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Friday, November 13, 2009

"Young Kalinga Professionals Association" Update

Susunud un yKalinga,

We are pleased to announce that the Young Kalinga Professionals Association (YoungKaPA) is now being formally organized.

This Baguio-based group seeks to institute programs, projects and activities that will help sustain a more visible and positive collective presence of the Kalinga here and abroad. To this end, we shall partner with all individuals and groups who/that are passionate about promoting the finest qualities of the Kalinga culture.

Our final pre-SEC registration meeting is on 22 November 2009, 1.30 p.m., at the Lin-awa Center, C-203 Lopez Building, Session Rd., Baguio City. By yearend, we hope to finally register the Association with the SEC and launch it, along with our website, shortly thereafter.


A community of ethnically rooted, culturally relevant, socially engaged, and globally competitive young Kalinga professionals.


1. To provide a venue for intellectual discussions, career advancement, social activities, and community service primarily geared towards addressing pressing issues of the Kalinga.

2. To create a network of diasporic young Kalinga professionals aimed at highlighting the positive contributions of Kalingas to their respective workplaces and neighborhoods.

Core Values

Knowledge is the basis of action. It is meant to be probed and shared, not deified and hoarded.  It must be used to promote individual and collective welfare.

Accountability is our watchword in our transactions. We shall manage our resources responsibly and shall not exploit group trust for personal profit.

Leadership is a collegial affair. We adhere to a flat organizational structure. We seek to be proactive and to empower our members regardless of gender or social status.

Indigeneity is at the core of our identity.  We strive to remain grounded in our indigenous roots even within the jungles of an urban space. We exist to help preserve and enrich Kalinga indigenous knowledge, systems and practices.

Non-partisanship is our policy in our programs and projects. We exist not to advance an exclusivist political or religious ideology. We shall actively take part in community affairs, but shall not be beholden to any politician, preacher or pundit.

Goodwill is what we offer to the community at large. We value reconciliation over revenge, cooperation over competition. We declare that everywhere is a matagoan zone – a sphere of life, peace, justice, and  freedom.

Ambition drives our movement. We are agents of change and development in society while keeping the balance between self­–respect and vainglory, idealism and realism.

Note: KALINGA is used as an acronym to articulate the need to frame a counter-definition for identity reconstruction.  This is similar to a feminist strategy noted by Marina Warner in her essay, "Monstrous Mothers: Women Over the Top," in which "the metaphorical objects of derision and fear" are taken over and the "well–proven magic [of] uttering a curse in order to undo or claim its power, pronouncing a name in order to command its field of meaning" is summoned.*  Kalinga, an appellation which originally meant "enemy," is an ethnic identity that continues to be misunderstood and misrepresented.  It needs to be exorcised of its historical and cultural demons that have engendered a culture of mistrust, fear and inaction.  There is a gentler side of Kalinga many do not know... :)

* Marina Warner, Six Myths of Our Time: Little Angels, Little Monsters, Beautiful Beasts, and More (New York: Vintage Books, 1994), 15.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How did it all start?

Call it serendipity. A chance meeting and chit-chat at a wake among a few Kalinga young adults  each struggling to firmly re–connect to their ethnic heritage led to an exploratory huddle a few days later at the Lin-awa Center along lower Session Road to discuss the possibility of organizing a formal association of young Kalinga professionals in Baguio and Benguet.  The discussions during the first meeting of six individuals was a bit sketchy, but it heightened the need for instituting programs, projects and activities that would not only address the perceived needs of young Kalinga professionals but also open doors for them to serve the community.

The sketchy agreements took shape after three more meetings which were respectively held at the Lin-awa Center, the University of the Philippines Baguio, and the Cordillera Green Network, Inc. headquarters, with new faces and brilliant ideas being added each time.  Exciting siyempre, what with a collection of enthusiastic people from different professions – we got a  nutritionist, an agriculturist, an anthropologist, a lawyer, a police officer, professors/teachers, writers, researchers, wordsmiths, number crunchers... O-ha, bongga di ba? Of course, we expect the group to be more kulayful in the next few months with a lot more taking interest in what the Association stands for.

What do you mean by “Young Kalinga Professionals”?

Young. “Young” ka if you are not more than 45 years old.  This does not mean, of course, that a member of the Association gets “deactivated” when s/he turns 46; it only means that s/he serves the Association at a different level; sa madaling sabi, pag certified “vintage member” ka na, mas may value ka.

Kalinga. It doesn’t really matter whether you are born a Kalinga or consider yourself a Kalinga “by insertion” and accident. What matters is that you identify yourself with this ethnolinguistic group and  are passionate about the welfare of Kalinga cultural heritage. Basta, nu f na f (feel na feel) mo yKalinga ka, ‘yun na ‘yun.

Professionals. You are in if you are a graduate of a Vocational or Technical course and/or finished a college degree, employed or “in-between jobs.”

What about the KALPRA and other Kalinga Organizations?

We seek to work with the Kalinga Professionals and Residents Association (KALPRA), it being  the de facto umbrella organization of all Kalinga groups in Baguio and Benguet.  We seek to work with all other Kalinga organizations panglallakay man wenno pang-ubbing in and outside the region for some common purpose.

Just another electoral scheme?

Nope. Pramis, there is no connection between the formation of this Association and the coming national and local polls. The timing is mere coincidence. Please refer to “N” of our Core Values.

So, how do I become a member of the Association?

Simple lang kapatid. Text or write us, fill out the membership form (may online version na by December), pay the PhP 500.00 membership fee (one time lang ‘to) and the annual dues (to be pegged later), and support the Association in any way you can. Umaykan!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

ANI 35 e–invite

Book price during launch, PhP 403.00;  regular price,  PhP 504.00

ANI 35 e nvite


"CCP launches 35th issue of Ani publication"

[Note:What follows is the official press release of the Literary Division of the Cultural Center of the Philippines on this year's issue of Ani.]

ani 35_cover

CCP launches 35th issue of Ani publication

11 November 2009, Pasay City – The Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) Literary Arts Division will launch Ani 35, The Pinoy as Asian issue, on November 26, 2009, 6:00 p.m., at the CCP Ramp with some of the featured authors reading from their works.

Ani 35 is devoted to writings by Filipinos on their interaction with other Asian peoples and cultures. This may be interpreted as a response to the call of Dr. Bienvenido Lumbera, National Artist, on the need to reconnect with Southeast Asian literary tradition if we are to survive in this age of globalization,” Herminio S. Beltran, Jr., Literary Arts Division chief and editor of the publication, wrote in the Introduction. “We hope this will inspire the birthing of mechanisms and eventually practices in the Philippine literary/publishing world that will start off a more dynamic interaction among Filipino writers and their counterparts in the Asian continent,” Beltran continued.

Ani 35 features 54 authors who contributed for three sections: poetry; prose (essay and fiction) based on the The Pinoy as Asian theme and; Malayang Haraya for poetry and prose contributions outside the theme.

The 54 authors included in Ani 35 are Mark Angeles, Lilia F. Antonio, G. Mae Aquino, Genevieve L. Asenjo, Abdon M. Balde, Jr., Janet Tauro Batuigas, Gil Beltran, Herminio S. Beltran, Jr., Kristoffer Berse, Jaime Jesus Borlagdan, Raymond Calbay, Catherine Candano, Nonon V. Carandang, Christoffer Mitch Cerda, Joey Stephanie Chua, Kristian S. Cordero, Genaro R. Gojo Cruz, Carlomar Arcangel Daoana, Arvin Tiong Ello, Dennis Espada, Rogerick Fontanilla Fernandez, Reparado Galos III, Dr. Luis Gatmaitan, Joscephine Gomez, Malou Jacob, Ferdinand Pisigan Jarin, Karla Javier, Phillip Kimpo, Jr., Ed Nelson R. Labao, Gexter Ocampo Lacambra, Erwin C. Lareza, Jeffrey A. Lubang, Glenn Sevilla Mas, Perry C. Mangilaya, Noahlyn Maranan, Francisco Arias Monteseña, Ruth V. Mostrales, Victor Emmanuel Nadera, Jose Velando Ogatis-I, Wilhelmina S. Orozco, H. Francisco V. Peñones, Jr., Scott Magkachi Sabóy, Judith Balares Salamat, Edgar Calabia Samar, Louie Jon A. Sanchez, Soliman Agulto Santos, Dinah Roma-Sianturi, Rakki E. Sison-Buban, Jason Tabinas, Vincent Lester G. Tan, Dolores R. Taylan, Rosario Torres-Yu, Betty Uy-Regala, and Camilo M. Villanueva, Jr.

For issues of Ani, please contact the CCP Marketing Department at 551-7930 or 832-11-25 locals 1800 to 1808. For authors who want to contribute for the next issue of Ani, please contact the CCP Literary Arts Division at 832-11-25 locals 1706 and 1707, or email

Saturday, November 7, 2009

A Proselyter's Zeal (2)

My wife and I were commenting on how well-maintained his Avanza taxi was.  He said his boss bought it early this year.  We could tell he  was a careful driver — no sudden lurches, no reckless swerves, no racing with other cars. And he was neat.

Just as we thought our conversation had ended, he handed out two calling cards bearing the name of his church with its weekly Bible study or worship schedules.  Then came his five–minute sermon which, judging from his smooth delivery of it, he must have shared countless times to his passengers and just about anyone he met.  He is from this so and so church, he says, and, as I remembered it, he preached in a mix of Tagalog and English which went  something like this:

This [his church] is not a religion, it is a relationship. I am a born-again [sic]. And as a born­–again Christian I am responsible for preaching the gospel.  The gospel is simply a three-point message: Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection.  We are saved by the gospel. How do we get saved by the gospel?  Well, three things ­­ actually — three keys to the Kingdom. The first key is repentance. This corresponds to the first part of the gospel message, the death of Jesus Christ. The second key is baptism in the name of Jesus, which corresponds to the second part of the gospel message, the burial of Jesus. And the third key is Gift of the Holy Spirit, which corresponds to the resurrection of Jesus.

Despite being interrupted several times by my wife's instructions for him to turn here and there, he plowed on with his soul–winning sermonette right to where we got off, confident perhaps that he could get a quick harvest out of the "Seed" he earnestly sought to sow in our fertile heart.

Frankly, the last thing we wanted after a whole day’s  work is to listen to a sermon at night in a taxi. But we had to be polite, so we just responded to his fervent speech with ah-huh, okay, hmm while wishing we'd get to our destination in a jiffy.

"You were once like that," my wife kidded after we got off his taxi and were out of earshot. I looked back and saw the taxi still not backing up. "Oh yes, and perhaps much more so,” I replied. "And he is probably pausing for a five–minute prayer beseeching God to touch our hearts so we could finally feel the need to be saved from our terrible, terrible sins — just like I used to do after giving out tracts in the streets and preaching in classrooms or to strangers in a bus."

Years ago as a new convert to a new religion (depending on which church doctrine one uses refers to, I was actually “saved”  four times — when I was christened a Catholic in preschool, when I prayed the sinner's prayer in Grade six, when I prayed another sinner's prayer in a more conservative Baptist church in college, and when I was baptized specifically "for the remission of sins" into the Stone–Campbell Church of Christ).  I had such a “fire in my bones” that every occasion became an opportunity for my "New  Christian" testimony, and everyone outside my church was a "prospect" for evangelism.  For after all, we had a unique message of salvation, we were the right church, and we better be busy before the Day of Judgment comes to damn people who did not get to hear our message. "...No one has the right to hear the gospel twice until everyone has had the opportunity to hear it at least once," we'd chant with Peter Barnes as we marched on under the Star–Spangled Banner of the Baptistic/Restorationist Cross.

In reality though, we were simply proselyting most of the time — converting people to our church, our particular theology, out pet doctrines, and not to the Jesus who would have nothing to do with our misguided zeal and sectarian bent.

Still, I can say my stay with fanatical Christian groups was not a waste at all. It was simply a leg of this lifetime journey towards maturity.  When we truly commit ourselves to political, social, and religious ideologies, we will have to go through the passage from Cloud 9 Idealism to Ground Zero Realism during which we initially, like the boy in James Joyce's Araby, "Gaz(e) up into the darkness [and see ourselves as creatures]  driven and derided by vanity... [with] eyes burn[ing] with anguish and anger."  It was also a time to witness how the message of the Cross can change a person for the better.

And, back to riding a taxi, I think I prefer being preached to by the driver than having to wildly scramble for a missing seatbelt and to choke to death in a taxi driven by one whose closest experience to being spiritually high is enveloping the car with his cigar smoke while racing along the city's narrow streets like a man possessed by legions of demons who, moments before,  had just driven thousands of pigs into the sea.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

The Baguio We Smell

baguio garbage 1

josie 1

josie 2

Baguio old–timers often pine for the pine–scented Baguio they used to know.   It is indeed sad that the Baguio we smell now is a mix of a whiff of pine scent and the lingering stink from mounds of uncollected garbage and the suffocating fart of jeepneys.

But along with all these depressing sights and smells is the often overlooked toil of our street sweepers like manang Josie of Salud Mitra barangay, shown in the photos above.  Manang Josie continues to make the piles of garbage near UBLES look “presentable” even though many residents do not take the time to fix the trash they dump in the area every night. Manang Josie has been in this thankless job for eight years now and says that it is only this year that she has had difficulty keeping streets in her area clean.

The familiar tinkling of bells sounding off from government dump trucks has not been heard in Salud Mitra for weeks now.  And the ticks of our city's garbage "bomb" are getting louder.  When it explodes, everyone will surely get  bowls  of stinking goo for Christmas.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Scholarship Fund for "Little Kibungan" Victims Needed

28 elementary, high school, and college students from "Little Kibungan" may not be able to continue their studies this year.  They are among the hundreds of residents who lost their loved ones or homes and now live in tents after being temporarily housed at the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) building in Wangal, La Trinidad, Benguet.  Should you wish to help these kids , please get in touch with the President of Benguet State University, or the Chancellor of  UP Baguio through Professor Faye Abalos ( Kibungan Students

For background reports on the "Little Kibungan" disaster, see the following articles:

♥ "Little Kibungan Takes Comfort in Faith" by Maurice Malanes

♥ "A Benguet Story: Little Kibungan Landslide" by Kat Palasi

Thanks to Rotary International, several families displaced by the "Little Kibungan" landslide are temporarily housed in white "shelter boxes" set up at the Veterans Federation of the Philippines (VFP) headquarters in La Trinidad, Benguet.  Hopefully, these victims of typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng will soon find permanent  resettlement areas where they can have access to suitable livelihood sources.

Little Kibungan victims 1 sms photo

Little Kibungan victims 2

Little Kibungan Victims @ NIA

Dominican-QM Landslide (Baguio City) 2

Almost four weeks after a landslide along the Dominican Hill–Quirino Magsaysay (QM) border ravaged three houses and killed four people, the disaster area looks like a junkyard with wreckage, household garbage, dozens of discarded tires, and at least three fallen pine trees strewn all over the place.

fallen pine at Dominican 6 sms photo

fallen pine at Dominican 4 sms photo

Fallen pine at Dominican 2 sms photo

fallen pine at Dominican 1 sms photo