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The Igorot Brand of Leadership and Good Governance

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Long before the introduction of democratic principles by foreign invaders, the Igorots of the Cordillera Region in the Philippines have already been espousing consultative and participatory governance which are considered essential features of democracy. Though the different tribes have leaders of their own, it has been a common practice to consult the “umili” or the people of the tribe before deciding on important matters that affect the community. For hundreds of years, this practice has greatly contributed to the solid foundation on which modern leadership in the region is anchored upon and throughout the history of the Igorots, there was never a tribal leader who was widely reviled for his dictatorial rule and authoritarian approach to governance.  The Asian Indigenous Peoples Pact in 2013 recognized Cordilleran governance as one hinged on the following principles: 1) Sovereignty and self-rule, 2) collective identity, collective rights and collective leadership, 3) self-determinati

Why Online Live Selling Thrives in the Philippines Amid the Pandemic.

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Photo from shuterstock Compared to the rest of the world, Filipinos have a peculiar way of dealing with the pandemic, at least when it comes to making sure there is enough food on the table. While people in other countries struggle to cope with the loss of livelihood, the Filipino entrepreneurial spirit kept many afloat and most of them turned to social media with Facebook live leading the bandwagon. The business model is simple. One just needs to go live on Facebook and showcase their products while viewers can comment in real time to make a purchase. It is more like an auction type of thing but the first one to comment “mine” plus the seller’s item code gets the deal. The goods then are delivered through errand services, a designated “dropping area”, or by scheduled pick up. What makes online live selling more appealable to many of the Philippines’ netizens in contrast with the equally popular e-commerce platforms such as Lazada, Shopee, and other online market places? Let’s have a

Why Baguio People are Overly Dismayed by the Apparent Selective Application of Health Protocols

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  With the looming re-imposition of General Community Quarantine over the Cordilleras, residents of this mountain resort city woke up to social media posts showing pictures of the Mayor partying with celebrities at the Camp John Hay Manor. What earned the ire of Baguio folks is the manifest breach of protocols as guests are seen without facemasks and ditching social distancing conventions. Within an hour of posting, hundreds of comments were noted and local news social media pages went on an exposé spree. Disappointment, anger, and the feeling of betrayal are the common tenor among these comments. The obvious consensus is that protocols do not apply to the elite. The Mayor, a.k.a Contact Tracing Czar, seemed to have forgotten his own recent rhetoric on protocol violations and his non-hesitation to have violators arrested. To the outside world, perhaps this type of public outcry is a bit harsh considering that the Mayor has already issued a statement admitting his lapse in judgment. Wel

10 Must Have Skills for Breezing Through the Pandemic

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A decade ago, I have written a couple of articles predicting the rise of online trade and the slow death of most brick and mortar businesses. The convenience and cost-efficiency of the online platforms were slowly gaining traction in the world stage and it was just a matter of time before cyberspace was expected to take over the traditional business model. But then, the Covid 19 pandemic happened. A “new normal” was born and online dominance came earlier than expected. The devastation was unprecedented and utterly horrifying for many businesses, big and small. Employment rate went down the drain along with retirement plans and years of savings. While hope dims with every lockdown and stay-at-home orders, some people embraced the gloom and opted to find light amid the ashes. It didn’t matter if it meant lifestyle, career, or business line change. The goal is to survive and somehow regain what was lost. Life required a simple algorithm and that is to adapt to a new normal as the world we