I do not know what moved me to suggest that at the 2007 IALC Conference, we were going to have a social dance, complete with social bids to generate some funds for our Ilokano Scholarship Program at the University of Hawai`i.
Okey, we called it bidding, the spelling Englicized as it came from English, I am certain, but completely appropriated by Ilokanos in those social dances in bygone days.
We are a KB batch--KB meaning those Kabataang Barangay days when brainwashing was in and we knew only one kind fo truth spewted by the governement, some kind of a Batch '81 production and reproduction of knowledge hardly human and humane--with all the allusion to the atrocities of fratmen, a.k.a. politicos and their henchmen, the military, the police, and all those armed goons, whether wearing amulets, oracion-reciters, or just plain thugs and mercenaries. Put in the kidnappers and hold-uppers and clerics who were so lazy to labor they hid in walled convents to pray for us and then prey upon us and we have the complete characters and actors of a social drama we call the Philippines in those times. As it is now, forever and ever, amen.
I remember that we were bused to Los Banos to swear allegiance to the New Republic, hahahaha!
We recited the mantra: "Sa ikauunlad ng bayan, disiplina ang kailangan!" O those University of the Philippines kind who were instruments of brainwashing of the young. Talk about UP as the Republic of Revolutionaries. Come on, excuse me, but there were also the agents and counter-agents. As it is still the case today.
But that is not the point of the story. The point is that at the 2007 IALC Conference, on that cultural night on the 27th of October, we gathered at the open lanai of the Philippine Consulate General on Pali Highway, with the Nuunau mountains as our witness and there celebrated what could be celebrated: our being peoples of the Amianan. That was a tall order, but on that night we did.
We had the cultural showcase, all right, with our graduates of our 3K Initiave--Kur-itan Kontra iti Kinaranggas iti Taeng--reciting their dramatic pieces in what I drumbeated as 'a recital in multiple voices'.
These women and two men have all what it takes to become dramaturgos: back bent but alive and kicking, body tired but the spirit is all to willing to live and live some more.
But this is not the point of the story either: even before the time of the social bidding, Terry Tugade had already donated three pieces of Italian silver necklace for auctioning. Or I forced him to do so.
The auctioning generated for us at least $60 for the three pieces.
Susan Domingo Bald of the Radio Station KORL came upstage to help me in the bidding, and there, in that inspiration that can only come from the heavens, she began selling me to the public, with $20 per dance in the beginning, and then in some instances, $100 per dance.
It paid that I do some radio announcing work with KORL and that Susan, who is marketing manager, knows me and knows how to sell me to the dancing public.
I was sold for $20 at first and then the price would jump up depending on whether Susan could pull the strings.
And all this selling--this auctioning of my 'arikenken' ability was all in the name of the Scholarship Program in Ilokano we are putting together at the University of Hawai`i.
The dancing, the selling, the auctioning--the good spirits of those who were there--yielded for us more than $600 of scholarship money.
Oh, come on, they can always sell me anytime for the sake of the Ilokano scholarship.
I would not mind dancing the 'arikenken' and that national dance in Hawai`i, 'Electric Slide' for another $600. The Ilokano Program has to go on--the Ilokano mind has to live for all ages to come.
The training of our young to become something like 'near native Ilokano speakers' is a huge dream.
But it can be done, more so with this dancing.
I do not mind being sold again and again.
A Solver Agcaoili
UH Manoa, Nov 3/04