First, anyone out there inclined towards experimenting on using illegal drugs. Remember Baguio City Police Office’s (BCPO) advice and echoed by its precinct stations like BCPO Station 4: “Drugs kill the pain, joy, hope, body, brain. And finally the soul.”
Have you noticed the spirit of seasons? You have, huh!
For Mother Nature, there’s a season for rain, summer, or both rain and sun, whatever her disposition.
In every Cordilleran and lowlander household, are seasons of work behind the scenes.
Behind the scenes are laborers, working together like a fine mesh to keep our regions turning like a clock.
We see these laborers daily, in city streets, rural places, in fields or factories, working with a spirit no machine can replace.
To cite a few.
They could be in the semblance of a farmer, for a season to till, sow and wait for harvest.
They are the embodiment of the mothers, at-labor, and a season for husbands to stand by their spouses at moment of a child birth.
They are in the sum policemen on patrol, on the season to make us safe and sound, or the ones who battle fires, in the season to save us from burning.
We see them in configuration of any who swings the hammer in the season to drive home the nail.
You spot them on the counter, in the season to ring up the sale.
They are compositions standing before children and youth, called second mothers, or mothers away from home, in the season of educating and preparing us in our future treks towards being daily laborers.
Or they are in the forms of the young, in the season of courting.
For any kindred soul will wish upon a star, may murmur, “To each’s season of hope.”
But last March and April, almost all have noticed another season, a season for those vying for elective positions – their season of hope resting on us, the majority.
It’s political season, with political stump speeches to convince any unconvinced – the voters.
Now it happened once upon a time last Monday, a group (16 men and 8 women) on a grassy hill somewhere in barangay Alno, La Trinidad Municipality, momentarily stopped their hoeing work for rest.
Whiling away their rest hour, the group talked about politics.
One among the group, Banang Codimos, 66, a Cordilleran, retired form work and now engaged in lucrative cut flower growing said, “Halos pare-parehas met ti ikasta dagiti kandidato nga agkampanya. Makapasadot nga denggen (dull and boring to hear). Dapat sabalyan da i-style da nga original tapno malagip kaadwan a botante isuda. Pwera lang agdadael ken ag-atake. Agpakatawa da ngamin nu agkamkampanya da.”
However, the unidentified male seated near Banang and to whom she was explaining her observation as the group was seated on that grassy knoll resting, wasn’t interested in hearing her.
His gaze was transfixed on a shrub-like plant some distance away from them. It was called “pedped,” (Glochidion) or “anam” or “kupkupit” and used by the Cordillerans as substitute for tobacco.
Pedped doesn’t contain nicotine but triterpenoids and flavonoids. Pedped was smoked since time immemorial and became part of Cordilleran culture, co-existing with Cordilleran environment.
Exasperated at not being listened to, Banang got hold of a stick and used it to rap the knuckles of her unidentified friend, admonishing,” Yay, saan mo deng-dengen ti ibag-bagak. Kunak agsurat kan tu ti sample ti kakatkatawa nga political speech, saan nga pada dagiti panag-ispeech dagiti ag-ngay-ngayangay a kandidato a puro da serioso. Naawatam!”
Her unidentified companion smiled foolishly and answered, “Wen, a, Banang-banangan, este, Banang, Ma’am, Colonel, General, Boss! Your wish is my command!”
“Aramiden! Ta nu saan mu aramiden ket saan mi tu mabasa idiay Herald Express nu umay a Domingo, sika ti aramiden mi a pedped! Banang warned.
So here’s Banang’s request of a sample political speech, in slang.
“Feller citizens and citizen fellers, lend me your ears! in this momentous – yes, momentous – crisis of the region, when the toxin of election is sounding, it’s the duty, yes the duty, if I may so speak, of every loyal and patriotic – yes, patriotic and loyal – Cordillerans and lowlanders to stand ready in magnanimous defense of the constitution.”
“Feller citizens and fellow sufferers, I would like to introduce myself. I am Ah Kong, a plain barbarian running as candidate for ______. Gentlemen and ladies, I profess no principles, unfortunately, I have none.
“But I say here, standing on this stage, logically speaking – yes, speaking logically – I see one fourth geographically and climatically, or, in other words, climatically and geographically, considered – yes, one fourth of our glorious regions slipping away – yes, slipping away into a-so to speak, bungle some chaos, yes, chaosity, so to speak.”
“But we have the liberty to elect our officials from this chaosity, so to speak. Or, shall we stand here, unmoved and gaze with distended eyeballs, yes, with distended eyeballs, and not use our liberty to choose our own candidates. I know not what course other candidates may take. They may say, it’s your liberty to vote. But I say, feller citizens, it’s your liberty to invite me for a drink ‘till we get drunk and sing, For he’s a happy good fellow.”
“My feller citizens who can hear and who cannot hear, corresponding to your unanimous call, I shall now have the pleasure of addressing every one of you to elucidate on women’s rights which is one of my major campaign platforms. Because women voters are more than the men.”
“This has been a subject long discussed by a good many folks who never knew anything at all about it. Before I go to the rights of women, I want you to understand one thing. I don’t want to hear coughing, shuffling of the feet or squealing babies.”
“Now, to the subject, the woman. Who is a woman? Where did she come from? Where does she belong to? Where is she goin to? Now a good many people have tried to explain that women are brought on the human race to coax men to climb apple trees and steal apples, in the way Eve coaxed Adam to climb the apple tree and steal the apple.”
“But I stand here before you to dispute that. For I believe it was Adam who coaxed Eve to climb the apple tree and steal the apple. Let me impress on your minds the wrongs heaped on the women ever since the beginning of the world and from all points of the compass.”
“When Adam and Eve were in the Garden of Eating, not Eden, Adam coaxed Eve to climb up the old apple tree and he boosted her up and as a result she tore her bestida on a limb. And just as she reached out for an apple, two policemen came and caught her and Adam turned state witness against her.”
“And because Adam double-crossed Eve, that is the reason why our wives nowadays – and even before – got tongues. Well, you know it; it’s a tongue. A night tongue, a day tongue, in fact a perpetual tongue – to pester us the men for the fault of Adam.”
“Now as to the question where did women come from? Now, my feller citizens, have you ever heard such foolish question in your born days? It’s good that that women are here, and what difference does it make where they came from?’’
“On the question where do women belong to? Why, op kors women belong to themselves. Because when they get married, the law says what belongs to the husband belongs to the wife, and what belongs to the wife belongs to herself and as much more as she can get hold of?”
“Yes, my feller citizens, my voice shall cry aloud in defense of women’s rights. Thank you for listening on this suspicious occasion, I appeal before you to vote for me come election. Because I like sitting in an office. It is comfortable. Again, thank you.”