Bontoc’s distinct og-ogfo on display
Employing the og-ogfo or bayanihan the iBontoc way, countless good Samaritans from the municipality and elsewhere raised P2.2 million for those affected by the fire that razed the central town of Mountain Province on April 11.
Bontoc Information Officer Alpine Malwagay said the accumulated donations were from private individuals, organizations, agencies, and others since they launched the “Og-ogfo the Ifontok Way” donation drive for those affected by the fire at Sitio Loc-ong in Poblacion.
Malwagay said there were 24 totally burned establishments and residential houses and 10 partially-burned establishments and houses. These resulted in the displacement of 96 families or 194 individuals.
Also, 11 vehicles including tricycles were destroyed during the fire that occurred at 2 a.m. and lasted for five hours before being declared out at 7:20 a.m.
The Bureau of Fire Protection-Mountain Province stated the fire reached a second alarm status, thus needing augmentations from nearby fire stations in Sadanga, Sabangan, Bauko, and Sagada.
Other organizations also helped in putting out the fire including the Bontoc Water Delivery Organization, Philippine National Police, local government offices, Mountain Province State Polytechnic College Criminology interns, and civilian volunteers.
Investigation regarding the cause and total cost of damage of the fire is ongoing.
On April 12, elders led by former municipal indigenous peoples mandatory representative George Luis Fakat performed a “changtey” or cleansing ritual.
The ritual is done in unexpected difficulties in the community where elderly men butcher a chicken and offer it to Kafunyan (supreme god). Six native chickens and six etag were required for the ceremony.
Tengaw, or community cultural lockdown, followed the ritual on April 13 until April 15 where the community rested from work or clearing and rehabilitation works at the site, as a customary rule to pay respect to the ritual conducted.
The clearing and construction of temporary shelters for the fire victims resumed on April 16.
Those who would like to help the affected individuals may send cash donations to the Landbank Bontoc Branch with account name: LGU-Bontoc under account 1042-1004-27.
Send the screenshots of the deposit slip/fund transfer receipt to the “Municipality of Bontoc” Facebook account. – Ofelia C. Empian