By KATHLEEN T. OKUBO
It is sad that the Mateo and Bayosa Cariño Foundation and the Ibaloys in the Baguio Heritage Foundation were not able to participate in the election of the new officers of the Onjon ni Ivadoy that some of them have actually organized and mentored, and of which they are members of too. The Onjon now shows signs of being spent and on the path of traditional organizations veering away from their original objectives or mission/vision and showing symptoms of anti-social practices like in the purposes surrounding the construction of another stage in the city’s central park. It would be the 4th or 5th stage in the now narrowing space of the Burnham park and of the Ibaloi park in particular.
There has been an actual lack of consultation with all stakeholders regarding the development of the park. For if there was, that kind of a stage would not have even been thought of. It even sounded that it was more important to get hold of the funds than it was to plan and design a necessary and functional infrastructure or developed as initially envisioned by the elders where it begun as a nature park.
I find it also very sad for the misrepresentations and personal advantages being pushed and gained by some individuals around the Ibaloi park in the name of improving the Igorot centennial heroes memorial in the park.
Still none of those name-dropping claims of being the favored by the elders (who worked for the recognition of the national hero Mateo and his quest for his native title), have started or begun fixing up the park according to the original proposals or come up with a plan for the park with the consensus of at least the Baguio Ibaloys.
That’s too bad. Now capitalists are looking to take over for their vested advantage. As long as they are not in community with their tribe, the Ibaloys of Baguio will always be jeered and jostled to put their act together. Have you seen how politicians are playing with the IPMR representation of Baguio?
Another rising issue is the take over of what is left of Baguio Ibaloi ancestral lands again which has started with the blowing up of small scale and even private small scale mine tunnels in the guise of warning against attempts to further expansion of the mines? And, I wonder if it is also the expanding the ancestral land grabbed for the PMA area and now for the housing of rich and retired military officers? At the expense of the indigenous peoples of Loakan, Baguio and Camp 4-6, Tuba?
At this juncture, Igorots in the city must also actively resist tyranny! let us encourage and help more of our youth learn to respect their ancestry, their material and cultural heritage, and the beginings of being an Igorot and a Filipino nationalist.# nordis.net