BONTOC, Mountain Province – The Bontoc community who are now residing in Tabuk City and Kalinga Province is the living example that Bontok people have always been a resilient people.
This is the gist of the message of Bontoc Mayor Franklin Odsey who graced the 50th Founding Anniversary of the United Bontoc Federation in Kalinga on January 25, 2020 at the Kalinga Astrodome, Bulanao, Tabuk City.
Odsey said that even when Bontok people have left their hometown to find greener and wider pastures to provide for their families, they have brought with them the values such as og-ogfu (Bayanihan), industry, and care and empathy for others.
“Because you nurtured these values, you have not only survived, but thrived, in this province. You formed an organization where you can come together in community for mutual help and benefit, and more importantly to keep the spirit of your being Ifontok alive. And it is now 50 years old, “the mayor remarked.
With this, he commended the officers and members of the organization for sustaining the unity and harmony within the organization.
Odsey likewise lauded the Bontok people living in Tabuk City and Kalinga for they have become important and productive members of the Kalinga community. It is because many of them occupy important positions in various government agencies as officials and professionals. Also, many of them have thrived in business and agriculture.
While some of the children of the Bontok people have been born and raised in Tabuk City and Kalinga, the mayor encouraged the parents to always reintroduce their Bontok roots so that they grow up grounded, knowing that they are a product of two great cultures; a proud Ifontok and I-kalinga.
Meanwhile, Odsey shared some of the recent notable improvements and good news in Bontoc. These include the construction of the new Bontoc Municipal Capitol which is now becoming a tourist attraction and which has been dubbed as one of the best town halls in the entire Luzon; and Bontoc has also been consistently awarded the National Seal of Good Local Governance, the highest award given by the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) to local government units which recorded exemplary performance in government service. It is noteworthy that Bontoc is only one of the few LGUs in CAR that has won the award for three straight years in a row from 2017, 2018, and 2019.
He likened the prestigious award of the municipality to the success of the organization of the Bontoc community in Bontoc. The organization has reached its 50th year since its inception because of the unity, harmonious relationship and support of every member.
By Alpine L. Killa