CALANASAN, Apayao – Under the blistering heat of the sun, dressed with an “isnag attire” and standing in front of his father’s monument, Governor Elias C. Bulut, Jr. urges the people of Apayao to reminisce and value the sacrifices of Apayao’s founder, the late Honorable Elias K. Bulut (EKB) during the 2019 Provincial Founder’s Day Celebration held here on May 18.
Unmindful of the scorching heat neither bothered by his outfit which he daringly wore for the first time in his political career together with his family and sibling Congresswoman Eleanor Bulut-Begtang, Bulut recalled the harrowing encounters and struggles his father personally experienced in pushing for the separation of then one province of Kalinga and Apayao.
Bulut said many mocked his father who is a teacher by profession. According to Bulut, many doubted EKB’s capability in his aggressive desire and commitment to separate Kalinga and Apayao. “Adu agkantyaw idi, takyan mi sapin mi no maisina na dayta. Adu abogadon nangpadas ngem haan da kaya, dayta lang a teacher ketdin? (Many taunted and ridiculed him. A lot of lawyers tried but did not succeed, and that just a mere teacher?)” he narrated.
With that scenario, Bulut challenged the crowd to send their children to school. Even the young professionals were pressed to pursue higher education so that people around will never say again that an Iapayao is just a mere teacher. “Nayunan yo ti adal yo, tapno haan da kuna nga teacher lang,” he added.
As he observed that most if not all regional offices are manned by professionals coming from other provinces, he encouraged the young professionals and capable individuals to seek office not only in the district offices but also in the regional and iff possible, in the national level.
He even challenged his town mates of Calanasan to leave their comfort zones and “do something aggressive” like what EKB has done before.
“This is the challenge for young professionals, we should be ambitious like our hero. Encourage our children to take medicines or higher education so that Apayao will not only be known to be a peace-loving people but also a province full of professionals,” pointed out.
Meanwhile, Cong. Leah who will be the next governor of Apayao pondered on how his father inspired her to become a leader. “He challenged me, this is the reason I became a leader.
Haan na kami pulos nga binaybay-an. Kasta met ti impaay na ti probinsiya tayo nga Apayao,” she recalled.
“Bigbigin tayo met dagiti naaramidan na. We need to thank the Lord kasi no awan daytoy nga banwar tayo, awan siguro daytoy probinsiya tayo nga Apayao. So we need to be grateful with his life,” Cong. Leah stressed.
Bowing out as the Governor come this July 1 but will be the next Representative of the lone district of Apayao, Bulut thanked all the people who supported him as the father of the province in the past ten years. He said their family owes much to the people of Apayao and they will continue to serve.
“In honor for our hero, it is a moral obligation for every Iapayao to continue what he laid for us,” he concluded.
BY GERRIAHZON S. SEBASTIAN