July 13, 2024

This near-sighted Ibaloy writer was dismayed in learning via a news item about Chinese vessels patrolling our beloved country’s waters inside its exclusive economic zone and preventing our local fishers from fishing and benefitting from its bounty. Imagine the poverty and hunger they and their families must be suffering due to the dastardly acts of this Asian bully, where the deadly Covid-19 pandemic came from. Don’t China’s leaders read the Tao Te Ching of their great sage Lao Tzu? Or do they just believe in “might is right”? What a shame.
And to think that no less than the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Seas (Unclos) decided in the Philippines’ favor on the arbitration issue during the time of the late President Benigno Simeon Aquino III. At least the soft-spoken PNoy had the guts and balls to go against greedy China. Hopefully, jokes that the Philippines will turn into a Chinese province in the future will remain just that – jokes. God save us if it ever comes true.

Anyway, the city council’s one and only Ibaloy member, Isabelo “Poppo” Cosalan, Jr., said positive Cordillera indigenous cultural values shall be incorporated in local policies and programs, giving a unique and customized character of governance in Baguio as the city observed the first week of July as National Culture Consciousness Week.
He said the observance aims to recognize and appreciate the Filipino people’s rich cultural heritage and the influence these diverse cultures contribute in the shaping of national and local government policies.
The august body’s approval of Ordinance 64, s. 2021 that institutionalizes the city’s values restoration and enhancement program, which he points out is pivotal since the core values set by the Civil Service Commission, includes Cordillera cultural values. It also calls for partnership with duly registered and certified service providers in giving value-laden training and development programs for city government officials and employees, he said.
“When nurtured, these values and principles would provide a solid foundation not only for a good family and community but a reliable workforce especially in public service,” Cosalan said, adding that it is also a step forward towards the full realization of Baguio as a Character City.

FYI: Who are APORs? They are the officials, workers, personnel, and agents from both the government and private sectors who are allowed inter-zonal and intra-zonal travel for purposes of work, industry, or official function;
Persons travelling for indispensable transactions that require their physical presence; and
Students who are currently enrolled in educational, instructional, and training, institutions that have been permitted to hold limited face-to-face classes;
What are inter-zonal and intra-zonal travels? Inter-zonal refers to travels between provinces, highly urbanized cities and independent component cities under different quarantine classifications; while intra-zonal are travels between provinces, highly urbanized cities and independent component cities under the same quarantine classification.

Here’s “Dreams” by Langston Hughes: “Hold fast to dreams/ For if dreams die/ Life is a broken-winged bird/ That cannot fly./ Hold fast to dreams/ For when dreams go/ Life is a barren field/ Frozen with snow.”

Let’s end with a prayer: “Dear God, please give me strength when I am weak, love when I feel forsaken, courage when I am afraid, wisdom when I feel foolish, comfort when I am alone, hope when I feel rejected, and peace when I am in turmoil. Amen.”
May our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ continue to bless and keep us all safe.