While enjoying the slow jeepney ride brought about by the slow-moving traffic in the Northern part of La Trinidad, I had a good reflection about being a Cordilleran. I was able to create a list of the Top 10 Cordilleran Attributes that came to my mind that rainy afternoon. But I also redefined each on the basis of what I think that a real Cordilleran should be and do.
Here you go:
- A Cordilleran puts on a cowboy costume with charm. This seems to be a good one! But wait, I’d say that a real Cordilleran puts on an appropriate outfit with charm, whether it’s cowboy or not. What’s important is how he or she carries it and how it suits the occasion or event of the day.
- A Cordilleran loves country music. Well, I do love country music and I learned to sing with country music. But there’s something more! A real Cordilleran loves music that builds up, encourages, and inspires living – it may be a country song or not. What’s important is the music and the message of the song.
- A Cordilleran speaks his native tongue or dialect. You better be able to speak your dialect, or else! But just in case you are born elsewhere, you have an excuse but give it a try. You might uncover a precious gem while learning the language. More than this, a real Cordilleran, while he or she loves and speaks native tongue, also strives to learn other language knowing that this will help him grow and become better in his craft, career or commercial venture.
- A Cordilleran drinks native wine like tapey. But let me issue a warning: A real Cordilleran, while he or she appreciates native produce and drinks native wine like tapey, he or she also practices moderate drinking and knows when to excuse him/herself when the alcohol is starting to take control of his mind, body, and soul.
- A Cordilleran eats pinikpikan. Yummy! (You know, that native chicken prepared with a special procedure of dressing?) Well, a real Cordilleran does eat pinikpikan. That’s it! Redefine it or refine this statement yourself. (And let me know what your take on this is.)
- A Cordilleran needs to have a little drink to boost his confidence to go on stage and speak. Big no! A real Cordilleran can boost his confidence even without a drink to be able to go on stage and speak or sing. (Oh they say that this also applies to courting! If you need to drink alcohol just to be able to express your intention to that girl, hmmm, think again! Believing in your goodness and the goodness of your heart’s intent could give a boost on your confidence!) And speaking of developing your confidence to speak or sing on stage, just keep practicing on stage. (Try Toastmasters and see how you’ve build your confidence in public speaking.) A real Cordilleran has a innate confidence and all he or she needs to do is unleash this power within him or her.
- A Cordilleran believes that he has a magnificent culture. A real Cordilleran, indeed, believes in the magnificence of his or her culture but is also open to change some beliefs, practices, and traditions that do not necessarily help in the preservation and improvement of life.
- A Cordilleran can earn big time because of his hardwork. A real Cordilleran, while earning through his hardwork, also knows or exerts effort to learn how to manage his earnings well so it won’t be gone when the wind of expenses simply blows it away. Also, a real Cordilleran does not fall prey to scams like Ponzi-schemes. A real Cordilleran knows that money has to be earned the right way!
- A Cordilleran believes in his strengths and capabilities. And a real Cordilleran, while believing in his strengths and capabilities, also acknowledges that he needs to continue learning and be open to wisdom from others. A real Cordilleran appreciates the value of unity and how people of different strengths can help each other specially in each one’s weaknesses.
- A Cordilleran is strong! More so, a real Cordilleran is strong because he acknowledges and believes Strong Creator. A real Cordilleran is man or woman of faith!
There goes my list! You see, a Cordilleran make create a wonderful list of attributes and can even make each one in the list better and stronger. I have a hunch that you also can create an awesome list of Cordilleran attributes! And why should we? Because it is good and it could be of the ways we can celebrate the Cordillera Day.
Fellow Cordillerans, as we celebrate Cordillera Day, let us also celebrate the goodness of our being Cordillerans. As we celebrate our goodness, we look into ways on how we can become even better and stronger in various ways. Believing in your being a Cordilleran is sometimes misinterpreted to staying complacent and just accept the negative side of our roots. But we know better than that because we can grow our Cordilleran core for the better.
Today, we celebrate! And just like what the old folks in our town would shout when they express their blessings in the form of basabas, I too, bless you and hail, “Gabay! Matago-tago ka!”
(Ask a Kankana-ey from Benguet for the translation of that last line. Friend, what’s your Cordilleran story or your own list of Cordilleran attributes, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.)