By ARTHUR L. ALLAD-IW
BONTOC, Mountain province – Ub-ubbo or community cooperation is a since time immemorial practice by the Kankanaey of Tadian town of this province. The Kankanaey utilize ub-ubbo to help community members during emergencies, or death and sickness, marriage and other social ocassions, as a manifestation of sympathy.Much more so in natural disasters that cause massive loss of lives and property, like the landslide that happened last year in Tadian, ub-ubbo played a big role in the recovery and relocation of residents in a sitio of Tadian.
On October 8 last year, Typhoon Pepeng (Parma) induced a huge landslide that swept away sitio Bulala, of Kayan East, Tadian. The landslide left 35 people dead, some injured, totally destroyed 19 houses, and eight partially destroyed, leaving fourty-six other houses in precarious condition in Sitios Bulala and Eengan of the same barangay.
As Sitio Bulala was reportedly landslide prone and thereby not habitable as reported by the Mines and Geo-Sciences Bureau (MGB), residents of the sitio decided to relocate and start anew. The MGB said that Mt Province is the second province in the country which is highly susceptible by 87.1 %, to landslide. Benguet is number one with 90.3 % susceptibility.
As they need to build new homes, residents of Bulala and nearby sitios came to help the landslide victims relocate and construct their houses. They contributed their time and labor, something that the receipient can also render, if need be, to the volunteer in the future.
For those who observed the ub-ubbo practice here were quite impressed and noted that while more houses are to be built, the residents adjusted their time even during busy agricultural farm preparation and harvesting to contribute their share.
“Residents were able to distribute themselves among the houses being built, even during the height of agricultural activities”, explained Mering Marrero Dason of Kayan. Residents from nearby barangays (of Tadian) also took turns to render their share of free labor.
The Sitio Bulala residents were now relocated in Lumnek, Bangyadan, Kadso, Baso, Aba and Bagistalang, all sitios in Barangays Kayan West and Kayan East, according to a resident.
Prioritized for the relocations were owners of 19 houses which were totally damaged and owners of the eight partially damaged. The owners of the 46 threatened houses came as second priority, a resident explained.
Now mostly finished, the houses in the relocation areas are now utilized by the residents.
Residents claimed that housing materials were shouldered by the residents, and there are donations from the Non-Government Organizations like the CCF and the church.
While they are happy about their new homes, the residents said that they are in a period of adjustment, said Dolly Tade, who lost her mother Elisa Celino, brother Albert and sister in-law Rosini, uncle Victor Balteng, and a nephew and a niece.
Even landslide survivor Erlina Trinidad, who was injured and whose right foot above the ankle was amputated, was adjusting for her new life. They were able to relocate and construct their home in Sitio Kadso, Kayan West. The finishing of their house was from the death aid of her mama from a cooperative center where she was a member. They received support also from the CCF and their mission church.
She lost her father and mother, and another sibling. She tries to make her self busy inorder to lessen the time remembering the tragic event.
Support from other groups and NGOs also continued for the recovery of the residents. On October 9, 2010 in a school in Kayan, residents conducted a community recollection to help them recover from their tragic exprerience.
Children rights were included, too. A cultural group called DKK conducted a cultural workshop for a children that same day to help them process their experience. DKK had been very supportive to the residents through cultural actitivies after the incident.
The Bulala experience strengthened the indigenous practice of ub-ubbo and reaffirmed that it works well for communities. # nordis.net