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Saturday, February 9, 2008

Cordillera Studies Conference - Day 2

There is no doubt that all participants eagerly faced the sunrise of Day 2, looking forward to being fed with more fruits of scholarship.

Among the early birds at the conference site, apo newsman Ramon Dacawi and I chatted for a while as we awaited the start of the first set of the parallel sessions for the day. Like the rest of us, he was torn between 47 "lovers." For who would want to miss even one of the day's 47 paper presentations in a rare learning event as this? The respected Baguio-based journalist had wanted to listen in to the reading of papers at Panel 18, especially Janice "Maya" Bagawi's "Shiyay Ak Mango: Affective Meanings of an Ibaloi Expression" but now finds himself tugged on the sleeves, so to speak, by another equally inviting discussion group. He said he has been keenly interested in the "Shiyay ak Mango" paper largely because he is planning to write something about some of the popular expressions that somehow serve as cultural markers of the different provinces in the Cordillera region. I suggested that he include "Adjina man-work!" which is a byword among my tribemates in Balbalan, Kalinga.

I would have wanted to listen to the famous anthropologist June Prill-Brett talk about the contribution of the eminent ethnographer Roy Franklin Barton (1883-1947) to Cordillera Studies, but having found out that she would also be delivering another paper on health issues the following day, I went back to the ILC where "Cordillera Languages" was to be discussed.

After Maya, UPB College of Arts and Communication Dean Elizabeth Calinawagan presented her paper on "The Function of Affixes" in three Cordillera languages -- Kankanaey, Ibaloi and Ilocano. The dean was followed by Diane Decker of SIL-Asia who, assisted by her husband Gregory, enlightened the audience on the "Mother Tongue Based Multilingual Education Innovation" program they have been experimenting on in Lubuagan, Kalinga.

Having been engrossed in uploading my notes in the internet room just after the break, I missed out on the chance to hear the lecture of University of Hawaii Linguist Lawrence A. Reid during the day's plenary session. He was to speak on, "Who Are the Indigenous? Origins and Transformation."

For the first set of the afternoon sessions, I attended the discussion group where Ruby Rosa Jimenez (UP Baguio) and Maria Stanyukovich (Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography) were to successively present their papers -- "A Preliminary Study of the Aesthetics of the Ifugao Hudhud" and "The Symbolic Meaning of Ethnographic Objects in Ifugao Hudhud Tradition." I then chose Panel 25 (Cultural Heritage II) after that. In this last session, Caroline Acosta of St. Mary's University, Manuel Dulawan of the Ifugao Academy, and Ana Labrador of UP Diliman (assisted by ina Julia Bete of Bontoc, Mt. Province) talked on the following, respectively: "The BALAY: Important Issues on Its Cultural Sustainability," "The Need to Preserve a People's Culture: The Ifugao Experience," and "Out of Context/Out of Peril: Two Views on Caring for Ethnographic Collections from Bontoc, Mt. Province."

Learning Points and Impressions (to be continued)

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