April 21, 2024

If there is one word (or words) that Mayor Benjamin Magalong seems to favor, it’s “teamwork” or variations thereof like “cooperation,” “collaboration,” even “unity” and the like. In several of his messages, Mayor Benjie often reminds City Hall workers that they are members of the city government’s “champion team” in the achievement of a better Baguio for everyone. It’s “all for one and one for all” as the famed three musketeers of centuries past would yell before going to battle with their shiny swords.
This near-sighted Ibaloy writer got this impression once again during his “100 days and beyond” brief report or some would say “State of the City Address” several weeks ago during flag-raising rites at the City Hall grounds followed by a ceremonial tree-planting activity and press conference. For the sake of accuracy and if my aging mind does not fail me, it was Mayor Benjie’s 113th day in office when he gave the brief speech.
Mayor Benjie’s report or address started with him not only thanking God Almighty but fellow officials like Rep. Mark Go and Vice Mayor Faustino Olowan, councilors, department heads, employees, barangay officials, volunteers, and others for their support, cooperation, and being responsive in various city-wide projects and strategic directions “from day one of our journey together.” In other words, teamwork. There is no “I” in the word “team,” after all.
On a personal note, a “happy na, birthday pa” to my baby sister, Dr. Ianna Keith-Regalado, whose natal day it is today, Nov. 3. She is married to Dr. Edmun and they have an 18-year-old son, Henrick. More blessings and happiness, sis!

FYI: The Department of Health has reiterated that the African swine fever (ASF) is not a risk to human health after the Department of Agriculture recently confirmed the presence of ASF in some pork products that they tested.
“We want to dispel the fears of consumers by reiterating that as long as pork and pork products are bought from reliable sources and are cooked thoroughly, pork meat and products are safe to eat,” Health Sec. Francisco Duque III stressed.
According to the World Health Organization for Animal Health, ASF is a severe and highly contagious viral disease among domestic and wild pigs only. Pigs infected with the ASF virus experience high fever, depression, loss of appetite, redness of ears, abdomen and legs, vomiting, and diarrhea that may lead to death.
“We want to emphasize again to the consuming public that ASF is not a threat to human health. Processed meat products are still safe for consumption,” Sec. Duque concluded.

Here’s “Invisible, Part V” by Gabriel Baban Keith: “Are you an Ibaloy in Baguio?/ Then your being shy mangu (unless drunk)/ has made you a mere follower/ in the land of your brave/ but short-sighted/ ancestors./ I could be wrong./ You must be a second, or even,/ third-class citizen in your/ original homeland/ under more united, educated,/ aggressive, connected,/ loud, outsiders./ I could be wrong./
Are you an Ibaloy in Baguio?/ Then you are a mere pawn or sidekick/ in a commercialized, congested,/ squatted-on ancestral chessboard/ where outsiders are preferred/ over those Baguio-born and bred/ especially those in whose veins flow/ Ibaloy blood –/ A true-blue taga-Baguio/ and not just “by choice”./ I could be wrong./ Are you an Ibaloy in Baguio?/ Then you must have been/ left behind, locked-out,/ shunned,/ forgotten, out-of-place,/ in your original/ homeland./ I could be wrong./ Or am I right?”

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May our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ continue to bless and keep us all safe.