Quo vadis, Ilokano?

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Ti Sungbat iti Saludsod a ‘Papanam, Ilokano?’

(Panglukat a bitla iti 2008 Fall Drama, Video, and Musical Festival ti Ilokano Language and Literature Program, UH Manoa, Art Auditorium, Nov. 22, 2008)

 

Ita a bigat, sungbatantayo ti saludsod a karit—wenno ti karit a saludsod—a tema daytoy a festival ti Programa iti Lengguahe ken Literatura Ilokana iti daytoy a tawen.

 

Narikur ti saludsod, kas paggaammotayo.

 

Idi sinaludsod daytoy ni Apostol Pedro ken Jesus iti dalan nga umadayon iti Roma idi mabigbig ni Apostol Pedro ti nagparang a Jesus nga idin ket nabayagen a nailansa iti krus, sinugbatan ni Jesus, segun iti sari-ugma, kinuna:

 

“No saan a maaramid amin a rumbeng nga aramiden, agsubliakto idiay Roma tapno mailansa manen iti maikadua a daras.”

 

Ni Pedro ti nagsubli idiay Roma, a kaduana ni Nazarius, a segun iti estoria, ket nakailansaanna met iti krus.

 

Ngarud kayatna a sawen iti panasaludsodtayo ket daytoy: a ti papanantayo ket addaan pannubok.

 

Addaan kadagiti karit.

 

Addaan kadagiti agur-uray a pannakailansa, iti wagas a pangngarig.

 

Gapu ta iti daytoy a dangadang tapno makapartuattayo iti espasio para kadagiti tattao nga Ilokano ken taga-Amianan iti ili ken iti diaspora ket naruay a naitalali dagiti awan sarday a karit, sakrifisio, ken pannakailansa.

 

Daytoy ti gapuna a rumbeng koma a kankanayon a sisasaganatayo tapno mabigbig no ania dayta a saludsod maipapan iti no sadinno ti pagturongantayo, no sadinno ti papanan ni Ilokano, no sadinno ti papanan dagiti amin nga Ilokano.

 

Gapu ta adda dagiti panangtuntontayo iti diversidad ken kadagiti plurikultural a biagtayo.

 

Kankanayontayo a tuntuntonen daytoy, ditoy Hawai’i ken iti Filipinas.

 

Ngem agingga ita, ditoy kas met laeng iti pagilian, ket nasken pay laeng ti panagsardengtayo nga agsusususik iti nakaro para iti bassit-usit a suli ti daga a tuntuntonentayo para kadagiti bagbagitayo, ken kanayon, kankanayon a maidurdurontayo iti pader ken iti bukodtayo a bagi.

 

Panagkunak ket masapul a rugiantayon ti mangsungbat iti dayta a saludsod, Papanam, Ilokano?, panangsungbat nga addaan iti tured, takneng, ken awan-panagamak.

 

 

 

 

Idiay Filipinas, ilablabantayo ita ti pannakaisubli ti Ilokano kadagiti amin siled ti pagadalan nga Ilokano ken kadagiti lugar nga Ilokanosado iti Amianan.

 

Ditoy Hawai’i, ilablabantayo met dagiti kalintegantayo babaen ti awan ressat a panagexperimentotayo kadagiti amin a posible a wagas tapno iti kasta ket masiertotayo a ti lengguahe ken kultura nga Ilokano ket saan laeng nga agbiag no di ket agbiag a nasaliwanwan ken addaan iti dignidad.

 

Masapul a rugiantayon to mangirupir ken mangilaban ken mangdawat kadagiti lingguistik ken kultural a karbengantayo uray no sadinno ti ayantayo.

 

Masapul a rugiantayon ti mamati manen kadagiti kapasidadtayo.

 

Masapul a rugiantayon ti mamati kadagiti bukodtayo a bagi kalpasan ti adu a tawen a pananglalaistayo met laeng kadagiti kulturatayo, daytoy a naadaltayo a pananggura kadagiti bukodtayo a bagi, kontra iti lengguahetayo, kontra iti kulturatayo.

 

No adda man banag a mabalintay a maadal manipud iti festivaltayo ita nga aldaw, isu daytoy: a ti sungbat dayta a saludsod, Papanam, Ilokano? ket naigamer iti grasia ken basbas ken panangafirmar ken panagrespeto iti kabukbukodan.

 

Naimbang nga aldawyo amin.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Answer to the Question, “Where you going, Ilokano?”

 

Our distinguished guests, the members of the faculty of the Ilokano Language and Literature Program, students of our program, both Ilokanos and Ilokano-descended and non-Ilokanos, friends, ladies, and gentlemen:

 

This morning, we respond to the question which is a challenge—or a challenge which is also a question—the theme of the festival of the Ilokano Language and Literature Program this year.

 

This question is complex.

 

When the Apostle Peter asked Jesus on the road going away from Rome when the apostle recognized Christ who had since then died on the cross, Jesus answered him, according to the folklore, this way:

 

“If things are not done just fine, I am going back to Rome to be crucified the second time around.”

 

The Apostle Peter went back to Rome and there, he was crucified.

 

Thus, what our questioning means is that ahead of us are trials.

 

Ahead of us are challenges.

 

Ahead of us await crucifixion, metaphorically.

 

For in this struggle to create a space for our Ilokano and Amianan people in the homeland and in the diaspora has been fraught with endless challenges, sacrifices, crucifixions.

 

This is the reason why we must always be ready to recognize what is in that question about where we are going, about where is the Ilokano going, about where are all the Ilokanos going.

 

Because we have claims to diversity and pluri-cultural lives.

 

We always claim this, in Hawai’i and in the Philippines.

 

But until now, here as well as in the homeland, we have yet to stop fighting fiercely for that small corner of the earth we have claimed for ourselves, and always, always, we are being pushed against the wall and against ourselves.

 

I guess that we must begin to answer that question, Where are you going, Ilokano? with courage, with boldness, with daring.

 

In the Philippines, we are fighting for the return of Ilokano in all Ilokano classrooms, in the Ilocos and in the Ilokanized areas of Northern Philippines.

 

Here in Hawai’i, we keep the fight for our rights by continually experimenting with all possible ways to make it certain that Ilokano language and culture will not only survive but thrive with dignity.

 

We must begin to assert and fight and demand for our linguistic and cultural rights anywhere we are.

 

We must begin to believe in our capacities again.

 

We must begin to believe in ourselves again after years and year of cultural denigration, this learned hatred against ourselves, against our language, against our culture.

 

If at all there is something we can learn from today festival, it is this: that the response to the question, Where are we going? is one steeped in grace and blessing and self-affirmation and self-respect.

 

 Good day to all of you.

 

 

 

 

 

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