SAGADA, Mountain Province – Kalinga Rep. and Mountain Province caretaker congressman Allen Jesse C. Mangaoang underscored the annual celebration of the ‘etag’ festival, a combined cultural and religious gathering, emphasize on the aggressive efforts to preserve and pass on the rich culture and traditions of the people.
Speaking during the celebration of the town’s annual fiesta, Mangaoang, vice chairman of the House committee on natural resources, pointed out that the celebration should serve as a venue for the people of the locality to show kindness and hospitality to one another and to the foreign and domestic tourists wanting to witness the scenery of the different destinations.
“Also, let us emulate Mary and Joseph in setting a good example for others and the importance of having good intentions in our daily lives. Joseph and Mary took Jesus to the temple to offer Him to God. We can follow this example by our devoted attendance in Church, together with our children, where we can offer part of our blessings to God. This is the true meaning of putting God first in our lives,” Mangaoang stressed.
He pointed out that people should look at this important occasion as a center point for everyone to unify efforts in preserving existing customs and traditions as these blend with modern and acceptable practices needed to propel the municipality to progress.
According to him, the people of Sagada have not only learned to preserve food but they have also been firm in preserving and nurturing their pristine environment, therefore, let not the material progress that they are all enjoying today blind them to the reality that it is their specific obligation to continue sustaining the peace, serenity, spirituality and the beauty of their beloved municipality.
Mangaoang emphasized that as people unify their efforts to preserve age-old traditions, let not modernization erode their established value systems and they all have the obligation and responsibility as a community to instil to the next generation the gains their forebears have established to make their municipality great. He urged the various sectors, especially those in education, to strengthen the curriculum of Indigenous Peoples Education so as they move forward towards modernity, their past cultural heritage will properly blended with the present.
In 1904, Sagada became the seat of the Anglican Mission by the American missionaries with the founding of St. Mary’s School by Rev. Fr. John A. Staunton.
He stated that the ancestors of the residents maybe beaming with pride that they were able to preserve their rich culture rooted in a profound relationship with nature, such as the invigorating climate, caves, sacred burial grounds, cascading waterfalls and underground rivers.
The lawmaker asserted that the annual conduct of the Cultural Festival enable the coming together of diverse communities from all the barangays of Sagada, visitors from other municipalities of the province, local tourists from the Philippines and foreigners from around the world, with the message of harmony and peace, which is of increasing relevance in the present times and may it also provide a useful platform to showcase the rich cultural traditions of dance, music and arts of the people and municipality of Sagada.