LAGAWE, Ifugao – ‘Munpaot’ (woodcarving), ‘bultung’ (wrestling), ‘tayo’ (native dance), and ‘hudhud’ chanting – these unique indigenous skills, games, dances, music, and food highlighted the 2018 Gotad Ad Ifugao as the province pushes for an inclusive growth anchored on their rich culture and tourism.
With the theme “Shaping the Ifugao Heritage in a Global Environment,” the province focused on reviving and promoting their cultural traditions which are closely linked to the preservation of their environment including tourist spots like the rice terraces.
“We should anchor our development in Ifugao on tourism because it is what we have,” Governor Pedro Mayam-o emphasized as he presented plans of improving tourism roads to provide easier access to tourist spots in the province.
Mayam-o added the need to restore and revive the heritage sites being abandoned in exchange for more profitable careers in cities and the metro.
Provincial Tourism Officer Roscoe Kalaw reported that despite problems on preserving some heritage sites, Ifugao remains to be one of the major tourist destinations in the Cordillera with a five percent increase of tourist and visitor arrivals from 2016 to 2017.
Mayam-o explained the province eyes to explore the possibilities of boosting heirloom rice production and promoting farm-tourism to improve the income of the tourism industry especially the farming communities.
With the increase of economic viability and activities for tourism, Mayam-o said it can help deter the younger generation from leaving the farm and can provide the increasing number of tourists more options when they visit the province.
The 2018 Gotad Ad Ifugao, which runs from June 15-22, is an annual celebration simultaneous with the 52nd founding anniversary of the province. (PIA CAR)
Banner Photo: Local tourists enjoy picture taking in front of the Lagawe booth which is part of the trade fair of the Gotad ad Ifugao in celebration of the 52nd Ifugao Founding Anniversary in Lagawe, Ifugao last week. RMC PIA-CAR, 06/28/18