MANKAYAN, Benguet, Jan. 22 (PIA) -- A group of elders in this mining town are willing to share, and pass to the young their craft of fabricating gong to preserve the unique art of gong making.
The gong or “gangsa”, played during rituals and special events, is part of the culture of the people Benguet and the Cordillera region.
Gongs are produced in Bedbed, Mankayan, and the elders in the area would like to stamp a legacy thru their craft that will live on with the succeeding generations, said Jean Manuit, Mankayan Municipal Tourism Action Officer.
Under the auspices of the National Commission on Culture and the Arts (NCCA), the Bedbed Senior Citizens Association leads the said training from January 23 to February 1 through a master or culture bearer.
As defined by the NCCA, a culture bearer/master/specialist refers to an ‘individual who is recognized to possess the skills and techniques in doing a particular traditional art or craft and designated to be a teacher in the School of Living Tradition.”
Marvin Onio and Victor Bestoca, known gong makers in the barangays, shall mentor the participants who are expected to produce, refine and tune up gongs after the 10-day training-workshop.
Onio produced the biggest gong used during the gong relay activity last year as part of the Cordillera Month celebration hosted by the province, Manuit said.
The Provincial Tourism Operations Office facilitated the P550,000 worth NCCA-funded project under the SLT program. SLT aims to preserve cultural heritage in a living form by ensuring its transmission to the next generations. Susan C. Aro (JDP/SCA-PIA-CAR, Benguet)