By LAYAD EKID
During the 1998 campaign of the second organic act for a Cordillera Autonomous Government, many people in the region expressed their sentiment through a very creative way – playing on the word autonomy.
Although most of them were meant as jokes their popularity must have predicted the dismal result. Filipinos, including us Cordillerans who were never colonized under Spain, are very good at expressing ourselves in jokes things we could not say straight to the face.
We do not hear much of the jokes today with the RDC (Regional Development Council) led pursuit for a third organic act. Maybe the people do not care about the issue anymore, or the RDC efforts has yet to reach the broadest number of people in which case, the august body should rethink the Domogan calendar of a third plebiscite before the 2013 election.
This maybe too early to say but could it be possible that the people had resigned to the attitude of “uway na issa (come what may)?” This friend of mine who works in government said nobody is reacting to postings on Regional Autonomy in the RDC website even if the website has an average of 20 to 30 thousand hits a month. Late last year he accordingly posted an article on Regional Autonomy culled from the RDC website to the bibaknet, the widest net discussion site for the Cordillera people, hoping to generate opinions. Only one responded to say – thank you for the link.
Or perhaps people are bidding their time and weighing their thoughts before we hear of the word play again. I hope this is the case so that the Cordillera people could not be likened to cows sheepishly following their masters – sometimes to the slaughter. As one campus speaker said, “Regional Autonomy is too important to be left for government, let us debate the issue and if we need to come to blows by the passion of our exchanges, so be it.”
Let us recall the word play. I arranged them according to what I think was their popularity. For today’s proponents of regional autonomy – I hope the lessons had been learned. Just remember, “Pikon ang di marunong tumanggap ng biro, kaya basahin niyo lang at matuto sa anumang aral nito.
“ITONOYO, ITONOMI.” From the word “tono (roast).” “Itonoyo” means you will roast while “itonomi” means we will roast.
When people were tired of hearing the promises that autonomy would accordingly bring and hearing them from braggadocio traditional politicians who are known to promise even the moon and the stars, people would say: Kunayo ah ta itonoyo dayta. Ken-itonomi topay! (You say that because it is an autonomy that will serve your interest. The second phrase was a threat to reject autonomy).
MA-ITONOMI, INTONOYON.” “Maitonomi” means “something we can roast for ourselves. Intonoyon means something you roasted already.
When proponents talked of the billions of pesos that will come to the region, and they seem to have so much to spend in their campaign, people would say: Aye, ado siguro maitonomi met dita – iwaras yon ah, wenno intonoyon (Wow, there probably is something for us there, or have you distributed it already for yourselves); or they would say to proponents: Adda ba maitonomi dita, a more discreet way of saying “adda ba pagkuarta-an dita (Is there money for us there?).”
From people who came from an autonomy information drive, you can get feedback like: Kunada nga adda ma-itonomi, cookies lang met gayam (they said there is something for us there, they just gave us cookies for a snack), that is if the participant thought there will be something to be distributed during that information drive.
“UTO-UTONOMY, UTO-UTO-NO-ME.” The root word is uto-uto, meaning to fool or make a fool of someone.
There are proponents who talked of the benefits of autonomy to the point of describing nirvana and people would say: Agasem, kasla tayo ma-uto-utonomy ditoy (Wow, looks like they can fool us). Or uto-uto-no-me as in do not fool me with that autonomy.
When proponents go to a place to talk about autonomy, there are people who would say: “Apan da kano ag-uto-utonomi idiay (they will go there to fool the people).”
“INUTO-UTONOMIM.” Depending on which side of the fence you belong, you could react to someone who talked about autonomy with “inuto-utonomi na daydiay ah (If you agreed with the speaker, this may mean: “He/She said it well (from the word uto or cook).” If your position was opposite to that of the speaker, the statement could mean: “His/Her bola was convincing (from the word uto-uto or to fool).
“UTO-NOMISSA.” When proponents invite people to a consultation, people could say “uto-nomissa” from the Kankana-ey word “uto” which relay a message of lack of interest as in “uto missa” (we are not interested about that). This could also be the response to one who asked whether you were YES or NO to the Organic Act.
“AW-TO-NO-ME.” (with emphasis on the AW and NO).” This could be a response to someome who asked you whether you were YES or NO to the Organic Act. It was just like saying trulse to a question answerable by true or false with AW being the Kankana-ey term for YES.
“AUTO-MI, AUTO-YO.” When asked about their opinions on autonomy they would say: “Magay auto-mi. Dakayo a no waday auto-yo? (We do not have a car. Do you have cars?), which was a way of saying: “Do not disturb us with that issue of autonomy.” # nordis.net