BAUKO, Mountain Province – Presidential Communications Office (PCO) Assistant Secretary Ana Marie Rafael-Banaag urged residents of this upland town to be steadfast in sustaining efforts of the municipal government to preserve and protect the rich history, culture and traditions to be treasured by the present and future generations.
Banaag, who served as the town’s guest of honor and speaker during the celebration of the Begnas di Bauko Thursday, was impressed over the active participation of residents and visitors in the various activities that were lined up for the 3-day celebration.
“We are inspired by how the people of Bauko value their rich history, culture and traditions because it establishes the distinct identity of the people in the municipality. WE are also elated over how the old folks were able to teach the younger ones with the appropriate performances which should be passed on to generations,” Banaag said.
The PCO official claimed there is a greater participation of the younger generations in the celebration of the Begnas di Bauko unlike in the other municipalities in the region where the old folks are the ones that gather for the celebration of their respective festivities.
Banaag explained this year’s theme of the Begnas di Bauko‘Gabay di Esek, Sikan di Talaken, Bikas di Umili Gameng ya Katagtaguan di Lilitaguan” speaks well of how the people of the town were able to sustain the preservation and protection of their rich history, culture and traditions beneficial to the future inhabitants of the municipality.
According to her, the celebration of begnas or thanksgiving should not only be confined to significant accomplishments and gains but it should be always done to express our gratitude to the Almighty Father for the small and big benefits that people have achieved in their success in life.
Banaag rallied residents of the 22 barangays who are now residing or living in other parts of the country and abroad to make it a habit to come home to their place and be part of the annual celebration of the Begnas di Bauko which is now one of the well-attended festivals in the region.
She claimed it will be far more fulfilling if the peole of Bauko who are now residents of other places in the global village will sacrifice by coming home to their hometown during the annual celebration of Begnas for them to interact with those who opted to stay in their respective barangays in the municipality.
Mayor Abranham B. Akilit expressed his gratitude to Assistant Secretary Banaag for spending part of her valuable time in joining the people of Bauko in the celebration of its annual Begnas di Bauko, saying that her presence has made this year’s celebration a fruitful and successful one.
Akilit lauded Banaag for her unwavering commitment in making her office open to anyone who wants to seek assistance from the Office of the President, citing that Cordillerans must take the chance of seeking assistance from the Palace because of the importance given by the President to the needs of indigenous peoples.