Second subject of my midterms exam. Not good news. I admit: I did not study properly for it. I felt like I was grabbing at straws for answers.at the end of the exam time. Memory is a good thing but when your professor is someone who prefers essay and right-minus wrong for her test format, make sure to devote time to actually UNDERSTAND your concepts. Especially when it is the most ETHICal thing to do. So much for pun, PA 161.
Later today, I had attended a talk of UP AnthroSoc’s SIPA or State of the Indigenous People Address in celebration for Indigenous People Week. This discussed the plight and situation of many of our indigenous groups today, especially in the face of commercialization and development. They featured representatives from the Northern Luzon indigenous groups like the Ibaloi and the Bontok. We also had a guest speaker from the Aeta group of Porac, Pampanga. I wish they were also able to get groups from the Lumad (Mindanao groups) and the Tamunduk (Visayan groups) but basing from their discussions of their plight and the featured video presentation, most of our minority groups have concerns on being oppressed by the nation that is supposed to protect and nurture their lives and culture.
I would later expound my thoughts on this as I will do a paper for my Legal Anthropology class regarding the discourse on how their customary laws and the formal laws (lowlander laws as they call it) relate to each other. It is however sad and alarming that many of the laws and projects of the local and national government seem to either ignore or at worst, trample their rights to live and survive. For the sake of national interests and profit, homes and lives are destroyed or sold to the highest bidder.
Perhaps, the maddening and outrageous reaction I had came from what Pastor Benny’s story on the development of eco-tourism in one of the ancestral domains at Pampanga. The current governor had commented on the state of the lives of the natives, deploring on “how come you have this lot of land yet you still remain poor?” Thus they made a portion of the ancestral land as an eco-park with zip line and cable cars meant for tourists, to make the lives of the indigent people more sustainable.
It took a lot of my will power not to stand up from where I sat and tell Pastor Benny if I can get to stab their governor for that thoughtless remark. Thankfully, I think my professor in Legal Anthro had also left and had not witnessed my outrage. Pastor Benny then explained what do they consider as wealth and development.
Iba ang pananaw ng katutubo kung ano sa kanila ang kaunlaran. Wala yan sa pera, sa laki ng bahay, damit, kotse at kung ano mang materyal na bagay. Payak kami mamuhay. Nasa pagiging payapa at kasaganaan ng aming natural na pamumuhay.
Pastor Benny even suggested a better solution: CULTURAL TOURISM.
Tataniman uli ang bundok ng katutubong puno, hanggang sa mamunga at lapitan muli ng mga hayop. Punuin uli ang mga ilog at sapa ng mga lamang-tubig. Bigyan natin ng sampung taon. Kami naman ay di ipagdadamot ang yaman ng aming lupa. Mas maganda kung ang magiging turismo ay yung napapakita namin ang natural naming pamumuhay. Paano kami magpana ng ibon, manisid sa ilog ng ulang. O kung gusto niyo, makisisid at makipana na rin kayo. May makakain na tayo, masaya pa tayo.
Siguro nga mas maganda pa patutunguhan kung ang mismong nakatira sa kanilang lupa ang siyang magpapasya kung ano ang nais nila mangyari dito.
At naninibago pa ako paano sumulat dito. Pahinga na muna ngayong gabi. Nabusog man ang isip ko, kailangan naman bumawi bukas.