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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Kalinga's First: JUAN M. DUYAN

[Note: This is part of my continuing project to make available to the public historical documents about Kalinga written by the late Kalinga journalist, Augustus Ulát Sabóy (AUS). Kalinga’s military provincial headquarters in Tabuk was named after Duyan].

“A Leader Fades Away: Duyan Dies; Interred Friday”
By AUS (published in The Mountaineer (03 March 1968, p. 1);  
Baguio-Mountain Sentinel (02 March 1968)

Gov. Juan M. Duyan, the first elective chief executive of the province of Kalinga-Apayao, died last Saturday. He was 51 years old.
Provincial Secretary Camilo Lammawin ascribed the governor’s death to a “bleeding peptic ulcer.”
The late provincial official, who was also a congressman until his election and assumption of office as governor of the new province last January, was interred last Friday in Tabuk with former fellow congressmen, ranking provincial officials, relatives, friends and sympathizers attending.
A special Philippine Air Force plane ferried a number of congressmen, mostly from northern Luzon, to Tuguegarao, Cagayan from where they motored to Tabuk specially to attend the last rites for their fallen colleague.  Among them are Congressmen Andres A. Cosalan and Luis Hora of Baguio-Benguet and Ifugao, respectively.
The two, together with Duyan, were instrumental in the congressional approval of a law which ultimately divided the old Mountain Province into four new political subdivisions, one of which is Kalinga-Apayao which made Duyan its first elected governor.
Duyan’s death ended a colorful public career for the Kalinga leader who is considered as the foremost and “greatest leader Kalinga ever had.”
According to reports which reached Baguio City last Monday, the late Gov. Duyan was on his back to Tabuk from the NLAA Meet in Bangued, Abra, which he and other provincial officials of Kalinga-Apayao attended, when he was stricken with serious body ailment.
He and his party hiked a portion of the Abra-Kalinga road which is under construction to look into the progress of the road construction and also to conduct an on-the-spot investigation of the reported road irregularities in the same project.
At the border barrio of Balbalasang, they were entertained with a “palanos,” a native welcome reception.  From there, and on their way back to Tabuk, they were again entertained in the barrio of Talalang.
Last Tuesday, another big reception had awaited him and his party at barrio Pantikian.  It was there where he reportedly collapsed while speaking before an early morning crowd.
From Pantikian, he was rushed to Naneng, Tabuk, where he died later. Efforts to contact Manila for an airlift of the stricken Kalinga leader before he died proved futile. It was gathered that at that time, no air force helicopter which was required by his widow, Mrs. Iluminada Duyan, was available. (It was learned later that a rescue helicopter complete with an emergency medical team composed of military doctors was dispatched to Tuguegarao, but was unable to proceed to Tabuk due to inclement weather.)
Born on January 23, 1917, the late Gov. Duyan was the eldest of four children of Donato Duyan and Magdalena Akobay, both deceased of barrio Naneng, Tabuk
And “exceptionally bright” pupil, during his elementary school days at Naneng, he was urged by the Belgian missionaries stationed at his barrio to pursue his higher education. He enrolled at the Saint Theresita’s school (now St. Theresita’s College) at Lubuagan where he finished his high school before the war.
He was among the young men who were called for military training and after his trainee course,he was employed as municipal secretary of Tabuk whose capital was then at Naneng.
When the war broke out, young Duyan was called to the army with the rank of third lieutenant.  During the Bataan campaign, he fought fiercely with an Igorot unit along the Pilar-Bagac line which earned him a promotion to second lieutenant.
Although Maj. Helmert Duisterhorf, US Army, recommended him for the Distinguished Service Cross, Duyan actually received only the Silver Star (USA) and the Gold Star (PA) for his meritorious military exploits in Bataan.
He was among those who escaped from Bataan and in Kalinga, he helped organized guerrilla units under the USAFIP-NL. At the end of the war, he was assigned as commanding officer of the “K” Company 3rd Battalion, 11th Infantry.
Duyan joined the Huk campaign after the Liberation.  He was later transferred to the PC.  With the rank of captian, Duyan was assigned to head the 12th PC company of the old Mt. Province PC command at Bontoc.
In 1957, he was urged by Kalinga leaders to run for Congress.  In the same heated contest in the 1st district, he won over Alfredo Lam-en, one of his strongest opponents.
In 1961, he re ran for reelection under the LP. He lost to Lam-en but in an electoral protest, Duyan was declared winner over Lam-en.
In 1959, when the LP was bankrupt of political timbers for the gubernatorial race, Duyan accepted the challenge to run against Governor Bado Dangwa.  Duyan lost the governorship but he helped preserve the tottering LP unity in the old Mt. Province.
In 1963, Duyan ran again for Congress.  This time, he fought Alfredo Lam-en and won overwhelmingly.
In the gubernatorial elections of the new province of Kalinga-Apayao last year, Duyan was prevailed upon again to run for governor.  He handily won the elections over his three opponents.
He chose to leave his congressional seat to assume the governorship – a painful sacrifice he had to make since it was a choice between less work and heavy executive work in public affairs.
One of his programs of administration was to speed up the massive road program of the province.  It was his obsession to have the Kalinga-Abra road completed in order to link the Ilocos provinces through Abra to the Cagayan valley via the subprovince of Kalinga.
He died as a man of action and a leader who was consistently and profoundly a fighter for his people, especially the Kalingas.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

2nd UST/J Elizalde Navarro Arts Workshop in Baguio

The "2nd Jeremias Elizalde Navarro National Seminar Workshop on Arts Criticism" is now on its first day at the new Colione Hotel along Easter Road, Baguio City.  Scheduled from 23-29 May 2010, it is sponsored by the Varsitarian, the eight-decade old student publication of the University of Santo Tomas (UST).

The workshop seeks not only to honor J. Elizalde Navarro, one of the Philippines 14 National Artists for the Visual Arts, but also to serve as one of the long line of activities in the run-up to the UST's 400th year anniversary in 2011.

The 10 fellows who made it to the workshop are Aidel Paul Belamide (UPLB), Mary Jessel B. Duque (UPD), Anne Ensomo (AdMU), Luigi Eraneta (AdMU), Alona U. Guevarra (ADMU), Alvin Ringgo C. Reyes (STC), Frank Lloyd B. Tiongson (UPD), Jaymee Siao (UST), Karren Sena (UST), Joanna Parungao (UST), Scott Saboy (UPB),  and Grace Subido (UPB).  Their works, including those of the 1st JEN workshop, are expected to be slated for publication next year.

The following professors/writers serve as panelists to the second workshop: Ferdinand M. Lopez (UST), Oscar Campomanes (ADMU), Gary Devilles (ADMU), Ralph Galan (UST), John Jack Wigley (UST), Nerisa del Carmen Guevarra (UST), and Lito Zulueta (UST).

Part of the week-long learning event is a tour at the famous BenCab Museum and an "interaction" with another National Artist for the Visual Arts, Benedicto R. Cabrera.   The fellows will also be privileged to drink  from the wisdom  of Cordillera Studies Center (CSC) director, UPB professor, and  noted cultural/literary critic Delfin L. Tolentino,Jr.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

AUS Files Update: Kalinga Heroes Juan M. Duyan and Camilo Lammawin

Kalinga's political history wouldn't be complete without going through accounts of heroism and leadership about Kalinga pangats (tribal leaders) among whom were Juan M. Duyan and Camilo Lammawin, Sr.  Follow the the links below for articles written about these two Kalinga pangat by Kalinga journalist and local historian Gus Saboy.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Habol na sa Ani 36!

Cordilleran writers are encouraged to submit their poems, essays, and/or short stories to the  Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) for Ani 36. This year's theme is "Disaster and Survival," deadest deadline is June 30.

The Literary Arts Division of the Cultural Center of the Philippines is accepting contributions to its ANI 36 journal. The year’s volume focuses on the theme “Disaster and Survival”.

Works accepted are poems, short stories and essays in Filipino, English or any Philippine language with translation (or gist for prose) in Filipino or English.

The first decade of the 21st century brought record-breaking disasters such as typhoons, floods and landslides that tested the resiliency, resourcefulness and spiritual strength of the Filipinos and changed the history of the nation. This year’s best literary works reflective of the lessons learned from such events will be put together in ANI 36.

Submissions must be typewritten or computer-encoded in Arial 12 points, double-spaced on short bond paper (8.5” x 11”), accompanied by a sheet containing the author’s five-sentence biographical note, contact numbers and address, and tax identification number (TIN) for payment purposes.

Contributions must be submitted by email ( an MSWord attachment in rich text format (.rtf) addressed to The Editor, ANI 36, Literary Arts Division, Cultural Center of the Philippines, Roxas Boulevard, Pasay City 1300. Deadline for submission is June 30.

(For verification, please contact Mr. Hermie Beltran, tel. no. 832-1125 local 1706, 1707.)

Thursday, May 13, 2010

It's Agyao and Baac in Kalinga

Engr. Manuel Agyao kept his congressional seat while apo Jocel Baac and Jesse Allen Mangaoang won as Governor and Vice-Governor, respectively.  Meanwhile, Tabuk City’s new honchos are Mayor Ferdinand Tubban and Vice Mayor Darwin Estrañero.

Sapay koma ta babaen iti baro nga gobyerno local iti Kalinga, masemento met aminen dagiti main roads tau, maiyurnos ti Comprehensive Land Use Plan (CLUP) ti probinsiya, ken maaddaanen ti napigsa nga cyber-signal kadagiti sulsulinek ti ili tayo!

The 2010 National Polls: Grrahh and Hurrah

It would be frustrating if indeed Senator Manuel Roxas loses to Makati Mayor Jejomar Binay in the race for vice presidency.  But well, in a political exercise such as this,   campaign strategies create big surprises.

Whether its "Noy-Bi" or "Noy-Mar," I guess we can still unite in congratulating the new government (at least hindi "Erap-Nay") as we share a great hope for better, new things to come for Da Pelepens.  And, for all we know, a Jejo-Mar partnership under the Noynoy Aquino administration is going to do wonders! Basta ba lahat ng gagawin nila ay maka Noy-Pi. :)

Equally frustrating for me, though not really surprising, is seeing actors Bong Revilla and Jinggoy Estrada topping the senatorial race, and Lito Lapid likely making it to the "Magic 12."  There are other candidates better suited for the Philippine Senate.

Sure, actors or ex-actors could be great politicians as (now) Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista has proven. But I'd rather have real legislators take the places of Estrada, Lapid and Revilla who I still think are better fitted for the  PambansangTakilya than for the Batasang Pambansa.

Despite my misgivings about the national polls, I would have to join the nation in giving the thumbs up to the success of our first automated elections, made possible through the concerted efforts of various stakeholders/interest groups in the country.  In the next polls, we can expect a swifter casting and transmission of votes.

The media as a whole has done a superb job keeping the public well-informed (oh yes, at times, misinformed by black propaganda on television, radio and the newspapers) and for proving that that our country is still home to volunteerism and vigilance.  Along with the automated voting system, the media's holographic and "virtual presence" effects have also thrilled the nation.

The military and police forces have certainly gained credibility for doing their best to help keep the polls generally peaceful.  It was a joy seeing our armed forces augmented by a great army of volunteers from different churches and other institutions.

And who would forget our thousands of teachers who have unfailingly helped secure the sanctity of the ballot.  TGFT! (Thank God For Teachers!)  I hope they get their long overdue salary increases and additional benefits!

May 10, 2010 is one great, shining day for the Philippines.  Our continuing task is to sustain our participation in governance as we help our new leaders make Da Pelepens a better place to live in.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

My List for the 2010 National Elections

President: Noynoy AQUINO

Vice President: Mar ROXAS

Senators: Nereus ACOSTA, Ana BARAQUEL, Silvestre BELLO III, Rufino BIAZON, Pia CAYETANO, Franklin DRILON, Rey LANGIT, Liza MAZA, Zosimo PAREDES, Miriam Defensor SANTIAGO, Adel TAMANO, Francisco TATAD

Noynoy Aquino is my choice for President not because he is the best among all the presidentiables.  You might agree with me if I say that Gordon, Villanueva and Villar have exemplified outstanding managerial skills more than he has, and Gibo is better–looking and looks smarter than he.

But why Noynoy then?  First, I believe in the ideals of the Liberal Party (LP) which he now leads. Second, my original choice for president was Mar Roxas so when he bowed out of the presidential race and became Ninoy's running mate,  I naturally went for Ninoy.  For I think it would do the country good if the top two political posts in the land be held by those who share the same political ideals.  Second, the legacy of Noynoy's parents still powerfully tugs at the heartstrings of most Filipinos and this could be exploited to unite the country.  Third, I think that among all presidentiables Noynoy has the greatest burden to prove he could help turn the ship of state around toward better shores because of his initial reluctance to run for president, his lack of charisma and unremarkable public service record.

Not much of a set of arguments, you might say but at least I am trying to make sense of my choice for these elective positions.

This doesn't mean, however, that I agree with the fallacy in Noynoy's political ad in which he seems to be saying that he represents the one, true, matuwid (straight) road to peace and prosperity and his rivals the baluktot (crooked) way.  I believe  that even though not all of the presidentiables are fit to lead the country, still they all have great things about them which they could still put to good use for the nation even after the electoral season.

I picked out the senatoriables above not because only they in the list should be given the chance to prove their worth in the Senate.  Had there been more slots, I would have gladly added some more names in my list.  Nevertheless, these 12 represent a wide variety of interest groups from moralists and legalists to feminists and environmentalists. I do have reservations regarding their positions on different issues (I am uncomfortable with Tatad's conservatism, for instance), but hey I don’t have to agree with all that they have to say or like the political parties they belong to to vote for them.  What’s more important is that they can articulate voices from both the margins and the center (center of the center, left of center, or right of center).

But then again, not all the senatoriables are fit for the position.  For some are more competent as movie stars than national legislators.  That's why I will not go for Jinggoy Estrada, Lito Lapid and Bong Revilla (the INC's recommendation notwithstanding).  But if we unfortunately find them making monkeys out of themselves in the Senate weeks from now, mei banfa, ala tayong magagawa, but to say balabadde na tolay, alalakkay vo'amen!

Just the same, I am not under the illusion that were these politicos elected, our country's woes would be over in a jiffy.  For the best thing they could do is to help set the country to the right direction which those who will later fill in their ranks will hopefully push through.

Nor am I entertaining the idea that most of these people could truly empathize with the plight of the rest of us the common tao who wonder how they could splurge barrelsful of money for their campaign ads and gas guzzlers while we continue to scrape the bottom of our tiny, and grimy barrels.  Funny, all of them talk about eradicating poverty while they spend billions of pesos for this electoral exercise  seemingly oblivious of the fact that such a hefty sum could have helped many kababayan to put up a sarisari store or a small kubo they could truly call their own.

But well, we can't do anything much about that, can we?  As they say, anvils bear while hammers strike.

Of Gods and Politicos

When politicos run for earthly offices, the gods come down from heaven to aid their anointed just as the Olympians of old would glide down from their cloud-capped abode to root for their respective champions’ victory in the human arena.

Apollo Quibolloy talked to his Father in Heaven and was told to root for Gibo; Eduardo Manalo, et al., consulted with God and were given the idea to go for Noynoy; certain Bible believers prayed for discernment and got divided over whether they were advised to vote for Bro. Ed Villanueva, Gibo or Nic Perlas; wielders of the Holy Rosary got different revelations and so distributed their blessings to the various presidentiables;  and, of course, some devotees of Bacchus and Hermes received orders from their haloed patrons  that they should back Erap Estrada.

Herds in different corrals won’t question their own shepherds’ political choices, for after all these decisions are sanctioned by heaven.  It doesn’t matter that they have made God speak with forked tongues.  It doesn’t matter that they have virtually made the Omniscient, All-Benevolent One myopic and capricious.  All that matters is that their respective pasturelands solely bear imprints of God’s grace and that while men will and do sabotage God’s will, their version of truth will eventually prevail over the forces of deception.

When the saints go marching into the polling places during this fateful day of political judgement, I wonder what or if God actually whispered to their blessed ears.

But the best thing for these religious folks to do would be to follow Mike Velarde's advice to his flock: "Vote according to your conscience."

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Summer Workshop on Kalinga Performance Arts

YKPO & Lin-awa Center to offer Workshop on Kalinga Performance Arts

Tungngatong (bamboo tube stamper). Ballingbing (split-bamboo buzzer). Patatag (half-bamboo xylophone blade). Tupayya & pattong (gong playing).  Tungali (mouth flute).

These are among the Kalinga musical instruments which participants to the "1st YKPO/Lin-awa Workshop on Kalinga Performance Arts" will be introduced to.   The workshop will be held on 13-15 May 2010 at the Baguio Convention Center, with the “Kiddie Session” scheduled from 9-12 am and the “Jutander Session” from 2-5 pm.

Only 12 slots are open for children aged 7-14, and another 12 for adults.

Originally conceived as part of a “re-rooting” program for Kalingas residing in Baguio City and Benguet, the program is now offered to all interested individuals regardless of ethnic origin.

For reservation and/or inquiries, send emails to manang Lucy or Len or Popoy  :).

"Tropang RH"

Nope, RH does not stand for “Rhesus,” “Red Horse,”  “Rabbit Hole,”  “Robin Hood,” or “Rural Health” (this one’s close enough, though).  It’s “Responsible Humans.”

This is one of the newest groups in the City of Baguio organized by yuppies who wish to make a positive difference in the community.  It is presently comprised of 23 registered nurses most of whom are graduates of the University of the Cordilleras (UC).

Formally registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) early this year, it actually started work in April 2007 with its first medical mission in Kamog, Sablan, Benguet followed by another in Beleng–Belis, Kapangan last March.   They intend to go back to Kapangan for a dental mission sometime this year.

In a recent meeting with some officers of the Young yKalinga Professionals Organization, “Tropang RH” will be helping to conduct a medical mission in Tabuk City toward the last quarter of this year.

The group is also setting its sights on doing other projects and activities aside from medical/dental missions.  Its upcoming calendar of activities will be bared after its general assembly this June.

Tropang RH is headed by Humprey  Alejandro (BS Bio, UP Baguio; BSN, UC).

Mabuhay kayo mga kapatid! J

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Free Mandarin Lessons @ Hotel Supreme Start Anew

The Baguio Filipino-Cantonese Association (BFCA) resumes its free classes for the third batch of basic Mandarin Chinese (Putonghua) learners on 01 May 2010 from 1:30-3:30 pm at Hotel Supreme.  

The course includes pronunciation/phonetics, numbers, meeting people, general information, and simple sentence construction. This time, Putonghua laoshi (teachers) Atty. Cristeta Leung and Mrs. Erlinda Lam Loma-ang will be assisted by some of the survivors of the first two batches.  

The new assistant teachers are mostly Igorots some of whom took part in this year's Chinese New Year celebration and are gearing up for a special presentation during the Moon Festival this September.  They have, in the past few months, been honing their linguistic skills during Saturday afternoon sessions in the same venue.  Their advanced course in conversational Chinese cover more than 20 lessons on directions, time, mailing, travel, shopping, food and drink, medical care, among others.

For enrollment and inquiries, text or call Atty. Leung at 09175902809 or send emails to

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

"yJaton ji Umili" Charity Concert Raises 40k

The charity concert  for kidney patient Sheriff Thomas Dannang yielded about PhP 40,000.00which  was promptly turned over by YoungKaPA Vice President Bernadette Balway to Frolaine Dannang, daughter of the beneficiary.

The concert, appropriately titled Y–Jaton Ji Umili (roughly, “a community offering”),  was held on March 06, 2010 at the new site of Le Fondue along Legarda Road. Starting at 7pm and lasting until  the wee hours of the next day, it saw the outpouring of support by over 300 individuals and groups composed of students, folk, rock and country singers, SWAT police officers, local officials, among others.

We the YoungKaPA officers and board of directors wish to thank the following for ensuring the success of the fund–raising activity:


[Note: VIP tickets were sold at PhP 1,000.00 each]

1. Councilor Rocky Thomas Balisong (PhP 5,000.00 for printing of tickets, posters & tarps)

2. Le Fondue Legarda under Ms. Grace Mangune (venue, sound system)

3. BENECO Board of Directors (PhP 12,000.00)

3.1 Dir. Ferdy Bay–asen (PhP 3k)

3.2 Dir. Rocky Aliping (PhP 3k)

3.3 Dir. Benny Bomogao (PhP 1k)

3.4 Dir. Peter Busaing (PhP 1k)

3.5 Dir. Antero Buswilan, Jr. (PhP 1k)

3.6 Dir. Ed Dogui–is (PhP 1k)

3.7 Dir. Gaspar Leung (PhP 1k)

3.8 Dir. Joey Marrero (PhP 1k)

4.Engr. Gilbert Mangliwan (VIP TN 001)

5. Atty. Jose Molintas (VIP TN 002)

6. Dr. Joseph Delson (VIP TN 003)

7. Dr. Cheryl Taclawan (VIP TN 005)

8. Atty. George Dumawing, Jr. (VIP TN (007)

9. Engr. Junebert Gunaden (VIP TN 008)

10. Mr. Philip Guanzo (VIP TN 009)

11. Major Florante Camuyot (VIP TN 010)

12. Atty. Faustino Olowan (VIP TN 015)

13. Mayor Camilo Lammawin (VIP TN 020)

14. Congressman Mauricio Domogan (VIP TN 021,022)

16. Councilor Nicasio Aliping, Jr. (VIP TN 023)

17. Mr. Dwight Bello (VIP TN 024)

18. Atty. Macario Duguiang (VIP TN 026)

19. Vice Mayor Rainier Sarol (VIP TN 027)

20. Professor Ikin Salvador (VIP TN 028)

21. Mrs. Sonia Dao–as (VIP TN 029)

22. Atty. Arthur Herman (VIP TN 035)

23. Engr. Marty Manayos (VIP TN o36)

24. Atty. Richard Kilaan (VIP TN 0)

25. Board Member Eddie Amuasen (20 GA tickets, 1k)

Volunteer Performers/Singers/Bands

Rocky Aliping

Karen & Johannes Amuasen

Baguio- Benguet Country Line Dancers

Arnel Banasan


Blue Graz

Bong Dailo

Lin-awa Center for Culture and the Arts headed by Mrs. Lucia Ruiz
Pe’tune led by Atty. Christopher Donaal


Seldom Seen
Ronny Suarez

Jun Utleg

Volunteers for Security

PCI Reynaldo Pasiwen

SPO3 Julius Basinga

SPO1 Francis Pawe

PO 3 Lester Abag

PO 3 Juliet Basacoy

♥PO 3 Marissa Dirige

PO 3 Alvaro Perez

PO 1 Terencia Sofronio
Volunteer Photographers

Carl Taawan

Glo Abaeo


Anabelle Laron (additional printing of tickets and certificates)

DILG CAR (multimedia projector)

Dr. Elma Donaal & Baguio City National High School (additional chairs)

Dennis Tabbang, Ungsit, Jr., Anno; Tom Dannang, Jr., Paris Dalipog (cooking of food for performers)

And to all others who bought tickets, prepared the venue, offered their cars for “public service,” did the leg work, etc. SALASALAMAT!!!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

(FREE) Lecture on Teaching CNF & the Novel @ UPB

UP Baguio invites the public to a free lecture on "Teaching Creative Non–Fiction" and "Teaching the Novel" by two  pillars of contemporary Philippine Literature, Cristina Pantoja–Hidalgo and Jun Cruz Reyes, respectively.  The lecture–forum will be held on 09 April 2010 at the TV room of the College of Arts and Communication, (CAC) UP Baguio. Interested? Heto ang aming contact details: 074 444 8393 (telefax),

The activity is part of the CAC's annual "Summer Arts Extension Program."  This  year's workshops are scheduled on April 5 to 10 and include the following:

♦ For KIDDIES (7 to 11 years old)

♥ AM: Basic Drawing & Illustration, Crafts Workshop

♥ PM: Water–Based Painting, Basic Tie–Dye Painting

♦ For TEENS & ADULTS (12 up)

♥ AM: Basic Drawing & Illustration, Basic Sculpture

♥ PM: Basic Print–Making, Basic Oil Painting


♥ AM: Scriptwriting for Film

♥ PM: Voice & Diction

WORKSHOP FEES: PhP 1,500.00 (onsite registration); 20% discount for UP Students, faculty, staff & Dependents; 20% discount for early registration (b4 start of scheduled workshop)...


Tuesday, March 16, 2010

School in Butbut needs help!

I am recommending this project primarily because my good friend, Prof. Annalyn "Ikin" Salvador (UP Baguio), is involved in it.  Ikin, an adopted daughter of the Butbut folks, has spent over 10 years doing anthropological/ethnographic research in Kalinga.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

YKPO Charity Concert for Sheriff Tom Dannang

The Young yKalinga Professionals Organization, Inc. has organized a benefit concert aptly titled Y–JATON JI UMILI (An Offering of the Community) for Sheriff Thomas Dannang of Baguio City, on 06 March 2010, 5 PM, at Le Fondue along Legarda Road. Mr. Dannang has been undergoing dialysis thrice a week for some months now.

The charity project features the following cultural performance groups, bands, and singers:

Lin–awa Performing Arts PE'TUNE A.N.I.T.O.S. Band



SELDOM SEEN Band (Dick Oakes, Art Tumpao, Ernie Cacam, Jutay Jessie, Dennis Tabbang, March Fianza)

Rocky Aliping

Jun Utleg

Arnel Banasan

Johanes & Karen Amuasen

Amper Barcellano

General admission tickets sell at PhP 50.00 each, while VIP tickets sell at PhP 1,000.00 each.  For inquiries, email or text/call Berna Balway @ 09081017851.

Lecture/Forum on Ethnicity, Identity & Language Learning

Thursday, February 25, 2010

"Panagbenga 2010 Poetry Reading"

Junley Lazaga of the College of Arts and Communication, UP Baguio has organized two poetry readings in celebration of the Bagui0 City Flower Festival and the National Arts Month, scheduled as follows:

PART 1 (25 February 2010, 3-5 PM)

Venue: College of Social Sciences AVR, UP Baguio

Readers: Janice Bagawi, Elizabeth Calinawagan, Sacha Weygan, Merci Dulawan, Jennifer Cariño, Vicente Raras, Junley Lazaga, Roger "Rishab" Tibon, Scott Saboy, Frank Cimatu, Peter LA. Julian Francis Macansantos, Priscilla Macansantos

PART 2 (26 February 2010, 2-4 PM)

Venue: Strawberry Hall, College of Home Economics and Technology, Benguet State University

Readers: Christian Ezekiel Fajardo, Janice Bagawi, Sacha Garah Weygan, Cristian Carlo Suller, Junley Lazaga, Napoleon Paris, Richard Kinnud,  Scott Magkachi Saboy, Priscilla S. Macansantos,  Babeth Lolarga, Rishab Tibon,  Francis Macansantos, Elizabeth Calinawagan, Cecilia Fe Abalos, Lynette Carpio

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Defaced Igorot

This disfigured Igorot statue half-buried in the heart of the Baguio Centennial Park partly depicts some aspects of the issue on "Igorotness" or Igorot ethnicity:

1. Igorotness cannot be divorced from the the issue of land.

2. The soil that sustains and animates the Igorot is the same soil that immobilizes him; the land that gives him life is the same land that gives him death.

3. The Igorot's "trunk" may well be his "roots."

4. Just as the defaced statue will need frequent restoration or reconstruction, Igorotness will continue to be (re)defined and negotiated.

5. The statue may end up being destroyed for good and in its place a new monument may arise -- just as the Igorotness which many now imagine may be re-imagined and given  new "form" in the years to come.

6. Just as this statue is constructed with wood, steel bars and cement, so is Igorot identity clothed and shaped by the foreign and the native, the artificial and the natural.

7. The Igorot body will likely continue to be a significant -- if not central --  factor to the Igorot's imagined nature. His (half-) nakedness will likely continue to make him the exotic object of the voyeur-tourist.

[caption id="attachment_3509" align="aligncenter" width="531" caption="smsaboy photo"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_3510" align="aligncenter" width="536" caption="smsaboy photo 21 December 2009"][/caption]

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Baguio Calligraphy to be launched @ SM Baguio

07 MARCH 2010

4 PM


Thursday, February 18, 2010

"Hungduan: The Unsung Municipality of Ifugao"

[Note: This article was written by Gus Saboy for the Philippine News Service on 23 February 1966, about four months before the implementation of Republic Act No. 5694 (18 June 1966) which divided the Old Mountain Province into four provinces (i.e. Benguet, Mountain Province, Ifugao, and Kalinga-Apayao). 1988 saw the inclusion of the province of Abra into what is now known as the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR). Kalinga and Apayao were "divorced" to become full provinces on 14 February 1995 by virtue of RA 7878. It would be interesting to know how far Hungduan has gone in terms of socio-economic development after four decades (cf. article on Sadanga and note Mr. Martin Apopot's comment. - sms]
Each of the five sub-provinces of the Mountain Province has at least one municipality known only for its fame in being the least attended to among the 42 municipalities in the province. These are Bayag of Apayao, Tanudan of Kalinga, Natonin of Bontoc, Bakun of Benguet, and Hungduan of Ifugao.

The last — Hungduanwill be spotlighted this time, it being the municipality which as the brightest chance among the five mentioned above to become one of the most progressive municipalities in the province.

Hungduan is a border municipality on the Benguet-Ifugao subprovincial boundary. It is only more than a half day hike across the heavily forested border mountain of Bad-ayan to the town of Buguias, Benguet.

There are two approaches to the poblacion of Hungduan. It may be reached from Kiangan on the west from Banaue through the barrio of Hapao. The latter route is easier because part of it is reached by a vehicular road under construction to the poblacion.

Like other municipalities in the province still unreached by the modern means of travel, Hungduan has much to pray for from the government. Cited by Mayor Pa-it Buyucan as its top problem is the absence of health officials assigned in the municipality. It has no Rural Health Unit (RHU) physician or nurse although they have one midwife doing the yeoman’s job of looking after the health and sanitation needs of more than 7,000 inhabitants.

But all is not dim for this isolated Ifugao municipality. A road to its poblacion is under construction. And, as the so-called law of compensation makes it, Hungduan is the only municipality of the Mountain Province today which has two emergency airstrips. One of these emergency landing fields is already being used while the other is nearing completion. These airstrips have been reportedly constructed by the people with the aid of the Lutheran Missionaries in the Philippines. Already, this missionary group’s five-seater light plane has been making unscheduled trips to the municipality. Tinoc Airstrip is the one now used while the other airstrip under completion is located in the barrio of Tukukan.

The world will always remember Hungduan. For here was General Tomoyoki Yamashita‘s last holdout before he unconditionally surrendered to the Allied Forces in 1945. The mountain overlooking the poblacion is called Mt. Napolaoan [sic], the location of Yamashita’s last stand. According to some residents of this municipality, this giant mountain is supposed to be the location of the famous “Treasure of Yamashita” which today is still the object of search by adventurous treasure hunters.

As for its tourism potential, Hungduan could well excel other Ifugao municipalities in breath-taking natural scenes. Joseph Pablito Gadit, former municipal COMELEC registrar of this municipality, told this writer that Hungduan has also its own version of “world-wonder” in the form of its flights of rice terraces which he said are “far better in view than those of Banaue.”
Young Gadit also said that he was awed by the “beautiful sight” of Hungduan’s twin sulphur deposits emitting clouds of smoke every minute. These sulphur deposits are found in the barrio of Tukukan where medicilan hot spring also caters to the needs of the villagers.

Recent geological surveys of the bureau of mines revealed that Hungduan’s bowels is rich with gold and iron. When the road shall have reached this municipality, it expects to bustle with initial prospecting of its mineral deposits.

What the residents hope for is the opening of the proposed Buguias-Hungduan road. This proposed highway will link the two subprovinces through these municipalities. Residents of this municipality are seeking means by which they could convince Congressman Hora and Congressman Cosalan to appropriate government funds form Congress to get their fond dream materialized. Should the Buguias-Hungduan Road be constructed, it is expected to form the main road artery bridging Benguet and Nueva Vizcaya through Ifugao.

This, then, is Hungduan. Today, an unsung primeval Ifugao country but tomorrow, a land of plenty and glory.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Writing Ethnicity: Searching for an Igorot Native Clearing

Writing Ethnicity: Searching for an Igorot Native Clearing”

@ Scott Mágkachi Sabóy
Department of Language, Literature and the Arts College of Arts and Communication
University of the Philippines Baguio

We look to literature for an understanding of ethnicity not because ethnicity is  writable,   but  because  it  is  readable.  Writing  (noun)  about  ethnicity, performs the writers reading of ethnicity.
@Dean Franco (1999: 106)

The epigraph to this paper reminds us that writing ethnicity whether by this one means either actually writing about one’s ethnicity or metaphorically superscribing one’s ethnicity on his writings is contingent on multifaceted, overlapping cultural contexts and complex personal experiences.

This is a good starting point for discussion because it helps us guard against the tendency  to  reify  ethnicity  and  to  forget  that  it  is  subject  to  an  indefinite  process  of reinterpretation and negotiation. As sociologist Richard Jenkins wrote, ethnicity is not

‘something’  that  people  have’,  or,  indeed  to  which  they  ‘belong...  [but]  are… complex repertoires which people experience, use, learn and do’ in their daily lives, within which they construct an ongoing sense of themselves and an understanding of their fellows (2008: 15).

It also helps us guard against the temptation to generalize our individual notion of ethnicity.     Because ethnicity is a biographically grounded, emotionally charged way of living, experiencing, perceiving and remembering (everyday) life situations” (Karner 2007:
5), we cannot assume that our sense of [our ethnic group’s] uniqueness and solidarity” (Tolentino 2002:1) actually represents or accurately articulates that of our ethnic group.

The Igorotness” I speak of here is one of those widely shared, though intensely debated, collective fictions that are continually reinvented, (Sollors in Anderson, 1995: 60). Further, the attitude I  take  on this subject is not that of a self-assured theologian who thinks he fully apprehends the truth about himself and the world, but that of a self-styled, self-reflexive skeptic willing to contest even his own notion of being and belonging.

I trace my roots to two major ethnolinguistic groups in the Cordillera, the Kalinga and the Bontok, each of which has its checkered history of social classification and group identification.[1] Kalinga, for instance, is a geopolitical unit fragmented into over 30 distinct ili  (“village)      centered   aggrupations   circumscribed   by   artificially   created,   porous territorial boundaries.      It  is often  exoticized  or sensationalized  as a  land bereft  of the blessings  of  modern  technology  and  beset  by  frequent   tribal  wars  and  occasional headhunting.  It is also typically imagined, again, to borrow from Werner Sollors, as if [it is a] natural, real, eternal, stable, and static unit(in Anderson, 1995:62).

I also identify myself with the contemporary pan-Cordillera Igorot  consciousness”  (Finin 2005:  273),  one  wrought  in  modern  historical  accidents  (i.e., colonial  historiography and administrative policies) and indigenous political movements (Florendo 1999; Finin 2005).

By  native  clearing”  I,  of  course,  allude  to  Gemino  Abad’s  idea  of  a  form  of consciousness, an aesthetic, a literary mold, and a nationalistic  or ethnic niche where the Filipino writer finds or imprints  his own identity;  a space created by the Filipino writer
resulting from appropriating unto his own personal experience, cultural background and literary style what used to be a foreign or borrowed language, practice or context (Abad 2004: 170-175; 2006).

This immediately connects to my current preference to write in English or, as Abad   would   put   it,   from   English      in   most   of   my   creative   and   critical   works. Parenthetically, I count myself as among those referred to by Butch Dalisay as “young writers today [who] use English unapologetically, refusing to  be burdened by colonial guilt” (in Abad, 1998:  145).  I  also  appropriate  Abad’s  concept  to  refer  to  my  attempt  at  staking  an indigenous flag and marking out a space in this fictive forest called Philippine Literature.” Part of this challenge is to be able to write in the languages of the ethnic groups I identify myself with.

My  recent  search  for  an  indigenous  creative  space  began  with  what  Benedict Anderson might characterize as a “profound [change] in consciousness” (2003:204) my deconversion from religious sectarianism. For over a decade, I had ardently advocated a highly sectarian evangelistic project under  the  Star-Spangled  Banner  of  the  Baptistic-Restorationist  Cross  which  has  often casually   dismissed   my   ethnic   culture   as   “pagan   and   has   not   taken   theological indigenization seriously.   When   I   started   questioning   the  basic  assumptions   of   my exclusivist, fundamentalist sect, I also began to realize that my religious fanaticism had all the  more  alienated  me  from  my  indigenous  roots.  I  was  thus  twice  displaced –  first uprooted from  my  rural place of origin  (Kalinga),  transplanted in a highly  multiethnic urban space (Baguio City) and then replanted in some celestial space where my identity was   to  be  caged  in  a  patternistic  theological  grid  (Stone-Campbell  Church  of  Christ ideology).

As it happens to many who have wholly committed themselves to certain political, social,  and  religious  ideologies,  I  went  through  the  passage  from  Cloud  9  Idealism  to Ground Zero Realism (or downright naivete to healthy scepticism, if you please) at which I initially, like the boy in James Joyce’s Araby,” “gazed up into the darkness [and saw myself as a creature] driven and derided by vanity eyes burn[ing] with anguish and anger.”

This  epiphany  almost  coincided  with  my  pursuit  of  higher  literary  and  cultural studies at the University of the Philippines Baguio (UPB) where I eventually began teaching  amidst the painful process of tearing myself away from a subculture to rejoin a larger community, I celebrated my  escape from the dungeon of religious fundamentalism to a fertile field of academic freedom. UP Baguio opened outlets for my literary passion and was fortunate to have a few of my creative works published. With Cordillera Studies” as UPBs niche, I began to re-educate myself about my own culture by poring over texts about the Cordillera  and  seeking  out  some  cultural  masters  for  wisdom.  Informed by liberating theoretical constructs from both literary and cultural studies, I came to see the theological system I once espoused as part of a hegemonic, homogenizing discourse carried over from our colonial past.

This is not to say that my Bible School training and my preaching years killed my literary talents;  it is to say that ironically, as a sectarian preacher then, studying a great literary work as the Bible actually caged my creativity. It was so, for the Bible School I was in was built and maintained as a camp of indoctrination where I and other aspiring Bible scholars would treat that sacred text as a legal treatise primarily laying out absolute rules of faith and practice for a small faithful herd. With a pedantic obsession for the pattern of
sound words” in texts both prophetic and poetic, we often neglected to explore how the
poet in the prophet and the human in the hermeneut can make the multiple reading of a heavenly text an enriching earthly experience.

This is not to say too that my passion for the literary germinated in college, for the literary seed was first planted by my parents who exposed me to literature early in life; it is to say that this passion recovered from a stunted growth after over a decade and I began writing again as my journalist father had wished me to do. My father was a writer-politician who deeply involved himself in the pressing issues of Kalinga and the Cordillera as a whole, something I had shunned while pursuing my undergrad studies being then a religious zealot who viewed my divine calling” as more noble than his “worldly works, not knowing that, years after his death, I was meant to pick up where he left off.

I once wondered why he had to name me after his dear friend, William Henry Scott. To start with, I look anything but a Scot(t).  But re-reading Scott and other scholars on Cordillera studies led me to realize how iconic he was in Cordillera historiography, how crucial his role was in politicizing many Igorots.   So I began believing that perhaps, my first name was meant as a constant reminder for me to always go back to my roots in the face of imperialist cultural discourses, and to contribute to the textual representation of  Igorot culture. And so I vigorously sought to identify myself with a ’politicized [Igorot] culture, a culture conscious of itself” (Karner 2007: 65).

My small corpus of creative work thus touches mainly on socio-political issues and the interface of imported religion and indigenous knowledge systems and practices and somehow articulates my desire to join the call for more inclusive thinking that can [open] up the way the world is viewed, making the experience of previously excluded groups more
visible and central in the construction of knowledge (Andersen & Collins, 2004:17).
So “Shifting the Center came to be one of the themes in my write ups. Now, this envisioned shift is not informed by nativism, an essentialist view of group identification which, in Bryan Turners words, involves a naïve trust in the ‘native’ or the pre-modern as a form of humanity which is not corrupted by Westernization or modernization (in Macfie 2000: 373).  So when I express great pride in my Igorotness, I write as one fully aware of the modern constructedness, contingency and plasticity of my ethnicity.

I must readily acknowledge that in attempting to view the world with a different lens, mine is tinted too with my psycho-social circumstances. This admits the fact that I and any other people belong to or are dressed up in what David Berreby (2005:14,15)  terms as human kinds” those real and imagined aggrupations that fall Between All and One” or those labels that define more than one person but fewer than all.” And with all these overlapping circles of identification that largely determines who I am, who I think others are and what the world is, I must always strive to be aware of my subject position.

I  often  write  about  the  need  for  a  sustained  reconstruction  of  a  frequently-essentialized Igorot identity. One strategy I adopt in working toward this end is from Feminists who seek to occupy the metaphorical objects of derision and fear by casting the well-proven  magic…  [of]   uttering  a  curse  in  order  to  undo  its  claim  or  its  power, pronouncing a name in order to command  its  field of meaning as Marina Warner put it (1994, 15).

Tasked to  articulate  the  core values of a newly formed group of  young Kalinga professionals, for example, I used Kalinga” as an acronym for a collective statement that attempts  to  proffer  a  gentler  face  of  this  ethnic  group. The online and offline ethnic slurs of a certain Francesca” in France, Candy Pangilinan and others also provided an opportunity to employ this strategy.  Far from just a form of counter-essentialism, this strategy proposes that Igorots admit that they are themselves complicit in the negative construction of their identity; that by  much  of  what  they  say   and   do  they  unwittingly  reinforce  an  unsavory  social categorization; that crafting their own narrative  repair [of] damaged identities” (Nelson 2001) must involve an examination of their associative and dissociative discourses and a confession of their guilt in the mangling of their own image.
Part of this narrative repair  is the burden of Igorot creative writers like me to produce works that depict the contemporary conditions of the Igorot and help disabuse the un/ ill/misinformed of essentialized notions of Igorotness.  For it seems that there are some who imagine the Igorots as being forever laminated in the textual frame of Sinai Hamada’s Tanabata’s Wife” or Amador Daguios The Wedding Dance.   This is no different from the case  of  other  outsiders  who  cannot  imagine  Igorots  apart  from  the  camera-obsessed, toothless and barefooted natives begging at Botanical Garden and Mines View Park.

So far, I have talked chiefly about putting words on paper. But I think writing ethnicity is made more alive not in those private moments of tapping on the computer keyboard  or  scribbling  on  a  notepad  or  even  toasting  with  fellow  writers  in  a  book launching, but in those public periods of engagement with community issues. The greater challenge is not that I write but that I do what I write; or to put it in Salvador Lopez words, to be no longer a florist, scissors in hand gathering lovely blossoms but a tiller of the soil, spade in hand, digging into the roots of things and planting seeds”  (in Abad 1998:374).

Similarly, Malaysian lawyer-activist-writer Cecil Rajendra posed this challenge in his  paper,  The  Artist  as  Activist, which  he  read  in  the  1985  Southeast  Asia  Writers Conference in Bali:

To lend authenticity and credibility to his writing, the writer must himself intervene in  processes of change at whatever   personal risk. If he elects to stand  apart  and  merely   record  what’s  happening  around  him  without personally stepping into the cauldron, as it were, then no matter how fine or powerful his writing is, it is merely a forgery a fraud!...

This is a challenging and daunting task but as Yukio Mishima once said, It is no longer enough to write a poem, you must be the poem. (1989:80)

Whether I am up to this challenge to become the literary piece I write remains to be seen.

As I look over the few creative and critical works I have written thus far, I could see that my reading  of my ethnicity continues to be performed in the interplay of my family background,  historical  accidents,   political  culture,  religious  experience,  and  academic training.

One can tell by now that my search for my “Igorot Native Clearing has just begun. What form  that  imagined space will take, what crops” and structures” it will have is anyone’s guess.

Who knows, my search will eventually lead me to finally realize that what I should have been aiming at is not that I finally plant the flag of my poetics on some literary clearing but that I only meander with the Diwata as far as I could in this vast enchanted forest, chat with Terabithian creatures, help make the woods ring with my fellow travellerslaughter, leave my footprints along the trail, and etch my initials on some trees.
 Works Cited

Abad,  Gemino  H.  1998.  The Likhaan Anthology of Philippine Literature in English from 1900 to the Present. Quezon City: University of the Philippines Press.
                        . 2004. Filipino Poetry in English: a Native Clearing. World Englishes 23:
                        .        2006.        Creativity        and        Philippine     Literature.        Available,                 upforum.php?i=37&archive=yes&yr=2006&mn=5. Accessed, 27 September 2007.
Andersen, Margaret L. & Patricia Hill Collins. 2004. Race, Class, and Gender: An Anthology.
5th ed. Belmont, CA: Thomson/Wadsworth.
Anderson, Benedict. 2003. Imagined Communities. Manila: Anvil Publishing, Inc.
Anderson,  Walter  Truett,  ed.  1995.  The  Truth  About  the  Truth:  De-confusing  and  Re- constructing the Postmodern World. New York: Jeremy P. Tarcher/Putnam.
Berreby, David. 2005. Us and Them: Understanding Your Tribal Mind. NY: Little, Brown & Co
 Dalisay, Butch. 1998. “The Filipino Short Story in English: An Update for the 90s. In
The Likhaan Anthology of Philippine Literature in English from 1900 to the
Present,  ed.  Gemino  H.  Abad,  139-146.  Quezon  City:  University  of  the
Philippines Press.
Finin,  Gerard  A.  2005.  The  Making  of  the  Igorot:  Contours  of  Cordillera  Consciousness.
Quezon City: Ateneo de Manila University Press.
Franco,  Dean.  1999.  Ethnic  Writing/Writing  Ethnicity:  The  Critical Conceptualization  of
Chicano Identity Dean Franco II (Winter)1: 104-122.
Florendo,  Maria  Nela  B.1999.  Cordillera  Historiography  and  the  Crisis  of  Ethnicity.
Cordillera Studies Center (CSC) Monograph, University of the Philippines Baguio.
Jenkins, Richard. 2008. Rethinking Ethnicity. London: Sage Publications Ltd
Karner, Christian. 2007. Ethnicity and Everyday Life. New York: Routledge.
Lopez,  Salvador.  1998.  Literature  and  Society. In  The  Likhaan  Anthology  of
Philippine Literature in English from 1900 to the Present, ed. Abad, Gemino H.,
373-379. Quezon City: University of the Philippines Press.
Nelson, Hilde Lindemann.   2001. Damaged Identities, Narrative Repair. New York: Cornell
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Macfie, A.L. 2000. Orientalism: A Reader. New York: NYU Press.
Rajendra, Cecil. 1989. Cecil Rajendra Biography & Selected Profiles, Reviews, Essays. London:
Bogle L’ouverture Publications Ltd.
Sollors, Werner.1995. "Ethnicity." In The Truth About the Truth: De-confusing and Re-constructing the Postmodern  World,  ed.  Walter  Truett  Anderson,  58-65.  New  York:  Jeremy  P. Tarcher/Putnam.
Tolentino, Delfin Jr. 2002. “Ethnicity and the Issue of Representation in Cultural Forms.”
Cordillera Studies Center (CSC) Monograph, UP Baguio.

[1] Social anthropologists define social classification as  the external imposition of a classificatory grid on populations and thus involves powerful outsiders in the construction and reproduction of group boundaries and cultural communities. Group identification refers to a “people’s experience of solidarity and meaning as self-identifying group members” (Karner 2007:5).