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Showing posts from February, 2013

Should Igorots Assimilate?

In his lecture the other day, Dr. Bacdayan said that the senga anchors Igorot identity. He raised the question, "Should Igorots assimilate or not?" His answer to this was: "The Igorot should not aim for assimilation." Instead, he said, Igorots -- and I think this goes for all people who carry an identity other than those condoned by dominant cultures -- should aim for integration and participate in the nation on their own terms. The interaction during the open forum was as interesting as the lecture itself. An officer of the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples was present. She too was an Igorot from Sagada. She said it made her uneasy when Igorots are described as "animists" and "ancestor worshippers." She took issue with Dr. Bacdayan's use of these terms. In relation to her comments, one student, also an Igorot asked about the conflict between the Anglican religion in Sagada and the continued performance of rituals. In turn, Er

Graffiti but not quite graffiti

This made me smile today. (Among other things.) Two graffiti artists in Spain have decorated the ceiling of the dome of a church near Barcelona - at the request of the priest.

Goodbye, Tree.

Today the woodcutters started work on one of three dead trees in our garden. These three trees were here before I was even born. I wish I knew who planted them and with what thoughts. I wish I could know how they died. Could we have saved these three, somehow? Others have gone before them and I worry for the last tree standing. The first tree to fall towers five stories higher than our roof. When I was seven years old, the ground around that tree was covered in camote. Before that, a canvas artwork that became part of a series of photographs by my Tatay was hanging between that tree and another one that had to go. There's a photo somewhere of me and my poodle, Star, at the foot of this tree. Star and I grew up together from when I was two years old until she was 11. And I remember another photo of a childhood friend and I beside this tree. You can't even see the tree's branches in the photos. Only its solid trunk. Where are these photos? I need to find them. The woo

Ritual for all Occasions

Attended a talk delivered by Dr. Albert Bacdayan, UP Baguio. Feb. 20, 2013. "Ritual for All Occasions: The significance and persistence of the 'Senga' in Northern Sagada." The senga is a ritual in which at least one chicken and one pig -- sometimes more -- are sacrificed. The senga is usually performed for milestones such as the completion of a house, the opening of a new business, a wedding, a funeral, when someone is ill, when someone is leaving on a journey. He spoke of how Cordillerans have a ritual for almost every occasion or ailment. Indeed, the word he used was not ritual but "remedy."Dr. Bacdayan described this as a "healthy agnosticism."He mused that the abundance or such remedies and rituals is the reason there are rarely feelings of helplessness among Cordillerans. He described ritual as a bundle of activities that assures people and anchors identity. When one calls the old men and is the principal of a senga, you are perceived t

Today's frame of reference.

Note to self re: teaching. When I say I want to teach, I will think about how Sabsy Ongkiko teaches, where she teaches, who she teaches, what she teaches. And I will do my best in the time and space I'm given. (So help me Goddesses of Knowledge and Wisdom.)

Not Valentine's Day but VDAY

Stop right there for a moment and know that today is VDAY . The day of one billion rising. While women, children and V-men  in my city and in places around the world strike, dance and rise today, I will be at my keyboard typing away at an overdue case study on indigenous peoples' education in northern Luzon. But I will be typing to the rhythm of one billion rising.

Did somebody just say "relax?"

This comes at a time when I will believe anything I am told about the benefits of taking it easy. "... the best way to get more done may be to spend more time doing less." I know it's the 21st century and all but after at least a decade of several rounds of manic multi-tasking, I don't find it to be as hot as people make it out to be. I think ten years of trying is enough. More than enough. I want to do less, and in that way, do more.

To a Reason

"Arriving from always, you'll go away everywhere." From Arthur Rimbeaud's "To a Reason" (translated by John Ashberry)

Public Self-indulgence

There seems to be a lot of "more than my usual self-indulgence" going on here. I used to do this on facebook. But nowadays I feel more like choosing what I want to make public to whatever public finds its way here, over choosing the public I want from a list of "friends." Public is public. Whatever thoughts or words I cannot make public here, I will keep to myself or leave to the old-fashioned grape vine. And this is where I first made the online world a repository for my crap, personal or otherwise. So I'm back home, blog. I'm back home. But I digress. What I really wanted to say was, Oi. You. Have you nothing else to write about besides yourself? To which the answer is, Yes. But I'm scared.

Note to self re: Consultancy

"Researchers working for outside bodies play a genuine role only if they work to reorientate attitudes and structures towards allowing local people to take more power." From 'Thinking about the ethics of fieldwork' by Ken Wilson in Devereux and Hoddinott's "Fieldwork in Developing Countries" Yup. I am still fatally idealistic albeit somewhat cynical.