Monday, May 28, 2012

Adda Kadi Pay Bambanti? (Are there still scarecrows?)

Scarecrow in the rice field  (Siquijor) from Travelpod, thanks

The scarecrow is found in many parts of the world in different versions according to culture of the place. It has one universal design though - a T-frame dressed like a human.

Abe V Rotor
Okeyka, Apong!
Dagiti Tawid a Sirib ken Adal

The Scarecrow is an art in the countryside.
Maysa nga arte ti away ti bambanti. Nakamattider iti tengnga ti kataltalonan a mangbutbuteng kadagiti billit babaen dagiti nakadeppa nga imana ken ti datdatlag a rupana a nalingdan iti payabyab. Bantayanna dagiti nakadawan a pagay tapno awan ti agkaan a billit-tuleng (Lonchura malacca jagori ken L. m. formosana) wenno maya iti Tagalog.

Adda dagiti billit-tuleng iti agarup sibubukel nga Asia ken iti Pasipiko. Ad-adda a dawa ti pagay ti pagbiagda, ken bukbukel dagiti ruot. Makadanonda pay kadagiti mandala wenno sarusar a pagtuktokan iti irik. Maris-daga wenno kayumanggi dagitoy a billit ken nagsinan-trianggulo ti sippitda nga umisu unay iti panagsippit ken panagukisda iti bukbukel wenno dawa. Sangapangen no agdissoda iti kapagayan.

Isu nga adda dagitoy bambanti nga agbantay. Iramanda pay nga abogen dagiti billit-tsina, ken dadduma pay a billit nga agkaan iti dawa. Nareppet a garami a nangsinan-T daytoy bambanti. Sa mabaduan iti daan a kamiseta wenno bado nga atiddog ti mangngasna ken payabyab. Daytay aglanglanga a kasla mannalon tapno kabuteng dagiti billit.

Adda ketdi parikutna daytoy. Kas iti nasursuruan nga aso ni Pavlov (ti prinsipio ti nakondision a pannakasursuro), maamiris met dagiti billit-tuleng a saan met gayam a pudpudno a mannalon dagitoy bambanti. Ket sakbay a maammuan ni mannalon daytoy, nagum-uman dagiti billit-tuleng kadagiti dandanin maani a pagayna. Amangan ta adda pay dagiti agbatay a billit-tuleng iti mismo nga abaga wenno ulo ti bambanti.

Kadagitoy a tiempo, matmatayen nga arte ti bambanti. Kas sukatna, mangibanteng dagiti mannalon iti tali iti kapagayan a pakaisab-itan dagiti namamaris a plastik bag. Adda met dagiti mangibanteng iti “tali” ti daan a cassette tape wenno video tape— no agangin, aguni dagitoy a mangabog kadagiti billit. Adda payen dagiti agusar iti ‘pellet gun’.

Naminsan, nakakitakami iti maymaysa a bambanti iti tengnga ti kataltalonan. Idi maasitganmi, naduktalanmi a maysa gayam a manekin ken nabaduan a kunam la no adda iti maysa a mall. Nalagipmi la ket ngarud ti ubing a nakaduktal iti estatua ni Venus de Milo iti maysa a pasto iti Gresia.

Iti sabali pay a gundaway, nakakitakami kadagiti lobo (balloon) ken styropore balls a nakabitin kadagiti pinagayan a namarkaan kadagiti rupa da Jollibee, Power Puff Girls, Batman, Popeye, Mr. Bean, ken sumagmamano a karakter iti pelikula ken cartoon. Ket nadlawmi nga awan a pulos ti billit iti aglawlaw!
Idi nadakamatmi iti maysa a gayyemi a maysa nga entomologist, nga epektibo daytoy baro a bersion ti bambanti, kinunana nga aglinglingaling: “Mabalin nga awanen dagiti billit.”

Nalagipmi la ket ngaruden ti Silent Spring, ti premiado a libro ni Rachel Carson. Dagiti billit iti dayta a panagrurusing (spring), natayda gapu iti pannakasamalda iti pestisidio.—O

Love that scarecrow (banbanti Ilk.). It is folk art on the farm. In the middle of the field it feigns scary to birds, what with those outstretched arms and that mysterious face hidden beneath a wide brim hat. There it stands tall amid maturing grains, keeping finches or maya birds (Lonchura Malacca jagori and L. m. formosana) at bay. Finches are widely distributed in Asia and the Pacific feeding on rice grains, and alternately on weed seeds, but now and then they also steal from the haystack (mandala) and poultry houses. They are recognized for their chestnut colored compact bodies, and sturdy triangular beak designed for grain picking and husking. The scarecrow also guards against the house sparrow, mayan costa (billit China Ilk.), including the lovable turtle dove or bato-bato (Streptopelia bitorquata dursummieri), all grain feeders.

A scarecrow is usually made of rice hay shaped like a human body wrapped around a T-frame. It is simply dressed up with old shirt and hat. The idea is to make it look like the farmer that the birds fear. There is one problem though. Birds, like the experimental dog of Pavlov (principle of conditional learning), soon discover the hoax and before the farmer knows it a whole flock of maya is feasting on his ready-to-harvest ricefield. It is not uncommon to see maya birds bantering around – and even roasting on the scarecrow itself!

Today the scarecrow is an endangered art. In its place farmers hang plastic bags, or tie old cassette and video tape along dikes and across the fields. These create rustling or hissing sound as the wind blows, scaring the birds. Others use firecrackers and pellet guns.

At one time I saw a lone scarecrow in the middle of a field. On examining it closely, I found out that it was made of a mannequin dressed the way the fashion world does. It reminded me of the boy who discovered the statue of Venus de Milo in a remote pasture in Greece. On another occasion I saw balloons and styropore balls hanging in poultry and piggery houses, bearing the faces of Jollibee, Power Puff Girls, Batman, Popeye, Mr. Bean and a host of movie and cartoon characters. Interestingly I noticed that the birds were nowhere to be found.

When I told my friend, an entomologist, that these new versions of the scarecrow seem to be effective, he wryly replied, “Maybe there are no more birds left.” Suddenly I remembered Silent Spring, a prize winning book by Rachel Carson. The birds that herald spring had died of pesticide poisoning.

Our dear followers and readers: Please write something about the scarecrow and let's help preserve this endangered art. (AVR)

 Acknowledgment:  Bannawag, Manila Bulletin. 

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