Carino: Baguio Connections 130 – Proud Igorot Challenge (conclusion)

Baguio Stories

EVEN earlier, Department of Education-Cordillera Administrative Region (DepEd-CAR) Director Estela Cariño urged the school division offices to take action, while she “called the attention of other regions and schools division offices using such modules to make the necessary changes."

“When a wrong concept keeps repeated, this might be accepted as the truth that is why need to respond to it right away and for those responsible to correct it immediately,” Cariño said in a February 3 reported by CNN Philippines.

This column’s net search for #proudigorotchallenge also somehow leads to the 7 February Midland Courier column of the Benny Carantes.

Perhaps prompted by the hashtag, perhaps by the sheer number of suddenly proud Igorots, his column is titled “Ibaloy tales – Torogi, ko-aks, getz mo ba?” Prompting me to respond in my head, “Ko-aks din, eveeeer.” Another piece by the Benny is thrown to my screen, having to do with a private road. It is an open letter to the POSD, whose one staff, it seems acted like he or his office had jurisdiction over a Carantes-owned road thereabouts in New Lucban.

What I would call the dispositive portion of the open letter is this: “Now when did the POSD acquire jurisdiction over private property? Did you men ever bother to find out who owns the road? If he had taken pains to do that, he would have been told that the road is not a barangay or city road but a family-owned property, unless of course the POSD has rights over every road.”

Which as my youngest sister says, but for nature, leads me to another private, family-owned road, ours. When my grandfather’s ranch in Camp Seven turned into a subdivision in the 1950s, (or 60s, ask my mother), a title was issued for the subdivision road itself. The title remains in family hands.

It is also the subject of much criticism because of its largely battered status, having been improved through the decades only as those who bought lots in the subdivision spent private funds on improving – essentially -- driveways to their houses. While the good Uncle Benny is cavalier about trespassers like the POSD, I have this to say about those who complain about the Carino Subdivision Road in Camp Seven. Please, please, please. You can a) Live with it; b) Buy a four-wheel drive car like many of us have, so that road conditions are irrelevant; c) Buy the road from the family – some 6,000 square meters – so you can donate it to the city to “improve” or d) Kindly, kindly, kindly. Leave the neighborhood and find someplace else to live, where the road is up to your exacting standards.

Uhhhm, yeah, that’s my contribution to that hashtag.

This year, the celebration of February 23, Native Title/Ibaloy Day in Baguio, had to be virtual, though heartfelt as ever. Eveeer. To my Ibaloy family, my extended Ibaloy family, and my even more extended family who consider themselves Baguio natives and thus Ibaloy, Happy Ibaloy Day!


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