Kids learn about climate change from ‘Pidlo’ the pine tree
BAGUIO CITY—Ibaloy and Kankanaey children here and the provinces of Benguet and Mt. Province have been learning about climate change from “Pidlo,” an old pine tree.
Pidlo is a character in a comic book primer developed by the Cordillera Studies Center of the University of the Philippines Baguio to popularize the Climate Change Act of 2009 (Republic Act No. 9729).
The comic book explains the concepts of global warming in English, Filipino, Kankanaey, Ibaloy and Ilokano “so grassroots communities understand the ideas better,” said Junley Lazaga, University of the Philippines Baguio literature professor who was part of the translation project.
“The publication does not imply that the Ibaloy and Kankanaey do not understand English. But the language of the law is so complex we needed to find a way to translate it in the vernacular,” said Lazaga, who also translated the climate change law into Ilokano.
The illustrated version of the law, titled “Understanding Climate Change with Pidlo Pine Tree and Billy Billit,” features Billy, a bird that lands on Pidlo’s branch. Billy listens to Pidlo’s story on how heat and cold become extreme temperatures and why farmers clear forests.
Pidlo also promotes renewable sources of energy, green buildings and recycling in a book written by Io Jularbal, a UP Baguio instructor in language and literature, and illustrated by Earljohn Desuasido.
The comic book was the easy part. Translating the law was a formidable task, said UP Baguio communication professor Jimmy Fong, who also took part in the translation project.
“The challenges of translating from English to the local languages are very real. True enough, the difficult terminologies of [disaster risk reduction and management programs] are hard to translate. Sometimes you ask yourself if you are translating at all, when you are forced to retain an English word which has no equivalent in the target language,” Fong said in a paper he read at the International Conference on Building Resilience and Developing Sustainability at UP Baguio last week.
He said the work involved an appreciation of local experiences to enable the translator “to pick the closest or best local counterparts of foreign terms.”
“My consoling thought is that the readers will understand that efforts are being done to reach out to them if majority of the document is in their own language,” he said. With a report from Vincent Cabreza, Inquirer Northern Luzon
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