Kapangan’s Silk Cocoons

Let’s give kudos to whoever thought of introducing silkworm farming in Kapangan. It seems like its going to be a success. Photo credit: John Javellana/Reuters.

Silkworms give Philippine farming town a makeover
By Manny Mogato/Reuters
KAPANGAN – Hundreds of white mulberry trees have started to cover mountain slopes deep in the northern Philippines’ Cordillera region, changing not just the landscape but also making over the image of a poor farming town.

Up until the early 2000s, the upland villages of Kapangan, a vegetable growing town of 18,000 people in Benguet province, was widely known as one of the country’s largest cultivation areas of an illegal plant — marijuana.

“We’ve started something to erase that tag,” Roberto Canuto, a public attorney in the province who was elected mayor in 2007, told Reuters. “We’re determined to be known as something else, perhaps, the silk capital of the country.”
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Dear Ignacio: No Need to Be Ashamed

Our kailiyan Ignacio Canuto should not be ashamed for billing Gloria. Ket inala met ni Gloria diyay strawberry, di dapat lang nga bayadan na. That’s P6,000, pare. Malaking pera iyon. Dapat talaga nga mabayadan.

If anyone should be ashamed, it should be Gloria’s staff because this is something they should have handled smoothly. Isuda ti dapat nga maba-in. Otherwise, Gloria will be liable for stealing if this is what happens wherever she goes, i.e., that she and her people harvest the produce of others without paying.

Ano kaya ang masasabi ng ating kailiyang si Presidential Assistant on the Cordilleras sa bagay na ito? Hehe

Farmer ashamed on billing Arroyo for harvest of strawberries
From GMA-7: The farmer who billed President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo for the strawberries that she picked is now the one with the “strawberry” cheeks.

Ignacio Canuto wrote a letter to La Trinidad Mayor Artemio Galwan saying that the whole thing was “an unfortunate and embarrassing experience.”

Canuto said that it wasn’t him who personally asked that Mrs Arroyo pay P6,000 for the 60 kilograms of the strawberries that she and her entourage picked from Canuto’s farm in Betag village last Black Saturday.
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Blast From the Past: American Governor of Benguet Investigated

So these “indiscretions” by the American Governor in Benguet must be one of the ways how American mining companies ended up owning much of the province’s rich mines. Funny how he was only charged with “indiscretions” when he was practically stealing the land of the iBenguets. But then again, at least he was charged with something unlike Gloria and her alipores who will likely get away with their various crimes against the Republic and its peoples.

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Boundary Disputes

One of the biggest problems in the Cordilleras (and the whole country as well) is the boundary disputes between local government units. It is a problem that mostly simmers under the surface but it has the potential to blow up especially if contested areas are rich with resources or offers high income opportunities.

In the article below, an official from the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) suggests that elders should be involved in settling boundary disputes. There is nothing wrong with that of course, it’s better that these things are decided by more people rather than by a few officials. However we are, by the day, losing our elders who really know the boundaries of the past. [In fact, are our earlier concept of boundaries really the same as what “boundary” means today?] The other thing is that I’m not quite sure if the elders could be impartial if they are members of communities in dispute. But, as mentioned earlier, it is better that they are involved in this process.

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