Halsema: Questions, Questions, and a Suggestion

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Now that that shameless, shameless plug from the Evil Bill Bilig is over and done with, let’s go back to one of one of our favorite blog topics, the Halsema Road. Because I’ve already yacked a lot about this much lamented (but nonetheless scenic) highway, I am stealing the ideas of our blogger friends (with their permission of course) and putting them here:

The Northern Philippine Times has an editorial entitled: “Why are the big fishes in the Mt. Data-Bontoc road anomalies not being relieved?” And the editorial goes thus:

When will these exposes on alleged irregularities and anomalies on implementation of road projects along the Halsema Highway (particularly the Mt. Data-Bontoc road) end? And why are regional and Mountain Province Dept. of Public Works and Highways officials suspected of complicity in the projects not being relieved as part of government standard operating procedures pending investigation on the alleged anomalies so they won’t influence outcome of the probe? Read the whole article here.

Gina Dizon also opines that the suspended engineers are not the only ones who should be made accountable for the defective Halsema project:

This lame attempt of Dept. of Public Works and Highways regional director Mariano Alquiza to suspend seven engineers from their post for six months was an incredibly desperate act for the DPWH head to do at the light of the Halsema SONA project’s irregularities.

Having turned the blame to DPWH materials and project engineers of the Halsema SONA projects, his action just showed how power play works in one of the most corrupt government agencies of the country. Read it all here.

Meanwhile, Pagano reports that the Open Letter to All i-Mountain Province was aired at the Radyo ng Bayan in Bontoc (Yay!) and explains why he decided not to sign said letter in his blog here. He also has a very interesting suggestion/challenge to Igorot OFWs particularly the BIBAK folks:

So while waiting for a Jesse, how about if we tap on the organization whose membership covers the whole Cordillera? I’m talking about BIBAK. Can’t we harness this organization from a group which is culture–centered into a body that engages in business? Or even politics? And whose area of operation/influence will be the whole of Igorotlandia? Can’t the BIBAK members abroad create a corporation to compete with those greedy contractors? Most of these people (BIBAK OFWs) should have the resources to start the ball rolling.

To understand what he means by “waiting for a Jesse”, read the entire post here. That’s it for now. We’re signing off for the night to dream about that web domain which we hope to win with your help. Oops, that’s Evil Bill Bilig at work again.

UPDATE: More discussions on the Halsema Road, the Halsema improvement project, and the petition letter can be found at the mountainprovince yahoogroup.

RELATED POSTS ON HALSEMA: Click here. INFO SOURCE: Northern Philippine Times (here) and (here) and Pagano’s Gadit.

48 thoughts on “Halsema: Questions, Questions, and a Suggestion”

  1. Bill, thanks for this update. I tried posting on pagano’s blog ngem adi met rumwar. Iniwis, I’ll just post this message here for him (pagano) and trublue. Hope it’s okay.

    Pagano ken Trublue,

    Can you help us gather signatures of our kailyans who are in Mt. Province mismo (by pen and paper, if possible). We’d really appreciate if you can tapno baken tako langgay puro all talk, no action ay kananda.

    If you are interested to know how we came up with the letter, please visit the mountainprovince yahoogroup site:

    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/mountainprovince/

    The messages posted in this egroup are accessible to anyone.

    Thank you.

  2. Can we also ask Gina to share her artik to our kailyans in Bibaknets and the mountainprovince yahoogroup? Tapno basaen met a nan kakailyan tako baken langgay datako. I also tried posting a comment on the NorthPhilTimes blog ngem adi met bumala.

  3. Hi Dan,
    Okidok, I’m sure both will read it.

    It must have been a Blogger/Blogspot problem if you can’t comment on Pagano’s site, sometimes Blogger does that for some weird reason.

    I will add a link to the yahoogroup as an update.

    I’m sure Gina would be okay with posting her articles at the two yahoogroups.

    Cheers nga kuna ni Trublue 🙂

  4. as i’ve stated in my reply to trublue’s comment, i’ve already made my stand on this issue very clear.

    it’s not about being puro talk and i’ve explained my reasons.

  5. Hi Pagano,
    Hehe, just to clarify, I’m pretty sure Dan was referring to something else when he mentioned puro all talk. Cheers 🙂

  6. Here’s the much awaited perspective from TruBlue:

    I don’t question your good intentions about Halsema, after all, who doesn’t want a nice paved road enjoyed by all. Personally, I only care for a decent gravel or asphalted road that’s passable. Having said that, here are my questions and comments to you and your strings of supporters:

    1. Why only now?, after so many deaths, this petition is now circulating? Why didn’t you do it last year, or the year before, or before you went to Japan. Let me reiterate, I travelled that road in the early 60’s and it’s now 2007, 47 years later and someone just woke up from a deep sleep and whoa! need to do something about Halsema. Sure, there’s a first time to everything and not too late.

    2. Who are the people that would benefit from a paved-Halsema? Certainly not the children or children’s children of those overseas people who hurriedly submitted their names just to show they have addresses in England, US, Australia, and other countries. Sure they would make use of the road once-in-a-blue moon if they even set foot to their ancestors birthplaces. I’m not an envious person coz you people are where you are, I salute you more for your remittances to keep the southbound Philippines’ economy afloat.

    3. If this was truly a petition, it should have been done by one of the leaders of the local communities. Let them start the ball rolling instead of someone away from where the problem lies. And if 5,000 signatures is all you need, it should be a breeze, in fact, half the populace of Besao is all you need to keep the petition alive. So, why won’t you convince your contacts in Bontoc or other places to get the required signatures, this aspect of you doing this doesn’t make sense, I’ll reserve my answer to myself on that.

    4. The peoples of Mountain Province is very, very tired listening to those littanies of promises. The past 47years for me is nothing but an indication and anyone is blind not to see it. They are used to hardships of hiking, riding in packed-like-sardines in buses, jeepneys, and vans going thru the monsoon rains and landslides, and lots of libo-o not knowing what’s infront due to almost zero visibility. My dad came from Payeo, Besao and mom from KilTepAn. Both died several years ago without seeing much of an improvement at Halsema, and for me to put it bluntly, there was none! at best, it became worst due to deforestations.

    5. The peoples of Mountain Province who traverses Halsema without much of a choice but have to do business to earn a decent living and those countless students who wants to earn a respectable education in Baguio or Manila are unlikely HEROES to me. Their struggles alone have struck a chord for my fondness to the hopeless but determined underdogs – they are actually saying “we will travel thru this despicable roads of Halsema, we’ve been doing it for DECADES”!!

    6. You and the Nashman articulated ways to prevent landslides. Did you ever thought that you suppressed a good idea to prevents those things from happening? Did you even submit just a recommendation to DPWH and maybe they could have implemented this technology you alluded to. As I write this perspective, I’ve just heard that there’s a huge landslides at Kennon Road.
    The Nashman said, the high atlas of Morocco is more worst than Halsema. In terms of what? First of all, Morocco is a high desert, at the very least, it’s sitting on solid rocks. They only average an annual rainfall of eight inches of rain. NOW, compare that to the almost 50 inches of rain the Philippines gets annually. Compressed that figure into six months period, and you are talking about 100 inches of water that saturates those mountain slopes yearly. BOTH of you are engineers as you claimed, and if you are that dedicated for the betterment of Halsema, then create a blueprint to GLUE those mountains and a good drainage system to prevent more portion of the road from plummeting down and forward it to DPWH Secretary. (Ammoyo met gayam ti problema, why the silence, adu ti natayen idta nga kalsada). Also, Moroccan government put their money where their mouth is, and they maybe corrupt in some ways, but at least SAFETY is more paramount to them.

    7. Secretary Ebdane who seemed sincere (did I speak too soon?) in getting to the root cause of this problem is what I’d hoped would be a serious endeavour to rid the corrupt contracting system of it’s most undesirable elements. There are no mitigating factors to consider in this “Contractors’ business”, it only has a virtually zero credibility for the longest of time. If this case is not the poster child for the illegal use of contractors, subcontractors, in the DPWH, and one that should be procecuted mercilessly (I’m dreaming), then we shall never be freed from this scourge. Until a Jesse Robredo does appear from the blues (As Mr Pagano indicated), a newly elected politician will never be the answer, and we can only WONDER: who is now being lined up behind the scenes to get that SWEET HALSEMA CONTRACT!

    8. Your question to those concerned officials what kind of legacy they will leave behind, is very poetic. Name a DPWH official or politician who truly left a legacy worth remembering in Mountain Province who did good for the people. These officials and politicians are the most profligated people you will ever see regarding this Halsema Project and if I may quote Pagano “their faces are thick as those concrete slabs” and their souls defective as well. These people have no legacy!

    9. What I will support is this: a good decent gravel or asphalted road that is PASSABLE during the peak rainy season, as well as employing your scheme of technology to at least control the reoccuring landslides and a workable drainage system (that’s the Nashman’s project). And a petition to replace all DPWH Officials and elected officials solely responsible for these anomalies. NOTE that I only mentioned PASSABLE road, as I’m not into a world class paved road going to Bontok, Sagada, and Besao. I’d much rather DISBURSE remaining funds YEARLY to upgrade all WATER SYSTEM of the entire towns of the province as that is more critical to me in the long run, than spending too much on Halsema. WATER is LIFE!
    Now, with just a passable road, at least we are hoping not to see an influx of migration to every town. Let me just remind you that the counry’s population in 1970 was a little over 30 million. 47 years later, it’s getting closer to 100 million including those who are overseas like yourself and the Nashman. Besao and Sagada folks for example will not take these future problems sitting down. They will come down swinging! The pristine beauty of these towns will disintegrate should the populace double or triple due to migration. The name of the game will now be SURVIVAL, imagine people living in trees and WATERWORLD will become a reality in Manila and the Visayas and Mindanao. That’s what the majority of the folks in Mountain Province are afraid of and people from the UK, US, and other overseas places cannot, and will not dictate what the hell they do, it’s where they live and breath everyday. Let me give you just one small sample: I stood at the junction of Camp Eight (now widely known as Poliwes or San Vicente) in the mid-60’s, and I only noticed just FIVE houses all spread out, one of them was ours.
    It’s now 2007, standing where I stood years ago, can’t even see the house, every square inch seems occupied. That should never happen to our small towns, filth all over. It’s really a shame that a world class road we all clamor for might eventually the same cause of the demise of our little towns. It can be prevented.

    10. If we take a survey right now about Halsema’s situation and ask the province people the following questions:
    A. Do you want a world class paved-road knowing full well that it will become an easy access to migration, they will come.

    B. Do you want just a PASSABLE road maintained frequently, including the prevention of landslides and slipping road. At least, it would be deterrent to heavy migration.

    Most of our townspeople might not be that educated but B will win by a wide-margin, no doubt. And I don’t know who in the right frame of mind will consider A.

    Postscript: We had few deaths published in this Blog, From the Boondocks, the last few months and it’s lamentable that very, very few ever cared to drop by and just say “Condolence” to the bereaved families. Went bloghopping during the times Jocelyn was in the news, how to bring her home, yet, most people were more interested in talking about their golf games, campings, parties that they will attend to such as birthdays, weddings and other things. Yet, this old age problem’s petition drew names from overseas people in an instant. It’s very MEANINGFUL to bereaved families to know different people from all walks of life offer their condolences. This UNFORTUNATELY did not happen in Jocelyn’s case and even Army soldier Tayaban (surname). There were like two or three of us who offered their heartfelt condolences. Then again, people have their own priorities, so let’s not even talk about Igorot Solidarity or Spirit Of Oneness, when actually most of us have their OWN CIRCLE OF FRIENDS and doesn’t care about the welfares of their neighbors.

    Now, it’s someone else’s turn to rebut.

    Sorry Bill, kasla met nga rap sheet ti career criminal. Cheers!

  7. tama ka trublue tama ka. sige banat pa pards. ask dem ‘overnight igorot martyrs’ enjoying der lives abroad yet say ilinglingetan da sweldo da. it is true piman, deyr working der butts out in aircon cars and workplaces.apy nagpirma da ngata if dey are like us in da pilipins under the mercy of politicians? siguro kayat tayo very well paved roads ta no agbakasyontayo from “abroad” ket nalamuyot like the good roads abroad ngay ti biyahe, haan ngata? (ask lang po). cheers truIGOROTblu! wait for my next post

  8. Hey hey, Pagano, Mng Trublue and Anonymous, I’m not looking for a fight or a debate here. All I am requesting is for you to help in gathering signatures.

    Mng Trublue, I share your sentiments on what should be done with Halsema Highway. Since Halsema is a highway it should at least be asphalted or concreted, whichever is cheaper. Yes, it may not necessarily be as fancy as the Japanese kosokudoro or the German autobahn. It should, however, be well maintained and safe, well, at least safer from landslides than it is now. Yes, I agree with you it is better to prioritize finding solutions for the water problem in Mt. Province than the Halsema Highway. However, since hundreds of millions taxpayers’ money were already appropriated for the concreting/widening/improvement of Halsema, should we not expect or demand that the highway be well-paved/widened/improved?

    I also agree that the open letter should have had a stronger statement, demanding that all those responsible for the project be held accountable for its defective and sloppy implementation. In fact, the first version of the open letter, which I drafted, had very strong words to this effect, but many of us were uncomfortable with these words. Again, I would like to request that you go through the archives of the mountainprovince yahoogroup, so you would know how we came up with the letter. Let me just say that choosing between an open letter that is strongly worded but supported only by one person and another that is as good and supported by many (albeit for some of us it does not go as far as we want it to be), I would go for the latter. And I think it’s always better to be doing something now to solve our problems than just waiting until someone else solves our problems for us.

    Let me now proceed to answer some of the questions you raised. Please bear in mind that I am only speaking for myself. If you want answers from the others who signed the open letter, you may join the mountainprovince yahoogroup and ask the other members.

    Why only now?

    To do something about our roads and landslides is a boyhood dream for me. This is one reason why I became a civil engineer and why I want to go back to Mt. Province and Kalinga. I have friends and relatives who have lost their lives due to landslides. When I was five years old, I experienced being stranded along the Bontoc-Kalinga road with my grandmother because of landslides.

    In retrospect, I could have done something like this – helping draft an open letter and go asking for signatures – sooner. But after I finished my undergrad 12 years ago, my primary concern had been how to earn a living.

    Three years ago, before I left for Japan for the second time, I don’t think I would have had enough confidence to start a campaign like this. Although I already had 5 years work experience by then, there were still so many things I was uncertain about.

    Although I’ve been fortunate to have received scholarships to pursue graduate studies here in Japan, I could not have begun something like this during the five cumulative years or so that I have been here, as I had to focus on my research and academic works as a graduate student.

    So, why only now? Well, unlike a few months ago or earlier, I now have free time to engage our kailyans about landslides, roads and life in general in Mt. Province and in Kalinga.

    Did I ever suppress a good idea? Did I ever contribute?

    Since seven or so years ago, I have been trying to share and contribute information and ideas on how to make our bridges, buildings and roads safer, not only from landslides but from geodisasters, in general. I have presented these ideas and information to fellow engineers, administrators and various stakeholders in the private and public sectors, including the DPWH in meetings, workshops and conferences. Below is a link to some ideas I shared about mitigating the effects of geodisasters, including landslides. It was published in the BusinessWorld newspaper, a business daily paper circulated in Metro Manila:

    http://www.aer.ph/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=443&Itemid=63

    I shall reply to your other comments later but I would say that many of what you just said are good arguments why we need to act now and not wait for Jesse. And yes, more signatories from Bontoc are coming in.

  9. 1. Why only now? … Sure, there’s a first time to everything and not too late.

    Reply: You are right. There is a first time for everything. So, instead of waiting for Jesse, let’s act now. As I said in an earlier post, mid kasin teken ay man-angnen san usto nu baken dataku.

    2. Who are the people that would benefit from a paved-Halsema?

    Reply: Op kors, dataku met lang ay enkaka-ilyan. Ay baken?

    3. If this was truly a petition, it should have been done by one of the leaders of the local communities. Let them start the ball rolling instead of someone away from where the problem lies. And if 5,000 signatures is all you need, it should be a breeze, in fact, half the populace of Besao is all you need to keep the petition alive. So, why won’t you convince your contacts in Bontoc or other places to get the required signatures, this aspect of you doing this doesn’t make sense, I’ll reserve my answer to myself on that.

    Reply: The idea to come up with an open letter started with the letter of Mng Joel Fagsao to the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Mt. Province. Mng Joel resides in Bontoc. He is an active member of the mountainprovince yahoogroup. Again, please take a look at the archives of the group before making statements like these…

    Well, I thought you can help because you seem to be so passionate about the issue.

    4. The peoples of Mountain Province is very, very tired listening to those littanies of promises. The past 47years for me is nothing but an indication and anyone is blind not to see it. They are used to hardships of hiking, riding in packed-like-sardines in buses, jeepneys, and vans going thru the monsoon rains and landslides, and lots of libo-o not knowing what’s infront due to almost zero visibility. My dad came from Payeo, Besao and mom from KilTepAn. Both died several years ago without seeing much of an improvement at Halsema, and for me to put it bluntly, there was none! at best, it became worst due to deforestations.

    Reply: Very good reasons to get our act together, don’t you think?

    5. The peoples of Mountain Province who traverses Halsema without much of a choice but have to do business to earn a decent living and those countless students who wants to earn a respectable education in Baguio or Manila are unlikely HEROES to me. Their struggles alone have struck a chord for my fondness to the hopeless but determined underdogs – they are actually saying “we will travel thru this despicable roads of Halsema, we’ve been doing it for DECADES”!!

    Reply: I hope you are not saying that the present condition of Halsema is okay with you. How many more deaths?

    6. You and the Nashman articulated ways to prevent landslides. Did you ever thought that you suppressed a good idea to prevents those things from happening? Did you even submit just a recommendation to DPWH and maybe they could have implemented this technology you alluded to…

    Reply: Please refer to my previous comments about your questions in the first paragraph. I would say most DPWH engineers already know what ought to be done with those landslide-prone slopes. I think the problem is, we are not assertive enough in asking them to do what ought to be done. No demand, no supply?

    7. Secretary Ebdane who seemed sincere (did I speak too soon?) in getting to the root cause of this problem is what I’d hoped would be a serious endeavour to rid the corrupt contracting system of it’s most undesirable elements. There are no mitigating factors to consider in this “Contractors’ business”, it only has a virtually zero credibility for the longest of time. If this case is not the poster child for the illegal use of contractors, subcontractors, in the DPWH, and one that should be procecuted mercilessly (I’m dreaming), then we shall never be freed from this scourge. Until a Jesse Robredo does appear from the blues (As Mr Pagano indicated), a newly elected politician will never be the answer, and we can only WONDER: who is now being lined up behind the scenes to get that SWEET HALSEMA CONTRACT!

    Reply: Again, why wait for Jesse? Can we, the i-Mt. Province, not act on our own?

    8. Your question to those concerned officials what kind of legacy they will leave behind, is very poetic. Name a DPWH official or politician who truly left a legacy worth remembering in Mountain Province who did good for the people. These officials and politicians are the most profligated people you will ever see regarding this Halsema Project and if I may quote Pagano “their faces are thick as those concrete slabs” and their souls defective as well. These people have no legacy!

    Reply: They act that way because we allow them, we elected them into office.

    9. What I will support is this: a good decent gravel or asphalted road that is PASSABLE during the peak rainy season, as well as employing your scheme of technology to at least control the reoccuring landslides and a workable drainage system (that’s the Nashman’s project). And a petition to replace all DPWH Officials and elected officials solely responsible for these anomalies. NOTE that I only mentioned PASSABLE road, as I’m not into a world class paved road going to Bontok, Sagada, and Besao. I’d much rather DISBURSE remaining funds YEARLY to upgrade all WATER SYSTEM of the entire towns of the province as that is more critical to me in the long run, than spending too much on Halsema. WATER is LIFE!

    Reply: I agree with most of what you said here. See my previous comment.

    10. If we take a survey right now about Halsema’s situation and ask the province people the following questions:

    A. Do you want a world class paved-road knowing full well that it will become an easy access to migration, they will come.

    B. Do you want just a PASSABLE road maintained frequently, including the prevention of landslides and slipping road. At least, it would be deterrent to heavy migration.

    Most of our townspeople might not be that educated but B will win by a wide-margin, no doubt. And I don’t know who in the right frame of mind will consider A.

    Reply: Is to have a “world class paved-road” the main point of the open letter? Please read again the letter, the updated one if possible.

    Postscript: We had few deaths published in this Blog, From the Boondocks, the last few months and it’s lamentable that very, very few ever cared to drop by and just say “Condolence” to the bereaved families. Went bloghopping during the times Jocelyn was in the news, how to bring her home, yet, most people were more interested in talking about their golf games, campings, parties that they will attend to such as birthdays, weddings and other things. Yet, this old age problem’s petition drew names from overseas people in an instant. It’s very MEANINGFUL to bereaved families to know different people from all walks of life offer their condolences. This UNFORTUNATELY did not happen in Jocelyn’s case and even Army soldier Tayaban (surname). There were like two or three of us who offered their heartfelt condolences. Then again, people have their own priorities, so let’s not even talk about Igorot Solidarity or Spirit Of Oneness, when actually most of us have their OWN CIRCLE OF FRIENDS and doesn’t care about the welfares of their neighbors.

    Reply: I don’t think picking fights with our kailyans abroad is really productive, Mng Trublue. Anyway, I cannot speak for all kailyans who are abroad so let me just tell you this. Although I was not able contribute financially to Jocelyn’s cause, what happened to her, all the sorrow and difficulties, is one reason I really worked hard to help organize our kailyans here in Tokyo. True, life is unfair but I would like to believe that I am not making it worse. I would also like to think that I am working for a better world by doing something practical for others, especially our kailyans.

    Now, it’s someone else’s turn to rebut.

    Reply: Please, I am not asking for a fight or a debate. I am asking for your help.

  10. Dan, please refrain also from insinuating words such as “picking fights”, “debate”, and “puro talk lang”. We’re not here to deal with those exciting words. But if someone abroad felt slighted about my matter-of-fact statements, let them comment in this blog. This is where ALL Cordillerans should congregate and also his countless blogger friends (links) and readers worldwide. We always agree to disagree here and I kid you not as Anito Kid would say.
    With regards to the “puro talk lang”, I was taken aback myself like Mr Pagano, but you’re the one really doing the talking and we are just simply pitching in our two cents and not debating about the issue you put forth. If we are not welcomed to say our piece, that’s fine with me. Will not lose a sleep over it.

    On the issue why so many overseas petitioners compared to locals, you don’t seem to see the imbalance in that aspect. Do you really think this will impress the secretary of DPWH? If I was him, I’d be very, very pissed. Think of the consequences of this petition if he sees their names and addresses? Or just put yourself in his position for a moment.

    1. Agree.

    2. Add the tourists and unknown numbers of migratory humans.

    3. Not passionate about this issue, the fire is no longer there. You can start your own countdown, it’s 2007.

    4. After 50 plus years of pain and suffering, yeah, it’s a good start.

    5. Travelled that road as a little boy in 1960 for two years, it’s wasn’t okay then, 47 years later,it’s still not okay. Maybe 2007 is now the answer. Goodluck.

    6. I’m bewildered with your response here, “most DPWH Engineers already know what ought to be done. I think the problem is WE are not assertive enough in asking them to do what ought to be done”. My goodness gracious!, they already know to do but we have to be more assertive and ASK THEM what needs to be done! Who are the professionals? them or we?

    7. Think of 47 long years for a long moment.

    8. Quite a shallow response you got there. The people has to elect somebody and it can be a crook, an evil one, and the devil or those three rolled into one. Do you recollect a saintly elected congressman of MP?

    9. Good.

    10. I expected you to decipher that this was just a figure of speech, of course, you can’t read my mind.
    Don’t take that to heart, let me downgrade it to “just a good decent road”. It does sound good than world-class road (humor..)

    Postscript:
    It’s also counter-productive of you to use the words “picking fights with our kailians”. I’ve made my point here crystal-clear and I’ll gladly entertain any negative cries from our friends world-wide.

    It’s not in financial terms I was trying to express here. If you also read closely, just saying a very “SIMPLE CONDOLENCE” to the bereaved families would be VERY MEANINGFUL to them. Kasdiay laeng met, narigat kadi unay didiay?
    When my father passed away, most of his relatives from America and UK never condoled with us, I felt sorrow. But my relatives from Besao and KilTepAn came with virtually nothing, and for them to merely say “CONDOLENCE” meant so very much to me. I reciprocated by feeding them and other countless visitors for three weeks. That’s karma.

    Again, goodluck and I really wish you all the best of everything, the least thing I can do. I’ll jump on your bandwagon when all those DEVILS come to their senses.

    Cheers to all and goodhealth as well.

    off-topic: Hoy! anonymous 11:14, mag-comment kana. I’m already tired my friend.

  11. Anonymous 11:14,

    Mahirap ang “picking for a fight” ta we only pick guavas, alumani, akfab and the like in the cordi. I think what we do is Fight a Fight, for a “passable” not pissable Halsema! Ngem haan nga fight ti issue tayo ta awan ah, if we fight, agkatawa ni Cong Cordiyera! Maybe, Dan did not really mean that!”Kag met haan nga ibontok” ah no kasdiay isuna he he!

    Saludsud man, apo?

    1. If the “concerned” officials donut heed the letter or spirit of the petition, what’s next to do?
    2. Can signatories go ahead as taxpayers (if they honestly pay taxes ah)and sue those involved? Trublu asked for evidence. Can the fact that the Sec of Public Hiways ordered some changes be an expression of prior evidence nga something went wrong? lets call that EBDANEDENCE, enya mga pards?…Where to get ngay? Will they give the petioners the ebdanedence?
    3. Siguro, if signatories go to court how can we finance the litigation? Will signatories concerned about the Holessama be willing to “chip in”? o eto na, mga kapatid sa abroad!! Whatya say? Sam one I asked said, “wen ah ngem if you fight the moneyed holessama contractors in court, narigat ta adu kuwarta dah”? Sam two answered, “Eh di dyan na lang sa basketball court! Ada laban tayo ta bubutyog ti contractors”!
    4. Mayat met if dat sentimental highway (robbery!) is masimpa. If it is “well maintained” (it will maintain the contractor well also!)umado ti agbyahe cordiward,manayunan ti muslim idyay ili (awan gumatang ti etag no ti annak tayo ket mostly- igorot…ah… musligorot)…malipatan ti senga, am-among, kanyao…den we “lose our sense of community” ta instead of kanyao kanyao, kanya kanya na!, ma”develop” (nga kasla putograf as if mayat! ngem picture gayam nga haan natural)ti ili,
    manu(re)facturing industries may be introduced, our river chico will be the vacuum cleaner of wastes, our educational institutions will improve (adu ti lumaing…nga agkupit..hopefully not), and so on and so on… ANYA NGATA TI USTO? Adda ngata usto (aside from Justo!)?
    5. Finally, (for now) apo. Adda inawis ti ballpen nga agpirma. Kanana, “aye, kayakayat ko ti agperma ta looks good, feels good ngem apay mabalin ta iyuray yo ta malpas ak nga agiskwila idiay SLU engineering”? “Apay ngay iyuray paylang?”, kanan ballpen. “Ngamin ta contrata ti pagisiskwilak, santo no malpas ak ket paiskwilaek met ti iskwilaan ti contrata!”, kuna dyay ento ket no awisen ni ballpen.

    Ah, aguray ka ta birukek ti mabiruk!

    Aba, mahaba itong rap sheet ah!

    Dakayo, met Dan ken Trublu! (as I told us, awan pick & fight ta Congdiyera is watching!)

    Anonymous 11:14,15,16,17

  12. Anonymous 11:14,

    Mahirap ang “picking for a fight” ta we only pick guavas, alumani, akfab and the like in the cordi. I think what we do is Fight a Fight, for a “passable” not pissable Halsema! Ngem haan nga fight ti issue tayo ta awan ah, if we fight, agkatawa ni Cong Cordiyera! Maybe, Dan did not really mean that!”Kag met haan nga ibontok” ah no kasdiay isuna he he!

    Saludsud man, apo?

    1. If the “concerned” officials donut heed the letter or spirit of the petition, what’s next to do?
    2. Can signatories go ahead as taxpayers (if they honestly pay taxes ah)and sue those involved? Trublu asked for evidence. Can the fact that the Sec of Public Hiways ordered some changes be an expression of prior evidence nga something went wrong? lets call that EBDANEDENCE, enya mga pards?…Where to get ngay? Will they give the petioners the ebdanedence?
    3. Siguro, if signatories go to court how can we finance the litigation? Will signatories concerned about the Holessama be willing to “chip in”? o eto na, mga kapatid sa abroad!! Whatya say? Sam one I asked said, “wen ah ngem if you fight the moneyed holessama contractors in court, narigat ta adu kuwarta dah”? Sam two answered, “Eh di dyan na lang sa basketball court! Ada laban tayo ta bubutyog ti contractors”!
    4. Mayat met if dat sentimental highway (robbery!) is masimpa. If it is “well maintained” (it will maintain the contractor well also!)umado ti agbyahe cordiward,manayunan ti muslim idyay ili (awan gumatang ti etag no ti annak tayo ket mostly- igorot…ah… musligorot)…malipatan ti senga, am-among, kanyao…den we “lose our sense of community” ta instead of kanyao kanyao, kanya kanya na!, ma”develop” (nga kasla putograf as if mayat! ngem picture gayam nga haan natural)ti ili,
    manu(re)facturing industries may be introduced, our river chico will be the vacuum cleaner of wastes, our educational institutions will improve (adu ti lumaing…nga agkupit..hopefully not), and so on and so on… ANYA NGATA TI USTO? Adda ngata usto (aside from Justo!)?
    5. Finally, (for now) apo. Adda inawis ti ballpen nga agpirma. Kanana, “aye, kayakayat ko ti agperma ta looks good, feels good ngem apay mabalin ta iyuray yo ta malpas ak nga agiskwila idiay SLU engineering”? “Apay ngay iyuray paylang?”, kanan ballpen. “Ngamin ta contrata ti pagisiskwilak, santo no malpas ak ket paiskwilaek met ti iskwilaan ti contrata!”, kuna dyay ento ket no awisen ni ballpen.

    Ah, aguray ka ta birukek ti mabiruk!

    Aba, mahaba itong rap sheet ah!

    Dakayo, met Dan ken Trublu! (as I told us, awan pick & fight ta Congdiyera is watching!)

    Anonymous 11:14,15,16,17

  13. Anonymous 11:14,15,16,17,

    Hehapo ka met. Ti kunam gamin ken ni ballpen a ket kastoy:

    Ballpen nga ading ko, ma-awatak iti sitwasyon mo. Ma-awatan mi nga dagiti kailyan tayo nga contractor nga kasla ken ni amam. Kasla met lang kadagiti kaadwan nga negosyante, masapul met a nga aggalansya da iti trabaho da. Awan nga agpaysu iti i-eskwelam nu malugi ni amam.

    Ma-awatan mi a nu mamingsan ket ma-i-compromisu iti quality iti trabaho ni amam ta agasem dat ngay gamin. Forty percent kada 60 percent iti ibulsa ni Apo Congdiyera nga pag-gatang nan tu iti botos iti kailyan tayu nu election.

    Iti galansya ket saan nga dakes. Mabalin kadi nga ag-galansya latta ni amam nga mang-i-implement iti project with good quality. Adda met iti kaka-ilyan tayo nga contractor nga mayat met iti ikasta da nga mang-i-yemplement iti project. Adda latta met magalansya da nga pangbayad iti kailyan tayo nga trabahador ken operator iti equipment. Adda latta iti mabati nga pang-uskwilam. Mabalin nga mangyari daytoy nu saan nga agom iti na-ibotos nga opisyales tayo. Ngem itatta a nga talaga a ket masapul nga talaga nga maawatan tayo ni amam ta akas naibagakon, 40 percent kada 60 percent ti bagiyen, ibulsa ni Apo Congdiyera.

    Nu ni amam ket maysa nga inhinyero iti DPWH, iti i-lobby tayo ket nu kasanu nga ngumato met iti sweldo da. Agtin-nulong tayo met lang nga mangipamuspusan nga iti promotion da ket saan kuma nga paki-alaman ni Apo Congdiyera ken dagitoy politician tayo. Ta agpaysu, maysa nga kababa-an iti sweldo na dagitoy inhinyero tayo nga adda iti gobyerno. Nu palalo iti kinababa iti sweldo da san dan tu pay lang aramiden da isuda nga kasla taraken da nga aso ken uken, ay anya ngay, masulisog da met a nga dumawat met iti ado nga SOP.

    Ammok mas mayat tupay iti tiradam, kabsat nga anonymous.

    Saan tayo kadi nga agbuteng iti panakasimpa iti kalsada tayo wenno iti makun-kuna nga modern techologies wenno industries nga mabalin nga mangpa-pintas iti biyag tayo. Ditoy Japan, pina-pintas da iti kal-kalsada da. Pinilit da nga nag-modernize ta ammo da nga kaka-asi da nu saan nga aramiden daytoy. Saan met nga naawan dagiyay napipintas nga il-ili ken kultura da idi nag-modernize da. Enggana itatta sibibyag dagiti napintas nga ugali da kasla iti kinagaget nga agtrabaho ken panangisakit da iti kailyan da. Uray dagiti festivals ken napipintas nga ba-bassit nga ili da, sibibyag pay laeng. Kadagiti festivals da kasla iti kuna da nga natsu matsuri (summer festivals) makabuya ka kadagiti ubbing nga naka-kimono nga ag-sal-sala iti bon odori (summer festival dance). Nu panu-panunuten tayo, actually inusar da iti modern technology tapno mapasayaat da iti biyag da ken ma-i-preserve iti kinapintas il-ili ken kultura da. Uray dagiti makuna nga nitib nga kanen da kasla iti okashi (Japanese sweets) sashimi, natto, KDP, adda pay laeng.

    Adu pay kuma iti kayat ko nga ibaga ngem I really prefer discussing not with some anonymous kailyan or someone using an alias. If you want to get answers for your questions, join the mountainprovince yahoogroup. There the identities of our kailyans, their roots and others are revealed.

  14. Rather than getting into the case of “why only now” or “you are from abroad, what do you know really” mindset, let’s embrace the reality that 10% of Filipinos are now working in different parts of the world and a reawakening is taking/will be taking place.

    Sooner or later, we will be the richest country with respect to ideas/possibilities. That is because we have our own local ideas then we combine that with borrowed ideas (from the hundreds of places that Filipinos are now in). Futuristically speaking, that is an exponential growth in ideas/solutions/possibilities and thus potential source of wealth.

    Because we pride ourselves in knowing what simple life is and how to live with less, we can all gain from working to get ideas/solutions/possibilities work at the level that the Philippines/Mountain Province/Benguet can afford (i.e., can make things happen with the least cost in money terms as well as least/zero corruption indicating that we can keep intact our honor and soul as Igorots).

    May there be balancing of interests and effort in improving the Halsema Highway but never room for substandard materials, incompetence, graft or corruption.

    Thank you.

  15. Hayna nga agpayso dayta nga holesama, hellsama Ala ta inumdan ti pagkasama talaga ng mga agum,let us keep the signature campaign going. Whatever internal intentions are, the public intention remains to be directed to better local governance in our dear Montayosa most especially.

    The open letter being circulated by Dan is good enough and if others from home based MOntayosa would start another open letter then so be it, the more the merrier and the more the better as long as the intention is to minimize if not eradicate patronage politics and corruption. At least adi ay kanan nan inung-a.

    Matagotago tako!

  16. Dan, in fairness to readers of MP Yahoo Group, it’s only appropriate for you to post all comments and responses we articulated about this issue, not just selected comments.

    Please inform them if they can’t come to this site and air their views, to just deal with the issue at hand (Halsema), and not waste their time trying to figure out who TruBlue is. Marmarba dagita bantay ken kalsada and the subject now is something inconsequential.

    Here’s to the three that commented so far:

    Caridad F:
    Me and my wife don’t go “trick or treating” with masks – maybe, just maybe, it’s the other way around.

    Ed Abeya:
    Being mysterious is an integral part of our lives – there are people out there who knows my identity no doubt and it’s not their concern, the problem of Halsema is the focal point. But they don’t support what you’re campaigning for and just respect what we stand for.

    Lynn B M:
    You’re a mathematician and has a future reading the crystal ball.
    That’s a good surmise of my age and gender, at least I gave you a clue that “I was little in 1960”, yet I might be a “she”. That’s why the future of Halsema is bleak right now coz of reasoning like that. The answer is infront of you, yet there’s some hesitation.

    Again, I respect your campaign, exert more efforts in collecting the signatures required and not worry about people’s identities who doesn’t share your views.

  17. Hi Uncle/Auntie/Manong/Manang Pagano, Trublue and Anonymous,

    After reading all the posts about Halsema , I was a little bit disappointed and was wondering. I was expecting to read encouragement to all kakailians. As a young adult and a signatory of that open letter, allow me to share my opinion.

    Fist, one of you said “it’s not too late”. Kaanon to nagy garud? Why not support then? or if you don’t agree of this method then suggest what you think is the better or best way to address this problem. (ta isu kitdi ti pagtutungtungan tayo ditoy.) There’s no harm in trying.

    Second, one of you said “imported ti signatories”. Isn’t this move should serve as a challenge for you who are there in the Philippines? Haan aya nga kuna yo koma met nga ni apay nga isuda ngay ket isakit da ladta ti Halsema, ta supportaran weno pasarunuan tayo man garud piman ta ni inrugi da. Pagsayaatan tayo met amin. Adi kunan to dagiti naka-addressan ti surat nga “agsisinuporta da met piman dagitoy”.
    Better yet why not asked Manong Dan if he could edit and remove the foreign address of the signatories.

    Sha es san an maibagak.

    Matago-tago tako am-in.

  18. Apay waday paylang ken dataku ay Igorot aya nan “CRAB MENTALITY”? This is a challenge to every Igorot, nu palubusan taku ay aped mi-anod ka Chico river nan minillion ay pilak. Pangaasi yo ketdin ta nayunan taku nan signatories ta en-perma da. Maid met lawi isna, adi taku met matey sina..ngag nan umegyatan yo san perma laeng? Ituloy taku ketdin nan narugyan et,.. the more signatories, the more impact..

  19. No word from Bill yet?:-)

    I really think that I’ve already said my piece regarding this matter that’s being discussed and I’m just waiting for Bill’s ‘final statement’ to end the discussion. I’m sure he’ll give a balanced observation regarding this issue. He always does. It’s one of the many reasons why we all love this blog.

    Dan, there should be no problem with the anonymity and the aliases. I’ve never used my alias to write irresponsibly. Sure, we sometimes engage in a little foolishness but that’s only for the fun and laughter, nothing more. Also, we always try to keep it clean. (And it would be different when we talk about misbehaving public figures.) Would it really have made a difference on the force of my words whether I divulged my true identity or not? We couldn’t be that shallow. It’s actually ironic that the ones who are using their real names are precisely the same persons who regularly come up with provocative remarks- puro talk, picking up fights, maymayat ti tiradam, crab mentality… Anyway, enough of the personal stuff, as I’m sure all our sights are set on the same goal: the improvement of our province. Let’s talk about ideas as the other anonymous commenter said. It’s what I did- make a suggestion. I concede that it could have gone beyond the limits of what BIBAK exists for. Although on second thought, it would be much easier to muster 5,000 people to purchase the stocks of ‘that corporation’ should it ever come to existence.:-)

    Like Trublue, I also respect what you are doing; it’s just that I have my reservations. And as I’ve said, I’ve already explained my stand. I suggest ading Elizabeth, that you read the piece I wrote, with the comments, if that’s not too much for you.

    It may be puro talk but this is good- the discussion we are having. Different opinions arise about a subject that has been set forth. It’s understandable that views would be diverse but then it’s how we will arrive at a consensus. If ever some people aren’t persuaded on the efficacy of a proposed action, it doesn’t mean that they want it stopped. They may have other thoughts regarding the subject. And it is the hope that, at the very least, after everything has been said, we all should have learned a lesson or two.

  20. I was just surfing thru the internet when I saw Blogs from the boondocks. I am from Baguio.Born and raised in Baguio.With Trublue’s posting about Halsema Rd. I think that’s enough said. I fully agree with Trublue.Besides, signatures don’t build roads. Money does! So why don’t you people from abroad start a fund raising campaign for Halsema Rd. project? When enough money is collected, have a trustworthy engineer of Igorot descent take charge. Don’t give the money to a local politician.It will just vanish into thin air. Just thought I post a piece of my mind. Okey ngarud.

  21. To Baguiorider

    Money does not do so met ah.
    Adu met ti kuwarta iti gobiyerno nga naipan iti Halsema, saan aya?

  22. Hey, Baguiorider, you can’t just say that. Thats not good a suggestion. Of course money does build roads. Those people from abroad are trying to help the best way they can through the power of a letter (media) that would enlighten those corruptors in our society. Is that not a great concern being contributed by our kababayans abroad? Lets all be fair here. Thanks.

  23. I’d like to picture you as maybe a taxi or jeepney driver but with an alias like “baguio rider”, the movie EasyRider comes to mind, so you must be a motorcycle enthusiast. Thanks for the comments, at least you’re on my side of the fence and able to get the drift of it’s contents.

    RegKen: In fairness to “Baguiorider”, he’s also tired of corruption that maybe he simply wants to imply that overseas people will just raise millions of dollars and we’ll do it ourselves. It would be a monumental insult to DPWH and the lone congresssman. Maybe IF, WE are ALL wealthy, but, salamat Baguiorider, narigat unay dayta proposal mo.
    Your comment about “abroad people’s power”, that’s where my biggest disagreement about this petition. You really believe that more signatories overseas is the lightning rod this campaign needs? Personally, I think it may ruin it. Check my comment on 10/27/07 at 5:04, paragraph three is germane.
    And for us to keep begging for more signatures overseas is to me pointless.
    This petition has been circulating now for two weeks, maybe three and the 5,000 minimum hasn’t been met yet? If this was such a HOT issue where our kakailians (locals), really are endeared to, signatures on the first few days would have exceeded 5,000. Mountain Province’s population is roughly 150 thousand with 10 municipalities and close to 150 barangays. Bontoc, Bauko, Sagada, and Sabangan alone would easily penned their names. This CAMPAIGN was aired on Radio according to Mr Pagano not too long ago, it was on print newspapers, but the InterNet is drawing more names overseas than where the problems exists. Let me answer my own darn question – if each overseas petitioners could convince (hate using this word, why we do have to convince, halsema is such a BIG problem) 20 or more relatives in the 10 municipalities, that 5,000 bodies would have been secured, maybe more, and add TruBlue’s countless friends and relatives.
    (By the way, have a nephew and a cousin on the LIST. Good for them.)
    Then everybody will be happy. But the nature of how it’s done is rather strange.
    After all is said and done, this issue of Halsema is NOT about this campaign, NOT US, we are becoming divided coz of this. It’s all about attitude. The government allocates the money yearly to this project and it’s vanishing into thin air nga kunana ni Baguiorider! My mentor Manong Bill Prill idta Camp Seven, he said this: “If they let me take care of these corrupt politicians, nalpas ti problema tayo amin. And I added, wen ngarud, just execute them in publics view kasla China.”
    My friends, it’s just another view nothing less. Anonymous 11:14 asked Dan at one point, what’s next ngay no this petition goes on deaf ears? We haven’t heard a response on that valid inquiry. Am sure civilization keeps going regardless of the outcome of all these. Gawis ay masdem yo amin and cheers and goodhealth as well.

  24. Trueblue,
    Well, I disagree with you if you take it as an “abroad people power”. It is different from the letter’s main purpose. It won’t be as a lightning rod as you say but the main goal there is to articulate our concerns and diappointments with what is happening to Halsema project and no issue whether the signatories is inside the country or abroad.
    You had a different view and we can never meet our ideas. We have to respect each and everyone’s opinion, and nobody can’t stop us from supporting whatever we can to tell the truth. Anyway, all is said and done, lets just continue what we are supposed to do for the betterment of that road. Thats what i could say. Matako tako am-in.

  25. Ine ay ngan kayman aya nan halsema ay san ay mangpaama kendatako? It has existed since the 60’s or even the 50’s as stated by most of you, and i also believe that there were people before you who honestly tried to improve it’s condition. But do you know one thing good about its present condition? It attracts tourists who want to experience the so called “Cordillera Massage”. What’s that? Ho ho ho go figure it out.

    To minimize finger-pointing, i think the best way is to have all projects done by the administration. I mean, that the project should be done by the provincial government, employing people from the project site to do the concreting. That way, all that we will be blaming if something goes wrong would be the people from the area themselves and the government.

    Wenno let it deteriorate. Let’s just solicit from our more fortunate brothers/sisters abroad, and buy hericopters for every municipality. That way, we will better appreciate the beauty of the cordillera! ay baken kakabsat nga Londoners, Danes, Aussies, Swiss nationals, Germans, ken Americans? Tay dakami ay nabati asnan ili mid maaramidan mi, we are living a hand-to-mouth existence.

    Ine si Anonymous Yalayal yangkay na(to distinguish me from my namesakes)

  26. Ho ho ho Yalayal met!

    By the way, who is the whistle blower? Juniper Dominguez? I can’t for the life of me understand why he is doing this. Ngag man nan kurang? Porsiyento? What other surprises are in store for us, the nephew running against the uncle, and now the other nephew yelling graft and corruption! I think we should delve more on the motive because they all profited from the acts of the uncle. In fact, they are all guilty as the uncle. They should be the last people to cry foul!

    Ay han Iigorot et nalaing ya. Ay hino pay han iyat na no patiyen tako amin han ibagbaga da? We should look into the motive and the veracity of the whistle blower’s claim. Wen mamati kayo ta adi tako dumna id a hundred miles away from home(the truth).

    Yalayal adik tinungo han menpiloto ngem ay hiya adi nan katorogi tako tay we learn very fast. We can sing “fly me to the moon” while we are on top of mount sisipitan, yes? Ay baken apo Ton Kaew? Hiya adi! Ho ho ho Apo Juniper umali ka ketdi hina DPWH ta menpusoy tako! Ay hino pay han aped mo iiyat! Hik-a pay abe apo Dra. F. you will soon be the next president, don’t take it so hard that somebody was selected over you, you are both qualified.

  27. This keeps getting interesting. Thought to myself I’ll let this issue takes it course wherever that maybe. Yalaya, siadi nen normal, no kurang nan bingay da, the only recourse is to become the antagonist. So funny coz those two anonymous who are supporting the “good persona” of Juniper are now on the side of MountainYahooGroup and now of value to them. While my perspective as an anonymous was “it adds no value” as Ed Abeya expressed in one of his post.
    Me and Juniper grew up in the same community in Benguet in the mid-60’s. Juniper is widely known in his hometown of Sabangan and I won’t talk about his rap sheet, people of mountain province who are keen to crimes and punishments knows all about his reputation.

    RegKen: You said >>>main goal is to articulate our concerns and disappointments with what’s happening to the Halsema Project and no issue whether the signatories is inside the country or abroad<<<
    Then drop all those overseas petitioners and let every locals become the driving force of this petition, and you’re not telling me abroad people articulate better, don’t you? That would be insolence on your part and your cohorts.
    You or the others haven’t answered why the difficulty of gathering these signatures, it’s been almost a month now. Here’s a good figure why even BIBAK members in America are not too jumpy in this campaign, I’ve surfed the net of who is member to each organization and roughly, this is what I came up with:
    Bibak Hawaii – None
    Bibak San Diego Calif – John Allan
    Bibak Los Angeles – Nover/Betty V
    Bibak Northwest – None, an Ifontok classmate in Seattle didn’t sign up
    Bibak Northern Calif – None that I know of
    Baguio FilAm Virginia – only my cobaguio boy Wilbert Austria
    Bibak East Coast – very few
    Bibak Maryland/DC – few
    If my figures are inaccurate, I stand corrected.
    Above organizations are saturated with co-igorots and I only take comfort that at least I’m not alone in my reasoning, it doesn’t even border the very edge of reason.

    But I’m with all of you in hoping the good Secretary of DPWH is the “real deal” ala King Herod (the builder, not the evil one – See Gandang Igorota’s Post, thanks Ferri as my reference point, hehe.), who knows, he might also build a gymnasium somewhere in Halsema, tapno ag-exercise met ah dagita bobotyug nga contractors as alluded to by anonymous 11:14.
    And you better pray hard to the high heavens that Mr Ebdane won’t be agitated by your overseas petitioners for meddling on the problems of Interior Cordillera.
    Otherwise, I will join you in singing “Blowing in the Wind” and we can add “Kumbaya” to that.

    Alla sige ta Bill is now descending from the boondocks and will make his final analysis and put an end to it. It was a darn good discussion and as he always implies: let’s agree to disagree!
    Campaign is sooo very right, yet sooo very wrong. Cheers to all!

  28. Mng Trublue and all,

    Let me clarify again what the open letter is all about. It’s about expressing our disappointment with and outrage at what happened to the multi-million-peso Halsema project and how government projects in Mt. Projects are being implemented, in general. It’s about expressing our concern that lives of our kailyans have been lost and can be lost because of defective project implementation.

    We addressed the open letter to all our kailyans who are from Mt. Province because we believe that it is only we, the i-Mt. Province, who can initiate any meaningful and lasting change in Mt. Province, not Sec. Ebdane or somebody outside from Mt. Province. Yes, we sent a copy of the letter to Sec. Ebdane, but the letter addressed to him was a separate and different one from this open letter. This open letter is for us, the i-Mt. Province.

    Please note that Pagano’s first suggestion to involve the BIBAK/Cordilleran organizations around the world in gathering signatories of the open letter was actually carried out. As for his second suggestion, we will see what we can do about that.

    We recognize that what we have started with this open letter will take years, if not decades, to bear fruit (definitely, not months or weeks). The point is, we have started to do something beyond only talking or criticizing. Don’t get me wrong; I’m open to criticism. So, Mng TruBlue, if you have better ideas on how to conduct a campaign like this, please share them. If you have conducted one that was successful for the past 47 years of life, let’s hear it. I would be very grateful to you.

    Anonymous,

    This open letter is not about sour-graping. It’s about how we do our work as i-Mt. Province contractors and engineers. Mabalin met ay i-implement tako nan project ay usto and still earn a decent profit. Ammo tako ay adi imposible na nu mapnek tako san usto ay galansya. Apay sad-en tako mang-ngen ay ma-karma tako, nan anak wenno apo tako nan makhab-unan is landslide kaspangarigan?

    As we have said in the letter, the future of our children and grandchildren depends much on what we choose to do or not today. Let us choose to bequeath a brighter future to them and all i-Mountain Province.

  29. Ay hino pay han iyat tako ay “usto ay galansya”? no kabigla ay tumakder han dakedake ay baey wenno kaaninging han baro ay lugan kalpasan han dua eno tolo ay kontrata et hiya han usto ay galansya? Ay nasurte met ayan. Yalayal. Et no hiya et apay nga han project han halsema et kedeng han entako ipaimbistiga? Hapahap et ay ta kapnekan di ababiik. Tay matungo han kanan han kabsat ay administrasyon laengen han mangipataray han project. ta meninana da et han contractor ya engineer ay binmaknangya binmaey hi dakkel ya nenpiloto hin lugan ay milyones.adi aya? Yalayal

  30. Hehapo ka, Alitao ay Anonymous. Isu ngarud ay nan-trabaho marukod. Nu nan buhos waday nan kananda en specified strength. Nu usto nan rukod ken according to specs nan trabahom saet waday pay laeng magayad san pundo, siya di nan usto ay galansya. Nu nalaing ka ay in-diskarte ta gawis nan ikkam ay mang-i-implement san trabaho saet ayaka nan magalansyam ay igaeb mos dakedake ay abong mo, permi adi ay gawi-gawis, adi ngen? Adi ngen angsan et nan nang-ipaila ay kakadwa yu ay contractor ay mabalin na? Nan adi makin-kaya a ket, panga-asi da, ta adi da tako am-in agin-aginlalaing.

    Gawis adi nu sapasap ay mapa-imbistigar amin ay niloloko. Ngem gapu ta in-rug-rugi saet akit tako pay lang, kasapulan ay waday kananda en “focus”. Maulaw tako adi nu pag-gi-giddanen tako. Wenno siya nan objective mos na? Mang-ulaw ken mangloloko san kakailyam?

  31. Heeee ha! cool…. The open letter naman is good. It is one way for our kakailiyans abroad to show their concern for a better Halsema and better Montayosa. As to whether Ebdane or GMA will listen is not very necesary to know anywaz. With the bureacracy, chances are, they will favor their own kind ha ha!

    What is important is that a letter from kakailyans around the world is letting these top officials and the public know that they know what is going on and they dont like it.

    This leter and so with other separate letters should there be should increase so we will flood Malacanyang with our voices. Siguro by that time, nagido, na-awaken,nariing, bumangon ang mga utaw na naseseyep sa kagalanggalangan na Bahay na Malakanyang. Acheche!

    And let us start with Halsema oh Halsema Mt Trail ay kananda, back to my Saddle again tapnu dahan dahan hinay hinay ti panag imbestiga.

    On the other hand, dagidiay dadduma dita nga mangkayat nga mangisayangkat ti dadduma nga imbestigasyon ket start it tapnu marikna ti kakaiyan nga saan nga mabalin ti linoloko nga contrata. Its not bad naman to initiate complaints kahit madami. In the end, we will meet in the center and find out that we are doing the same thing and suporting the other. So Mr or Ms Anonymous, I hope you file a complaint and I will support you. I mean it.

  32. I drove from from Baguio to Sagada on April 2006. There were local tourists who did not continue their trips to Sagada or Bontoc because there were no signs to tell when will the rough road ends. We all know that a good road is good for tourism. Those local tourists went back to Baguio instead of spending their money in Bontoc or Sagada. They wanted to see the Lang-ay festival.

  33. In restrospect Dan, it would have been logical that these discussions were expressed by everyone, then a “letter campaign” was promulgated, don’t you think? That way, ideas from different minds were rolled into one solid letter that everyone agreed on, preventing wranglings from all directions, instead of MPYahoogroup people converging and made the letter public as “we, IMountain Province”. Some of our folks took umbrage of that statement, as if, MPYahoogroup is the lone spokesperson of the whole province. Not so fast.
    Preceeding statement is one of my answers to your last two questions, and answered your questions twice in this post. With regard to your “survey” stuff, somewhere also in this post, I’ve said, the burning fire within me was fanned by the winds of Halsema a long, long time ago.
    The trickling signatures coming in coupled with the silence of the majority is an informal survey by itself for me. It would be a different story if there was a deluge and apparently it’s not the case. Don’t lose hope though, coz those much needed sigs may just show up in your front door at the 11th hour.
    Having answered your repetitious inquiries, here’s something for you and to all the readers and kailians:

    In one of Bill’s post called Project Watch: Complaining Does Produce Results, here’s some that was said then:

    Lovelyn (our lovely storyteller nesting in Venice, Italy): Ang kawawa are those small-time subcontractors who stretched the budget coz they were caught between having a job and low bid offered by the Big BOSS. Was glad am out of the business, we were always “lugi” but PROUD to say all our projects are still standing in it’s glory. Kabite nga sitatakder paylaeng uray no 15 years en ti napalabas. 9/15/07 10:26pm

    Edwin (our reliable photographer blogging as Kamote Kyu): The quality of Public projects has always been miserable (by International Standard). Even MAKATI CITY can’t build a fully complete, long lasting, fool proof brick sidewalk. 9/18/07 5:16pm

    Nadjhin: What is important is that a letter from kakailian around the world is letting top officials and the public know that they know what is going on and they don’t like it. 11/4/07 6:26pm

    YET, Nadjhin, this is what you said on 10/3/07 2:58pm – demaciated, depreciated, milking-cow-of-a-road which really needs to be seriously rehabilitated pronto! (that’s with exclamation mark).
    So now, explain to me or the readers as well, how you co-relate this statement to what Dan alluded to as “this letter pala will not be implemented in the very near future, but, it might take “DECADES”. That’s how long TruBlue has waited, and “maid met maila ay improvements” as my young friend Layad said so well, being an Ifontok herself.

    Lovelyn’s grief only attests to how brazen Halsema’s contracting system was implemented. I put it this way “GOOD DECENT SUBCONTRACTORS, KEEP OUT!”

    Regarding Kamote Kyu’s comment, those people of Makati and countless visitors are stepping on a solid evidence of corruption.

    Manana es utra dia. Gawis ay wakgat yu am-in uray no minbagbagyo.
    Cheers to all and goodhealth.

  34. Cool kayo because your response to valid questions only betrays your purpose/agenda. Who are the personalities involved? This, i know all of you will agree, is a VERY legitimate question. Ta haan da met a nga ibaga nga adda kabsat yo, barkada yo, friend of a friend of a friend yo nga naitchy pwura iti eksena isunga we cry graft as stated by my namesake. Don’t get me wrong though because i am for the development of halsema, it’s just that i am a bit wary of the “sheep crying wolf”. Ta manipod pay laeng idi nga dayta problema, ket haan yo nga ibaga nga dagiti dadakkel tayo ket haan da pinadas HONESTLY(a kunan ni trublue) nga iimprove ti halsema.

    Be cool and discuss this issue, taking into account the suggestions(be it good or bad depending on where you stand), like professionals or adults. Otherwise, let’s all shut up and instead talk about how we can solve the water problem in Montanosa. Ti Halsema haan kasing-importante iti danum, haan kadi?

  35. Dear Trueblue,

    I am as exasperated and as mas-asar with what is happening to our dear old Halsema which has been milked a thousand times. In those very long years, I havent heared of some public protest or indignation from kakailyan, whether they are from abroad or not.

    Itatta nga adda ti agriri, naragsak ti pusok la unay kadagitoy nga responses including the concerned letter from kakailyan abroad.

    That open letter from kakailyan abroad I think has never been done before Id wani langgay samet maaramid na.Nan madi, if our kakailyan abroad are mum on the matter which is not naman.

    Ngem I dont want the responses of officials and contractors to take for ages and decades.

    My pronto letter (earlier comment) is the need for the moment.

    Ket nu makatulong ages ay pronto maaramid nan kalsada because of that open letter, ay ket, gag-awis kasin.

    And as to what Dan alluded to as you “quote, unquoted”, that the letter will not be implemented and take for decades”, ask him and dont ask me he he. Help me read through the lines and tell me.

    Whatever, I dont find this hesitance relevant in my vocabulary. Sunga, the need for the moment is kibtuten/ gulpi de gulat these opisyales and contractores ta aramiden da ti trabaho da nga usto and make a better Halsema asap!

    And my dear Trueblue, I appreciate te it very much if you will lead/formulate a kibtut statement to this effect and I will help you in the signature campaign tapnu mabibiit and baken killing me softly pinikpikan ti maikasta. I mean my support.

    Agbiag ti Montayosa!

  36. Mng Trublue (I think Alitao would be more appropriate),

    I’m very sorry if you were offended by the words I used in this discussion thread and if I doubted your intentions. I would like to give you the same respect I have for Alitao John D. Allan, the QA/Security Officer of the mountainprovince YG, who appears to know you very well. Ngem, pang-asi yu kadi ta adi yu kanka-nan en we appointed ourselves as spokespersons for all the i-Mt. Province. Remember, we didn’t sign as “The Concerned i-Mt. Province” but simply as “Concerned i-Mt. Province.” Our exchange may have been somewhat heated but at the back of my mind, I know you mean well.

    Cheers and good health to you too.

    Salamuch, Nadjhin. If you and Alitao Trublue will come up with that kibtut thing, please inform me :).

    Anonymous,

    Who are the personalities involved? If you are referring to those involved in the Halsema project fiasco, everybody knows them already, ay baken? If you are referring to those involved with the open letter, they are all listed as signatories, aren’t they?

    I already explained above what the letter is all about, didn’t I? Kasin ko mang-ngen tuytu-tuytu-yen?

    Here’s my question to you. May I know who you are speaking for? I hope you are just trying to be a “pasaway” like me once in a while. If you are speaking for those personalities who now find themselves in hot seats, I think you are already doing them disservice. With your latest post, permi et ya ay obvious. More obvious than being anonymous. Need I explain?

  37. Hey Dan.. awnin ka ta sipraek bassit nu amammuk daytoy nga true blue ta trulili..haan ko man nga ammu who the hell is this alitao of yours tapnu I will email him a draft statement and he will check and recheck and trulili we will make this statement go around the montayosa as our local letter. With friends and his acceptance to this proposal, I can request for freinds to help gather signatures for this kibtut statement he he ta haan ak nga naka home-base. And kabsat nga Trublue, please be true to me and give Bill your email address tapunu I can email to you otherwise, I will send this draft statement through Dan ta send na ken sika tay alitaon pet Dan sika. Would that be fine with you…?

  38. Hahaha.!.!.!.very amusing exchanges here. First, let me again reiterate that the problem of Halsema is more important than me. Please leave me out of this. Let’s figure the BEST way to solve the jigsaw puzzle, but spying on me and trying to uncover my personality is more paramount to you.
    Manong John’s claim as knowing me is irrelevant. He’s a few years older than me as his two younger brothers were my friends. Having been cleared for TS in my previous work as maybe he was, he knows the drill to just keep everything into perspective.
    Your snide remarks about calling me alitao, doesn’t bother me one bit, yeah I’m mid-50’s and you guys do make me look old. Maybe the subject now is about our alitao’s, so let’s hear about yours Nadjhin and Dan while we’re at it. It would be real fun!
    And Dan, your reference about me as offended about your comments – not at all, nothing offends me, so long as NO ONE MAKES UNTRUE STATEMENTS ABOUT MY FAMILY, I can banter with anyone.
    I didn’t even take offense, just disappointed, about one lady in your MPGroup articulating IBesao’s don’t think or act like that, in reference to me. My response to that since we’re at it is: Does she really think ALL BESAO people or ALAB people, or SAGADA people think AS ONE? When a community casts their votes, it’s always split. Is that hard to figure out, especially if you are educated? We have each our own view of the world or to each his/her own nga kuna ni Surfer Wil.
    For you Nadjhin, spell out your proposal in public view in this blog and we will all discuss, then come to a conclusion.

    To make us all feel better, and somewhere, somehow, that Jesse will appear soonest to pave Halsema, here’s a very good comment I got from our friend, Gandang Igorota a few days ago: The Nueva Vizcaya/Benguet Road via Ambuklao lies in utter uglinies (erosions, etc.) for decades, but for the last four years they were able to pave it and do something about the dangerous parts of the road. Ganda’s full statements are in her comments section of her post “Of Herods and Gymnasium” Part 2.

    And let’s not just dwell on this halsema road, and ask more funding from the government about our WATER source/system in the whole Cordillera’s as I’ve already articulated and agreed upon by our anonymous friend.

    So Nadjhin and Dan, let’s hear also from your alitao’s ta baka waday itabtabon da ay secreto isnan mangpasimpa isnan sana halsema ay asi-asi.

    As always, cheers kayet ken dakayo and goodhealth as well.

  39. Eng,r. Dan surely before you left for Japan you had, one way or another, been involved with infrastracture projects in Montanosa, or am i wrong? If i am wrong, then it’s bad for the province that it never was the recipient of your engineering expertise(please refer to his claims of studies he made above). If i am right then good for the province, as simple as that. But don’t ever insinuate that somebody is working for those personalities now in hot water(by the way, i am not refferring to the signature campaign)just because they don’t agree with your “passionate” pursuit of this signature campaign of yours! Would you like me to also ask you to whom you are doing this for? Certainly, as an engineer, you know some of this engineers who are affected by this one way or another! So what if I say that you have the motive to do what you are doing. Didn’t i just say that both the Cong. and the Nephews have been into this as allies before, and that i am just surprised why the nephew suddenly accused the Cong and his band of contractors of a misdeed. Everybody knows what the situation in Mt. Province except “some people” who just pretend not to know.

    Eddie Igorot

  40. Eddie Igorot,

    If you disagree with the campaign, is it not better to just state plainly why you disagree with it and make suggestions on how to make it more effective? Pasensya kayo a if I go hard on you. Palalo met gamin iti aramiden yu. We are not doing anything wrong with you and here you are, making fun at and ridiculing the signatories while hiding in animosity.

    Yes, I can answer your question straight off. I am doing this campaign for myself and my fellow engineers. I am doing this for my son, his cousins and our kailyans back home. Why? I want to practice my profession in an environment that rewards good and hard work, unlike the environment we now have in Mt. Province. I believe most engineers want the same. I believe that if this can be made possible, there can be better Mt. Province for my son, your children and their cousins. Kasin ko mang-ngen tuytu-tuytu-yen tet-ewa?

    If you have a beef with Mr. Juniper Dominguez, then go confront him. Don’t make fun at us. I would even accompany you if this is what you want. And while we are on our way to visit him, I’ll answer your other questions. I’ll be in Bontoc sometime in the third or fourth week of this month.

  41. Ooops, that should have been “hiding in anonymity.”

    Nadjhin San, sorry I also don’t know who Alitao Trublue is. But I agree with his suggestion. Please do come up with a draft of your kibtut statement and share it to ebri 1 n ol :).

    Alitao Trublue, okay, okay, sometimes I’m a “pasaway” ay kanan si Tagalog. But I was also trained to respect elders. You are a lot older than I am, and I know I can learn a lot from you.

    Re: water problem in Mt. Province, let’s just request Bill to create another page/thread where we can share ideas on this topic .

  42. Ooops, that should have been “hiding in anonymity.”

    Nadjhin San, Sorry I also don’t know who Alitao Trublue is. But I agree with his suggestion, if you can come up with a draft of the kibtut statement, please share it to ebri 1 n ol :).

    Hey Alitao Trublue, I want to call you my alitao not because I want to ridicule you. You are lot older than I am and I know I can learn a lot from you.

  43. In response to the “kibtut statement, pls find the suggested text below for your addition or subtraction. It may not really be that of a “kibtut” as the word implies, yet could pass off as one 🙂

    This draft statement is especially sent to everyone for their comments as Trueblue said then we come to a conclusion.

    As to the water problem as pointed out by Anonymous earlier, (11/5/07 3:09 PM) yeah.. I go with the suggestion of Dan that a separate feature be created for this and for this issue to come out, we need facts. I hope our home-based kakailyan can come up with data tapnu we can start discussing on this issue.

    And to TruBlue’s remarks about hearing from your(my)alitaos, “baka wada’y iduldulin da” he he heh that would be real fun nga kunam. Let them hide if they can hide ha ha! nu man adda iduldulin da.

    I am as interested to talk about whatever alitaos are hiding should that be the the case. In talking about projects which are meant to redound to public good,there are no exceptions whether one is an alitao or not. Otherwise, clockwise nga kunada. Anywayz,pakibasa man the draft statement below then we will send to the appropraite person, float it to kakailyan and media outlets for the needed publication. Here goes:

    To:

    Her Excellency
    Gloria Macapagal Arroyo
    President

    and

    Mr. Hermogenes Ebdane
    Secretary, DPWH

    Greetings!

    We, concerned Igorots from the Mountain Province, laud the efforts of DPWH Secretary Hermogenes Ebdane to make good the implementation of the President’s SONA projects at the beleaguered Halsema Highway by doing the necessary investigation following complaints on the projects’ alleged irregularities which were proved to be true as per your investigation.

    As investigation proceeded, we come to know of the defective implementation of the multi million projects which are supposed to spur economic development in the highlands and make the Halsema road safe and passable for motorists and passengers as well.

    Because of the defective implementation of the project, we come to know of the suspension of seven DPWH technical engineers monitoring the project. Yet, does the road projects’ check of irregularities stop here?

    We are fully cognizant that contractors implement projects which have already been nipped off the actual cost of materials leaving materials sub-standard resulting to poorly implemented infrastructure, pose danger to motorists and passengers alike, and a display of waste of tax papers’ money while adding to graft and corruption..

    We are also aware that contractors share a sizable amount from project amounts in what is referred to as standard operating procedures (SOPs) to top DPWH officers and to the congressmen for that matter.

    As one of the most corrupt government agencies of the country, DPWH stands as breeding ground for corruption. This reputation needs to be corrected by bringing an example of axing top executive officers most especially who are into corrupt practices and which disciplinary measure needs to be seriously done and shown to the public.

    We are therefore reminded of your promise to suspend top DPWH executives of their culpability in these projects. With investigation already done, we are fully aware that your decision to have erring officers be suspended or discharged as well rests on your able and sound judgement.

    Along with the DPWH officials is the need to investigate Mountain Province Congressman Victor Dominguez as well who is bent on defending contractors and claiming that there is nothing irregular in the project. His actions as well make him a prime suspect of his involvement in corrupting the Halsema SONA project funds.

    We therefore bring to you our humble appeal to immediately suspend DPWH officers involved in this irregularity, terminate erring contractors of their licenses, and recommend investigation of Congressman Dominguez to Congress in his involvement to this irregularity.

    Equally, we bring to your attention the need to effect policies and practice of utmost integrity of service in DPWH and government as well.

    To effect better services for our people, further on good governance, eradicate patronage politics and corruption, and effect better services for the people and further contribute to national development, we appeal for your immediate action on this matter.

    Yours sincerely,

    The People of Mountain Province

  44. Hey Nadhjin, I think I already know who you are :).

    I’ll sign this letter, provided

    (1) We’ll make sure first that we won’t get into legal trouble with it (libel suit, etc.) Perhaps we should ask Mng Chyt and other legal minds to comment on this?

    Sabagay, filing a libel suit against the signatories of the letter will attract more attention and generate more noise. I don’t think this is what they want.

    (2) You join us in forming the MP ‘watch group’ being discussed now on the mountainprovince yahoogroup. Please join the group.

    Wadyasay?

  45. Hey Dan…where there is libel, the better he he… haan kadi. Though if libel is filed, madismiss met lang because the issue if of grave public interest, isnt it. Whatever, lets keep the blogging going and as to whether you know me, sha ta satako enkape si barako and talk about that MP watch group id Bontoc market si umali ay agew. I hope Trueblue and Layad and others home-based will be around. Have a safe trip back home.

  46. Wen man ngarud, sa takun to en ilad market. Sagot kanu Bill nan kapi ken sagkik :D. Nan ken sak-en, chicken mami.

  47. Our road in Suyo, Ilocos Sur stayed rough as if it was after World War II. Our forefathers even died hopeless on the unpaved road. So far the road started to be paved approximately 13 years ago. But it was stopped due to insufficient funds. And humor came out that it was because of corruption, corrupt politicians manipulated it.
    On June 2006 the construction of Suyo-Cervantes road was formally started. It is not Suyo road alone that is to be paved but including Cervantes….
    “The Suyo-Cervantes road is a part of a rural arterial road connecting the Manila North Road and the Baguio – Bontoc Halsema Highway”
    It was indeed a blessing. After long long years of suffering, the town people will now savor its fruit. Never did come in my younger mind the completion of the road because of many reasons. But expect the none-expected as they say, here it is. It is no longer a dream but a reality.
    And one day you might be doing the same, who knows, no one knows. (I am looking forward of seeing you ICordillerans at the Halsema junction.)

  48. Hello!!!!!! What happened to the “signature campaign”? How’s Scientist Dan Peckly and the res of his cohorts? Is there improvement in Halsema? I’ve heard too many accidents and deaths occurred since this post was discontinued. Just asking.

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