July 21, 2024

There is a viral issue regarding the relief goods for Sadanga, Mountain Province that Mayor Gabino Ganggangan did not accept.
It was not rejecting. It was not rebelling. It was not disliking. It was not even boasting. It was charity in justice.
A week ago, I was offered a sack of rice. They contacted me via SMS that Kilong Catholic Rectory is a recipient. I declined the offer and told them there are people who need them more.
My conscience will persistently bother me if I received the sack of rice knowing that lakay Aklop Obo-ob brought sacks of rice for milling for the patronal feast, which was cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The rectory used the rice instead. We have enough.
I declined the offer not because of protest or pride but as an act of charity in justice. The simple action can be misinterpreted. But for matured and learned people, they will be happy for this uncommon response. More people will benefit.
Let’s go back to the case of Sadanga.
First, Mayor Ganggangan knows his constituents well. Sadanga is one of the poorest municipalities of Mountain Province. But as to daily living, people live a simple life; they have simple needs and live by what they have.
It is the mentality that says, “What I can give and not what I can get.” “What can I contribute and not what can I benefit?”
Second, he trusts his constituents. Being a mayor for several terms, he experienced the capacity of his people. The people of Sadanga are able to feed their family not by “spoonfeeding” but by “learning how to fish.”
Third, the people are used to hard work and will survive. The iSadangas are known for their resilience and diligence. Eating organic food is a way of life among the people.
Fourth, the community is culturally intact. People share especially when someone is in need. Those who have more cannot live a comfortable life when they know others are suffering. The people have a strong sense of solidarity and compassion.
Fifth, Sadanga is a locality where businesses are managed by locals. There are no outsiders. It is easier to control and manage them. Unlike other municipalities, immigrants, and tourists have intermarried with the natives.
Sixth, the culture of inayan is vibrant in Sadanga. Culture and faith are strong. The sense of the unseen impels them to look beyond life and to live a righteous life not from the books but from their conscience.
Seventh, the provincial government should be grateful to Sadanga for allowing their ration to be given to people who need them more. Unless, there is a civil violation for not accepting, that is another story. I am sure it was not a defying move. It may look like dissenting but it was a move above the letter of the law. The mayor read the spirit of the law over the letter. The mayor did not reject the relief goods. He saw a higher purpose. The people of Sadanga should take it with pride and say, “We can all survive the Covid-19.”
I was once the parish priest of Sadanga for around five years. I can speak their language fluently.
Deal with the things today. If tomorrow comes, deal with the things as they come today. Trouble comes when we deal the things today with tomorrow. Let’s do things one day at a time. Reach me at [email protected] or at 0905-165-3669.