March 24, 2023

The indigenous peoples mandatory representative (IPMR) of Baguio used most of his time last week familiarizing himself with the environment and people he will be working with at least for the next three years.
But there was a twist when IPMR Maximo Edwin, Jr. faced his colleagues at the city council, as he was asked how they should call him as those who personally know him call him by another name.
Some people call him Max; others call him Edwin and Bugnay as his last name. The IPMR also introduces himself to the public as Max Edwin Bugnay and uses the handle name Edwin Hilario in his social media account.
Some documents obtained by the Baguio Midland Courier also showed various names used by the newest member of the council. In a Feb. 1 memorandum of the central office of the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples to the NCIP-Cordillera, the IPMR’s name was listed as Maximo H. Edwin Bugnay, Jr., while his certificate of affirmation identified him as Maximo H. Edwin, Jr.
The councilor said his registered name is Maximo H. Edwin, Jr. and he sometimes uses the different names as a sign of respect to his ancestors.
Hilario is his mother’s maiden name, Edwin is his surname, and Bugnay is his clan name. But now that he is a public official, he said he will use Maximo H. Edwin, Jr. in communications and other official transactions.
Edwin, 45, is the concurrent president of Onjon ni Ivadoy.
In an earlier interview with the Baguio Midland Courier, Edwin said his selection as IPMR is his introduction to public service as most of his adult life were spent working and travelling as part of his business.
He declined to specify the line of business he is into.
He also considers his being chosen as president of Onjon ni Ivadoy as his fate for while he was an active member of the group, he mostly yielded to the elders and more experienced members to run the affairs of Onjon.
Edwin said his constant presence at the Ibaloy heritage garden at the height of the community quarantine to assist members could have propelled his being chosen to lead the biggest organization of Ibaloys in Baguio and Benguet.
Edwin was supposed to attend the council’s regular session last Monday but was not allowed yet pending his submission of his oath of office and other documents to the Office of the City Council Secretary.
Vice Mayor Faustino Olowan also directed the city council staff to prepare an office for him and inform the Local Finance Committee about the selection of an IPMR.
When Edwin will officially join the session of the city council on Monday, Feb. 13, he will chair the committee on indigenous peoples.
Edwin is planning to meet other minorities in the city to gather their inputs about how the office of the IPMR could best address the concerns of the sector. – Rimaliza A. Opiña