Cordillerans urged to harness culture in promoting region’s ethnicity

LA TRINIDAD, Benguet, July 7 (PIA) - - Some elements of culture among Cordillerans   in  arts, craftsmanship, traditional techniques and practices, environmental protection which may be tapped and harnessed for the promotion of the  Cordillera region’s ethnicity within the Southeast Asian perspective of culture of sharing


Professor Felipe de Leon Jr., former National Commission on Culture and the Arts (NCCA) chairman, who was one of the resource persons in the Association of Southeast Asian (ASEAN) Multi-Sectoral Forum in Benguet on June 30, shared this as he stressed the need to harness such elements of culture built upon communal or shared creativity.

But he cautioned the need to pass culture from one generation to the other as culture is about bearing and teaching. Culture does not pass through blood but need to be taught, he said.  

One of the specialized craftsmanship de Leon appreciated is the ‘kabite’ or traditional rip-rap which the Cordillerans are good at. The Cordillera way of rip rapping is proven through ages as structurally sound and aesthetically interlocked.  He broached the idea of having it be incorporated in the school curriculum to preserve such indigenous skill and practice.

Another high skill of craftsmanship de Leon believes that needs to be sustained is wood carving. However, the practice is limited due to regulation of tree cutting activities. He suggested that government should allow the establishment of mini-forest as source of wood for carving ventures.

De Leon also urged the promotion of the Cordillera culinary arts through the showcasing of indigenous food delicacies practiced in other areas.

Indigenous way of resolving conflicts is also one practice  that the former NCCA official  cited  as this is anchored on protection of peace and stability  which  the primary aim of the establishment of ASEAN.

Environmental protection of water sources and forest protection are also practices which need to be harnessed, he added.

“The cultivation and wise utilization of our cultural assets - our ethnicities or indigenous knowledge systems, skills, and practices (IKSP) - is our comparative advantage in global society. Our indigenous wisdom is an inexhaustible resource and, thus, the basis of sustainable development,” de Leon said.  

 “It is high time that we take a different path, not one where the obsession with power “kills the goose that lays the golden egg” but one that harnesses to the full the strengths of our ethnicities and sharing these with other countries as the best foundation for building our societies and promoting harmony of civilizations,” the Professor said. Susan C. Aro(JDP/SCA-PIA CAR, Benguet)


Benguet Destinations

Strawberry Farm

La Trinidad is know to be the “Strawberry Capital of the Philippines” because of the strawberry fields. Visitors can experience strawberry picking and also taste different products made from strawberry like the strawberry ice cream and strawberry “taho”.

Asin Hot Springs

Located at the outskirts of the city of Baguio, this attraction gives it’s visitors the chance to indulge in serious relaxation. Asin Hot Springs has been knwon to do wonders for the mind, body and soul because of the spring’s natural minerals like sulfates, calcium and chloride.

BenCab Museum

The BenCab museum, located at KM 6. Asin Road, houses the permanent collection of Philippine National Artist Benedicto Cabrera (BenCab) in several galleries, as well as venues for art shows and exhibitions. The Philippine Contemporary Art Galleries highlight the artist’s collection of paintings, drawings, prints and sculpture. The smaller exhibition rooms contain other collections accumulated by BenCab through the years.

Bell Church

The home to beautiful landscaped gardens and intricately designed arches and buildings adorned with flags, bells and dragons. Bell church holds some artifacts about Buddhism and literatures about the history of China.

Mt. Pulag

Mt. Pulag is the highest peak in Luzon and the third highest in the Philippines which is 2,922 meters above sea level. The view from the top of Mt. Pulag never fails to amaze its climbers.

Kabayan Mummies

Also know as the Fire Mummies of the Philippines, the Kabayan Mummies are from the Ibaloi tribe of Benguet. This have been included in the 100 Most Endangered Sites in the World by a non-profit organization that focuses on the preservation of important historical monuments and sites.

Ambuclao Dam

The Ambuclao dam is popularly known as the biggest rock filled dam in the Far East and is considered as one of the major projects in Luzon that feeds electricity to the grid lines of Luzon.

Rose Gardens

Rose lovers will surely be pleased with Rose Gardens. A famous tourist attraction located in La Trinidad. Here, you will find a large variety of roses, chrysanthemums and other ornamental plants.

Mt. Ugo

This is considered to be one of the major destinations in the Cordilleras. It is the highest mountain located in Tinongdan, Itogon via the Benguet-Vizcayay boundary that boasts of stunning views of neighboring mountains and the great Luzon valley.

Kalugong View Point

A trek to Mount Kalugong is something that adventure seekers and nature lovers woudn't miss. The Kalugong View Point will give you a breathtaking experience and a panoramic view of the La Trinidad Valley and ther villages.
EL Kikasa