All men must die, but death can vary in its significance. The ancient Chinese writer Szuma Chien said, “Though death befalls all men alike, it may be weightier than Mount Tai or lighter than a feather.” To die for the people is weightier than Mount Tai, but to work for the fascists and die for the exploiters and oppressors is lighter than a feather. — “Serve the People” (September 8, 1944), Mao ZeDong Selected Works, Vol. III, p. 227.
Benedict Pecdasen Solang, a member and recently chosen to chair the Board of Trustees of Northern Media Information Network (NMIN), passed away early evening of January 26 after delivering a message on the Cordillera in the book launch of a friend held in Manila. BS as he is fondly called by his colleagues and friends, shall be sorely missed especially because above all he had to do as a grandfather, a brother, a caregiver, a father and a husband, he has been persevering and very patient working and studying with us to make sure we deliver your newspaper with factual relevant content, the best possible way. He is missed and remembered every minute while we worked on this issue.
To his family, our deepest condolences and prayers for Elizabeth, their daughters and sons, in-laws and grandchildren, and mother in law Tan-aw and to all the relatives and friends somehow touched by BS’ life while with us.
January 26 is an anniversary of sorts from when 48 years ago, in the 1970s the First Quarter Storm (FQS) broke out with the organized sectors of the youth taking to the main streets in the national capital, and in other major urban centers all over the country to rally the people to take a radical stand against the then impending Marcos dictatorship, against the declaration of martial law and in defense of human rights. BS the activist begun sometime in this period and pursued being so at home, in the Cordillera.
Just before BS left for Manila three days ago, to attend the book launch, he reminded this group of writers of the historical significance of the FQS and its lesson that there is no other way to protect the rights of the people but to unite and fight against all forms of fascism and dictatorships.
In his book Dap-ay Discourse Uno, page 91, he said, ”Let it not be said that we, Cordillera people cannot unite. Our ancestors have united and historically defended the Cordillera. We do so today in defense of land, livelihood and resources for the present and future generations. Even in our time, the broad unity of the Cordillera people was experienced in the popular opposition to the Chico dams, Cellophil, and the Marcos dictatorship. There was the earlier sweeping campaign for regionalization and beyond that pushed government … to provide for Regional Autonomy in the 1987 Constitution. …we must live with, and nourish our present achieved status as a Cotrdillera Region. … Let us persevere in active discourse as we do today towards our common aspiration for a prosperous, truly democratic and self-determining Cordillera and Philippine society.!”
Siya manpay, wen manpay, siya manpay, tet ewa sa. Mabuhay BS! # nordis.net