• Baguio City, Cordillera Administrative Region, Philippines


October 18, 2011

I first met Jean in Bontoc—the colegiala, during semestral break in 1974, as Development Officer of Episcopal Diocese of Northern Philippines (EDNP).The Bontoc based Episcopal Church in the Philippines (ECP) then had a strong ministry on social concerns and community development that addressed unfolding issues of the Mainit mines, Cellophil Resources Corporation (CRC), and the Chico dams. Being natives of Mainit, Bontoc, Jean and Mother Petra were active on the Mainit mining issue. They were also in church organizations—Jean with the youth and Mother Petra with the church women. For community development, we closely worked with their Mainit Irrigators Association. Jean would then be a speaker on the Mainit mining issue at the 1975 Vochong Inter Tribal Conference in Tubo, Abra against the CRC, mining, and the Chico dams. Mother Petra’s leadership against corporate mining incursion in Mainit is now history, as well as on other issues of development aggression, human rights, indigenous peoples rights, and for justice and people’s welfare. She truly embodies being “Mother of the Cordillera” as NGOs and people’s organizations fondly call her. And Jean did no less. She trail blazed on development work for marginalized indigenous peoples and disadvantaged sectors.

Jean was a pioneer in people oriented community development work, since graduating at the College of Business Administration in 1975 from UP Diliman. Jean is a model of knowledge and skills harnessed, to truly serve people’s development, as seen in her exemplary profile. Witness the track record where she was key development worker for more than three decades.

  1. Staff on Projects of National Ministry of Natural Resources, Quezon City – 1975
  2. First Manager – Rural Bank of Bontoc, Bontoc, Mountain Province - 1977
  3. First Development Officer – National Development Office, Episcopal Churzch in the Philippines (ECP), Cathedral Heights, Quezon City – 1980.
  4. First Executive Director-KADUAMI (Katinnulong Dagiti Umili iti Amianan) or RDC-NL (Regional Development Center- Northern Luzon), Baguio City - 1983
  5. First Executive Director, UPAC (Urban Poor Assistance Center), Baguio City - 1985
  6. First Executive Director, CDCP(Center for Dev’t Programs in the Cordillera), Baguio City-1987
  7. Center for Cordillera People’s Concerns (CCPC)-With other Igorot Professionals in Manila-1991
  8. Second Executive Director, ECD (Ecumenical Center for Development), Quezon City – 1993
  9. Coord Networking – PNFSP (Philippine Network of Food Security Programs), Quezon City – 2010
  10. Beyond these institutional positions, were project and management consulting services as free lance or for MASAI or TAWID Consultancies. Until her final day, she was working on Projects in Central Luzon, as Consultant for ACCORD ( Assistance and Cooperation for Community Resilience and Development).

These were more than three decades of defining, practicing,and developing committed or activist development work that truly serves the people; of project and management consulting services for NGOs, -people’s organizations and church institutions.

As fellow traveler and colleague in genuine people’s development work, it was truly a privilege to have worked with Jean. She set by example standards of competence and efficiency. Performance and accomplishments were outstanding. Thus, Jean will be greatly missed.

Like any of us, Jean has faltered in the winding and twisting road of activist development work; but she has always resolved and settled to be with the challenging, though sacrificing work of people oriented development. And her sights were always on the essence of principles and programs. After setting up the RDC–NL in the mid-1980s, she opted to be immersed with the basic sectors , in this case the urban poor. Lately, aside from her usual development work, she has been a sanctuary for student and youth activists.

In Igorot culture, the wake is a time of reckoning, where the life of the deceased becomes an open book. Especially in the baya-o tradition of western Mountain Province, it can be a debate where both positive and negative points are surfaced; and the public gets a balanced account of the person’s life. The moral lesson, and what this serves in the open and direct democracy character of indigenous people’s society is; that people should do good in life, to minimize the bad things to be said of them at their wake.

For Jean, a weakness in her personal discipline is that she never stopped smoking, yet this affected her health condition with aneurysm. Related to this was insufficient regard for herself and her health, usually putting aside personal concerns. She could have been more forthright with colleagues especially concerning her health.

In summary, the legacy of Jean is in harnessing the totality of knowledge and skills: competence and efficiency,commitment and dedication and strong personable character, for people ‘s development. Jean will be greatly missed in our activist development work.

With her qualifications and ability, Jean could have been a technocrat in government or in the corporate world. But she chose to be an activist development worker, for the challenging endeavors of NGOs and POs, within principles and objectives of justice and democracy.

Jean dedicated her life in building a development practice that truly serves people’s welfare now, and in the future. Jean has passed on. But her legacy in activist development work will live and prosper. The vibrant movement for social change requires that basic needs and services - the peoples welfare; be addressed with urgency, as well as sufficiently and equitably.

Thank you for your attention. As we celebrate Jean’s life at this memorial service, I hope that we also resolve to live out her legacy of genuine development work and service to the people.

By Ben Solang, CPA Advisory Council
Memorial Service of Jean C. Macliing
September 10, 2011:Cathedral of St. Mary and St. John
Cathedral Heights (St. Luke Hosp), Quezon City