by Marciano Paroy Jr.
Rizal's life is one of the most documented among 19th century Asian treasures due to the vast and extensive records written by and about him. With all the literary wealth that he has produced, , there is this one literary piece that has truly stood the test of time. Everytime it is read and recited, it does not fail to evoke deep emotions - which is the very intent of Dr. Jose Rizal. This is the “Mi Ultimo Adios,” or “My Last Farewell.”
As the 109th anniversary of his martyrdom is remembered this month, a number of institutions and organizations ingenuously came up with the idea of further popularizing the masterpiece using the true vernacular of the North - the Ilocano dialect.
Initiated by the 501st IB, 21st IB, and LGU-Kalinga – with strong participative support from the the Provincial Toruism office, the Kalinga Media Organization, the KASC Alumni Federation, and the Kalinga Mountaineering Society – a poetic rendition of Rizal's piece “Maudi a Pakada” was held at the Tabuk Gymnasium on December 17.
Participated in by high school students who were officially selected to represent their respective municipalities, the activity, in the welcome remarks of Tabuk Mayor Camilo Lammawin Jr., “would hopefully widen the reach of Rizal's appeal in inspiring the youth.”
Kalinga Governor Floydelia Diasen was also on-hand to encourage the young contestants and mostly high school audience. In her message, she stresses the importance of “Rizal's long-lasting dream of a nation whose transformation depends on the leadership roles that the youth of today choose to undertake.”
Emerging as victors were Jasper Garobo (1st place), Warlie Alagao (2nd place), and Gretchen Dawaton (3rd place). Consolation prizes were given to Cherry Mae Crystal Bautista, Glen Mike Sobrepeňa, Reuben Dale Soriano, and Windy Mosing.
Cash prizes and expensive tinted fiber-glass plaques were handed out to the winners – made possible through the funds contributed by Hon. Allen Jesse Mangaoang (Balbalan), Hon. James Alunday (Lubuagan), Hon. James Edduba (Pasil), Hon. Chris Maek dela Cruz (Rizal), Hon. Johnny Maymaya (Tininglayan) and Hon. Camilo Lammawin Jr. (Tabuk). Aside from Mayor Lammawin, Hon. Alunday was the only other Mayor who graced the affair.
Selecting the winners were Dr. Carmelita Ayang-ang (VP of KASC), Dr. Marylinda Santos (of Dep-Ed Kalinga), Dr. Romulo Gaerlan (of KPHO), Sir Oliver Gacuya (of the City Information Office), and BGen. Johnny Corcha (of the 5th ID, PA).
Overseeing the whole activity, from the planning stage up to its culmination, were Dr. Amelia Miranda (who came up with the idea), Lt. Col. Francis Lardizabal, CO of the 21st IB, Col. Roberto Morales CO of the 501st Brigade, and Ms. Grace Kidang, Provincial Tourism Officer and KASC Alumni Federation President.