The town of Adams is a curious amalgamation of settlers from different tribes, namely Iyapayao and Igorot highlanders and Ilocano lowlanders. I was asked by the One Ilocos Norte mayoral candidate, my friend Leehua Lu Pascua, to head the board of judges for a tribal dance contest.
I am not a stranger in Adams. The vice-mayoral candidate, former mayor Wilma Dupagen, was the first ever Adams leader to embrace ecotourism by welcoming my eco-adventure and development group, LEAD Movement, in 2004, as a means to help shrink the quasi-anonymity of the former rebel town. It is in Adams where radical personal shifts sprang up.
My two days in Adams was also my initial flick with the hardcore political jungle. Post-rebel wars, I’ve always known Adams as a zero-crime rate town. In fact, the municipal jail was once featured in a TV show as a place to spend the night (like a hotel) back when homestays were non-existent, until municipal treasurer Elpidio Sy was killed in an ambush by unknown killers somewhere along the Pansian-Adams road a couple of years ago.
Today, I hear stories of women’s rights abuse, sexual harrassment, excessive illegal logging and more stories that make you cringe in embarrassment.
– My friend Leehua Lu Pascua who’s running against the imcumbent mayor, Eric Bawingan.
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