The heartbeat of the Cordillera?
On this Cordillera Autonomy month, we highlight the chase to become an autonomous region.
So much saliva has already been spent on intellectual thoughts about it, negative and positive, and yet what we see in the distance are just a lot of cloudy sights. Are we going to get it or not?
A number of people I talked to are positive about this time being a lot better than the way things were than in the past three decades. Definitely, things are a lot better than during the decade right after Cordillera Autonomy became a part of our vocabulary.
Ironically it was the anti-autonomy people who were able to come up with a witty phrase to discourage people from going for autonomy—“Uto-uto kayo!”. The object can also be reversed—“Uto uto kami!” It effectively delivered the message that those who were for autonomy were stupid.
An effective catch phrase has to be found that would emotionally awaken the support of people for it. The kind that would make them get up and go to convince people to go for autonomy. Autonomy champions don’t have the John F. Kennedy simile that made ordinary housewives leave their kitchens on a Sunday afternoon to go out and campaign for his run to the US presidency. Chiming along that when the ”going gets tough, the tough gets going.”
Nor can we ever hope for the compelling charisma of Hitler. As one writer put it, even if you went to listen to any of his public speeches with a strong determination not to get swayed by his convincing power, you ended up a believer, if not fighting for him.
Then the advertisement for a Chevy Corvette comes to mind. Splattered above the picture of a nice Corevette were the words THE HEARTBEAT OF AMERICA in bright deep blood red. It readily wakened Americans that buying American made was also nationalistic.
For arousing an individual quest for self-fulfillment or self-gratification, however, no one can beat that BMW ad—THE ULTIMATE DRIVING MACHINE. It evokes refinement, at the same time awakening the tingling sensation that only high speed can elicit from a person’s being.
But then there was that author who rightly said that marketing which includes advertising is the “greatest American lie.”
So what must be found is a symbol or phrase that awakens Cordillera Nationalism, or the heartbeat of Cordillerans, if there is such a thing.
My thoughts: “We are Igorots or Cordillerans never conquered or subjugated by the Spaniards. We are strong and intelligent and tough and hard-working that we survived our harsh environment, on our own. We know how to use these for the betterment of our future. We will not allow anymore others, or even our kin, to exploit us, for we have been born to relatively just social systems.” If one can come up with a three- or four-word catchy phrase encapsulating all of these, then we might have found the right slogan to galvanize us Codillerans to be united in working for autonomy and our progress.
Really? Can we believe that all of those really describe us? Or can we just say that with that, we would have come up with the biggest Cordilleran lie.
But it would be better if we can say that we have found the ULTIMATE DRIVING MACHINE to hurtle us from this point to the finish line, or the goal to achieve Cordillera Autonomy.
Only then could we say, that we have beaten that catchy phrase “Uto-uto kami!” For after all, we are not.** APP