Today, as I read some comments, I came across comments (1 , 2) made by Manong Luis Beltran, originally from Pasuquin, Ilocos Norte, who have been living abroad for 30 years now! I honestly feel how “homesick” he is, but more than that, what touched my being is when he called me “Balong!” In Ilocos, “Balong” is a term used by older people to call younger boys, just like “Manong” to refer to older men.
When Luis referred to me as “Balong,” I was immediately transported back to my childhood and in seconds, I felt the warmth of being called “Balong,” once more! I remember my Mom and Dad calling me by that name, and in most cases, I felt loved, cared for, and protected from any harm. It is more of a term of endearment to me, rather than a mere reference to being younger boy.
It is on this note that I am making this entry not only to pay tribute to Manong Luis Beltran, who called me “Balong” after a very long time, but to all “Balong’s” not only in Ilocos but everywhere. I am posting here some images of “Balong’s”, who someday, will become “Manong’s,” like me and Luis.
So, the next time you see a younger boy, call him BALONG!!!