Vol. 10 (2021)

					View Vol. 10 (2021)


     The world has been evolving remarkably in the past decade. Significant digital technological innovations emerged along with the alarming impacts of climate change and urbanization. Hence, the universal call to end poverty, protect the planet, and achieve peace and prosperity for all are at the core of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (2015-2030). However, 2019 came with a worldwide health crisis. The COVID 19 pandemic took a toll on the development efforts of states. The pandemic disrupted the supply chain of products, causing a massive loss of income and job opportunities at the global level. Moreover, it exposed the varying institutional weaknesses in facing crises and sustaining gains. For instance, the Philippines adopted a highly securitized approach in reinforcing public health protocols and imposed the most extended lockdown to contain the pandemic which resulted in unfavorable social and economic conditions. Nevertheless, Filipinos remain hopeful. Survey across social classes and geographical area reveal optimism despite the difficulties and threats of the pandemic. What inspires hope? And will mere hope sustain us to move forward and aspire more despite uncertainties? 

     Notwithstanding the costs of political and social uncertainties, Filipinos find meaning in everyday struggles. The shared experience of communities continues to foster solidarity at the national and local levels. Filipino solidarity is best exemplified in times of crisis, particularly in the massive mobilization of resources to assist affected communities. While governments are refining institutional processes and mechanisms to respond effectively, the Filipinos remain steadfast in the capacity of the institutions to perform and deliver.

     These complexities are captured in this year’s issue of Langkit. The five articles provide perspectives on the collective and nuanced experiences of Filipinos as a nation and as individuals navigating the complexities of life. In doing so, we establish the commonality of experiences across the country while highlighting particularity within those experiences, thus making sense of the cohesive nature of Filipino society.

     In particular, the study of Lumintao underscored the institutional gaps in implementing health services in the country and how solidarity among local institutions facilitated the Covid19 response. She investigated the health services rendered in the Province of Bukidnon during the pandemic. She found a mismatch in terms of funding and the function of the local government units to deliver health services. As a result, local officials coordinated with private sectors and other LGUs to augment resources and address challenges. Devolving public services at the local level grants local leaders authority and resources to deliver public goods. However, the efficiency of public service delivery is contingent on several factors, such as but not limited to leadership, resources, and cohesiveness of the organization. Luminato provides a glimpse of how local governments in the country struggle to deliver devolved functions. In essence, the mismatch includes the lack of sufficient capacities among local officials and a lack of strong political will to acquire such capabilities and mobilize resources to provide opportunities for the people. The work of Luminato implies consequences and prospects of institutionalizing reforms in the country, particularly in localizing social service delivery. In addition, it highlights the imperative need to nurture collaborative and inclusive governance at the local level to address institutional gaps and promote good local government. 

     The article of Alicando, on the other hand,  revealed comparable results. Alicando analyzed the stories of those who survived Typhoon Washi which struck the Cities of Iligan and Cagayan de Oro in 2010. Alicando illustrated that the narratives of survivor informants are not exclusive to their own experiences. Instead, the feelings and observations of survivors are integrated. Alicando’s work contributes to the growing literature on Filipino solidarity centered on the collective nature of social relationships. The findings of Alicando and Lumintao support existing claims that solidarity and collaboration among stakeholders in times of crisis facilitate community recovery. Besides understanding cohesion in Filipino society using Western frameworks, literary pieces offer powerful insights into the nation's collective experiences. Quilab, Lumacao, and Gervacio's works focus on the specific accounts and aspirations of a Filipino being an integral part of their community.

     The work of Quilab in translating into Filipino Geocallo’s Sugilanon, a Cebuano piece, highlights the geographical identity of regional literature. In the translation process, Quilab focused on the context of the literary work and maintained the original form of words and expressions with cultural and technical meaning. Sugilanon illustrates the life of the people of Lanao del Norte as they experience migration and dislocation of indigenous people to remote areas. Quilab claims that translating Sugilanon into Filipino gives the more comprehensive audience access to understand and evaluate the characteristics of the literary work. Furthermore, the translation mainstreams local literature as an integral part of Philippine literary history as it creatively presents the struggles and persistence of people against transgressions.

     The study of Lumacao looks into the ethical features of Macario Tiu’s selected literary works. Using ethical, literary criticism to study the stories, Lumacao explored the norms defined in the stories and illustrated the difference between morality and ethics in analyzing characters' actions. The research offers moral and ethical perspectives on the appreciation of literature. The findings revealed that the characters’ violation of socially accepted norms is based on past experiences and value systems and is morally justified. Thus, Tiu's emphasis on the story's context is necessary for rationalizing the characters' behavior. The short stories of Macario Tiu reflect the strong sense of oriental values in local Philippine literature pakikipag-kapuwa (solidarity). Lumacao’s work implies the value of ethical considerations within cultural norms as it binds the community together.

     Furthermore, the award-winning piece entitled “Ang Totoo Raya, Ang Buwan ay Itlog ng Butiki,” is one of German Gervacio’s poems included in this issue. Gervacio won 1st Prize during the 2016 Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature, Tulang Para sa mga Bata. Gervacio’s collection of poems transports readers into a space of modesty and fortitude. Within Gervacio’s words are subtle recognition of social realities and profound reminders of the reasons to remain grateful and faithful to ourselves and the nation.

     The shared sense of belonging to a community and the common aspirations that bind individuals together capture solidarity as a concept. Rediscovering Filipino solidarity entails awareness to identify what determines a "sense of belongingness" and what defines our aspirations as a nation divided by social classes. During a pandemic, solidarity among Filipinos emerged. Aside from the shared values of kindness and mutual assistance that facilitated community pantries in various communities, studies showed that protecting the community by reporting Covid positive status prevailed despite facing the stigma within their communities. Hence, our strong sense of togetherness and the collective experience are integrated into one common aspiration: to keep moving forward together.

     This year also marks another milestone for the journal.  Langkit is now recognized as a university journal of MSU-IIT.  Moving forward takes humility to appreciate the journey and relive the small victories. As we celebrate milestones, we continue to aspire to contribute to nation-building by providing a space for broader dissemination of the works in the arts, humanities, and social sciences.

     The pandemic has changed the social landscape of the world. The next decade will unfold how the pandemic has transformed the global development agenda. We hope that students, researchers, and practitioners in the field will continue to discover and redefine how communities and institutions respond to the impacts of social forces. Rediscovering concepts that capture the collective aspirations of our people is imperative nowadays as the world faces the economic and political consequences of the pandemic. The process of tracing everyday experiences to nurture cohesion at the global level demands highlighting particular realities encompassing gender, class, and race.  The experiences, struggles, and triumphs of communities, particularly those in the periphery, should be mapped out and mainstreamed to provide a fundamental understanding and context of the depth of Filipino solidarity and aspirations. In doing so, we hope to rediscover our collective goal of a nation free of corruption and capitalize on our cohesiveness to mobilize political actions towards institutional reforms.

     In the meantime, we remain steadfast in our respective duties, discover practical ways to help and inspire our communities and continue writing and mainstreaming our narratives because our stories keep us together. Despite the post-pandemic uncertainties and institutional weaknesses, we move forward as a nation.


Hazel D. Jovita, PhD




Published: 11/12/2021