Last time, this column presented the output of Ms. Jennilyn Dula, a BSE graduate of UNP Candon.
This time, we shall likewise highlight the output of Ms. Arlene Fabros, another BEED graduate last March. Her output, with the assistance of this columnist, was presented during the First International Cordilleran Conference at UP Baguio.
This research delved on the aspirations, needs and sentiments of the Abraeños who are enrolled at the University of northern Philippines.
Let’s read it and profit from this sharing.
Title: ABRAEÑOS’ PSYCHE IN THE MAINSTREAM ILOKANO UNIVERSITIES
Abra province was erstwhile a part of Region 1 before its inclusion in the Cordillera Administrative Region. With this, many of its cultural characteristics resemble the largely Ilokano dominated provinces especially Ilocos Sur. Several impoverished Abra towns are adjacent to more progressive towns of Ilocos Sur, hence, the people rely more of their personal, social and educational needs.
Though the province of Abra has several educational institutions that cater to the cultural needs of its folks, many students opt to flock to universities and colleges in Ilocos Sur. Here, they struggle to live in a social system of perceived dynamic equilibrium, bringing with them their collective conscience, culturally-conditioned personalities and cherished values.
Not too few Abraeños e.g. the Tingguians, Kankanaey, Isneg and Bago enrol themselves in several SUCs in Region 1 particularly the University of Northern Philippines and Ilocos Sur Polytechnic State College. Part of their educational struggle is keeping their identity as a unique ethno-linguistic group. Thus, the process of miscegenation or amalgamation – intermarriage of thoughts, values, even physical bodies that result in customary blending to create a new cultural hybrid – takes place.
This paper looks into the cultural adjustments, i.e. acculturation, of the Abraeños enrolled in SUCs as they mingle and assimilate the Amianan’s kananakem or consciousness. It further tries to elucidate the sensitivity of the Abraeños’ psyche, as it battles with prevailing Ilokano standards the aforementioned educational institutions.
One of the blessings of liberal education anchored on democratic tenets is the liberty to enroll in chosen college or university. With the concept, Education For All, every student is deemed a significant asset. He must therefore enjoy, like any other person, that right.
At present, there are more than one hundred SUCS fully operating all throughout the Philippines. Every province is blessed to have this educational gift. However, other SUCs are better off than the others because of many political, economic and leadership considerations.
The oldest State University in Region 1 is found in Ilocos Sur. Founded in 1965, it continually caters to the needs of the students, the community, and the industry not only in the mentioned province but also within its vicinity like Abra.
Although Abra has its own State-run College, the Abra State Institute of Science and Technology based in Lagangilang, with a campus in Bangued, the capital town, still many Abraeños flock to UNP and enroll with their chosen courses.
It must be mentioned here that many towns of Abra are nearer to Vigan and Candon where the two UNP campuses are found than Lagangilang or Bangued where ASIST is established.
Ilocos Sur is predominantly Iluko-speaking province, hence the people are called Ilokanos. Some upland municipalities may speak in Kankanaey, Isneg, or Bago, still they speak and understand Iluko very well. The lingua franca therefore is the Ilokano/Iluko language.
Abra, on the other part was erstwhile a part of Region 1. But in 1988, with the constitution of Cordillera Autonomous Region, it became one of the six provinces comprising such, with Baguio City as its flagship capital. Because of its geographical location, and some flimsy political circumstances, Abra is classified as one of the top 20 poorest provinces.
Many towns of Abra are predominantly populated by Ilokanos, those who had gone upstream, using the Banaoang River as their transportation highway. With them are their cultural identities as Ilokanos.
However, there are dwellers of Abra who call themselves a different name, the Tingguians or Itnegs. Tingguians means “mountain dwellers” while Itneg is an Ilokano contraction (Iti Uneg, In the Valley.) They mean the same.
This group of people, though they resemble most their Ilokano counterparts, has indigenous practices totally unique to them. Their language, customs and traditions are entirely and culturally aboriginal.
The call of education among the Abraeños is something very strong to them. At a very young age, they start the struggle by treking kilometers of dirt road, and winding streams. As they grow up, the more they encounter obstacles – ranging from economic to education and socio-cultural differences.
However, many still endeavor to struggle and to live in a social system of perceived dynamic equilibrium, bringing with them their collective conscience, culturally-conditioned personalities and cherished values. Part of their educational struggle is keeping their identity as a unique ethno-linguistic group. Thus, the process of miscegenation or amalgamation – intermarriage of thoughts, values, even physical bodies that result in customary blending to create a new cultural hybrid – takes place.
Objectives of the Study
This study attempted to find out the psyche of the Abraeños along socio-cultural values, needs and adjustments.
Specifically, it aimed at the following:
1. To determine the socio-demographic profile of the respondents.
2. To look into their socio-cultural values and inner states or problems encountered in mainstream Ilokano universities as well as their needs.
3. To find out how do they adjust behaviorally and socially in their social milieu.
4. To determine the relationship between the profile of the respondents with their values and social adjustments.
(To be continued)