10 months ago


“Imbag man ta nakaumay

“Imbag man ta nakaumay kayo ditoy training tayo,” I greeted her and she answered me casually in her Abra Ilokano accent. “Adu ti ubraek kuma idiay balay ngem siyak met ti maysa nga nadutukan nga volunteer iti Kalahi-CIDSS sunga inbaon da siyak nga umay makiseminar ditoy (There are many household chores that I’m supposed to do but since I was chosen as one of the volunteer, they sent me to attend this seminar)”, she said. Manang Mary is serving as a BSPMC Chair in her barangay for the first time. She was elected during their 5th barangay assembly. IT ALL STARTS WITH A SACRIFICE Trainings and seminars are among the many activities that community volunteers have to attend. This means that they have to temporarily leave their families at home. BSPMC Chairperson of Barit, Luba, Abra. “Haanak kuma nga palubusan ni baket ko syak nga makiseminar ta awan mangkita kadagidiay nuwang mi ngem inmayak latta (My wife told me not to attend seminar since no one will take care of our Carabao but still I came to attend)”, Tatang Leo claimed during a chat at Bangued when he attended the Capability Building for BSPMC Chairpersons. When asked why does he ends up attending trainings, Tatang Leo happily answered “I learn a lot of things especially when I attended the LGU forum where we visited Kapangan, Benguet. Tatang Leo observed that the success of Kalahi- CIDSS program in Kapangan lied heavily on the cooperation of volunteers as well as the support of MLGU and BLGUs. “It was my first time to attend such activity outside Abra and I think I will treasure that experience for the rest of my life,” he said. KALAHISerye 2016|| 55 The volunteers would talk about their chores they left back home but then during reflection session, they would realize and appreciate the importance of the trainings being organized for them. My community work also gave me the opportunity to enter and leave Luba, Abra. The people here are as warm as their love and care for the environment. Their indigenous practices, cultural values and their unwavering bayanihan spirit are the things that sets them apart. “Nagadu ti training ken seminar ti Kalahi ditoy barangay, munisipyo ken daduma pay nga lugar kasla kuma idiay Bangued ken Baguio sunga isakripisyo me ti oras mi ken ibati mi pay ti pamilya ti manu nga aldaw karkaro no idiay Baguio (There are a lot of trainings and seminars in Kalahi-CIDSS conducted here in the barangay and municipal center, in Bangued and also in Baguio City so we need to sacrifice our time and leave our family for a couple of days)”, confirms Tatang Leonardo Ramos, 62 years old, Like Langiden, the municipality of Luba is also implementing one cycle of Kalahi-CIDSS NCDDP after they finished three (3) cycles of the program through the MCC grant. Another municipality that I remember well is the municipality of Lagayan. I find this place as home to persevering people who are willing to change the status of their community. As Manang Jacqueline Tabas recounted, “A kas maysa nga volunteer, adu met a ti naadal ko iti Kalahi- CIDSS, naadal nu kasanu ti ag-implementar ti maysa a proyekto, nu anya ti umuna nga maaramid ken daduma pay (As a volunteer, I learned a lot from Kalahi- CIDSS; I learned how to implement a project and the steps in doing so)”. Manang Jaqueline is the Project Implementation Team Chairperson of her barangay. Her team is incharge of the actual physial implementation of their approved proposal. As the head of the PIT, she ensures that the plan is followed properly

during the sub-project implementation. She says that the trainings opened them to ideas on what they need as a community and the things they can do to help develop their community. While going around communities in Abra, community volunteers would often express their gratefulness that their capacities are improving. With that, the program is definitely achieving its purposes. I would also commonly hear their clamor that the program should be continued at the LGU level. the fund is being used),” Manang Jaqueline says. I’m also one with them in hoping that transparency will be practiced in all government operations and, that the services needed may really reach the citizens. For Kalahi-CIDSS, the volunteers are the forefront of the program implementation at the community level. Their selfless service will surely echo in their communities as they continue with their quest for community development. Truly, they are in their own way, our unsung heroes. “Mayat kuma no tuloy-tuloy ti Kalahi-CIDSS ta makita nga talaga nga amin nga kwarta ket mausar para iti proyekto (We hope that the program will be continued because there is transparency in how KALAHISerye 2016|| 56

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