Issue of January 15, 2017
Mt. Province

Panagbenga Flower Festival
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The gray owl
The owl is a wondrous animal, don't you think? It has those big signature forward-directed eyes able to see through the dark, and that indicative sound (hoot) it creates breaks the silence of the night. The owl is truly a nocturnal bird with meaning, so much so that various cultures all over the world have a particular hallmark for this creature.

As a spirit animal, the owl is considered to be a guide through the veil of darkness which figuratively pertains to uncertainty. After much reading, I've encountered some of the symbolic meanings associated with the owl: intelligence, wisdom, intuition, foresight, and transition. With worthwhile pondering, the said bird is collectively reasoned as a totem of guidance through adversity, bewilderment, and change.

With the exception of the Great Grey Owl species, a genuine gray-colored feathering is considered rare among the majority of owls. With that stated, a typical “gray” owl is “rare.” And considering that the owl symbolizes intelligence, we can say that “gray owl” may also mean “rare intelligence.”

Intelligence is rare in itself. In an esteemed perspective, intelligence is the application of accumulated know ledge purposively. This can be enhanced by gaining more experience. But since experience is existential in the first place, no experience is the same for two people. And so, one's intelligence is distinctive. Every single one's intelligence is considered “rare” because it is never the same with another person. No same kind or level of any type of intelligence is an exact duplicate for two human beings.

That rare intelligence, or figuratively, that gray owl of ours can only be leveled up if we choose to. Intelligence is the next stage of knowledge. And from intelligence, the final stage is wisdom – the ultimate symbol of the owl. How are we going to nurture this rare intelligence of ours, the gray owl? Think about it. Let’s dedicate ourselves and charge for it like an owl knowing its way from dusk till dawn.


We are here to stay

Gender equality is the battle cry of the lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgender (LGBT) community. The LGBTs were treated like a disease of the society. They are judged and many are afraid to come out because of the stigma associated with their gender preference.

Nowadays, LGBTs are growing in numbers. Are we an asset or a liability?

My friend, a lesbian and a graduate of Law, formed a chat group named “LGBT and friends.” Such group was organized for us to brainstorm how we can bring joy to our community, considering that we no longer have the Sangguniang Kabataan that will facilitate youth-oriented programs. There are no longer any event or program being organized to entertain the community.

The group was renamed BGBT or boy, girl, bakla, tomboy, to make it simple.

We came up with a Halloween bash, the first ever in the history of Tadian, Mountain Province. With volunteerism and donations of our townmates working in various places, local, national, and even international, the event was successful.

Given the support of the donors and the barangay and the positive feedback, we again organized events last December, along with the formal naming or our organization: BGBT – Bonum gens beati Tadian, which means Good race of blessed Tadian.

We held a basketball tournament, a fun run, and a talent show. We even went caroling to raise funds to finance these events.

It was exhausting but the joy that we brought to the community was enough to reward us. Without our donors, the barangay officials, the 2nd Maneuver Company of the Regional Public Safety Battalion, Camp Mardamus personnel, and our co-members BGirlsBoyT, our events wouldn’t have been successful. But we took the initiative and endured the sacrifices to make it possible.

Now tell me, are the LGBTs a liability of society?

Our organization aims to uplift the morale of the LGBT community and to prove that in our society, all, regardless of gender preference can work hand in hand in the attainment of a common goal and to prove to society who mock and discriminate us that we are here to stay.

We are all humans. We fight and we will stand for democracy and equality.

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