All The WOW News in Cordillera

Showing posts with label Inspiring Stories. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Inspiring Stories. Show all posts

Monday, August 7, 2023

The Wonders Woven in Wire: The Inspiring Story of Lito Malaggay, the Igorot "Barot Man"

Photo Courtesy || Lito Malaggay

Cordillera - In a world where artistry knows no bounds, one man's remarkable journey has unfolded, leaving a trail of inspiration and ingenuity. 

Meet Lito Malaggay, fondly known as the "Barot Man" or the "Wire Man," a visionary Igorot artist who has transformed humble wires into extraordinary sculptures, trophies, and a plethora of artistic wonders.

Lito's journey is not just about his artistic prowess but also about his resilience, determination, and unyielding spirit to provide a better life for his family. 

Hailing from the picturesque town in Mountain Province, Lito's life took him on a winding path from the uplands to the bustling city of Baguio. 

As a young man, he faced the daunting challenges of being a new resident, struggling to make ends meet and sustain his family's needs.

It was amidst these struggles that fate led Lito to his first job as a lineman's assistant during the electrification of barangays in home province. 

Little did he know that this role would be the catalyst for his true calling. While supporting more skilled workers and carrying heavy wires, Lito's nimble fingers and innate creativity found their outlet. 

He began crafting intricate wire artworks during his free moments, a talent that bloomed amidst the sparks and currents of electrification.

After the electrification project came to a close, Lito found himself at a crossroads. The need to support his growing family compelled him to seek employment at the Easter School Weaving Center. 

Here, he embarked on a new journey of learning, honing his skills in tailoring and weaving. He skillfully intertwined native woven patterns into bags, purses, and other items, a true embodiment of Cordilleran heritage.

Yet, destiny had more in store for Lito. A quiet realization dawned upon him that his talents could become a beacon of hope, steering his family away from poverty's grasp. 

With courage in his heart, he decided to take the bold step of becoming an entrepreneur, armed with his wire artworks and the determination to succeed.

The road to success was not paved with petals for Lito. Starting without a showroom, he displayed his creations beneath the Abanao Street overpass and the streets of Magsaysay.

Months passed, and the city government's ordinance silenced these public showcases, but Lito's spirit remained undeterred.

He knocked on doors, both figuratively and literally, visiting private and government offices to showcase his works. Rejections and dismissals could not shake his resolve. Slowly but surely, his dedication bore fruit. 

Corporate and individual customers began to take notice, recognizing the distinctive charm of his wire artworks. Orders flowed in, especially during special events and occasions, as his creations became sought-after tokens of appreciation.

Malaggay's story is a testament to the power of perseverance and the unwavering belief in one's abilities. 

He transformed adversity into opportunity, using his talents to weave a brighter future for his family. His journey reminds us that innovation knows no bounds, and true artistry lies in the ability to shape beauty from the simplest of materials.


Saturday, April 2, 2022

Kindhearted policewoman in Abra calms hungry baby by breastfeeding him

Photo Courtesy || PNP San Juan Abra

Cordillera - A kindhearted police officer in Abra is being praised by netizens online after photos of her breastfeeding a hungry baby went viral.

In a post from PNP Abra San Juan, Patrolman Neslea Taoaquen and NUP Janemil Ugan were at the Abra PPO Camp Juan Villamor in Bangued for the celebration of the National Women’s Month 2022 when they noticed a family with two young girls and a 7-months old baby. 

While they were in the middle of the program, the baby was crying incessantly and the girls were restless.

Pat. Taoaquen and NUP Ugan asked the mother what was the problem and she said they haven't had breakfast and they haven't brought any money. 

The baby was also not wearing any diaper which was one of the reasons why he couldn't stop crying. 

Pat Taoaquen and NUP Ugan quickly looked for a nearby store to buy food and diapers then gave them to the needy family. 

However, the baby kept on crying and the mother admitted she lacks breastmilk and they haven't bought any formula for the baby. 

Pat Taoaquen, also a breastfeeding mom offered to gave her milk to the baby until it calmed him down.

Thank you Pat. Taoaquen and NUP Ugan for the gesture of spontaneous love you have shown to the family and for breastfeeding the baby. 

You are a wonder women that deserve our respect and commendation. 


Saturday, January 8, 2022

Youths in Kabayan, Benguet save .5 Million pesos from "Ipon Challenge"

Photo Courtesy || PIO Kabayan

Cordillera- More than half a million pesos (P523,345.85) was collected from the  Ipon challenge  participated by more than twenty three local youths in Kabayan, Benguet.

Have you ever challenged yourself to save something everyday? While others challenge themselves to save any amount, could it be even challenging to save a specific amount or set a target amount within a day, month or year?

Either you have a steady stream of income, or a student receiving allowance from your parents, you can always save if you choose to, but to challenge yourself to save is a different story.

Just like Maureen Medon who was able to save P54, 344 from the working youth category and Brian Labenio who was able to save P53,500 from the school category.

This Ipon challenge was launched by the local government through the leadership of  Shellanie Luciap, President of the Sangguniang Kabataan Federation which lasted from February 10, 2021 to December 10, 2021.

The challenge was participated by 23 participants with two categories. There were 7 participants from the working youth category and 16 participants from the school your category.

Those who were able to save the most from both categories were recognized and awarded P7,500 each. Second placers received P5,500 and third placers received P4,000, while three participants from both categories received P1,000 as consolation prizes.

This Ipon challenge is indeed an exceptional program conducted by the local government to introduce financial literacy and teach financial discipline and habit to the youth.

This program was certainly successful as some of the participants testified and shared what they've learned about self-discipline not opening their piggy bank, determination in saving, motivation  and inspiration to win the Ipon challenge.

Source|| PIO Kabayan


Thursday, January 6, 2022

Inspring 50-year-old Filipino man has five PRC licenses

Photo Courtesy || Apollo Pablo Zantua

Cordillera - Netizens in the online community showed admiration to a 50-year-old Filipino man who have five professional licenses issued by the Professional Regulations Commission (PRC).

The exceptional man was identified as Apollo Pablo Zantua, a native of Camarines Norte who possessed numerous licenses including professional teacher, master plumber, registered mechanical engineer, electrical engineer and civil engineer.

Zantua, also revealed that he has four instructor licenses when he was an Overseas Filipino Worker in Japan.

He later admitted that he passed all the board exams in just 6 months and credited his achievements with his eagerness to learn new things. 

Zantua gave an advice to those seeking to become multi-license holder like him to take and finish one course at a time. He said that being intelligent is not necessary to become an engineer but studying hard and being committed to a goal are the most important thing. 

"If you want to finish with lots of degrees, finish one course then go to the next and so on. I always tell my students, you don't need intelligence to be an engineer. You need commitment," Zantua said. 

Zantua maintains a YouTube channel where he offered free tutorials on mathematics, plumbing, engineering and more to those who are interested to learn. 


Sunday, December 5, 2021

INSPIRING: Igorota is professor for sciences at New Mexico Military School in the United States

Proudly Igorota. She was wearing the Devit during her graduation for her second master's. Photo Courtesy || Demvia Maslian

Cordillera - From a farmer's daughter in a small town in Kibungan, Benguet, farming works from the rice fields to planting sweet potato at age 9, but now an assistant Professor for sciences at New Mexico Military School in Roswell, New Mexico, USA.

Demvia Acosta Maslian came from a small town, in Lubo, Kibungan, Benguet. After graduating from elementary, she moved to Baguio City to continue her education. It was unfortunate that her family did not afford to send her to high school. 

In Baguio, she lived in Little Flower Convent with the Franciscan nuns, who had offered her freeboard and lodging plus a scholarship for high school until college in exchange for her labor. 

During her first two years, she worked in the kitchen and as a refectory helper. After two years, she was moved to the front desk as a receptionist and had been there until she left the convent. She earned her Bachelor in Secondary Education major in biology at Saint Louis University. She started her teaching career at Baguio City National High school in 2001, teaching various science from general science, biology, chemistry, and physics.

In 2007, Los Angeles Unified School District in Los Angeles, California, USA, hired her with a J1 visa (Teacher Exchange Program). After her visa contract expired, she moved back to the Philippines. It was part of the visa agreement. 

In 2011, Horatio School District in Horatio, Arkansas, USA, hired her to teach chemistry. While she was teaching in Horatio High School, she was going to school at the same time. 

In 2013, she graduated from Henderson State University in Arkadelphia, Arkansas, the USA, with her Masters in Science Education Major in Advance Instructional Studies. Due to visa complications, she moved to two different states before finally settling in at Roswell, New Mexico, USA. She is currently an Assistant Professor at New Mexico Military Institute (NMMI), making a wave. In her six years as a professor at the Institute, she had received two John F. Burton Professorship Awards and one John F. Ward Professorship Award. 

She is also a very active sponsor of the Institute's STEM Club. She is one of the founders. Her STEM Club students were awarded as one of the Champions for the New Mexico Governor's STEM Challenge for two consecutive years (2019 and 2020). 

In 2020, her students joined the Southeast Regional Science Fair in New Mexico. Both students' projects had won second and third Place overall, which got them straight as a finalist into the 2021 Regeneron Science and Engineering Fair (INTEL), the world's largest international pre-college science competition. Her students had been receiving cash prizes for their winnings. The Roswell Daily Records (a local newspaper) had featured her STEM Club winnings.

In May 2021, she graduated with her second masters at New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology in Socorro, New Mexico, the USA, with a degree Masters in Science Teaching with a specialization in biology. 

She earned this master with spending only 1% of her total tuition fee. Most of her tuition fees and other fees were paid by the scholarships through the state of New Mexico, the university, and her school's Faculty Development Grant (NMMI). 

In summer 2021, she was one of the eight Research Opportunities for Science Educators (ROSE) Scholars. A joint project of the New Mexico Public Education Department and the University of New Mexico. Dr. Jeffrey Rack, one of the project organizers, said that the program was very competitive, with only a 13% acceptance rate. At the program, Demvia works with Dr. Yi He, the Primary Investigator, and his research assistant, Amy Stevens. 

For four weeks, they worked on a project, PICK1: A Promising Target to Address Substance Abuse in New Mexico. With her story, she would like to inspire the youth of the Cordillera, especially those who were not fortunate to be born with money. 

Demvia knows that it is hard, but you need to believe in yourself. She always tells her students, "Hard work and sacrifices equals success." Demvia will try her very best to improve and achieve more. She is a proud Igorot.


Monday, December 21, 2020

Ifugao native P2LT Malahi A. Kinggingan is Top 10 in Air Force Class 2016

Photo Courtesy || P2LT Malahi A. Kinggingan

Cordillera - It's not too late to recognize one of our Kailyan from Banaue, Ifugao who graduated with flying colors of the Philippine Air Force in 2016. 

P2LT Malahi A. Kinggingan was Top 10 of the "Siklabtalas Class of 2016 of the Philippine Air Force Officer Candidate School (PAFOCS).

P2LT Kinggingan is a graduate of Ifugao State University in 2012 with a degree of AB Political Science.

As per IFSU records, P2LT Kinggingan was named the Best Political Science Student of the Year in his class. 

Here's the full message from IFSU: 

Another IFSU graduate is commended, albeit belatedly, following a “poke” recently that somewhere up in the skies is an IFSUan pilot who graduated, not so lately, literally with flying colors.

Call in to the roll P2LT Malahi A. Kinggingan from Banaue, Ifugao and now a member of the Philippine Air Force Officer Candidate School (PAFOCS) who was Top 10 of “Siklabtalas” Class of 2016.

P2LT Kinggingan finished his degree in AB Political Science at IFSU Main Campus in 2012 and by the records of employed IFSU graduates could be the first IFSUan aviator or first IFSUan who has hopped in to the Air Force Service.

Until the next update of high-flier in his category is in, P2LT Kinggingan owns the crown just yet.

IFSU records show that P2LT Kinggingan was the Best Political Science Student of the Year of his IFSU Class in 2012.

He belongs to the first batch of IFSU graduates in AB Political Science which opened First Semester of School Year 2008-2009.

Thoughtful gentleman he is, P2LT Kinggingan was profuse of words of gratitude to IFSU after he was reached for his statement.

“Thank you very much for molding me as gentleman.” 

“Thank you very much to my alma matter IFSU, President Dr. Ngohayon and his staff, my instructors and the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) who directed me to my success.”

“I myself witness that IFSU is for ACE.”

P2LT Kinggingan leaves words of advice to IFSU students to "always aim for excellence because excellence will take you to your success."

Very well said P2LT Kinggingan.

From the IFSU Family, Congratulations Sir Kinggingan!

source || Ifugao State University FB 


Atty. Roy Lawagan of Cordillera installed as BuCor's Chief Legal Officer

Cordillera - A Cordilleran lawyer in the name of Attorney Roy Lawagan was installed as the new Chief Legal Officer of the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor). 
Photo Courtesy || BuCor & Roy Lawagan

Atty. Lawagan became viral on social media because of his inspiring story. He was a former security guard at the Commission on Audit (COA) in La Trinidad, Benguet. 

His story on how he became a lawyer while working as a security guard draws a lot of inspirations to Filipinos who a working while studying to pursue their career in life. 

Back in 2016, Lawagan who hails from Mt. Province was among the 1,731 new lawyers who passed the bar exam.

READ ALSO: Inspiring Story: Igorot security guard turns Attorney 

Atty. Lawagan was criminology student graduate at the University of Baguio and took his law studies at the Saint Louis University. 

According to him, he did not have enough money to get him self a proper review center where he can prepare for the bar exam, so he used the library at the COA as a review center where he personally do the bar reviewer for himself. 

READ ALSO: Igorot BJMP officer appointed by Pres. Duterte to clean up BuCor

Now, Atty. Lawagan was assigned as Chief Legal Officer at the Bureau of Correction joining his fellow Cordillerans BuCor Chief General Gerald Bantag and BuCor's Chief PIO. Gabriel P. Chaclag.


Friday, December 18, 2020

INSPIRING: How a Cordilleran Math Teacher Became a Military Pilot

Photo Courtesy || Lt. Visaya. Jr. & Glen Aguilar

Cordilllera - Lt. Leonardo G. Visaya Jr. was among the 8 Cordillerans who graduated the Military Pilot Training of the Philippine Armed Forces Most Elite Flying School. 

A proud Cordilleran who traces his roots from Pinukpuk, Kalinga, Visaya told how he transitioned from being a Math teacher of the Department of Education to a military pilot of the AFP.

"Everytime I look back to where I was before, I’m still in awe to what had become of me now. Imagine, a person who never dreamed to become a soldier had just graduated from the most elite schooling in the Philippine Air Force – the Military Pilot Training. Perhaps, what Jeremiah said in his book truly is a manifestation of the great power of the Lord for those who believe in Him – that God has plans for us, plans of prosperity and of a great future. (Jeremiah 29:11)

I was a high school Math teacher before my unplanned entry to the military service. A good math teacher loved by his students. Hehe. And in all honesty it never came to me the idea of leaving my beloved profession for the life of soldiery. Never. Not once. 

But change is inevitable and it has come. It was 2016. We attended the graduation of our high school batch mate in the Philippine National Police Academy – our batchmate was Top 3 of his class. When we had the time to exchange conversation, he encouraged me to enter the uniformed service through the Officer Candidate Course in the Philippine Air Force. First, I did not consider it because I was already in a stable job as a public school teacher in Tabuk City National High Shool. Yet when we went back to Kalinga I made a turnaround decision, accepted the challenge and took the qualifying test as a walk-in examinee at TOG 2, Cauayan City. Well, I am thrilled in the idea of taking examinations. Hehe. 

Later on May of 2016, the result was published and out the examinees in TOG 2, I was one of the 2 who passed the examinations. The next challenge was to hurdle the Physical Fitness Test – push ups, sit ups and a 3.2 Km run. Honestly, I cannot even do twenty repetitions of sit ups during those times but again I challenged myself. It was the 1st of June. While the school was having its Brigada Eskwela Program in preparation for the Class opening, I went to Clark Air Base to have my PFT. During D-day, I was already exhausted after tangent score in the push ups and sit ups and when we had the run, I almost surrendered seeing female runners ahead of me. Nonetheless, I finished the 3.2 Km run almost out of breath but within the passing time. Later that day, they announced the name of those who will continue to the next phase of selection. 

June 2016. A big crossroad. Huge dilemmas. The processing for the medical examination was scheduled at the beginning of classes in the school. It was the time I was really in deep thoughts whether to pursue what I started or stop it right there. Added to the challenge was that I had to report to Villamor Air Base in Pasay City for the medical in undetermined dates. I remember having my class in a Monday, board the bus in the evening and the next day in Air Force General Hospital for a laboratory test. Afterwards if there were no scheduled medical tests, I had to go back to Kalinga immediately so as not to neglect my classes in the school. I was very lucky and blessed I had a very understanding principal that time and will always remember what she told me that I’m still young and she will support my decision to enter the military adding that I can always go back to teaching anytime I want as being a teacher does not require age limit compared to the uniformed service. That’s how I processed my medical, “lagari” between Kalinga and Manila. I passed the medical with negative findings. Later in the middle of July 2016 I faced the board interview for the final phase of the selection and after interview had sealed the processing stage. Last week of July 2016, I received a text message that I made it to PAFOCS and immediately I filed my resignation letter. 

01 August 2016. I turned back from my civilian life and took oath as a military man in a reception ceremony I will never forget. I almost run to the gates of Fernando Air Base to escape from that unprecedented indescribable moment yet I was too exhausted to do it. Beast barracks was hell that I opted to resign from the training but the insistence of my upperclass was a key factor I was not able to leave. Civilian life was very different from the arduousness of training – uncomfortable, far from family and almost no freedom. Yet in the turn of events I managed to adopt to the difficult environment, survived the rigors of training and slowly adjusted to the military routine. On the 10th of November 2017 and after 15 months of training, I graduated from the Philippine Air Force Officer Candidate School (PAFOCS) as the Class Number 1. 

While inside PAFOCS, I already knew that I can no longer qualify to become a military pilot because of age limit. And honestly, I never knew beforehand that there’s a pilot career after PAFOCS. I just knew that I’ll be commissioned as a second lieutenant after the training. That’s why I aligned myself to other specialization in the Air Force and subsequently after a certain schooling was assigned as an intel officer in Cebu. 

Mid of year 2018 was turning point. My name was in a list of qualified officers to take the Military Pilot Aptitude Test. Later I found out that the age limit was adjusted and putting me into the roster of probable officers for pilot training. I passed the written exams, cleared in the medical and hurdled the board interview. In March 2019, the order for the composition of Military Pilot Training Class 2020 came out and in God’s another miracle, my name was on the list. We reported to the Philippine Air Force Flying School on the same month and started the most difficult training in the Philippine Air Force both physically and mentally. There were gargantuan challenges in this new journey especially on the soloing phase yet what God had planned and prepared will always be the best route to follow. Our class also had faced many ups and downs from Taal eruption, COVID pandemic to numerous typhoons yet we finished the race safe and victorious. And on this day, the 9th of November 2020, just a day before celebrating my third year as an officer in the Philippine Air Force, I am adding another achievement which is not my own but among the many plans God had prepared for me. Graduating as military pilot was already enough yet God put a twist and He made me the Class Number 1. Truly, God’s mysteries in my life are testimonies of how He turns impossibilities into great realities. His words in Jeremiah 29:11 for his ultimate plans in our lives, to give us hope and a future, are words that are proofs of His unquestionable promises for us. 

My military journey is an unexpected turn of events, unplanned and not in the schedule. I never dreamed to be a soldier, moreso to become a military pilot. However, God really works in mysterious ways and it was His ultimate plan to transform the simple Math Teacher into a Military Aviator. 

I dedicate this achievement to my family, the source of all inspiration in hurdling one of the most difficult trainings in the Air Force and perhaps the most fulfilling one. There is nothing more I could ask for but to be forever grateful to God Almighty for bringing me in this journey, a journey that I will fulfil for the country and for God’s greatest honor. THANKS G." - Lt. Leonardo G. Visaya Jr. - PAF PAFOCS CL 2017


Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Alexander Bangsoy: Former sidewalk vendor to one of the biggest property developer in Cordillera

Photo Courtesy || Alexander Bangsoy & Goshenland
Cordillera - Reaching the pinnacle of success does not come up easy for this Cordilleran businessman who went through the challenges and struggles in life at an early age. 

Alexander Bangsoy, son of an Igorot house-helper from Mt. Province worked as a sidewalk vendor at a young age to support his education. 

While studying at the Ateneo Law School, he sold knitted cardigans to his classmates or friends and even during trade fairs in Manila. 

Life hit them hard in the 80s, when his family was evicted from their rented home in Quezon City. Their belongings were thrown out on the street in full view of their neighbors. 

That very moment, Bangsoy was motivated to pursue becoming a lawyer and study business. Now, he has become one of the biggest property developer in the Cordillera. 

Bangsoy started his own company, Goshen Land, and has been building condominiums and subdivisions since then. 

His company has expanded to other provinces such as Cagayan, Pangasinan and Pampanga. 

Learning from his own experience as a struggling ordinary Filipino before, Bangsoy made sure that his properties are affordable and buyers have enough time to pay their mortgage. 

Not only Bangsoy focused in building and expanding his company, he also offers free entrepreneurial training and seminars to share his knowledge and expertise in business and law. 

And to make sure that he is up-to-date with knowledge in business, he took up Master of Entrepreneurship at the Asian Institute of Management, Sales Management at Kellog University in the US and took the Owner/President Management Program Batch 45 at the Harvard Business School in the US.

In 2013, Bangsoy was nominated from the Philippines Stock Exchange (PSE) as an Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year and became one of the top 12 Finalist nationwide. 

In the same year, he was also nominated Outstanding Citizen of Baguio and recognized as Saint Louis Alumni Entrepreneur of the Year.

In his hometown Besao Mt. Province, the people considered him a hero because of his accomplishment and making Besao municipality known worldwide. 

Bangsoy offered this wonderful advice to people aspiring for success in life. 

He said, "Regardless of the circumstances you are in --mahirap ka, probinsyano ka, matanda ka, iniwan ka ng asawa, through vision hard work, perseverance, and, by the grace of God, kaya [mong] umasenso."

source || Goshenland, Manila Bulletin


Sunday, July 19, 2020

Army installs Cordilleran soldier from Abra as the new Battalion Commander of 3IB

Photo Courtesy || Jay Jay Tayamen via FB
Cordillera - The 7th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army has installed a new Battalion Commander for the 3rd Infantry Battalion (3IB) during a ceremony conducted on 15 July 2020. 

Taking over the new Battalion commander is a Cordilleran from Abra, Lieutenant Colonel Juvenal Mark T. Tayamen. 

Lt. Col. Tayamen is the son of the long time DWCB teacher and Grade School Department Principal, Mrs. Myrna Tayamen of Bangued, Abra, according to

READ ALSO:  Cordilleran soldiers sought-after in Mindanao because "they are full of courage and they don't complain" - PCO Asec. Banaag

The Change of Command Ceremony which was held via Tele-Conference was presided by Major General Alfredo V. Rosario Jr. PA, the Commander of 7ID, and was witnessed by other senior officers of the said Army command. 

"Both of you added another feather in your crowns. Congratulations for your achievement. May you achieve more success in whatever life brings," said General Rosario Jr. during the Change of Command Ceremony. 
"I wish you luck in your new assignment as you move up in the ladder of your career," Rosario added. 

The 3IB is a unit of the 7ID that is based in Davao City, and is under the operational control of the Joint Task Force Agila (10th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army).

Monday, July 6, 2020

Diligent boy from Benguet sells organic mushrooms to earn money for his school needs

Photo Courtesy || LoStories || Rober Nocum (Mushroom)
Cordillera- Growing up in the mountains of Cordillera, everyone must have spotted an organic mushroom of any kind or "oong and boo" as the locals call them.  It's been part of every locals' childhood collecting mushrooms and learning to identify what's edible and what's not.
During rainy season, the Cordilleran mountains are blessed with abundant organic mushrooms apart from edible wild plants and fruit-bearing trees. Elders call them the 'manna' from heaven relating it from the manna received by the Israelites in the Bible times.

A 10-year old, Jessie Almoza, however had taken these gifts of nature gratefully and wisely as he was seen selling bags of  'boo' to  motorists. Most of his costumers are also locals who are familiar with organic mushrooms and their health benefits.

Young Jessie's entrepreneur skills at an early age and his determination to do something worthwhile was commended and received  tons of positive comments from netizens and those from the offline community.

Some children at this stage are still discovering what's worth their time and effort, but Jessie had already found his.

"Maganda naman....., na meron silang ginagawa habang wala silang pasok. Dati rati pag ganitong season, merong ganyan na binebenta dito," Ryan, the first buyer said in an interview with TVPatrolNorthLuzon.

Unfortunately, his sales had been affected by the community lock down in his town due to the current pandemic.

The grade four pupil from Itogon Benguet, Jessie, had been saving his profits in a plastic bottle for his school needs.
 "Gagamitin ko para makaipon ng pera para pambili ng gamit ko sa school," Jessie said in the same interview.

Jessie's parents don't have have  a stable job and his father is a stroke patient. Hence, his determination to save up for his education and help his family.

His mother and sister have to climb the mountains as early as six in the morning to search and collect mushrooms for Jessie to sell. This is their main source of living.

As for Jessie and his family, they receive the gift of nature wisely and  honor the gift of life with a grateful heart as they live within their means and strive hard to survive despite the world's current battle with Covid-19.

Indeed, blessings come in any form, in any kind and in any circumstance. We are blessed more than we know. The only difference is how we recognize and acknowledge such blessings.

How have you been blessed? Do you mind sharing them with us?


Tuesday, June 2, 2020

DSWD Sec. Bautista admires the culture of Cordillera: "Hangga't kaya nila ay hindi sila nanghihingi"

Photo Courtesy || PIA-Cordillera
Cordillera - The secretary of the Department of Social Welfare and Development, Rolando Bautista has admired the culture of Cordillera people for not asking help from the government while they can still sustain themselves. 
"Makikita talaga ang kultura ng Cordillera na hangga't kaya nila and hindi sila nanghihingi," Bautista said in a statement via PIA. 

He said that there are 50 out of 77 local government units in Cordillera that had not submitted request to be part on the so called waitlisted or left out. 

Bautista's statement is very true of the Cordillerans. Cordillerans have an inherent attitude to always prepare themselves for any extremely difficult situation and they don't complain

Here are 7 of the reasons why Cordillerans or Igorots could survive crisis without complaining as written by blogger Felisa Daskeo. 

1. Resilience - Igorots are perhaps one of the most resilient people. They have strong personalities that help them recover easily during times of crisis. They have the ability to adapt to any situation.

2. They live within their means. - Igorots don't practice extravagant life. They live in a simple lifestyle like their ancestors and content themselves with what they have. They are not fond of jewelry and other luxuries that are only embellishment and unnecessary in their daily life. Just because Juan has a new television means Pedro will also buy one. It is not what they were taught. If you don't have extra money to buy "luho", then be contented with what you have. 

3. They always think of others. - Igorots always think of others and are not selfish. They always think of the word, "Inayan sa." Greed of power and money is frowned upon by many Igorots. 

4. They always save for the rainy day. - Igorots aren't one day millionaires. They always think of the future. Their "agamang" rice granary is always full. So the rice supply could sustain them for a year or more. Farmers plant rice in the rice terraces only once a year. So they make sure they have enough rice supply before harvest seasons comes again. Igorots are heavy rice eaters because they work very hard to sustain themselves. They aren't used to charities from other people unless needed. In times of crisis such as the Covid-19 pandemic, rice and salt is almost a luxury. 
5. They practice bayanihan religiously. Igorots practice bayanihan especially in times of calamities. The death of someone means every family in the community must share something to help the bereaved family. So the bereaved family will not be indebted, but they will have an extra budget for the pa-siyam and 40 days celebrations. They accomplish community projects in gratis, and you don't hear complaints. They do their duties and responsibilities for their community without complaining. 

6. They respect the authorities and abide by the laws. Igorots may not be that courteous. They don't have po and opo in their words. They don't practice the "Mano po". They don't always say, ma'am and sir. But in respecting authorities and laws, they need not be told what to do. They abide the laws and follow orders from authorities. This Covid-19 pandemic alerted the Igorots to practice the "Tee" or "Tengaw" which is the Igorot version of "Stay-at-Home. Te-e or Tengaw is an old tradition and practice where everyone must stay at home during a certain event.. The Igorots observe Te-e or Tengaw 100%. They always listen to the old man.

7. They are very practical. This part will surely surprise you. In the Cordillera Region, you cannot tell who is rich and who is not because even the rich aren't so showy about what they have. They wear simple clothes, but they have a mansion and a handsome car. Igorots will buy a nice car which is necessary but an LV bag worth Php100,000. He will build a mansion but do not expect him to buy that Rolex watch that is worth half million pesos. In short, they are very practical and they buy only what is necessary. So when you see an Igorot that resembles that beggar in Luneta Part, do not smirk and say, "kadiri". For all you know that Igorot is a millionaire who is just killing time while waiting for his daughter who is a doctor in one of the hospital's around and mind you, he is driving a Land Rover. 

These and more are some inherent characteristics of Igorots worth emulating that make them sustain themselves in times of calamities.

source || PIA Cordillera ||

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Cordilleran Landlords are giving food packs to their tenants during community quarantine

Photo Courtesy || Food Packs: Mayor's Office - La Trinidad
Cordillera - Knowing the impact of the current pandemic crisis, Landlords in Cordillera are providing food packs to their tenants to sustain their food supplies during the implementation of the community quarantine. 
Landlords didn't wait for the government to provide relief packs to their tenants  but out from their own pockets, they bought basic needs and gave them to their tenants who were affected by the ECQ.

A landlord from La Trinidad, Mr. Denver Kis-ing has distributed relief packs containing kilos of rice, canned goods and instant noodles to all his boarders according to the office of the Mayor. 

Another tenants from the said town said they also received food packs from their landlord.

According to Kean Abat-Marzo, they always received vegetables from their landlady in Puguis even before the start of the pandemic. 

Also, Ms. Florelyn Sabadi, commented that their landlady Ms. Eileen Ayban Yabes distributed whole chicken to her boarders. 

Another landlord from Pinespark was also very generous to his tenants including their neighbors by cooking food for them since the start of the lockdown. 

Many of the landlords showed concern to their tenants in time of crisis by giving whatever they can provide such as waiving their rental fee, giving relief packs and cooking them food. 
Last month, President Duterte asked landlords to allow their renters and tenants to stay in their properties and promised to shoulder the rental fee if they could no longer pay.

"They are already on quarantine, they have nothing to eat and they are worrying about this [rent]. Now do not force them to pay. Let them stay in the place, I will pay. I swear to you upon my oath of office, I will pay if they can't pay," Duterte said.

Saturday, March 7, 2020

Igorota Policewoman is one of Most Influential Women in Asia

Photo Courtesy || PCI Kimberly E. Molitas
Cordillera - The Spokesperson and Chief of the Public Information Office of the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) is a policewoman and a proud, full blooded Igorota. 
Police Lt. Col. Kimberly E. Molitas who held the position as the PNP deputy spokesperson was a graduate of the 220-strong Magilas Class of 2000. 

She has worked with the Philippine National Police for 20 years in various capacities, and has also served abroad with the United Nation's Stabilization Mission in Haiti. 

She also trained in the PNP Special Action Force (SAF) to enhance her combat skills, develop a special kind of discipline, train her body to be physically fit and strong. 

Molitas was also one of the "12 emerging leaders of Asia" which was selected by the Asia Foundation from among 650 applicants representing 53 Asian countries. 

In 2015, Molitas became the first Filipino policewoman to complete a Fulbright year as a Hubert Humphrey Fellow at the University of Minnesota's Humphrey School of Public Affairs.

She also remains a resource person for the Center for Democracy and Citizenship in the US and speaks in different in different forums cybercrime, human trafficking, and crimes against women and children.

According to Molitas, her great achievements in the police work were attributed to her family and her roots as an indigenous woman. 
"My family and my roots as an indigenous woman are my greatest inspirations. Coming from a country where most people think that Igorots like me are uneducated, I told myself that I should be an example or inspiration for the younger Igorots to excel," Molitas said. 

In line with his profession as a policewoman, Molitas had specialized in Advance Surveillance & Investigations training at the Australian School of Security and Investigation. 

She earned the distinction of being the youngest of the Ten Outstanding Policewoman of the Philippines (TOPWP) at 25 years old and the Distinguished Service Medal from the Philippine Defense Secretary.

source || ||

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Kalinga teacher braves dangerous hanging bridge and mountains daily to reach her students

Photo Courtesy || Front Row
A teacher from Kalinga has to hike muddy mountain trails and cross a perilous hanging bridge to reach her school everyday.  
The hanging bridge that teacher Maribel, students and residents of Pinukpuk, Kalinga was destroyed during typhoon Lawin back in 2016 but  was never repaired until today.

Everyone who wants to get to the other side of the mountain has no other choice than to cross this impassable bridge because their is no other way. The risk it takes in every step on the slippery bamboo and every grip on the rusty cable wire is like betting on your life.

It has been three years since she had her first assignment at an elementary school in a far flung village in Pinukpuk. What made her stay despite the struggles she has to endure in fulfilling her teaching career?

She could have taught within her comfort zone  or work near her house so she can spend more time with her family or even eat with them at home during lunch break. She could have worked in the city with less hassle on  transportation or applied for a teaching position abroad.

In her interview with Front Row, teacher Maribel shared what inspired her to keep her teaching job despite the sacrifices she has to make everyday to teach her classes. It is her passion to teach and her previous teachers were her great inspiration in following their footsteps.

Indeed, teaching and mentoring the next generation is teacher Maribel's way of life. May her story inspire the youth, spark some hope and encouragement to future teachers and give pride and honor to all those in the teaching field.

May the local government or other NGO's take notice and do something to help alleviate the struggles of the local residents of Pinukpuk, Kalingga. Three years has been long over due to fund for a repair or even a new hanging bridge.

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Hardworking farmer from Benguet builds Dream House from vegetable farming

Photo Courtesy || Agribusiness
Cordillera - While young people of this generation abandon farming and go to the city, get a college degree and work as an employee of a company, this engineer from Benguet chose the opposite. 
Joel Paquito, abandoned pursuing his career being a full time engineer after finishing his degree on electrical engineering and went back to farming instead. 

Paquito, now a full time vegetable farmer in his local town in Bugiuas, Benguet said in an interview with Agribusiness that his heart was in to farming. 

"May puso kasi ako sa farming. Yung namulatan kung trabaho ng magulang ko, lalo na yung tatay ko... Talagang yung puso ko bumalik sa farm," Paquito said.

Unlike from being an employee in a company where you have a boss, Joel said that in farming you are the boss and no one is pressuring and controlling you in whatever you want to do. 

He said that what he learned from his degree in electrical engineering, he can also apply them in his work being a farmer.

Asked about the common problem of farmers who suffer from bankruptcy due to pest and oversupply of vegetables in the market,  Joel admitted that he too suffered from not getting returns from his capital due to a disease that affected the soil.

However, Joel didn't easily give up otherwise, he will be the loser in the end. He gave an advice to his fellow farmers what to do when they  face challenges and are affected with problems.
"Bilang farmer, kailangan mo ring maintindihan na ang lugi ay hindi ibig sabihin na yun na ang huli. Pag ang nasa isip natin ay tapos na baka hindi mo na mabawi [ang puhunan mo]. 

Joel said that you have to plant again even if your first plant was unsuccessful. 

He also pointed out the importance of having some savings. 

"Kailangang mag-ipon ka. Kung may pera kailang hindi mo dapat iwaldas lahat, darating ang panahon na yung tanim mo rin malulugi, meron tayong back-up," Joel shared.

"Karamihan talaga sa mga  farmers pag may pera hindi iniisip ang kalugihan... Dapat sa mga farmers alam ang [pinagkaiba] ng 'needs at wants'... Alam natin ang kailangan natin sa farm at sa buhay, hindi lang puro 'wants'," he added.

Joel shared some tips to his fellow farmers in managing their finances when starting to farm. Since farming takes a  month or two for soil preparation up to harvest, he advised that farmers should have an emergency fund allocated for the two months that they don't have an income. They can also take some extra work to get income while waiting for the harvest.

Joel proved that you don't need to go abroad or get a job from the city to make a good life. Because of his good principle in farming, he was able to buy his own car and build his own house. 

Watch the whole interview of Joel below from Agribusiness

Friday, January 24, 2020

Former Mc Donald service crew and construction worker became lawyer through dedication and hard work

Photo Courtesy || Howard Chan's Filipinosolophy blogsite and Rated K
Cordillera - "Don't give up on your dreams, or your dreams will give up on you". These are the words of a former American famous basketball player named John Wooden and could be one of the motivation of Mr. Howard Chan to pursue his dream of becoming a lawyer. 

Howard worked as a service crew of a famous fast food restaurant in SM Baguio before becoming a lawyer in 2015. 

To help her mother financially, Howard also worked as a laborer in a construction site and also a part time carwash boy.

Howard shared on his blog site Filipinolosophy the struggles he and his family experienced during the time he was not yet a lawyer. 

During his struggles, he realized that not all rich people are genuinely helpful to the poor.

"Coming from a working class family, it was hard for me to believe that well-to-do people genuinely care for the poor. We've had rich relatives who never even bothered to check on us when we had no electricity, water, nor food to eat." Howard wrote. 

Although they had rich relatives, Howard is not saying, they are entitled to be helped however, he pointed out that a "little help [from them] would have been great."

Their struggles help Howard to developed a kind attitude towards poor people and became a humble person. 

"When I became a lawyer, I just knew that I have to be that kind of lawyer that I admire back in the days when we were struggling. I don't have to be the smartest of the most prominent. I just want to be one of the most judicious and moral" he shared. 

Watch Howard inspiring story as featured by Rated K:

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