TABUK CITY, Kalinga – Elders from the Sagada tribe from Mountain Province and Bangad tribe from Tinglayan, Kalinga renewed their 8-year old ‘bodong’ or peace pact during fitting ceremonies that were separately held in Bangad, Tinglayan town and the residence of a tribal elder in the city recently.
Engr. Andres Ngao-i, an elder of the Bangad tribe and president of the Cordillera Bodong Administration (CBA), said that ‘ bodong’ is not only intended to achieve peace for feuding tribes but it is also intended to guarantee the safety of the members of the tribes when visiting their respective territorial jurisdiction.
Earlier, the Sagada and Bangad tribes formally forged their ‘bodong’ in 2012 in Sagada, Mountain Province but the same was not repeated until the renewal of their ties which was done in Bangad, Tinglayan and a similar ceremony in the residence of Engr. Ngao-i which is considered a territory of Bangad in the city considering that he is an elder of the aforesaid tribe.
“We are elated we were able to renew our ‘bodong’ after a long period of time. We hope that members of both tribes will be able to strengthen and nurture the same through various activities that will be scheduled in the future,” Ngao-i stressed.
The tribal elder asserted that the practice of ‘ bodong’ among some tribes in the different parts of the region has been misinterpreted to be applicable only to warring tribes but in the real sense of the age-old practice, the same is intended to guarantee the safety of members of different tribes when entering the territories of other tribes.
According to him, it is also good for other tribes to replicate what had been done by both the Sagada and Bangad tribes to sustain the practice of the age-old tradition that had been passed on to generations and to erase the bad perception of the ‘ bodong’ among Cordillerans and non-Cordillerans.
Ngao-i said that the renewal of the ‘bodong’ between the Sagada and Bangad tribes was done in time for the conduct of the Igorot Global Organization (IGO) gathering that was coincided with the celebration of the 25th founding anniversary of Kalinga last week.
On the other hand, the CBA official disclosed that efforts are now being done by the peace pact holders of the Butbut tribe in Tinglayan, Kalinga and the Betwagan tribe in Sadanga, Mountain Province to peacefully settle their brewing dispute considering that there were already encounters were done between members of the two tribes in the past wherein there were individuals who were hurt.
He urged concerned government agencies to come in the picture to explain to the elders of both tribes the issues and concerns on established political boundaries considering that it should be government that will spearhead the settlement of the dispute as the same is already beyond the control of tribal elders.
Peace pact holders expressed optimism that the brewing dispute between the Butbut and Betwagan tribes will be peacefully settled the soonest so that lasting peace will reign within the territories of both tribes to prevent the further threats to life and limb posed by the said conflict.
Ngao-i urged tribal elders to continue exploring possible ways and means in which to settle the conflict so that economic activities serving as sources of livelihood will eventually thrive in their places.