The long-lost barangayan spirit

Oct 7-13, 2010


The Tagum City police is on its toes at this early over the possible turning up of at least seven barangays in the city as hotspot areas since there are candidate rivals to reelectionist incumbent barangay captains and kagawads for the coming October 25 barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections. Itr’s good that peace has been an early concern while at present we are still on the period on the filing of certificates of candidacy.

Tagum City Mayor Rey Uy said that he will be definitely supporting and all-out his barangay officials. But his support, he clarified, does not mean that he is going partisan and that it would just be personal saying that “it’s payback time” for the barangay officials who supported him in the first place in his running in the past elections giving him three straight terms. The mayor wants also a peaceful barangay election as securing peace for Tagum City has been his offered counterpart capitalization for the many investors that came to pour their millions and billions of pesos which generated much money in circulation and thousands of new jobs as well as in effecting massive developments in the city during his three terms.

By the smallness of the barangay in terms of space and in easily knowing the who’s who of people around the barangay and by the precedents of having peaceful barangay elections before, we are still bound to have a peaceful, non-violent one this time. But the front face of this preparation and run up to barangay election is the large showing of the long-lost barangayan or bayanihan spirit individualized as we witness today the busy bodies among the barangay officials and non-incumbent barangay politicians and their visible volunteering of services in the commmunity, sports and Church activities. It seems there are no gripes from them to help their kabarangays. There’s just this showing of natural reflex for them to be good Samaritans these days in view of the election fever that has now engulfed us, and like any other politicians they want to be reelected and elected in the case of the outsiders.

The barangay spirit of helping neighbors and people in the proximity of the barangay is on its full expression as we long so much for the everyday’s outpouring of this spirit that has already lost its good lustre in the 70s. There were rat campaigns before participated in by many barangay and town people while the population was still small. But look now, always the percentage of quantity of people who participated in rat campaigns in the 70s vis-a-vis the total population is higher than the percentage of those who participated in the loudly called community and barangay clean-up campaigns to counter the much-dreaded dengue disease. The diminution of the good bayanihan spirit shows how we degenerated as people.

Maybe now we become too busy in economics since the staple rice is much higher in prices hovering over P30 per kilo than the P5 per gantang or so in the 70s. But the barangayan or bayanihan spirit motivating and drawing collective community efforts is a good Filipino tradition that must all be sustained.

In this tradition, there’s this free labor given and good causes for community development sought for as long as volunteers share their time availability or sacrifice a moment for personal and family time for the sake of others. The unfolding of the high volunteerism of our candidates now in the barangay election is a season that we have been seeking for and that we wish to inflame to others to share and pool efforts for community building. May this go beyond the October 25 barangay polls.- Cha Monforte




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