Did you know that...
- in April, 2008, Sen. Bong Revilla was adopted as son of Mountain Province and is named Oddagan?
- two months later, in June, Sen. Mar Roxas became an Ifugao named Mahikon?
Here's what fascinates me more...
- in 2007, Sen. Loren Legarda was recognized as Tokwifi and a daughter of Cordillera.
- then in November last year, Sen. Migz Zubiri was adopted as Son of Cordillera. His tribal name is Ducayag (Kalinga warior).
- this 2009, two more were added as sons of Cordillera: former Defense Secretary Gibo Teodoro is now Salucon and Mr. Emilio Yap of Manila Bulletin is Pitapit.
I have no qualms when a city, municipality or a province adopts a known personality as its own. But, my body twinge when I read the phrase "adopted son/daughter of Cordillera".
Let me clarify first that I have nothing against those adopted sons and daughters. I may have a thing or two against some of them but they are self-made people who already carved their names in the pages of our history. In fact, it will be a great pleasure and honor to be standing besides any of them.
Back to my uneasiness... I think it could have been brought by the fact (which I'm quite well aware) that Cordillera is composed of several provinces and a chartered city and of various tribes. Furthermore, I am not aware of any legal or even extra-judicial entities that speaks for the whole region specifically for cultural matters. In short, who can or who is authorized to confer adoption in behalf of the whole Cordillera?
By default, Sen. Bong and Sen. Mar are sons of Cordillera. They have been taken in by Mountain Province and Ifugao respectively (I do hope the councils of both provinces have made the adoption "legal" by passing the appropriate ordinances). But as to the other recognized personalities, what will be the proofs that they are Cordillerans? In what basis will they be considered people of Montanosa? What process did they went through and is the process legitimate?
Maybe, I'm also hesitant because after browsing the world wide web, I am still unclear as to why certain individuals were adopted as a son/daughter of Cordillera. I did not get any connection how Mr./Ms. So and So significantly affected the lives of the highlanders. Indeed, some of them have contributed something for the whole country that trickled to the local communities, but then, hundreds and even thousands of individuals have done so but were not adopted as Cordillera's own. So, what's the criteria of adopting a son or a daughter?
Considering someone as your own kind and equal entwines relationships significantly. However, to make the formed relationship lasts, adoption should be based on a criteria, wielded through a process and undertaken by the right institutions or individuals. Otherwise, the adoption defies the spirit of fairness and unity. Furthermose, the questionable credibility of the act will leave a bad taste to the mouth, not only to the Cordillera folks but even to the adopted sons and daughters.