People and development in Sagada
The people are up against the rumored effort of the Ayalas to buy a lot in Sagada. Then there was the denial that there was no such effort, much less any intention to that effect.
Yet the threat will always be there to drive even further the commercialization of the town. Whether it will be from insiders or outsiders the “development” (a.k.a. commercialization) will continue. It is already ongoing and will inexorably proceed.
The question that the iSagadas have to grapple with is how not to be left behind. That is, how to profit from the process or how one’s children or grandchildren will not be left holding an empty bag in the midst of all the problems that development or urbanization will surely bring. It will be a double whammy for those not partaking of the cake or profits from the process and yet suffering from pollution, overcrowding, erosion of traditional values, etc.
At least, everyone should share from the returns but that is easier said then done.
The changes are fast paced and coping would be the key. It will be those educated in modern ways who will be able to cope or adapt. If one is thinking that making money could always be through the traditional way, he might soon be shocked to find out that he will be unqualified to satisfy the call of the times. Technology has to be harnessed. Otherwise, one would have to be content with the morsels or the leftovers.
By education we do not limit it to the formal kind but some basic formal education is required. Those who lack that might even be unable to harness or appreciate what the internet offers.
The point is for the younger generation to learn about the fast paced advances in technology or somehow acquire some marketable skill in the emerging situation.
So while the iSagadas can delay the entry of outsiders, they will establish a foothold along the way. Selling a lot might be prevented but what can prevent outsiders from renting one for 25 years and then renewing it again for 25 years? By then would a sale still be looked at as taboo?
There are many ways to skin a cat, so why not go also by that dictum in acquiring education so one’s competitiveness will be assured in the future? For people would not be competitive with just the knowledge of those living in caves, or of those just guiding tourists into those caves.**