver will be lucky with his children.

·         When a person receives as a gift a statue of Buddha without children him, the receiver’s business will fail.

·         If one receives a jade stone or his own birthstone as a gift, he will be lucky.

·         If one receives a diamond as a gift, he will be lucky in business.

·         Putting statue of Sto. Nino (The Holy Child) in one’s store or business place brings good luck.

·         One must make a sign of the cross before he leaves his house or before taking a long journey so that h will arrive safely at his destination.

·         If one breaks a mirror, he will have seven years of bad luck.

·         Upon transferring to a new house, the occupants must bring rice and salt first so that they will have a prosperous life that house.

·         If a  relative dies, the children related to the dead must be lifted across the

·         Coffin before it is put into the grave so that the soul of the dead will not visit them.

·         During interment of the dead, the children should wear red clothes so that the soul of the dead will not bother them.

·         The people in the first house to which a newly baptized child is brought should voluntarily give some money so that a good and prosperous life will come to the child.

·         Eating peanuts makes a person intelligent.

·         If parents want their child to be a good orator or speaker when he grows, they must feed him with the cooked female organ of a pig.

·         If the umbilical cord of a baby is the staircase of the house, its grasp will be strong.

·         If red ants are abundant in a certain part of a house, good fortune will come to the occupants of the house.

·         If one left palm is itchy, money is coming to him; if his right palm is itchy, money will be spent by him.

·         If black butterfly enters the house, someone in the family will die.

·         If the baby is born with a mole on his forehead, he will grow up an intelligent man.

·         If a baby is born with a mole on his shoulder, he will have a lot of hardships and sorrow in life.

·         If a baby is born with a mole on his foot, he will travel a lot.

·         If a baby is born with a mole near his eye, he will be easily widowed, and for several times.

·         When the temporary tooth of a child is extracted, that tooth should be thrown out with a request that the rats should give him another new and fine tooth.

·         Broken mirrors or glasses in the house should be removed; otherwise, good luck will not come to that house.

·         A man with natural curly hair is temperamental and moody.

·         A man with a hairline that is elongated at the back is stingy.

·         A child with two cowlicks on his head is a hardheaded but lucky child.

·         A younger child in the family should not get married ahead of the older one because misfortune will befall him; the older one may not get married anymore.

·         To ensure a bright future for the child, the mother places coins; papers, pencils or diamond rings in the basin used for his first bath.

·         Eczematous children are dressed in black clothes to make the course of the disease shorter.

·         A house in which a member of the family dies is burned or abandoned to prevent illness and death of the other members of the family.

·         The premature delivery of a baby is an evidence of ‘sin’.  

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Dipolognons living out their normal and happy lives.