From Under This Hat: On the way to the LODI forum

By KATHLEEN T. OKUBO
www.nordis.net

This February 22, the clan of my late father’s lineage, hosted the performance of an Ibaloy ”dawit”, in the Ibaloi Heritage Garden, a section of their greatgrand ancestors Mateo and Bayosa’s estancia, now occupied by the Burnham Park. This was a ritual of offering and of communicating gratitude, and even endearment for more blessings for a prosperous future from Ibaloy ancestors. Offered were prayers, butchered pigs, clothing, rice, camote, coins, pising, tafey, etc. and the commemoration with the most dignified Ibaloy communities of Benguet Province of The Ibaloy Day in Baguio City on the following day – February 23.

I chose to be with my son that morning who is hospitalized for a collapsed lung. It is such a terrible condition (I imagine) and like all mothers that I am, I continue to pray and call on all my ancestors’ ahmed everyday since he was diagnosed, for his healing and return of health and strength. I also pray the doctor would arrive when I am there to allay my fears and my rising stomach acidity, for it is the lack of knowledge and helplessnes against my son’s failing health or medical condition and that fertile imagination of what it is that is agitating me so.

This is one of those times one thinks of doing a ‘duterte’ – mindless raging and ranting with all kinds of expletives. It is just too bad I also can not stomach such kind of antics even if it is just to vent the stress I am burdened with.

It can be very frustrating when in this state of disaster or emergency or anxiety that the assisting nurses and the identified doctors hardly communicate in plain language what is happenning or how is my son doing. So that now, I can only be so grateful for the nurses’ consistent readings of his blood pressure and body temperature. And, the visits of my heart doctor. Kastoy gayam ti itsura ti health ken medical situation tata? Ayanangay ti panangisakit ken service to the people iti daytoy a kasasaad?

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On February 22 also, was the press conference of the Center for Development Programs in the Cordillera, (CDPC) and their partners from the Province of East Flanders, Manila and beneficiaries of their programs from far flung communities of the north. They are celebrating their thirty years of service to the people this afternoon. Let us congratulate them and may they work ‘harder’ to continue true services and empowering the most neglected sectors in our moutainous region. Agprogresso! Agbiag!

Later, we arrive at the Forum ”Truth telling in time of “fake news” at the University of the Philippines in Baguio, organized by the local National Union of Journalists of the Philippines-Baguio, Benguet and local conveners of the Let’s Organize for Democracy and Integrity or LODI. Our resource speakers were personalities among the LODI national conveners: Inday Espina Varona, Tonyo Cruz, Mae Paner who came with Sarah and Walkie. The forum was full, packed. It was educational, intelligent exchange, imagination enriching – most enlightening; all sectors were represented, and aside from Baguio participants came from different nearby provinces. The only ones missing were: Bubut, Karlo and Art (apologies accepted).

The forum shall not be the first of its kind, it made all of us (including the Outcrop staff) proud and happy to say that there are conscientious artists in Baguio who care where the country is going to and not only the ones creating more tourism business. Next time, let us try to come up with a forum on TRAIN to educate us on details that agitate the activists so much or why the progressives are alarmed by it and why are the taxmen wary when we start asking them to explain TRAIN in plain language pang masa.# nordis.net

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