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BAGUIO CITY – The Cordillera Regional Development Council (RDC-CAR) recently launched a book containing the stories of people who closely worked with the late F. Conrado Balweg of the Cordillera Peoples Liberation Army (CPLA) and who were part of the armed struggle and the clamor for regional autonomy serving as the initial wave of documentaries of the untold stories of the past for references of the present and future generations.
Entitled ‘A Victory Postponed,” the 122-page book contains the narrations of Ernesto ‘Dexter’Garado alias Ka Sungar entitled Convergences at the Chico Dam Struggle; the Gabino Ganggangan story that evolves on the Tapestry of Self-Determination; Armando Watil story entitled Not Yet Over, Ka Wanwan; Modesto Sagudang alias Ka Jet entitled Fulfilling Dreams; Henry Guapaal story entitled The Trusted Aide Turned Public Servant; Laurence Bayongan story entitled A Successful Autonomy Advocate; Andres Ngao-i story which is Keeping the Promises; Atty. Nestor Atitiw story who the Negotiator and Defender of IP Rights; Mariano Tagtag story and the Fernando Bahatan, Jr. story that focuses on the Quest for Autonomy: A Victory Postponed.
Milagros A. Rimando, regional director of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA-CAR) and RDC-CAR vice chairperson, said that the Cordillera monograph will just be the first edition because there will be succeeding editions that will focus on the people who worked behind Macliing Dulag, Pedro Dungoc and Lumbaya Gayudan, among others, who have played a key role in the armed struggle, including the women behind the struggles of the people in the past.
She added the book took two years to produce through the able assistance of Howie G. Severino of GMA 7 and Engr. Ines Basaen and Erlin Alcantara who provided the technical works for the production of the said reading material.
Severino claimed there are many untold of men and women who took part in the struggle for Cordillera autonomy and when written, it can enrich the understanding and appreciation of past events that facilitates the discussion and enrich the drive for regional self-determination.
Earlier, the RDC-CAR, through the NEDA-CAR, brought together those that witnessed or even participated in the historic events to document the recollections.
Rimando revealed the stories of the storytellers were developed through a series of workshops with writers, follow-up interviews, and continuous validations to ensure that the documentation of the events was as accurate as possible.
She said the NEDA-CAR imparts these stories through the publication of monographs, the first of which focuses on selected members of the Cordillera Bodong Association (CBA) and the CPLA and the first monograph describes the awakening of the personalities and the inspiration that drove them to be involved in the autonomy struggle.
Rimando cited the dedication of the said personalities who risked their lives for the realization of their collective vision of helping the region achieve autonomous status even if a number of them have already gone to the great beyond.
By Dexter A. See