KAPANGAN INDIGENOUS AND SUSTAINABLE SYSTEMS
IN HARMONY WITH MOTHER NATURE
JANE DELFIN TORIBIO, PHD., MAYOR ROBERTO KALAW CANUTO
(Municipal Agrarian Reform Officer, Kapangan, Benguet, and Municipal Mayor, Kapangan, Benguet, respectively)
In the beginning, our mother nature was in harmony with its co-creation - the animals, the birds, all the creatures particularly the man. After so many centuries, the earth ultimately changed because of mankind. Today, nurturing of our mother nature became the most popular concerns of men in the world. The present situation is saddening, if not shocking, especially considering the effects of climate change complicated with perplexed problems of all the countries.
Kapangan, Benguet, just a dot in the map of Asia, is still classified as fourth class municipality inhabited by more than 20,000 indigenous peoples. Through the ages, Kapangan takes pride in broadcasting that most people are still practicing indigenous sustainable systems harmoniously with our mother nature. Worthy to mention, their cultures, customs and traditions make people closely knit, happy and peaceful. Their diverse agricultural and environmentally-friendly technologies like natural farming and community-based forest management systems attribute to their simple but firmly-fixed living. Along with these are the other economic activities coupled with their socio-political bearing in their communities led by the exceptionally peaceful and calm political leaders.
In little ways, Kapangan IPs can be said to have helped in the preservation of the creations while building resiliency against climate change and other global concerns. For sure, Kapangan IPs believes that “no Filipino should go hungry in his own native land”. Surely, they do this for our Maker, and in some ways, should also be rewarded.
However, Kapangan’s geophysical and highland characteristics, besides its richness in natural resources turned the municipality as vulnerable and fragile. When neglected or ignored, the indigenous peoples will lost their diversity and harmony.
JANE PUL-OC DELFIN-TORIBIO is the offspring of Mr. Gavino Apalias Campana and Mrs. Corona Pul-oc Campana of Pasdong, Atok, Benguet, Philippines, born in the happy hearts month of February.
She started her formal elementary education in 1969 and high school in 1976. In 1979, she entered college at Mountain State Agricultural College, now Benguet State University, La Trinidad, Benguet. After four years of struggle, she obtained her degree on Bachelor of Science in Agriculture, major in Agricultural Economics. In addition, her taking up units in Education qualified her to take the Professional Board Examination of Teachers, the Civil Service Sub-Professional and the Professional Examinations given by the Civil Service Commission, all of which she passed.
Six days after graduation in March 1983, she was hired as agricultural researcher of MSAC. In 1984, she joined the teaching force of Atok National High School but short lived for barely more than a year. She searched for a greener pasture and transferred at the Ministry of Human Settlements in 1985. In 1987, the Department of Agriculture hired her as Sociologist and she was one of those who operationalize the Highland Agriculture Development Project (HADP).
Coupled to these experiences, the author had attended and participated in several in-service trainings and seminars while pursuing higher education for professional advancement. These enabled her to pass and garnering 4rth from the top (Top 4) nationwide the qualifying examination for the Municipal Agrarian Reform Officers (MAROs) of the Department of Agrarian Reform. With her leadership qualities and other qualifications, she was adjudged as the youngest MARO in the Philippines in 1989 and she is now assigned in the Municipality of Kapangan, Benguet. After hard works and sacrifices especially with the help of his family, she was conferred the degree Doctor of Philosophy in Rural Development by the Benguet State University in March 27, 1998. From then and there, these started her invitations and opportunities to act as local consultant and resource speaker on human resource management, community organizing and strengthening, cooperatives and rural development. She once had an opportunity to present her researches on Land Classification and Upland Sustainable Farming Systems in Tokyo, Japan in 2002 through the Asian Productivity Organization, and Barangay Integrated Development Action in Kapangan towards Water Sanitation and Hygiene (BIDA KA WASH) in Thailand through the Sekiguchi Global Research Association (SGRA) in March 2013.