LA TRINIDAD, Benguet, June 30(PIA) -- The Regional Development Council (RDC) thru the Committee on Indigenous Peoples Concerns (CIPC) with the Provincial Government of Benguet launched the 30th Cordillera Foundation anniversary celebration this July in a kapihan media forum on Wednesday.
The province of Benguet is the provincial host for this year’s celebration with the theme, “CAR @ 30: A Celebration of Unity.”
“It is evolving into a better celebration ever year, I am optimistic that the celebration gets better as the years go by. I am looking forward for a vigorous celebration this year,” Benguet Governor Crescencio Pacalso said during the forum.
The provincial government with the RDC-CIPC has lined up various activities for the month-long celebration.
“Cordillera foundation day is the celebration of all the people in the Cordillera; we should celebrate this with unity and reminisce the past 30 years that we have been working for the elusive autonomy,” Pacalaso said. He is optimistic that the elusive dream of autonomy will be realized under the Duterte administration.
Meanwhile, National Commission for Indigenous Peoples Regional Director Roland Calde, the RDC-CIPC chair, said this year’s celebration aims to impart to Cordilllerans their shared identity and their pursuit for regional autonomy.
Calde said that this year marks the 30 years of struggle rooted from the indigenous people’s aspiration for autonomy. This struggle was started by the indigenous peoples of the Cordillera themselves many years back.
“In our celebration this year, we would like to emphasize that we, Cordillerans, still have better options of becoming autonomous region and it is given to us the but it is up to the people to decide,” said Calde.
Activities lined up for Cordillera Month celebration include the traditional Cordillera Unity Gong Relay which will kick off on July 8 and will travel to the different Cordillera provinces and be back to the province of Benguet on July 15 in time for the Cordillera Day parade and program at the Benguet Sports Complex.
The Cordillera Day program will also feature the Cordillera Coffee Pavillion and Trade Exhibit at the Benguet Sports Complex and the Shayoney Fashion Show at the SM City Baguio.
The NCIP, DENR, DSWD and the local government units will also spearhead the regionwide provincial tree planting for NCIP Educational Assistance Program Grantees, Pantawid Pamailyang Pilipino Program or 4Ps and other stakeholders from July 9 to 31.
The 2nd International Conference on Cordillera Studies will be on July 12 to 14 at the CAP John Hay Convention Center in Baguio City and the Cultural Summit – Celebrating Cordillera Heritage will be on July 28 at the Benguet Provincial Capitol.
Pacalso encouraged all the people of the Cordillera especially the youth to participate and take part of the historic celebration of the Cordillera with the various lined up activities.
Provincial activities by the different CAR provinces will also be done including tree planting and tending activities. (JDP/RMC/ P. Otoman & M. Paquiz/PIA CAR- UP Interns)