Olsem: Marching in January

THE rank and file workers start the year with stories from their own hometown vacations, while those who have no other “ili” can only listen in curiosity.

By nature, we prolong the bliss and joy of pure family time and rest period, by talking about them. The boys went to their mother’s Kapangan, the home of the Igorot Grand March, though they are also from Sagada, Buguias and Bauko, and Bontoc. Of course, their real home is still in La Trinidad and Baguio City.

Then the chat surprisingly turned deeper when “grand march” was mentioned, Cath (recalling her thesis) concluded that said Kapangan’s pride (grand march) is the result of the past’s culturally deprived generation, “the children will be admonished for simply holding the gong then”. “…that is why they needed an outlet or alternative for their social yearnings” I completed, as the culture (though originally
Polonaise) is like the Benguet’s “kinoboyan” which undeniably came from Western influence.

A debate with cultural purists is futile though I do not really have a quarrel with them. When the world spent centuries breaking barriers, and diverse colors have been woven to single human fabrics, it would be treacherous to live in the frozen bubbles of delusion. Our multi-cultural children and their culture are the evidence that the world has moved on, there is really not much things as pure anymore. Yes, we look back to appreciate, and learn, maybe reminisce…but we do not stay there for long, we have to march forward.

Our local grand march is characterized by unity (holding hands), and optimism/ perseverance (marching), which are the keys to a better workplace, organization, or community. The culture is perfect tone-setter for the whole year.

Today is a new beginning to improve. As long as we are alive there is hope to change ourselves, if not the world, for the better. January is a time of investments for the whole year, so we have to hit it running. Let us start marching in January.


We are inviting pasalubong vendors and strawberry ice cream vendors in our free Basic Customer Service Training and Tourism Orientation this January 15, 2018, 1:00 p.m. at the Strawberry Valley Hotel and Restaurant. We will be providing training kits, meals, and free t-shirts (for first 70 participants).

We will also have the Tourism Council Reorganizational meeting on January 16, 2018 to update the composition of our council members as well as to discuss tourism-related issues.

We also encourage organizations in La Trinidad (even other BLISTT towns), who wish to conduct activities/ events for the Strawberry Festival to submit proposals to our office (Mayor’s Office) the soonest to finalize the Festival activities.

The Strawberry Festival Ordinance of 2011 provides for the Strawberry Festival Executive Committee (composed of the Mayor, the Vice Mayor, and the Sangguniang Bayan Members/ Councilors, and the Tourism Officer) as the main approving body of Festival Events and Activities.

To set the mood of marching this January, let me greet our readers a Happy New Year, a Happy Panagbenga, and a Happy Strawberry Festival!
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