An Ivatan Winterfest
From "The Uyugan Times"
(Vol 101. Number 103, Sept. 30, 1993), Toronto, Canada
North York , Ontario- Help! They are freezin'!
It's good old-fashioned Canadian winterstorm!
At minus 20 Celsius with blowing and drifting snow and windchill factor
of minus 35 Celsius (at minus 40 Celsius exposed skin freezes in minutes),
ain't no way to celebrate an Ivatan X'mas, but celebrate they did, these
undeterrable Ivatans of Trawna (Toronto).
The windstorm was what the Ivatans call "near-Batanes" weather conditions.
The annual winter gathering of the Ivatans went on as scheduled at the
residence of Mr. and Mrs. Johnny Agsulid in Missisauga, Ontario.
It was an eventful night, and all the more by the dramatic entry of an
Ivatan with a blonde in tow.
From across the hall the Ivatan noticed some peculiar moves and footwork
as the pair entered the hallway, but certainly it 's not the "Kayuganan
shuffle," although it looks as interesting.
Quite a few non-dancers, they don't know much about the dance craze of
recent years, but more knowledgeable said it's "Lambada."
At that one moment in time, they knew they are into something fascinating.
Give them one moment in time when they're more than they thought they
Certainly, those "torrid" moves could warm even the coldest of a Canadian
winter, but perhaps too much for people born and bred in the foothills.
Yet these same moves are the ultimate in art form. Oh yes, there's life
beyond the (my) "boondocks" hideaway.
The blonde offered some dance lessons, but no takers. Real, serious dancing
continued, until the blonde with her Ivatan in tow made a dramatic exit
that was a spectacular as the entry. As the two left, some Ivatans were
heard saying: Jesus Christ ! Susmariayjosep! (Jesus, Mary and Jose!).
The attendance was 33.33% of full strength, but it was declared a great
success by chief organizer Agsulid, considering the less than ideal weather
How about those 66.66%? Well, 33.33% stayed home, while the rest ended
up in the snowbanks awaiting search and rescue. An Ivatan arrived almost
frozen--but not his bottle of whisky.
Here we go once again, but did we say Mississauga, Ontario? Surely, and
as the name of the place suggests it was once Indian territory, but it's
The story of how the Mississauga Indians lost their land was a sad one.
The chief who have had too much of that all too familiar stuff to Ivatans,
exchanged the land for a bottle of whisky. Sobered up the morning after,
he rushed to the British encampment in his land and tried to retract his
words-- only to find himself staring down the barrel of a gun.
Through the time, there were countless more of this sad episode, and the
Indian reservations that dot the landscape of this land are a living testimony
to man's inhumanity to man.
Mankind has come a long way--but still got a long way to go.