May 28, 2023

IN AN EARLIER issue, I was describing my unique and unforgettable experiences during my stay there in 1991-93 – as an employee of the International Catholic Migration Commission (ICMC) – in the Bataan Philippine Refugee Processing Center or PRPC. Now, let’s handle some ‘insights’ gained thereat, in those times and see how these can be applied here in ‘these Heights’, ditoy kabanbantayan for Parallelism, Learning, and Effect. First,
A PLOTICO-CULTURAL insight. Once there was a three-cornered fight for Congressman thereat. Unlike here now – the Cordis and Baguio City where you’ll find all ‘types’ of representatives of Filipinos ‘from Aparri to Jolo’, in Bataan those times the three Congressional candidates hardly grappled with ethnicity as one main issue. Why?
THEY WERE 99.9 per cent Tagalogs – the three candidates including; of course, they were all from there, magkaka-bayan, so
THEIR LEADERS AND/or supporters cannot use ethnicity, ‘cultural difference’, age-old tradition, etc., as leverage(s) against the other(s). Unlike here – so ‘fast’ sometimes to change your bet or idol. How? By merely knowing the real, original, etc. ‘root’ of ancestry of Candidate X
ONE, TWO, OR several shall sooner be transferring to the other camp – because of the sameness – or commonness, of their ethnic origin, their ancestries, and their language! Next insight
BECAUSE OF THE ‘Cosmopolitan’ features of the Camps (our very own ICMC and the others) you’ll have to learn to adjust, let-be; or allow some amounts of tolerance at least – for other groups who are your co-employees – or workmates at the then PRPC; Confer:
IN TODAY’S CORDILLERA, you can live in a province, or town, or barangay, etc. with ‘pure’ or ‘all x-group’ populations – and not have to ‘mix’ with (some) ‘Cosmopolitans’. And further, with your determination to preserve your ‘all-x’ culture identity, you may emerge with that in success! Okey, no arguments there, since we live in a democratic society and we are guaranteed expressedly by the constitution to ‘chart our own destiny’. But wait,
SUPPOSE, INDEED YOU are an example – success of an “all-x” identity, how do you compare (or contrast) with the ‘cosmopolitan’ one?
LET’S TRY TO answer it this way: you are a ‘Specialized’ example and/or ‘model’ of your ‘all-x’ – origin and naturally, still a ‘learner’ of neighbouring or new cultures; or influences; Whereas
THE ‘COSMOPOLITAN’ MAY have his own basic or main cultural identity – p l u s a little-of-each from his neighbour(s) or surrounding co-cosmopolitans! Ergo,
YOU HAVE JUST a little ‘difference’ and that is: he has a little of all other cultural identities; but his main identity is still there(!) – and which becomes his natural and logical springboard
YOU, YOU HAVE but your ‘all-x’ springboard (which includes your own original, individual, native) p l u s but a few, newly-learned/-influenced cultural identities! Now, if you are just either of the above-cited, you must be in the middle ground of those ‘Extremes’, so
MIGHT AS WELL, stay there in the middle ground – or in any of its peripheries. But whether you’re on middle ground, or ‘all-x identity’, or ‘cosmopolitan’ – are you aware that all along the three (different ones) of you employed one commonality, and that is: Tolerance? Learning from Insight: to co-exist, you can be but ‘tolerant’; and the issue/dilemma of ‘best choice’ should just fructify by itself for your final say! And finalément; this insight:
LOVE OR ADAPT the long-run worthy things of other cultures that may improve or enhance your own; for ‘pure’ cultures nowadays are rarest to find; as some parts of them which become antiquated, hardly nourished, and impractical, etc., may slowly diffuse or be left to discard and abandonment, by their original wielders or practitioners! Ayuhh, Ayuhh!