The Lines of the Cordilleras
Photos by Apa Feliciano
Up in the highlands, there are lines to be followed.
You must walk along the rice paddies or else obtain a muddy foot the rest of the way.
The lines must be kept so that when harvest time comes, the lines become bundles and the bundles become food on the table.
Up in the highlands, there are threads to be sewn, patterns to be made so that the young may not forget where they come from.
Up in the highlands, there are lines on the men. The creases on their faces tell of their triumphs and sorrows – and the ones on their hands tell of their toil. The broommaker smiles a toothless smile. The blacksmith smokes his tobacco pipe and stares calmly with his old eyes.
Up in the highlands, there are lines on the women. Tumangyag, Whand-Od – the last few tattooed women of Kalinga – they wear their lines proudly.
These are the lines of the highlands – the lines of our people, the lines we must never forget.