Why I write
WORD masters ease to opine that “Farmers, Friendship, and Fun” is the best choice, and a client quipped against a popular theme: Sustaining the word “Sustainable”? or “Sustaining” again? Still, the word “sustainable” is a beautiful mantra in public service – “Meeting the needs of the present generation without sacrificing the needs of the future generation”. Ultimately, the body approved, “La Trinidad: My home…my pride” for the 2019 version of the Strawberry Festival.
The Strawberry Festival is our celebration as a Strawberry Town. The Strawberry Farm alone provides a hundredmillion economy for the Capital town. This includes the 250 pasalubong vendors, the 625 Strawberry Farmers (excluding the 500 outside the valley plains), transport services, and the restaurants and accommodation establishments. Take away the Strawberry Farms and more than 1,000 families will lose their livelihood, take away Strawberries and more than 10,000 of our constituents will suffer. If a pasalubong vendor, or a farmer derives an average of 8,000 to 12,000 monthly income from the activities at the Strawberry Farm, and since our office ascertained that a thousand of them are in the area, we concluded that about an annual 96 million to 144 million is circulating as a tourist-related economy without even adding the related activities; the jam and wine production, parking fees, transport services, accommodations’ and restaurants’ income. Adding all projected receipts of tourismrelated goods and services, the economy will reach 200 million or more. The most essential fact however is that 1 out of 10 persons in La Trinidad is directly or indirectly involved in the town’s tourism industry (primary and secondary tourism establishments).” WRITING is one of the oldest professions and many greater and excellent souls have penned insightful and inspiring articles about why they write.
It is too far for me to rank myself among the best but being a writer of some sort myself, to be more specific a columnist ( a year each) for two local papers, and later, for the Baguio Sun Star for about two decades now, had me querying myself about why I write each year, like I am doing now.
To cut a long story short, this is the first time I am setting my thoughts on the subject in an article like this, and having it published in this column.
Actually, I was trained to write journalistic articles during our stint as campus writers in college. Later, I served as a correspondent for an international wire bureau before I joined the government.
I never stopped writing about events and/or about pieces of my mind on our activities and anything that interest me as an agricultural and rural development worker.
The acquired passion of writing and sharing my articles in the mainstream media, and later social media, landed me a job as chief information officer of our department in the Cordillera until my promotion to a new post, as supervising science research specialist, about two years ago.
But the passion has been seeded and rooted earlier by my mother who chanted her stories to us beside the hearth after dinner and before we went to bed.
One of her chanted stories, for instance, painted a warrior in my mind dancing to the tune of gongs and drums played by elderly but strong men.
Soon the chant became magical with its words. The sounds of the gongs and drums became the wind that carried the warrior as he soared like the eagle in flight. He swooped and swayed, dived and soared up higher into the vastness of the heavenly space before him.
When the warrior swayed this way and there, and then dived before climbing up to a limitless space and possibilities. the people watching the warrior danced, soared, and swayed with him in this great dance.
I like it when words create images like this that make the world and its inhabitants dance and imagine life in another realm, although I have yet to craft and stitch powerful words of my own creation into a beautiful landscape mosaic, or swaying green leaves even those that fall to the ground.
It is often during the youthful days that I went sauntering in the woods. On those occasions, I hear the trees gather and talk in a chant while their branches and leaves swayed and danced with the wind like we sometimes do while my mother chanted her stories and played her flute.
It was a memory that has always returned even if I often strayed and neglected its development. Today, it deepens a need for me to become an intellectual of substance, which I am not. I realize that I possess an intellect that could hardly interpret the events, images, signs, and formats that people create in the endless quest for personal and community development.
Some folks who are uninformed on writing and its many forms are offended when they hear that I do not have a Ph.D. in any field of science. They have expressed their disdain directly and indirectly to my face for writing about topics that they felt should be tackled only by experts. For example, “How can I write about a place and its people when I just visited the place only once?” They then compare my writing to the works of Henry Scott, for instance, about the Igorots or some foreign archaeologist who spent research time and funds in a place.