The revival of our Kalinga core values known as the PNB or the Paniyaw, Ngilin and Bain through the Indigenous People’s Education brings us back to our rich and colourful history. Our genuine and unique beliefs and practices that are embedded in our traditions up to this time allow us to gather once again as one people bound together by one belief, one culture and one vision.
What if along the process of teaching and preserving our unique cultural identity and heritage, we are faced with a global threat that could scatter us into pieces? How can we strengthen such identity and unity if in doing so our own precious lives are being put in danger? How can we withstand the great impact of COVID-19 pandemic to our Kalinga practices such as family rituals, burials, bagungun, palanos, pusipos and others?
The impact of covid-19 pandemic to our Kalinga practices has surpassed the impact of ancient tribal wars. It caused not just tribes but clans and families to observe social distancing. It prevented us from attending wakes of death relatives, joining simple family occasions and other important rituals. It forced us to endure the bitterness of living away just to ensure safety and follow the stringent health protocols. In just a short period of time, this pandemic has led us to live in isolation just like an hermit and even led others stray from their loved ones.
During this time of pandemic, we can still preserve our practices. Despite its impact on our cultural practices, I believe that through modern way of communications we can still reach out to out relatives. We never allow the distance to separate us from one another. We teach others the attitudes and values that they need to possess in moving forward amidst pandemic. This covid-19 surely kills people but can never annihilate our Ikalinga spirit. It will never make us bow and surrender rather it gives us the opportunity to stand stronger for a more dignified and respected lives because we are uniquely gifted with attitudes and values which other groups of people do not possess. No disease, no war, neither this covid-19 can impact of practices.
Moreover, If these PNB values are properly inculcated in our minds, we will realize their indispensable role in promoting their cultural inheritance. We will be taken to the right path and never be lost. We will be guided on what to say and how to say it; we will be enlightened to do the right thing and we will be empowered to make just and fair decisions. Eventually we will take pride in being Ikalingas and we can make a big difference in making Kalinga shines by moving forward, fighting every pandemic that come across our ways and continue to be unique people contributing in the cultural, and social development of the province. By Janice Yagyagon Morgia