MANKAYAN, Benguet, July 6(PIA) - - The Department of Science and Technology, in recognition of the gong as a unique cultural product of Cordillera, is now providing assistance to improve the production of gong fabricators in sitio Bedbed in this municipality.
DOST Benguet Provincial S&T Director Dr. Arnold Inumpa, in a kapihan media forum, disclosed that in partnership with the Metal Industry Research Development Center (MIRDC), they hope to bring in mechanization to the production of gong which at present still involves manual process of molding and tuning the metallic gong.
The construction of the building for the gong fabrication is almost done while MIRDC is scheduled to deliver the needed mechanical equipment within this month, Inumpa disclosed.
The project will benefit the gong maker’s association in Bedbed in terms of simplifying the fabrication of the metal for the gong while the tuning of the gong will still be done manually for it to depict the unique sound of Cordillera gong.
“With a more simplified fabrication process, we hope that the younger generation will continue the tradition of gong production in Bedbed,’ Inumpa said.
DOST – Cordillera Regional Director Nancy Bantog said the gong fabrication project in Bedbed is actually a marriage of culture, science and technology innovation that still ensures the quality of the gong in terms of its unique Cordillera sound.
The DOST tapped a gong expert from the University of the Philippines – Baguio to look into the extent of the mechanization that will be done in the gong fabrication so as not to sacrifice the quality of its sound.
Bantog assured that culture will not be disregarded during the (mechanization) process.
Aside from the gong fabrication in Mankayan, Bantog disclosed that DOST is also looking into assisting weavers in the different parts of the region in transforming weaving from a home or community livelihood into a Cordillera weaving industry.
Weaving has been part of the cultural practices in all the provinces in Cordillera, so aside from the need for it to be preservedand passed on to the next generations, it is also high time that the region promote it as a Cordillera industry.
DOST, in partnership with the Department of Trade and Industry and other regional stakeholders, already drafted the Cordillera Weaving Industry Development Plan 2018 – 2022 and presented it to the Regional Development Council. (JDP/CCD with Althea Dela Cruz -PIA CAR /– ISU Intern)