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Showing posts from February, 2008

How to Enjoy the Panagbenga

Avoid the crowds. Get out of town. Grind some dirt and rocks beneath your wheels. Breathe in some real fresh air. (Now a rarity in Baguio.)

Another Reason She Has to Go

GMA's legacy may be putting more and more mothers at risk. Read it and weep. We never had separation of Church and State in this cowntry. We're still in the Dark Ages of reproductive health. This is for Manang Precious , who we haven't seen in over a month now.

Day 3, International Cordi Studies Conference

SYSTEM OVERLOAD! SYSTEM OVERLOAD! SYSTEM OVERLOAD! I'm reduced to writing down a few lines that stood out for me today, whether or not I agree with them completely. "Life in Tinoc is simple. The people plant rice in their payew and ube in their uma." DISAGREE (meaning, I agree that they do plant rice and ube/camote, but this statement on its own tends to obscure the whole picture of life in Tinoc.) "The uma is a form of common property available to the whole community." DISAGREE "I did not talk about the issues of the place because I promised my informants that I would not write anything negative about them." DISAGREE "National living artists or treasures are a form of cultural governance." AGREE "National living treasures are expected to embody the ancient past and to remain that way, but National Artists are expected to propel their work into the future." AGREE (meaning, I agree that this is a fair analysis of the system, bu

"Language Loss is a Gradual Attrition"

So spoke Dr. Lawrence Reid , whose paper was for me the biggest highlight of today: "Who are the Indigenous? Origins and Transformations". It was a joy to listen to Dr. Reid deliver his paper! First, he was able to elucidate in 90 minutes what 6 units in linguistics failed to make clear to me. Second, he is one of the few speakers I have ever heard to READ a paper without boring the audience to death. I usually hate it when speakers read their papers, preferring instead to hear them talk their walk. And third, because of the very important and enlightening points he made. Dr. Reid approached the question through linguistic and archeological evidence. If we go by the definitions available to us from English dictionaries, the United Nations, the World Bank, and the International Labor Organization, then (and again I'm being very simplistic here because the definitions are themselves quite problematic), the truly indigenous peoples of the Philippines are the Negritos or the

Ay ay salidummay

I heard ten papers presented today at the International Cordillera Studies Conference. By the end of the day my eyes were glazed, and all the other cordianthronerds looked dazed and confused. There were three highlights for me today: 1. Dean Raymond Rovillos paper on the Subanon of Siocon, Zamboanga del Norte. The case study he presented on ancestral domain claims and mining issues provided useful points of comparison with similar situations in the Cordillera. I was struck by how an anti-mining Subanon leader was later undermined by the findings of a pro-mining organization led by a "pure" Subanon, who made the counterclaim that the former's claims to speak for the Subanon people were not valid because he was half-Ilokano and not pure Subanon. The NCIP, in response to this situation, withdrew their support for the ancestral domain claim of the Ilokano-Subanon, and supported instead the pro-mining pure Subanon. Interesting identity politics. Quote from RR: "There is

Long-time Idol

Sheila Coronel . I wanna be tough like her. How I wish she were still in the cowntry* to unearth the hard facts on GMA, who is possibly THE most corrupt president we have ever had! Why is she getting away with it? Why? *Cowntry: a country of cows. That's what we're being reduced to: cattle, chattel, livestock.