BONTOC, Mountain Province – The friendship and brotherhood tied between Barangay Mainit of this municipality and Alangtin, Tubo, Abra Province continuous to flourish even in the passing of time.
To celebrate this, the Renewal of Pejen was held at the peace pact holder’s home in Barangay Mainit on April 21-22, 2018. The occasion involved playing of the gong, dance, and song presentations from the community of Mainit and the 102 visitors from Tubo, Abra.
In a write up of Grazilla P. Manengyao, she explained the pejen or pechen (peace pact) as a ritualized oral contract between two villages with the purpose of establishing peaceful relations. She further explained that there are two kinds of pejen, the Inator Pejen/Pechen (ato-based) and the Inafung Pejen/ Pechen (house-hold based). The Inator Pejen is the peace pact held in an ato/ator (a place in the community where the elders meet and all the decisions for the village were made) while the Inafung Pejen is conducted in the house of the peace pact holder.
Luis Culallad, the host and the 6th generation of the peace pact holder from his clan, narrated that the pejen between Mainit and Tubo rooted from both parties travelling to sell and buy goods. Thus, the pejen is not only intended to solve conflicts among the members of the involved tribes, but also to promote closer ties among the members for the benefit of lasting peace in their respective places.
Culallad, who believed that the pejen between the two villages started in the Spanish era, expressed his happiness that there was never a conflict between the two parties.
With this, he is hopeful that the brotherhood of the two village will continue until the next generations.
Bontoc Mayor Franklin C. Odsey who graced the occasion recognized the significance of the pejen which does not only sustain peace and order, but boosts the economic activities of the two tribes.
On April 22, 2018, both parties reviewed and renewed their terms of agreements or known as the tulag or pagta. It was recalled that the last renewal of their pejen was 10
Also present during the program are from the Episcopal Diocese of Northern Philippines (EDNP) led by Rev. Bishop Brent Harry W. Alawas.
By Alpine L. Killa & Caren R. Guinayen