text | Carla Ocampo
photography | Lester Valle
A good twenty meters of Puerto Princesa City‘s Rizal Avenue is virtually fenced off by tanods running to and fro. Locals stretch their necks from the sidewalks, out of curiosity. A band-less parade is marching by, and their only means of catching the people’s attention were excited shrieks of “Sisay papalag?!” “Haggiye!” “U-nang re-hi-yon ng Pilipinas!” “On-se-seksi, Onse-seseksi!” among other shout-outs. Every minute or so, a voice goes:
“Maayong buntag kaninyong tanan. Kami po ang mga mag-aaral ng Unibersidad ng Pilipinas, Diliman. Nagsu-suroy-suroy po kami dito sa lungsod ng Puerto Princesa para sa aming klaseng Araling Pilipino 12. Kinakatawan po namin ang iba’t ibang rehiyon ng Pilipinas…”
It is Prof. George Fabros on the megaphone. His lanky frame proudly walking alongside costumed UP students and teachers, some in g-strings, some in Mindanao regalia, some with feathers on their heads, and a couple of others wearing their salakots.
They have come to represent the geo-cultural regions of the Philippines. Researchers and culture bearers divided into 16 groups, carrying the name of all 16 regions of the country (should have been 17, but the National Capital Region, or Metro Manila, has been excluded). Read the rest of this entry »