Friday, September 3, 2010

the iloilo that was

With this issue we end our edition on the rich cultural traditions of Filipinos, particularly the Ilonggos, as our way of observing the yearly celebration of the Linggo ng Wika. I must say that the materials still available to us are enormous, but we have no way of placing them all in the ever shrinking pages of our paper. I myself am surprised not only at the bulk of available materials but also on the facts presented to me when I did some researches on the history of Iloilo and the lives of its famous sons and daughters. 

 For one, I never imagined that Iloilo ever attained such greatness; from the fact that it once ruled world boxing ring, flyweight division, led by the likes of Pancho Villa and Small Montano, to the fact that it was once an economic powerhouse second only to Manila. Its past is crowned by many brave souls - entrepreneurial and nationalistic in spirit, steeped with idealism and deeply religious and above all rich in traditions and values. My only regret is to have learned this only lately.

Worst however, is the fact that with an educational system wanting in its appreciation for everything Pilipino beyond its obsession for the Filipino language, I consider myself luckier than my contemporaries for knowing and appreciating such, at so late a stage. By now our perennial forgetfulness has included not only the lessons of the past but also our models of valor, our cherished values and our cultural heritage. And without these heritage which constitutes the Ilonggo soul, no vision beyond getting rich could ever be envisioned. I believe happiness and fulfillment, and for that matter progress is more than just getting rich. There is therefore a necessity to teach these values for when we forget our stories we forget our soul.

I would like therefore to thank the following persons who have been helpful in making these issues possible: Ms. Kriemhilda Mejica-Madlangbayan, a professor at the West Visayas State University and a descendant herself of the famous Moleno, Rosendo Mejica; Elsa S. Subong, a sociologist who wrote on the need of catechesis in order to correct or strengthen our value system, a need stressed by documents of PCP II itself; Lourdes N. Morano a professor on Values Education at the WVSU who wrote on values needed for the preservation of our environment, a concern which is most pressing at this time. We also would like to thank the people of the Provincial Library and the Jalandoni Museum for making available relevant materials on the subject.

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