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Friday, May 22, 2009

AUS Page Update: "The Bodong has no Ideology"

[caption id="attachment_2840" align="aligncenter" width="600" caption="The Sleeping Beauty of Tinglayan, whose legend sprang from a tale of tribal conflict, is in peaceful repose, oblivious to the tribal conflicts that once slaughtered many of her children. (AUS PHOTO)"]The Sleeping Beauty of Tinglayan. (AUS PHOTO)[/caption]

Fellow Kalingas and non-Kalingas who take great interest in Kalinga culture may wish to read the following recently updated AUS materials:

1. AUS Memoirs: "Venture to Harmony: Restoring the Butbut-Sumadel Bodong. Gus Saboy used to tell me that the Butbut-Sumadel tribal bodong (peace pact) he brokered with a dear family friend, Lutheran Pastor Luis Ao-as was his greatest challenge as a peacemaker.  That brief historic moment was to him more than finishing a four-year course.  As far as I know, this peace pact has never been broken since its restoration by these two Kalinga pangats (tribal chiefs/leaders).  This article is incomplete, however, because I haven't found yet the other pages of this segment of Gus' memoirs. :). Click here to read the article.

2. "Tribal Peacemaking: Proposed Strategies and Skills" by Pastor Luis L. Ao-as. Pastor Ao-as, a Lutheran and a member of  the Kalinga tribe of Basao, is one of the most admirable Christian Kalingas I have been privileged to know. His being a Christian has not barred him from contributing greatly in the refinement of the Kalinga indigenous knowledge system. In this article, he shares (originally with the Peace and Order Council of then Kalinga-Apayao) the insights he and Gus Saboy learned from the Sumadel-Butbut peace mission.

To intervene in a tribal conflict implies the ability of individuals and organizations to (1) understand its sources (traditional customs) and direction, (2) know how to select goal(s) for intervention, and (3) systematically develop strategies and skills for pursuing those goals.

The traditional custom of revenge is the central reality around which social conflict occurs among the Kalingas.  To revenge is to gain some kind of social status in the Kalinga system which at this time is upheld by many people in Kalinga.  Not to revenge is degraded by some, if not by the majority, of the Kalinga society. - LLA

Click here to read full article.

3. "Report on the Restoration of the Sumadel-Botbot Bodong (Peace Pact)." Gus Saboy's report to then Kalinga-Apayao Governor Amado B. Almazan. Read this article.  A "Press Release Version" here.

4. "Letter to Ireneo Uyam."  After the exchange of the Sipat, there appeared to be renewed tensions between the two tribes which occasioned the writing of this letter to a certain "Ireneo" which I assumed to be another Kalinga leader, Ireneo Uyam. He expresses here his fear that should the recently restored bodong be severed once again, militarization of Tinglayan will ensue.  Thankfully, the said tensions eased and peace was preserved.

We cannot live by hatred or recriminations.  For to live with such human failings would ruin  lives instead.  There is everything to gain by forgetting and forgiving.  On the one hand, there is plenty to lose by harboring consuming hatred and sharpening one's penchant for vengeance against his fellowmen, particularly to those who have brought disaster and enduring pain on the lives of others.  We are not living for the past.  We are living for tomorrow; we cannot be prisoners of an unwanted past....

You could just picture vividly the repercussions if anything like that which is planned would happen at this time.  In this tribal conflict, I must tell you that we would not know where the Government will stand.  The Government will have to fix its posture and brace up for a punishment of both tribal groups.  And you know who will suffer most if military operations will again be waged in the municipality of Tinglayan.  The killings and brutal military abuses which our people suffered in Tinglayan, particularly in the Bangad, Tinglayan, Basao, Bugnay, and Botbot areas are yet too fresh to forget.  And we do not like this to happen to Sumadel. - AUS

Full article here.

5. To view scanned text of agreement of and signatories to the 1981 restoration of the Sumadel-Botbot Bodong, go to this page.

6. AUS Memoirs: "The Bodong has no Ideology." The "Kalinga Bodong Congress" was the brainchild of Gus Saboy. In this portion of his memoirs marked  "12 o'clock mn, September 15, 1998" on the original manuscript,  he gives a backgrounder on the Kalinga Bodong and the codification of its pagta (by-laws). By ideology he specifically meant "Communism" and "Democracy."

The curse of the Bodong institution is vengeance-killing and were it not for this tolerance or freedom which has become a part of the system, Bodong would have been one of the most wonderful arts of governance mankind had ever discovered.  For vengeance killing in the Bodong has also institutionalized the art of killing for the sake of honor, pride and for the thrill of it.  In those early days, head-hunting was a fad.  The Bodong either would spark head-hunting expeditions or would force down a ceasefire in the tribal conflict towards bringing about a restoration of the severed peace pact.  But the essence of this is that there is no Bodong if there is no blood spilled as a result of murder or actual physical injuries.  The Bodong practice has showed man to play God and to take upon himself the power and privilege that belongs only to the Maker.  Thus God said, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay.”

...To me, Bodong has no ideology.  It exists as a way of life developed through years of continued governance under its indigenous customs and traditions.  Communism as an ideology has its own dogma and philosophy and so too with democracy.  And here is the purity of the Bodong being challenged and threatened with adulteration and prostitution by cultural soldiers of fortune and ideological poachers... - AUS

Click here to read full article.

7. AUS Profile. Updated info/complete profile of Gus.  Click here to view it.

[caption id="attachment_2841" align="aligncenter" width="600" caption="The Peacemaker. Gus Saboy in a reflective mode during the Sumadel-Botbot Bodong negotiations."]The Peacemaker. Gus Saboy in a reflective mode during the Sumadel-Botbot Bodong negotiations.[/caption]

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