By ALMA B. SINUMLAG
BAGUIO CITY — Northern Dispatch’s Editorial Consultant, Arthur Allad-iw won in the 1st Pagkilala sa mga Natatanging Kuwentong Katutubo organized by the International Labor Organization (ILO) presented in Manila on December 12 with his story featuring a Cordillera woman activist who won an International Laureate award.
In his story, Mother Petra Macli-ing, 82 years old was among the 10 women in the world awarded the Laureate Awards for Rural Women in 2009 by the Women’s World Summit Foundation (WWSF), a Geneva based international independent organization with United Nation’s (UN) consultative status.
The Laureate Awards honor creative and courageous women and women’s groups worldwide for their contribution at improving the quality of life in rural communities, for protecting the environment, transmitting knowledge and standing up for human rights and peace.
“Widowed early and forced to raise seven children alone, Mother Petra, as she is fondly called, joined the anti-Chico dam struggle with the Bontoks and Kalinga indigenous peoples against the World-Bank funded dam project of then Pres. Ferdinand E. Marcos,” the story added.
Moreover, Allad-iw’s story also described how Mother Petra never wavered from her commitment and understanding of the identity and life of the Indigenous Peoples are intrinsically tied to the protection and conservation of the land. She led the opposition against the Benguet Corporation’s exploration in 1970s. Quoted in his story was Mother Petra saying, “We burned the campsite and threw their equipment downstream. The second time, we took with us the equipment we could carry and brought it to their office at Bontoc Poblacion so they would leave our mountains forever. Disrobing by older indigenous women to curse, shame and drive them away was exercised at that time. We were so determined to drive the prospectors away, we also grabbed and squeezed their groins to their pain and agony. And so they left.”
Aside from the opposition to the mining exploration, she was one of the staunch oppositionists during the building of the Chico River Dams. She was even one of the founding members of the Kalinga-Bontoc Peace Pact Association (KBPHA) that was created to consolidate the opposition from different tribes affected by the said mega dam. She even went to Bugnay in the province of Kalinga (Macli-ing Dulag’s village) to organized women against the said dam despite the heavy militarization.
According to ILO’s press release, Allad-iw’s story was among the eleven stories selected nationwide. Among the eleven are five articles from the member publications of the Philippine Press Institute (PPI) namely, BusinessWorld’s Discontent in a Mining Wilderness by Romer Sarmiento, Sun Star Davao’s As precious as life itself by Stella Estremera, Philippine Daily Inquirer’s Mt. Pinukis, an arena of debate on mining by Ryan Rosauro and Cordillera Organic Rice finds a strong market at home by Edgardo Espiritu.
“The short list of outstanding stories from print, radio, television, online and photo essay was a result of a evaluation of more than 80 entries from August 2009 to August 2011 by a pool of experts on IP issues and from the media that comprised the screening committee and the judging panel,” the press release added.
Quoted in the press release was Ramon Tuazon, president of the Asian Institute of Journalism and Communication (AIJC) and a member of the board of judges saying that the stories were not about the journalists who produced them but about the IPs who are out there struggling to be part of the bigger community.
Further, the press release stated that the journalists presented said stories in a unique storytelling that provided insightful glimpses of their culture, aspirations and indispensible efforts towards making a difference in their communities and showing the society their critical importance in nation-building.
“The short list of outstanding stories from print, radio, television, online and photo essay was a result of a evaluation of more than 80 entries from August 2009 to August 2011 by a pool of experts on IP issues and from the media that comprised the screening committee and the judging panel,” the press release furhter added. # nordis.net