Cordillera still cultural hotbed

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Sunday, August 24, 2014

THE National Commission on Culture and the Arts (NCCA) lauded the Cordillera Administrative Region for keeping its rich culture alive.

Sub-Commission on Cultural Communities and Traditional Arts head Renee Talavera said the region, particularly Benguet, has the most well-preserved culture and active ethnic communities in the country.

"We are safeguarding the traditional culture here sa north, especially Benguet, kasi buhay na buhay dito," she said.


Talavera added it remains a big challenge for NCCA to keep the living traditions of the different indigenous communities given the emerging neo-culture greatly influenced by modernization.

Keeping traditional culture "is not just (about) transmitting the knowledge but also ensuring its longevity," she said.

Talavera highlighted ideally, cultural masters and elders in a community should not only be the ones living the traditions but the younger generations as well.

"Dapat mawala man yung mga matatanda, naiwan pa rin sa mga kabataan yung kaalaman. At kung kabataan mismo alam na alam yun (culture), doon masasabing buhay na buhay pa rin," she said.

With this endeavor, Talavera hopes younger generations in Cordillera will not only learn about their culture but also realize the significance and live by them.

In this regard, the NCCA is currently strengthening its move to preserve and protect intangible heritage by backing Schools of Living Traditions (SLT) aimed to teach students limited to young people of an ethno-linguistic community through culture bearers, masters or specialists.

Talavera said there are currently more than 10 SLTs in Cordillera. These include ethnic groups Kalanguya, Balangao, Bontoc and other Ibaloi and Kankanaey. (Giovani Joy Fontanilla)

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on August 25, 2014.

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