We have to stop and start to walk from here, the driver announced as the 4×4 suddenly stopped while crossing a stream. The dirt road still continued up but the vehicle got some problems and have to be checked and repaired. With us were Adasen tribespeople from Agsimao, a subtribe of the Itneg who inhabits northeast Abra on to Kalinga. They will be our guides to the waterfall trek.
While taking photos of the surroundings, I noticed an Adasen elder busy with something. I walked to him and saw that he was preparing moma, a slice of betel nut, tobacco, powdered lime and leaf. Like most Cordillerans and Asian tribes, betel chewing is practiced like the ones I saw in Banaue and Basilan.
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But instead of chewing it, he got a small strip of red cloth and tied it around the neatly prepared moma. I asked what it’s for and he answered (in the vernacular)
This is called sagubey and the red cloth marks that it is for the anito (spirit). It will be tied along the river as a ritual offering to please them and not harm us.
Thanx to Vice Governor Chari Bersamin for making this Tineg trip possible.