Preserve Catandunganon identity, scholars urge
posted 20-Jan-2019  ·  
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Local academics last January 5 in a forum at the Catanduanes State University (CSU) advocated the continual understanding and preservation of Catandunganon identity, amid continual modernization to the island.

Retired scholar Estrella Placides highlighted the dangers of modernity to the Catandunganon’s culture.

“Technology and globalization. Supposed to be instruments of progress. Pero anong nangyari?  Ang ginawa ng technology and globalization, in-alienate kita sa sadili nita. What happened to humankind? Nabawasan ang pagkatao ng tao. Naging ano? Mechanized. And dehumanized,” Placides said.

The former CSU teacher criticized as well the adaptibility of Catandunganons as a people.

“Atang tultol sa pantalon, ginilisi niya, ta pano su [kaibahan] mo, gisi man su pantalon. Diba? Very adaptable tayo. Okay tana kuta ‘no? But, we lose ourselves in the process. Dai ta narisa, but we lose ourselves in the process,” she said.

Placides also identified the Catandunganons as the best and only representation of the island’s identity

“Each one of us is a presentor of the Catandunganon, of who and what we are. By the way we speak, by the way we dress up, by our attitudes, by our morals, by our values... By the things we consider important. We reveal who and what we are,” Placides explained.

‘Our playground, not prison’

Research director and former Tribune columnist Ramon Felipe Sarmiento however emphasized the reinvention of islander culture, citing patronage politics as one of the culture’s flaws.

“Ang hiling ta sa gobyerno baging mga dyos-dyosan. Ang mga taong gobyerno, opisyal natin, parang mga dyos-dyos na mahagad kita ning mahagad. Ta sinda ‘generous’, ‘good’, and so on... Now what’s wrong with that? Dahil sa ganyang mentality kaya igwang vote buying,” the research director explained.

He added that Catandunganons become apathetic to whatever the government is doing.

“Pag natawan na kita, wala na tayong pakialam kung ano ang mga ginagawa nila, kung ano ang mga programa nila, kung ano ang kanilang mga patakaran. That’s not good citizenship,” Sarmiento said.

He added that Catandunganons must develop new ways of thinking and doing.

“Catandungan identity should be our playground, not our prison. Huwag nating gawing rehas na hindi na tayo makalabas. Let us reinvent ourselves. Because the Catandunganon is a work in progress,” he said.

Next year’s plan

University of the Philippines Catandungan Meyrick Tablizo mentioned that the group might pursue mental health as a topic next year due to it being a taboo topic among Catandunganons.

“Particularly uya sato ta baging baco siyang (mental health) dakulang well, dai siya nagtataong pansin masyado, baging actually may negative connotation pa su alog kaitong topic, so baging may dakula kitang kaipuhang ayusun sa mentality ning mga tawo uya sato regarding mental health,” Tablizo said.

He also praised the success of this year’s event.

 “Based dun sa discourse na naNgyari kanina, generally for me, successful siya kasi lively na yung discussion and yung interaction between the participants and the speakers is good enough for me so I guess successful enough na siya,” he said.

The event dubbed “Tandu Annual Talks” was held at the CSU Auditorium and also included speakers Department of Trade and Industry Development Specialist Geraldine Bagadiong and CSU professor Adem Nalu Rubio. (Cris Eugene T. Gianan)

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