Saturday, September 20, 2008
A reader left the following comment in a similar post I had on Sagada and drugs (click here for the link).
"i want to comment about this drug issue snan ili tako. ay inayan tay snan 16 years ay ninteteak snan ili tako, dan ado obpay nan adik amo ay maikikan. men-os-os-kila ak d wani sna up, ngem ay ngan nan aped da kanan ken sak-en, agtak kano daida is mj tay ado kano nan mula tako...Here's a typical i-Sagada talking, and with that, I'm referring to the way the reader uses English and Kankana-ey words and phrases in the same sentence. Here's my best translation of the above: "I want to comment about this drug issue in our town. Its surprising that in the 16 years that I've stayed in our town, there are many happenings that I wasn't aware of. I'm currently studying in UP, and this is what they told me - that I give them mj (for marijuana) since we have a lot of these planted... Of course, I debated and informed them that they were wrong, that we didn't have such stuff. But, upon meeting with an uncle, he told me that it was true. I was shocked because I didn't know what was really happening."
d siyempre nakikidebate ako na mali sila, ay maid kadtodi ken datako. ngem isnan nagbisitaak snan kabsat father ko, kanana ay tetewa kano di. siyempre shocked ako tay dan egay ko polos inamamo nan tetewa ay mikmikan."
I empathize with the reader. He/she may have come from the same family as I did - a very protective one. I also didn't know much about this stuff, until I saw things firsthand. And that was already when I was in high school. Indeed, drugs in Sagada will only benefit a few persons - but it could lead to Sagada's downfall if this is not corrected.
One of the things that the local government can do is to work with schools and the teachers to increase awareness. Hold special programs to educate elementary and high school students about the effects of marijuana use. Make it as graphic as allowed to make the point across. Discuss not just the health effects, talk about other consequences as well. Selling and using marijuana is illegal and leads to imprisonment, family separation, and poverty. These impact not just one individual - but families and communities. How the Sagada community will handle this drug problem is critical - its a struggle it can't afford to lose.