Festival to showcase Filipino, foreign cultures in Cordillera
By Willy Cacdac, Northern Luzon Bureau
BAGUIO CITY—Residents and visitors in
this mountain resort are in for a cultural treat on November 23 at the one-day
Grand Cordillera Festival, which will highlight the city’s being a melting pot
of different cultures.
The festival proposed by Rep. Mauricio
Domogan and Mayor Bernardo Vergara will showcase the various cultural practices
and traditions of the different Filipino ethno-linguistic groups as well as
those from foreign shores who have come to call Baguio as their home.
In proposing the festival, Domogan and
Vergara said, “The indigenous ways of life of the native highlanders as well
as lowlanders and foreigners who have come to live in this city must be
preserved and propagated and this mixed cultural heritage of the various
ethno-linguistic residents can be best celebrated in a festival.”
As designed, the festival with the theme
“One Homeland, One People” will gather people of diverse cultural origins in
a one-day affair to showcase their indigenous cultures through music, dances,
customs, traditional rituals and products.
“Through the festival, we hope to foster a
sense of identity, unity and peace and progress among the various
ethno-linguistic residents in the city, inspire the various groups to preserve,
protect and propagate love of culture and the environment and promote the city
including the entire Cordillera as a zone of peace, major tourist destination,
educational center and an economic hub,” Domogan and Vergara said in a joint
They noted that Baguio is home not only to
the original native inhabitants but also to the natives of Benguet and the other
provinces of the Cordillera as well as immigrants from all over the country,
including Muslims from Mindanao.
It also has a vibrant Filipino-Chinese
community, an Indian community, Japanese and other groups of foreign descent.
Domogan and Vargara hope that through the
festival, the different cultures in the city and in the Cordilleras will be
appreciated and therefore respected and in the end good customs, values and
traditions may “lead to greater unity, cooperation and harmony among the
peoples that have made the city of Baguio and other parts of the Cordillera
Executive Assistant Rafael Tallocoy who has
been named overall coordinator of the festival told The Times that a grand
parade with participants garbed in their native costumes will usher in the
one-day cultural treat at the Burnham athletic bowl.
The opening program will feature two
invocations: walit, to be delivered by a cleric; and an imam and tebiag, the
Cordillera version of an invocation by Domogan. It will also feature a loweb,
where ethnic representatives will offer their indigenous products in their
Cultural presentations of the different
groups will follow immediately after the opening program. Ethnic dancing, songs
and sharing of native delicacies and drinks will accompany lunch. There will
also be demonstrations on woodcarving, basket- and broom-making and weaving.
Tallocoy said they have already assigned the
different group coordinators who will see to the participation of indigenous
groups from the Cordillera provinces of Abra, Apayao, Benguet, Ifugao, Kalinga
and Mt. Province.
“We have also named the coordinators for
the different ethnic groups in Baguio. The groups include Ilocanos,
Pangasinenses, Tagalogs, Batangueños, Kapampangans, Bicolanos, Visayans,
Muslims, Chinese, Japanese, Koreans, Americans, Germans, Hindus, Pakistanis and
Vietnamese,” Tallocoy said.
Domogan has set aside P650,000 from his
Priority Development Assistance Fund as appropriated in the General
Appropriations Act for tourism to defray festival expenses.
The Department of Tourism in the Cordilleras, headed by Purificacion Molintas, and the Baguio Tourism Council, headed by Nicolas Tabora, are also taking an active role in the staging of the festival.
Bron : The Manila Times Internet Edition
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