Uphold Sagada Customary Law!
A Petition Upholding Sagada’s Customary Law
That Our Land Is NOT For Sale/Lease/Mortgage/Patenting
To Outside Private and Corporate Entities
Sagada has the smallest land area among all the ten municipalities of mountain province with only 10,910 hectares. For its small size, our territory has been blessed with a spectacular landscape and source of life and pride for us as a people and the envy of visitors who come for adventure, enjoyment and relaxation. We have made efforts to keep it that way in the face of the onslaught of mass tourism which has chipped off much of what we value as a community.
We are now taking a stand for a kind of tourism that will put premium on protecting the natural heritage Kabunyan has bestowed on us and the cultural values handed down to us by our ancestors. If we need tourism, it must be nature-based tourism that supports the development of small businesses for the benefit of all sectors in the community. Our local tourist industry has opened opportunities for livelihood, our guides and are local drivers are upgrading their skills to address the needs of local residents and travelers, boosted our weaving industry, our orchards and coffee production and downstream businesses. Sagada's economic progress has not gone unnoticed by outsiders, drawing the interest of investors and would-be investors.
Rich businessmen or oligarchs, showbiz personalities have expressed interest to buy, lease, or control our land. We have a long historical tradition of fighting for our communal and ancestral lands. We have denied entry of Cellophil, PhilCarbon, big mining corporate interests. Now once more dark clouds hover over our community posing danger not only to local businesses but to Sagada's overall social and cultural fabric. This will have serious implications as well on Sagada's local governance by giving way to outside moneyed interests while eventually pushing local political leaders to the margins.
If we surrender our land, forests, mountains and watersheds to outsiders, we surrender our soul as a people.
We stand against the sale, lease of land, especially large-scale patents to outsiders.
We firmly oppose the entry of Ayala or anybody who would dispossess us of our ancestral heritage. This is our patrimony and must remain so for generations.