BAGUIO CITY – Presidential Communications Office (PCO) Assistant Secretary (ASec) Ana Marie Banaag on Sunday reminded the youth to always remember the tradition they grew in and help in its enrichment.
Banaag, a Cordilleran herself, graced the culminating activity of the joint observation of the 19th Anniversary of the Indigenous Peoples’ Rights Act (IPRA) of 1997 and the “Gong” Festival on Sunday here.
Banaag said the Indigenous Peoples (IPs) is one of the concerns of Philippine President Rodrigo Dutere which he (the President) mentioned in his State of the Nation Address (SONA).
Banaag noted that the partnership of the government agency and the private sector will be an assurance that the culture and tradition of the Cordilleras will remain in future generations.
Banaag is thankful that the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP), a government agency initiated the joint activity with the private non-government organization (NGO) who, for several years have been observing the “Gong” Festival in Baguio City which began as the “1000 Gongs.”
Banaag participated in several “tayao” (dances) which was appreciated by the Cordillera Region leaders – Baguio City Representative Marquez Go, Baguio City Mayor Mauricio Domogan, Benguet Governor Crescencio Pacalso and government line agency heads through the NCIP.
Banaag was a one-term mayor of Natonin, Mountain Province.
NCIP-CAR director, lawyer Roland Calde, said the observation of the anniversary of the IPRA is spearheaded by the commission while the Gong Festival is initiated by a non-government organization and the culminating activity was the first joint effort.
Activities in both events were done separately in the different provinces of the region and the culminating activity was a convergence and participated in by more than 30 IP groups. Jojo Lamaria/PNA-northboundasia.com