In My Own Words - Ron Centeno

a collection of thoughts and my own words

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Bridge of Life

Written by Ron Centeno

There is nothing more heartwarming and newsworthy article than the “Villagers Spend Own Money to Fix Bridges”, by Ben Moses Ebreo, (Philippine Daily Inquirer, 05 Feb. 2009).

By and large, Obreo claims that “Ilocanos are known to be tight wads” (matipid or literally, kuripot), but for good reason.

Raised as a ‘Pangalatok’ in Central Pangasinan, I certainly concur to Obreo’s claim as I was in close contact with many Ilocanos while I was growing up as a kid, when l left the country in 1997, and to this date while living in the States.

According to the article, Obreo describes how residents of Sitio Dumaliguia, an agricultural village in the province of Nueva Vizcaya have started “contributing P5 monthly to the community’s treasury to pool funds for the repair of their hanging bridges under the project “Rangtay Pagbiagan” (Bridge of Life). Since September of last year, 114 families in that village have raised more than P2,000.

What prompted the Ilocanos to put matter into their hands, apparently, is the lack of help the villagers get from the government. Note that these two hanging bridges are linked to their very subsistence that include transporting their crops, sending their children to school, and bringing residents to health centers.

Considering the raised amount of over two thousand pesos to be rather measly and absolutely pale in comparison to most of the failed government projects that are oftentimes sources for corruption, such display of a collective effort by these Ilocanos is truly awe-inspiring.

I am totally struck by the sheer cohesiveness of these villagers who, in times of adversity, their spirit to survive defy our conventional wisdom for individual pursuit of happiness and wealth.

This incredible story of pooling together is one for the book. It convinces me and you that the spirit of “bayanihan” continues to flicker despite its fading.

Mabuhay ang mga Filipino, in general, at mga Ilocano, in particular!

5 Your Thoughts/Comments Here::

Midlife, menopause, mistakes and random stuff... said...

The human spirit is amazing, no???
Beautiful post.......

Steady On
Reggie Girl

alone said...

u want something, u have to do it =)

jbmasigan said...

Ilocanos are not really kuripot, they are just wise father is an Ilocano and my mom is from Bicol. I could see the big difference between them in terms of spending and keeping their money. I have mixed feelings about this article because on one hand i feel proud that amidst this country's woes the "Bayanihan" spirit is still alive...but on the other hand this people could have spent their hard earned money for their families and for the education of their children...I am wondering why the rich politicians and elites in their area have contributed nothing to this it because its to small to give them the media mileage crave for?

The Pope said...

This proves that the Bayanihan tradition is not dead and is still alive in the heart of our Ilokano friends. And shame to our Government officials who enrich themselves of taxpayer's money.

Alain Theriault said...

Wow. I can't believe the government wouldn't repair the bridge.

It's amazing to see how they can get together and solve problems as a team.

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