The two writers from the Cordillera Administrative Region, who are products of writing workshops, share a glimpse of their culture and heritage through their contributed works. They both write to uphold indigenous tradition and cultural advocacy amidst the rapid pace of modernization in the world.
Gawani Domogo Gaongen, a poet in Kankana-ey and environmental advocate based in Sagada, is a graduate of the University of the Philippines and has won the NCCA Writers’ Prize in Kankana-ey poetry. In her essay, Gaongen gives the curious readers a serving of tengba, a naturally-fermented rice paste, and the tradition surrounding its preparation and purpose, with a taste of other naturally-fermented food in the Mountain Province. She invites us to reflect on how to keep our indigenous food traditions, with the same confidence when she asks us to try the tengba. Why not, indeed.
Richard Kinnud, a poet in the Ifugao language, has participatedin two Taboan Writers Festivals. His poems were also included in the previous edition of Ubod. In “Moma,” Kinnud reflects on the tradition of chewing and of sharing of moma (betel nut) among the Ifugaos, which faces the threat of strict public regulation. In “Ngudun nan papaya,” he evokes not only sadness, seeing the deterioration of some parts of the distinctive rice terraces, affecting the simple community life in the area, but also optimism for sustainability, seeing the children who frequently visit.