Sharing you the latest news of the Cordillera

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Cordilleran Daniel S. Balbin Jr., magna cum laude of Benguet State university brain picked

Daniel S. Balbin, Jr. Magna cum laude of the
94th commencement exercise at Benguet State University.
Photo courtesy: BSU FB
La Trinidad - Daniel S. Balbin, Jr., a Bachelor of Library and Information Science student, graduated as the magna cum laude on the 94th commencement exercise of Benguet State University in La Trinidad, Benguet  on 19 June.

Balbin, Jr. was born and raised in Loakan, Baguio City tracing his roots from Ifugao and Pangasinan.

With the hope to inspire the youth and fellow Cordillerans, WowCordillera interviewed Daniel to share  a piece of his mind on how he became who he is today.

Like any other students he also struggled his way to making it through college yet tried hard to balance his lifestyle and schedule. 

He chose not to join activities that wouldn't enhance any competencies  he will be needing in the future. He chose to spend his time wisely. 

While he struggled having a bad handwriting making him not want to take notes in class, he trained himself to listen and developed his listening skill instead. 

"Honestly, listening to your instructors and professors is the key," he said.

Asked about his study habits that made him excel in his academics, "read a lot and read ahead...I just don't want to waste my time sitting in the classroom without gaining anything. so make the best out of lecture and class activity.... In short, listen well, read a lot and know yourselves," he answered.

The brilliant librarian Balbin Jr., advocates for developing a good reading culture among every Filipinos. 

He  envisions  a mobile library by bringing reading materials to the community giving an easier access to everyone and hoping that every barangay and purok  have their reading centers if possible. 

He also encourages parents to buy their young children radiation-free reading materials instead of gadgets that might harm their health.

Being raised in a family of Jehovah's Witnesses, Balbin, Jr. grew up loving reading as he had an easy access to reading materials like the Awake and Watchtower publications. 

As he recalled, he already knew how to read  and write before being sent to school for formal education because he had these magazines and brochures to practice with.  

"It is also where I gained a lot of knowledge not just about Jehovah God but also about the world..We also learned values, manners and right conduct according to Bible's principles," he added.

"You might think it is so hard to have a lot of restriction, but I learned to understand that these are protections. My religious principles dragged me away from vices and bad associations. You see! There are a lot of perks of being a Witness," he shared further.

Asked about his message to fellow youths and students, "My advice is do not just achieve higher because you want a Latin honor or a recognition. Do well in your studies so that all of your parents and your own sacrifices would not be wasted. It is useless graduating as an honor student if you never learned along the journey or process. Remember that we all go to school to learn and to become a useful member of the community. We do not go to school just to earn award and recognition,"

"This is for everyone. Either you already finished studying, or you are planning to study, or you are still studying. Do not just make your education nostalgic and memorable with those diplomas, yearbooks or graduation pictures. Make them last by keeping what you have learned forever. keeping them in your heart and using them to make the world become better." were his words of encouragement.

Picking from the brain of a smart and wise fellow Cordilleran is indeed worth it. Let's give heed to his encouragement and words of wisdom and keep on living the essence life.

Monday, June 24, 2019

Igorot folklore in a comic book launched by Cordillera artists

Staff of Gripo, comic books publisher in Baguio
Photo courtesy: K.V. Damian
Cordillera- Igorot mythological creatures "Pinading", "Gatui" and "Lampong" are now making a scene as stars in a comic book, Gayang  launched last Saturday.

A group  of Senior High School students studied and discovered stories about Igorot mythological creatures in the high lands of Cordillera. This inspired the making of Gayang that includes some of the artworks of the students, Gerald Asbucan, the creator of Gripo comics brand, said. 

Gatui of Ifugao is one among the favorite characters. Gatui is believed to feast on the souls of people most specially unborn children. It has a slight resemblance of the well known  "manananggal".

Likewise, Pinading is another Tuwali Ifugao creature. It is believed to be a spirit wearing a yellow hair that looks like a European fairy.

Lampong on the other hand, is like a dwarf  and known to be the protector of nature.

A selection of comic books published by Gripo.
Photo courtesy: K.V. Damian
The group wants to share the Igorot culture through these untold legends, Asbucan said.

"We barely scratched the surface of the Igorot folklore so we will put more effort into research to be able to feature more highland myths," he added.

In six months time, the next Gayang series will be out.

Source ||


Sunday, June 23, 2019

Getting to know Igorot Roque Daligan Belino of "Idol Philippines"

Mt. Province- Roque Daligan Belino, a local talent of Besao and Tadian Mt. Province joins national singing competition in the local T.V. show, "Idol Philippines."
The 20-year old singer found his passion in music and the outpouring support from everyone especially his "kailyans" even those from abroad motivated him more to pursue his love in singing and join the national competition level.

The humble and young singer Belino was overwhelmed  to continually receive unexpected popularity when he joined Idol Philippines and personally witnessed the unending support that Igorots  generously offer to their fellows. It is indeed one of the traits that identify Igorots. 

"Giving support, be it in kind, physical and moral is like a normal thing to us Igorots. It is like a reflex because we do it automatically whenever we see fellow Igorots excelling in their respective fields," Belino said via an interview by the Mountain Province Provincial Information Office.

Belino lived in Mt. Province for seven years then relocated to Quezon, Isabela with his family. Even so, he  was still attached to his roots as he lived in a community with friends and relatives who were mostly from Mt. Province just the same. 

Growing up with a usual Igorot childhood, he was acculturated with the rich heritage and tradition like wearing the "wanes" by himself, playing and dancing with the beat of  "gangsa", and being raised with the moral values not to mention the principles of "lawa" and "inayan."

He discovered his passion for music earlier in his High School years while helping his fellow students play the bandoria. He then took Agricultural Engineering at Benguet State University in La Trinidad Benguet as a self-supporting student working as a miner.  

He shared that he eventually stopped attending college to work full time but if given the chance, he wants to finish a degree.  He is a miner by day and play few gigs at night in Baguio City until opportunity stepped in through the competition. 

According to Belino, he was inspired by the many Igorot talents he worked with and other musicians he saw playing around Baguio. 

Witnessing such potentials and being a fan of many talented people from Cordillera, he also hopes that more of them will be discovered and be featured as well.

Belino wishes to extend his gratitude for the full support that he receives from everyone. He also encourage the youth to continue working hard and not give up in pursuing their dreams till making it a reality.

Source || BBKM- MPPIO FB

Watch Belino's message here below:


Saturday, June 22, 2019

5 Cordillerans among the heroes of Marawi Siege officially honored with Medalya ng Kabayanihan

5 Cordilleran officers among heroes of Marawi siege 
were conferred the Medalya ng Kabayanihan.
(from left) Lt/Cols. Sonnie B. Omengan, Ledon Monte, Mario Mayam-es Jr., 
(2nd from right) Lamber Suerte  and (extreme right) Jack Angog.
Photo Courtesy: Toti Navales via Baguio Midland Courier
Cordillera- Five Cordillerans were among the heroes of Marawi Siege who officially received the Medalya ng Kabayanihan conferred by the Philippine National Police. This award is the second highest medal in the police service.

Interior and Local Government Sec. Eduardo Ano together with PNP chief, Gen. Oscar Albayalde conferred the medals during the flag raising rites at Camp Crame, Quezon City in 10 June.

Four Cordilleran heroes are commanders of the elite PNP Special Action Force. These heroes are commander of the Rapid Deployment Battalion, Col. Lambert Suerte from Bokod, Benguet;  commander of the 5th Special Action Battalion Col. Ledon Monte from Mankayan, Benguet;  commander of the 2nd Special Action Battalion Col. Mario Mayam-es Jr. from Bauko Mt. Province; and Commander of the 1st Special Action Battalion, Col. Jack Angog from Kalinga.

Not to mention another Cordilleran hero Lt./Col. Sonnie Omengan, team leader of the Explosives and Ordnance Division/K9 from Mt. Province, was honored with the same medal.

Omengan played a crucial role by clearing the direction of advancing police and military troops from explosives planted by the Maute group and their armed allies, Suerte said.

In his speech, Albayalde said that he shares the pride of all PNP officers and personnel as they honor the leaders of police units that figured prominently in police operations during the Marawi siege in 2017 and in the law enforcement operations in 2019 midterm elections. 

"This is not only my personal gain but also for the 195,000-strong force of the PNP that is always geared up to protect and serve the Filipino people with high sense of professionalism," Albayalde added.

Source || Baguio Midland Courier

Friday, June 21, 2019

Jerry Olsim and Dave Banguigui victorious in ONE warrior series 6 in Singapore

Cordillera-  Igorot fighters Jerry "Bokodian Warior"  Olsim and Dave "Kintas" Banguigui were both victorious in the same card on the One Championship: ONE warrior series 6 held in Singapore recently.
Jerry "The Bokodian" Olsim
Photo Courtesy: Team Lakay FB
Team Lakay fighter, Jerry Olsim's  penultimate fight of the night was a much more attrition affair as he came out on top winning by unanimous decision against Myeong Gu Kim.

The fighter from Bokod, Benguet Olsim  is anticipating for a possible contract with ONE Championship, Asia's largest mixed martial arts promotions after overcoming featherweight prospect Myeong Gu Kim.
Dave "Kinsay" Banguigui
Photo Courtesy: Team Lakay FB
Meanwhile, Enlist Dave Banguigui  of Mt. Province stopped his  Indian opponent Susovan Ghosh in the second round as he made his One Warrior  Series debut.

Source || bleacherreport

Watch their fight here below:
Video courtesy || ONE Championship


Saturday, June 15, 2019

Arts exhibit for Cordillera athlete heroes to open on 16 June

Gladys Labsan's "Portrait: Heroes and Legends"
in the Baguio Museum arts exhibit
Photo courtesy:  Pigeon M. Lobien via PNA
Baguio City- Baguio Museum arts exhibit will include 27 Cordilleran athletes in the continuous celebration of heroism during the 121st Philippine Independence Day that commenced last Wednesday. 

Acclaimed artist Gladys Laciste-Labsan will feature the modern-day heroes of Cordillera who represented the country in international competitions on the "Portrait: Heroes and Legends". The exhibit will be on 16 June to 7 July. 

Jeordan Dominguez, the first Filipino to win a medal in the World Taekwondo Grandprix together with Divine Walley, former world wushu sanda champion will lead all active and retired athletes in the event that also serves as a tribute to the late  Narciso Padilla.

Padilla was a camp director of  "Gintong Alay", a sports training program in the 70's and 80's producing some of the country's iconic athletes. Such athletes include Lydia de Vega, Guido del Prado, Elma Muros, swimmer and former Philippine Sports Commission chair Eric Buhain, Mountain Province native Hector Begao, and javelin thrower Erlinda Lavandia.

Renowned sportsman Padilla passed away at 87 due to cardiac arrest last March. Before his passing he staged the TALA and Kafagway/Kordillera International Sports Luminary Achievement Podium in December last year. This is the completion of his 46 years "Silahis ng Pasko" program which lasted for a month.

Among the heroes who will be receiving the honors on Sunday's  "Portrait" are Wushu Taolu's Daniel Paantac, Thornton Sayan, James Inso, retired wushu players Karizha Chan and Natasha Laxama. 

Former wushu player Marianne Mariano, one of the first locals to win an Olympic bronze medal in the 2008 Beijing Games and former world champion Ken Omengan are also one of the honorees.

Likewise, the exhibit will  recognize the wushu sanda roots of top mixed martial arts including Mark Sangiao, Edward Folayang, Geje Eustaquio, Kevin Belingon, Stephen Loman, Joshua Pacio and Danny Kingad.

Other honorees are Kareel Hongitan, Majoy Baron, Alice Kate Aparri, Mars Pucay and Luigi Paolo Wong.

The oldest honoree 67-year-old Lavandia leads four other great athletes such as Christabel Martes, Katherine Khay Santos, Sandy Abahan and JT Gonzales.

Sunday's exhibit will present  Joseph Domirez Jr.'s works on the Team Lakay, father and son racing tandem Carlos and Inigo Anton as well as professional cager Douglas Cramer.

Source|| PNA 


Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Cordilleran Marathon Queen Christabel Martes among Filipinos who dominated the Laguna Phuket run

Marathon Queen Christabel Martes on the Laguna Phuket Marathon
Photo courtesy: Christabel Martes FB via PNA
Cordillera-  Cordilleran marathon queen Christabel Martes is one among the 12 Filipinos who took the top podium and dominated the Laguna Phuket Marathon Thailand last Sunday.

Christabel Martes from La Trinidad, Benguet finished third with compatriot Christine Hallasgo finishing first in the 21 kilometer run among 1,961 female runners who joined the run.

She run with  lots of distractions and it wasn't a joy run after all. "Grabe sa lusong sa lakas ng ulan at hangin," she told PNA.

Queen marathon Martes who joined the 40-49 years old category run the race with a busted shoelace behind Thai runner Natthaya Thanaronnawat who placed second.

"(There) were too many factors that distracted me in the race, two times that my shoelace was busted, that gave the advantage to the Thai runner to move ahead," Martes said.

" At the last two kilometers, sumakit right heel ko, siguro dahil na rin po sa mas malakas na kayud ko sa kanan sa luwag ng sintas," she added.

The 40 year old queen marathon is a four-time Milo Marathon national finals winner and winner of the SEAG marathon in 2001 and 2005.

The first placer 25 year old Hallasgo from Bukidnon ruled last year's 42nd National Milo Marathon Manila.

Other Filipinos who won the race are Luisa Raterta who finished fourth on the 30-39 age category and Jocelyn Elijaran who took the seventh place in the 40-49 age group.

Meanwhile, Richard Salano took the to podium while Prince Joey Lee made second and Jeorge Andrade finished fourth in the men's 21K run.

Source || PNA


Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Sagada Art Space to be launched in Sagada Mountain Province

Sagada Dogo Siwang Art Hub
Photo courtesy: SunStar
Cordillera-  Sagada Mountain Province continue to preserve the Igorot's culture and heritage.

The "Dogo Siwang Pagbuyaan" (Theater) and " Dogo Siwang Utuan ya Panganan" (dining area by the rice fields) will be launched in Barangay Patay, Sagada, Mountain Province by the Cordillera News Agency Foundation Inc. (CNA).

The opening of the two traditional features Dogo Siwang Pagbuyaan and  Dogo Siwang Utuan ya Panganan  is the living testament to the preservation and promotion of Sagada's heritage. 

The Dogo Siwang Pagbuyaan will become an area for cultural performances or demonstrations for a bigger audience as well as a receiving area for all visitors touring the art hub.

While the installation of the Dogo Siwang Utuan ya Panganan is to promote the culinary heritage of Sagada.  The traditional kitchen will have a "dapuan" a traditional stove to showcase the preparation of "tapuey" or rice wine and "etag" a preserved  meat through  "masuukan" or smoking using  "tuk-tuk", a wooden apparatus to hang the meat.

The idea is  to encourage interaction and offer real time experience to visitors through demonstrations of how the etag  and tapuey  are prepared in the traditional kitchen .

To understand more about the origin of these important facets of Sagada's culture is to learn about "Todo id Baguilota", a folklore that Sagada elders believed which was passed on for generations. The elders believed that Kabunyan sent his son Lumawig to bring three gifts to the earth: the "balbeg" spear, "gameg" bolo, and "etag" preserved meat. They believed that Lumawig brought these gifts to earth and presented to the Sagada villagers. The etag was prepared in heaven as Lumawig's food on his way to earth.

Today, natives from Sagada learned to prepare etag in three ways: the "binalag" method or sun drying, the "masuukan" method which is done through smoking either in the  "dapuan" or the "pat-yay" chimney and the "binul-ay" method by  preserving the meat inside a jar.

Sagada Dogo Siwang Art Hub was made possible through a grant from the National Commission for Culture and Arts in partnership with the Daoas family and CNA.

The Art hub is conceptualized as a venue for convergence in tourism, educational and cultural exchange to encourage the promotion and  preservation of arts, culture and heritage not just in Sagada but the whole Cordillera.

Source || SunStar Baguio


Monday, June 10, 2019

"DREAM FIGHT": Igorot fighter Edward Folayang vs. Former UFC fighter Alvarez set for August

Two former world champions Edward Folayang  and Eddie Alvarez
Photo courtesy: via Tiebreaker Times
Cordillera- This coming August will be one of the most anticipated dream fight for the two world renowned champions former ONE Lightweight World Champion Edward "Landslide" Folayang against ex-UFC World Lightweight Champion Eddie Alvarez at he mall of Asia for One Championship:Dawn of Heroes.

The two champions are at a very intriguing crossroad as they are both coming from a loss.  Folayang got choked out by Shinya Aoki while Alvarez got stopped by Timofey Nastyukin last March.

Both champions are determined for a win on this fight because it's their only ticket to be considered a potential opponent for Christian Lee, the reigning One Championship lightweight king. Lee captured the belt from Aoki on a knock out last May.

Ifugao pride Folayang became a national hero when he won several gold medals for the Philippines Wushu Team then shifted to mixed martial arts to be trained by Mark Sangiao of Team Lakay where he debuted in June 2017 capturing Filipino Welterweight Championship. He then made his promotional debut in September 2011 in the main event of One Championship's inaugural show.

Came 2016, Folayang captured ONE Lightweight World Title by defeating the legendary Shinya Aoki. After losing and regaining the title, he defended the belt in a rematch with the Japanese legend but lost on a submission on the first round last March. 

Meanwhile, Alvarez is so far the best Martial artist in history who claimed World Titles in  both America's leading promotions. Now he intends to keep his status being the all time great by capturing the One Lightweight World Championship. But now that he's on a comeback trail after losing on  a knockout against Rusisan Timothy Nastyukhin, he needs to defeat Folayang if he  hopes to restore his chances at the One World Title.

This is indeed a battle of two former world champions which is going to be  a huge test for both fighters.

Sources || Cordillera Sun; Tiebreaker Times


Sunday, June 9, 2019

Carl James "Wonder Boy" Martin delivers impressive knock out victory against Thai foe

Carl James "Wonder Boy" Martin is still undefeated
Photo courtesy || Alvin S. Go/Rappler
Cordillera- Ifugao Carl James "Wonder Boy" Martin scored a knockout against Thai opponent Yutthichai Wannawong in just one round that raised his record to 13 wins with 12 knockouts in his second televised fight on Sunday at the TV5 studio Novaliches, Quezon City.

From the opening bell, Martin attacked his Thai opponent and caught him with an overhand right to the head after hits to the body. Wannawong managed to get on his feet but struggled to keep his balance till referee Danrex Tapdasan reached the full count for the knockout.

"During my first televised match, I struggled to keep my focus because I wasn't used to the lights and cameras. But now I was more calm. I was not looking for the knockout early," Martin said after the match. "I just wanted to be aggressive to give the fans a good show. My opponent was a lot taller than me but it was not a problem since I'm used to it already."

Lagawe, Ifugao's pride Martin, is the youngest boxing sensation and currently the number 11 in the World Boxing Association's bantamweight rankings but he conceded that he's not yet ready for a world title shot.

"I think I'm still three years away. I really want to have more televised fights so more people can see how I fight and so I'll also discover what I need to improve on," Martin said.

His coach Penalosa once compared him with Manny Pacquiao because of his aggressiveness and left-handed punch but the humble fighter didn't agree with the comparison.

"I've been told that I fight like him but I know there's only one Manny Pacquiao so I wanted to change my fight style. But when I train and when I fight, I keep going back to that style so I think I'll just have to accept it," Martin shared.

Source || ESPN5

Watch his fight here: Video courtesy of Powcast Sports


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