December 6, 2022

BONTOC, Mountain Province – The 113th founding anniversary of Bontoc and am-Among Festival on Sept. 16 highlighted the unity, resilience, creativity, innovations, and the people’s ability to adapt to changes to cope with the Covid-19 pandemic.
Due to the pandemic, a thanksgiving mass celebrated by Most Rev. Valentine Dimoc and a program were held with a limited crowd this year.
Mayor Franklin Odsey acknowledged it has been a challenging year and everyone struggled to overcome the challenges and prepare for the changes and resetting of plans due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“It taught us many lessons and I know we will emerge from it, strengthened and enriched. This pandemic has shown us the value of partnerships as one community, and how, together, we can make a difference in people’s lives,” Odsey said.
Mountain Province State Polytechnic College (MPSPC) President, Dr. Rexton Chakas, who was the guest of honor and speaker, said the celebration calls for reflection on the graciousness of God.
“The celebration marks the beginning of a new year for Bontoc as well as to re-design our strategies and achieve our goals of sustainable development. The celebration is a way of stepping back to re-imagine the Bontoc we would like to live in,” Chakas said.
Rep. Maximo Dalog, Jr., joined the other officials and the guest speaker in acknowledging that community cooperation is a requisite of sustainable development.
“Let us continue with our good cultural traits such as the og-ogfo, which is the best exhibition of our unique culture of helping one another as we endeavor to make life better for our people and our communities. Cooperation makes our burden lighter and life better especially during these trying times,” Dalog said.
Gov. Bonifacio Lacwasan, Jr., in his message, said the government has to adjust and strategize with the policies, plans, and programs in response to the pandemic.
Bauko Mayor Abraham Akilit who is also representing the League of the Municipalities of the Philippines-Mountain Province Chapter is one with the officials in recognizing the bayanihan/og-ogfo spirit of Cordillerans.
He acknowledged the need for the government to innovate its policies to contain the virus that causes the Covid-19 while ensuring the negative effects are minimal. – Alpine L. Killa