Quantcast
Latest Stories

INQUIRER MINDANAO

Seeking forgiveness from the gods

By

MANDAYA “balyan” Masandak Sikat, one of the balyans who performed the ritual. Photo by GERMELINA LACORTE

NEW BATAAN, Compostela Valley—The haunting melody of the kudlong echoed through the former site of Barangay Andap as people, mostly lumad from five ancestral clusters of the town, marked the 40th day of Typhoon “Pablo,” seeking to reconcile with nature.

In a Mansaka-Mandaya ritual that lasted for over an hour, the balyans (lumad priests and priestesses) danced and chanted around a tree, propped up in the midst of what looked like a wide riverbed covered by huge boulders.

It is all that remains of the site of the village of Andap, which had been completely washed away by rampaging waters from the mountains at the height of Pablo.

“We call on the spirit who sent the floods not to send it again because so many lives have been lost,” said balyan Masandak Sikat in Mandaya, as top officials unveiled the walls bearing the names of people who died and went missing.

“It is clear from the message of the abian (spirit) that we have done wrong (nakasala jud ta),” said Mansaka leader Bernardo Limikid. “Those boulders you see here,” he said, referring to the boulders that carved out a new river course over where the village of Andap once stood, “they came from Dakurang Banwa, a sacred place for the lumad.”

He said the abuses committed against the environment and the abandonment of the lumad of their own ways to embrace other faiths are wrong. “We have stopped respecting the environment, we have stopped performing rituals,” said Limikid.

In a tent put up on the ground where a former barangay hall stood, government officials and lumad leaders also performed the tagpud bol’la, (ritual of reconciliation), considered a higher form of ritual among indigenous peoples, where those who had done wrong admit their mistakes and commit never to do them again.

By cutting a bundle of rattan stalks, those who took part in the ritual vowed to cut off their old ways and and start all over again.

Speaking before the crowd, Compostela Valley Gov. Arturo Uy admitted being part of the destruction that was wrought on the village.

“We were part of the destruction, we fell short in protecting the environment. We admit our shortcomings, some of these shortcomings may not be during our time, they may have been done during the time of our ancestors,” he said as he “promised to protect the environment.”

He said the province’s pre-evacuation plan has not anticipated the full impact of the typhoon.

“We were told that the typhoon was not even Signal No. 3, but Signal No. 5, a rare phenomenon, according to the Department of Science and Technology,” he said.

“Our pre-evacuation planning fell short because we have never experienced typhoons before, not even Signal No. 3,” he said. “This is a very big lesson for us.”

Uy urged people not to dwell on the past and to move forward. “Let us move forward, New Bataan will rise again,” he said.

“Let’s stay unified,” he said, “I promise you, no one would be left behind.”

New Bataan Mayor Lorenzo Balbin said except for Sitios Panag and Pagsilaan, the entire Andap village has been hurt most by the typhoon.

He also pointed to a Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) geohazard map identifying the whole area as a danger zone. But Balbin said that workers are de-silting the old riverbed to direct the course of the water back to the old river and to construct more protection dikes.

Balbin urged people to start planting so that after six months they will have something to eat, since relief coming from the World Food Programme (WFP) shall have stopped by then.

“Let’s rebuild it to what it was before,” he said.


Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter


More from this Column:

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Balyan , disaster , Indigenous people , lumad , Mansaka-Mandaya , rites , Typhoon Pablo




Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement
  1. Estrada: Gigi Reyes won’t testify vs JPE
  2. Gigi Reyes’ only option: tell all
  3. Unease in Vatican over cardinal’s luxury flat—report
  4. Santiago sees Palace hand in Gigi’s return
  5. Malaysia Airlines jet turns back after tire burst
  6. Gigi Reyes back to face charges
  7. Aquino vows to intensify anti-corruption drive further
  8. In the know: Gigi Reyes
  9. Healing priest invites political leaders to join ‘prayer for nation’
  10. ‘Malang’ next crocodile attraction after ‘Lolong’
  1. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  2. Suspect in Vhong Navarro mauling tries to leave PH
  3. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  4. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  5. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  6. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  7. ‘Mom, I love you,’ says text from student on sinking ferry
  8. Massive infra spending set
  9. Fr. Suarez says last Mass on Easter before returning donated land to San Miguel
  10. I’ll follow my conscience on Estrada, says JV Ejercito
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  4. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  5. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  6. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  7. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
  8. Police rule out foul play in Helena Belmonte’s death as boyfriend is ‘traumatized’
  9. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  10. Hammer-wielding robbers cause chaos at Philippines’ Mall of Asia
Advertisement

News

  • Initial batch of Etihad passengers tested negative for MERS-CoV
  • Cagayan mayor shot during flag-raising ceremony
  • Malaysia, Flight 370 relatives talk financial help
  • Celebrating Easter and creativity in New York
  • Man wins half marathon, dies in Argentina
  • Sports

  • Reigning champs Miami open playoffs with win
  • Spurs subdue Mavericks in playoff opener
  • Wawrinka beats Federer to win Monte Carlo Masters
  • Ageless Hopkins pitches 50-50 Mayweather deal
  • Goodbye MGM, Las Vegas for Pacquiao?
  • Lifestyle

  • Miss America: Don’t suspend teen over prom invite
  • Transitions and resurrection in the performing arts
  • ‘Archaeology tour’ of Cebu’s heritage of faith
  • Historic Fort Bonifacio tunnel converted into a septic tank
  • ‘Imports’ from London, and play of the year
  • Entertainment

  • ‘Captain America’ stays strong atop US box office
  • Easter musings
  • Solenn in shorts
  • Unmerry mix of attention-calling moves on ‘Mini-Me’ TV tilts
  • Persistence pays off for The 1975
  • Business

  • BDO seen keen on bidding for Cocobank
  • Bataan freeport investment pledges up 1,302%
  • Golden Week
  • Bourse to woo Cebu stock mart investors
  • Supper power
  • Technology

  • Nintendo’s trailblazing Game Boy marks 25th anniversary
  • Nasa’s moon-orbiting robot crashes down
  • Netizens pay respects to Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Nokia recalls 30,000 chargers for Lumia 2520 tablet
  • Facebook rolls out ‘nearby friends’ feature
  • Opinion

  • Gigi’s home
  • Palace stonewalls on MRT inquiry
  • Couple of things too
  • There is plenty of water behind Wawa Dam
  • Triduum thoughts of a young boy
  • Global Nation

  • Obama on mission to quiet Asia skeptics
  • Search for Etihad passengers launched
  • Japan presents $57-B ‘dream plan’ to solve Metro congestion
  • Tim Tebow’s charity hospital in Davao seen to open in 7 months
  • OFW died of Mers-CoV in Saudi Arabia, says family
  • Marketplace
    Advertisement