My feet felt really cold as if I was standing on a huge block of ice. I struggled not to shudder but my flesh rebelled, breaking me into little quick frissons that rendered my hand to write illegibly. I barely understood the words of the man sitting in front of me, his voice faded, segueing into silence the moment they came out of his mouth.

Outside, the sun shoo away the clouds revealing the majestic dark expanse of Mt. Apo. A villager later said that the weather was good that day contrary to the past days where fog and drizzle blanketed the whole village.

Strangely, my back started to get wet of sweat. My fever was still high, worse than the other night when I still had Athan as an instant nurse. The smell of Durian and ripe bananas was just to inviting, only that I was so sick to salivate.

But I did not have the choice than to keep my remaining senses intact, and regain the ones I lost to high fever. I did not have the option than to force a normal function mode and avoid a failure interview.

The man in front of me, a 30-something, was the village chief. He was a Lumad. If there was anything that caught my interest about the encounter was his story about how he and the council of elders in the village settle petty crimes such as stealing so successfully, as if telling that "hey, it's zero crime rate here, man!"

He said there came a time that the villagers’ number one problem was the cases of “chicken-stealing” allegedly perpetrated by the tambays. Because of this, they were prompted into coming up with a barangay ordinance.

The ordinance? To parade anyone caught in cold-blooded chicken-thievery around the village, force them to even go house-to-house, self-proclaim that they are thieves, and that they should not be emulated.

Since then, not one was caught stealing chicken again. The village chief even said that those who were earlier caught and suffered the public humiliation are also closely watching possible chicken stealers “aron makabalos daw sila (to get back).”

But get back to whom?

While in the middle of the discussion, a man in full battle gear came--an armalite slung on his shoulder and a grenade that resembled those that can be exhumed from Japanese graves clipped on his blazer.

Later we learned that he was the first councilor who chairs the peace and order committee.

It occurred to me then that in that village, the council of elders and an ordinance are not actually enough, but an armalite and a grenade to run after chicken stealers.

13 comments:

Dava Maguinda said...

hoy. asa man diay ka naglaaglaag karun???? (hehehheh!)

* diday kampupot * said...

did it really happen or altered lang ang iyong state of consciousness coz of your high fever?

hope ur feeling better now. ;)

Foto Man said...

gross . need all that armamnts for chicken stealers !

Anonymous said...

sana humingi ng lagundi sa village chief or sa mga elders para bumaba ang lagnat mo.

utakGAGO said...

hey, i'm not homophobic and i don't hate gays. hindi ko naman ginegeneralize yung statement ko sa... sa - blog. :)

ayun.

:D

Lyka Bergen said...

Very interesting! Pang-movie ito. Title: The Chicken Stealers. Starring Lotlot De Leon as Lumad's wife. Manoj Night should direct ala The Village.

MANDAYA MOORE: Ang bayot sa bukid said...

Sa tribo namin, ang parusa sa mga mahuhuling nagnanakaw ng manok: kainin ng buhay ang manok.

yun lang.

ianuarius said...

must protect chickens at all cost...
the future of this country depend on those chickens

charles ravndal said...

They really went all the way just to scare chicken stealer? That is quite absurd and I think there is another way to solve the problem

tin-tin said...

now i know why there are no thieves anymore.

yuumi said...

chicken stealers? getting humiliated... interesting! ^^

denib josette said...

that ordinance will not be applicable here in manila.. haha.. stealers here are thick-faced.. haha :)

Jhed said...

Scary, but effective.

They should implement this in urban areas. Tingnan natin kung sino ang mas matatag? Haha!