Kalinga Rep. Allen Jesse C. Mangaoang encouraged Cordillerans to actively participate in the conduct of the various festivals in the different parts of the region to celebrate the past with pride.
In his message during the conduct of the 2nd Cordillera festival of festivals held at the Rose Garden, Mangaoang reminded the people to use their unique cultural heritage to tell others who they are, what makes Cordillerans different and special as that is what draws audiences and creates images.
“Too many people want to be what someone else is, and like festivals, imitation of famous festivals are a common sight but they cannot imitate our festivals because it is deeply rooted in our culture and history,” Congressman Mangaoang stressed.
He claimed that the people should allow the Cordillera festival of festivals to be a celebration of the region’s past, a reflection if the present and a vision for the future and that it serves as an invitation to embrace the beauty of the region’s shared identity and to ensure that the legacy that will be passed down to the youth is one of love, acceptance and unity.
The chairman of the House committee on national cultural communities and indigenous peoples pointed out that as Cordilleans embark on the said journey, they should remember the importance of preserving their traditions while embracing the winds of change.’
“Let us strive for a brighter, more inclusive, and harmonious future for the Cordillera. Let us be inspired by this festival to appreciate the beauty in each other’s stories and to work together to write a new chapter in our collective history,” he added.
Congressman Mangaoang commended the organizers, the planners and all the individuals who worked tirelessly to make the Cordillera festival of festivals possible as their dedication and passion have brought people to the said moment and that their commitment to the region’s culture is truly recognizable.
He pointed out the need to continue the preservation and promotion of the region’s cultural heritage so that they will not fall into the ever increasing list of vanishing cultures throughout the world.
According to him, in the midst of everyone being so engrossed on development concerns, the festival of festivals is an excellent respite for all of the Cordillerans to come together and celebrate their shared heritage, the deep-seated traditions, and the values that bind them as a people.
As chairman of the House committee on national cultural communities and indigenous peoples, he admitted having been with many indigenous communities around the country and he had seen how the lack of accessibility, connectivity, convenience, and safety hampers their individual and collective growth.
“We are very lucky here in the Cordillera because we have leaders that thread our moral compass like the paniyao, ngilin, and ba-in in Kalinga and the inayan in the rest of our region,” he said.
The Kalinga lawmaker underscored that he is very certain there is no other moving spirit among Cordillera leaders in the whole of the Cordillera than to work hard for the improvement of the existing parameters that is what the congressmen are doing, that is what the governors are doing and that is what the mayors in the rest of the Cordillera are doing as they are united in the common dreams and aspirations.
He stipulated that leaders are fully aware that there is still much to be done for the Cordillera as the tourism sector has defined the imperatives for the industry to boom through the acronym AACCCESS which stands for accessibility, attraction, convenience, connectivity, entertainment, safety and security.
Mangaoang explained that of the seven parameters, Cordillera leaders are most responsible for five of them, accessibility, convenience, connectivity, safety and security. Ever since the reckoning of the region’s history, he said that Cordillerans are a people that withstood and weathered all the challenges before them and that they had always stood tall, just like the magnificent mountains that surround them, and it is expected of them that the warrior stance passed down to them by their ancestors will ignite their courage, their passion and their determination to continue navigating the development compass that they aspire to reach.
Mangaoang disclosed that the region’s festivals are one that have been built around their identity, history and cultural heritage and through the said festival, people are able to witness the rhythmic dances, the vibrant colors, the melodious music and the exquisite artistry that define the Cordillera culture.
Earlier, the 2nd Cordillera festival of festivals featured six major festivals that are being conducted in the region such as the Lapat festival of Apayao, the Laga festival of Lubuagan, Kalinga, the Matagoan festival of Tabuk City, Kalinga, the Lang-ay festival of Mountain Province, the ‘Adivay festival of Benguet and the Panagbenga festival of Baguio City.