Friday, August 3, 2018

Weather Weather in Maligcong: A Rain-filled Week to Play and Meet My Adoptive Dogs

Kunig, the original hiking dog of Maligcong
Six days out of the 6 1/2 I've spent in Maligcong, it was raining.  When the sun decided to shine, I was set to go back to Manila.  Well well, I've outgrown my compulsion to be obsessive with hiking and bringing home potential keepers and times like these, would rather stay at the homestay, drink icha (the local mountain tea), brewed coffee, read, and play with the dogs.   My original plan of starting my documentation work on the village elders, something I've been meaning to do for about two years now, will have to wait -- there's grieving in Favarey for a local who passed on due to food poisoning.  Certainly not a good time to go from house to house and chitchat with the locals.  Besides, I need to recharge myself away from the city, breathe the mountain air, and relish the change of scenery.

For the times that I'm not sleeping, I mostly go birding (the homestay's garden alone is host to a lot of birds, if you care to crane your neck and listen to these creatures as they go about finding food in between rainy spells) and playing with my adoptive dogs.  Suzette has four of her own, plus Tiny, in the neighbor's house by the bend.  If you've watched AKYAT, Atom Araullo's TV special episode on climbing Kupapey and Hamiguitan two months ago, you may have a passing acquaintance with these friendly canines.  I'm lifting my Facebook captions for this post as they are candid descriptions of my relationship with these dogs, some of whom I've known since they were puppies (Maku).

Kunig, who else?

KUNIG. Named after sitio Makonig. The original Maligcong hiking guide dog. Nobody taught him but he's adept in guiding. Matakaw. Loves oat bars and tummy rubs. Mahilig gumala. Chick-boy. Maraming panganay. If you see a younger dog who looks like him sa Favarey, chances are, he is the father. Nung mag-isa pa lang siyang dog sa homestay ni Suzette, he would go everywhere I go. He used to hide pag aalis na ang mga guests including me but over the years, he has learned na babalik ako. I simply love this dog dearly.

P.S. Mahilig mangalabit pag may kumakain. (Loves to call people's attention when they're eating).  I am partly to blame dahil binibigyan ko ng kalahati ng pagkain ko lagi.  (I feel partly to blame since I almost always give him half my food at mealtimes).

Maku, my other beloved canine in Maligcong
MAKU. Named after Sitio Makonig (hence the original duo of Maku & Kunig). Must have descended from a dingo line as suggested by a foreign guest. Very intelligent and sensitive dog. Malambing. Mapili at pihikan sa pagkain. Never nang-iwan sa trail. One time, something supernatural happened to me and I got dazed and lost on the trail, he found me and never left my side. Mahilig mang-agaw ng head pillow. Humihilik pag mahimbing ang tulog. Marunong kumatok sa pintuan. When he was a puppy, he loved stuffed toys. What can I say, I dearly love this dog. 

I would often overstay at Kupapey to keep shooting the sunrise and hungry as he may be, he would curl up and wait for me to finish.  Everytime I'm in the homestay, he would sleep on the floor in my room.  One most memorable thing he did was a couple of visits ago; I took a nap after arriving, Maku roused me up after coming in soaked from guiding a foreign couple up Parutan/Fato by climbing on the bed and shaking himself dry.  It was if he was saying, "Wake up, wake up, Tito Og.  I'm here already."
Tuba
TUBA. Named after Tuba in Benguet. Just over a year old. Seloso numero uno (pet any one of the dogs and he would bark incessantly until you pet him, too).   Loves to pounce and jump on you like he's just a puppy. Malambing. Loves to make your lap his pillow. If you're not looking, he will sequester your bed (I get out to pee in the middle of the night and he may just be spread all over my bed). He farts in his sleep (and I thought I was the worst). He makes up for it dahil sobrang affectionate na aso.

This visit, I found out just how possessive Tuba can be -- in between squalls, I took a breather outside looking for birds and chanced upon Tiny emerging from Uncle Jeffrey's house.  He was giddy (as always) to see me so we played around.  The other dogs came out and it was a happy reunion scene.  That is, until Tuba saw that Tiny leaning on my leg.  You can almost imagine what happened.
Tam-Tam
TAM-TAM. Named after Tamawan Village where the Chees clan lives in Baguio City. Very malambing. Afraid of brooms and sticks (must be the mode of punishment when he was a puppy). Sleeps upside down with his paws and hind legs up in the air. Loves to sleep on my lap while I read myself to sleep. He used to be very frightful and shy the first time I met him last year (especially scared of broomsticks and slippers so I can imagine pinapalo siya dati ng former owners niya) but he has come out of his shell and emerged as an excellent guide dog. Mahilig lang nga maglublob sa putik para sa mga kalabaw (typical Lab who loves swimming and waddling in water).

IMAGE DETAILS:  Taken with a Sony A6000 ILC + Nikkor 60mm f/2.8 lens

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