Despite the fact that Gloria’s visits are unlikely to be considered among Sagada’s top events of the year, her visits usually do become a conversation topic when people come together as a group. What I find most interesting in these conversations is that nobody appears to have been awed by the President’s presence. So there’s been no “Wow, I saw the President!!!” kind of reaction. The reaction is mostly like, “Ho hum, yeah I saw the President.”
I think this is partly due to the fact that iSagadas (and all Igorot groups for that matter) are really not the kind of people who get starstruck when they meet a celebrity. It is also partly because Gloria herself does not inspire awe. Nothing is really compelling about her that would make one feel that one is in the presence of greatness.
Bill Bilig’s IMAGINARY conversations. Please note that this is only a product of my imagination. Also, the pictures were not taken during the President’s visit. This exercise is to merely illustrate a point 🙂
First Sagada boy: Ine, aped de-ey kano si Presidente id baba et. (The President is said to be down there.)
Second Sagada boy: Et? Ayta no wada? (So? What if she is?)
Sagada man: Ala maseyep tako manet. Am-amed kayo ay ongong-a, maseyep kayo ta masiken kayo. (Hey, Let’s just sleep. Specially you kids, go to sleep so you will grow up.)
Anyways, what did Gloria do when she was in Sagada? Here are some things that people say she did. My comments outside the quotes.
“She caused traffic.” — Gloria made her visits during Sagada’s peak season, a time when vehicle traffic becomes a problem for the town’s narrow roads. The President’s presence understandably adds another layer of traffic.
“She ate at the Yoghurt House. No vehicles were allowed to pass until she finished.” — An inspired choice for the President to eat at the Yoghurt House. You should also go eat there whenever you are in Sagada. Yes, I’m advertising the place. It’s owned by a relative on my mother’s side but that’s not why I’m advertising it. The yoghurt there is really good.
“She had lunch at Gagab-an, Ambasing at the Right Turn Cafe. But the lunch was prepared at St. Jo.” — You should also go to the Right Turn Cafe. It has a very nice view of Sagada’s hanging coffins and rock formations. Yes, I’m also advertising the Right Turn Cafe. And yes its also owned by a relative, but this time on my father’s side. 🙂
“She kept waving to people but people were not waving back. In fact, a boy at the basketball court playfully aimed a slingshot at her while she was waving.” — He he. Boys will be boys.
Here are some quotes related to the President’s visits:
“I hope she makes her visits during times when we are not busy.” — This is a quote by an official. December is a busy month in most parts of the world but it may be busier in Sagada because this is usually the time when people get married.
“In Bontoc, we were worried that some activists would unfurl a banner protesting against the President.” — Too bad, they didn’t. That would have been very newsworthy.
There you have it. This just about sums up Gloria’s Sagada visits from the point of view of iSagadas.
RELATED POST: And Then the President Came to Town, Part 1. PHOTO CREDITS: German Nelson Laurente for the Yoghurt House; Jill Lejano for the hanging coffins/rock formation and the Sagada boys; and Pacocruise for the sleeping Sagada man.