In commemoration of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) 72nd Anniversary with the theme “DSWD @ 72: Kaagapay sa Pagbangon, Katuwang sa Bawat Hamon”. DSWD Field Office Cordillera Administrative Region would like to share the world-class products and tourists’ spots of the Cordilleras.
The Anunang Pandayan SLPA in Liwan West, Rizal, Kalinga, a blacksmithing project, is one of the SLPAs funded and implemented by the DSWD Sustainable Livelihood Program in 2021.
Kalingas are traditionally knowledgeable about blacksmithing. It was an essential part of their culture being an agricultural area and being well-known hunters and warriors. Societies and civilizations vastly knowledgeable of agriculture, hunting, pottery, and blacksmithing are inherently knowledgeable of the world above us — written in the stars. The word “Sinallifufu” which is a Kalinga term for the Milky Way proves the presence of ancient knowledge of Kalingas regarding the major agricultural practices. Blacksmithing, as a matter of fact, are learnt by men learn from a very young age by observing old blacksmiths do their craft. However, with the birth of industrialization and capitalism which mass produced a lot of products in a shorter span of time, many cultural practices had died over the years. The same is true for the Kalingas.
The younger generation had almost forgotten the traditional agricultural practices of their ancestors especially blacksmithing. However, with the institution of the Anunang Pandayan SLPA in Rizal, Kalinga, younger men had become interested in the practice. For most of the time, young men aged 17 years old and older are encouraged by the older member of the SLPA to utilize the resources available in the workshop and learn the trade.
Jaime Busaiya and Basilio Atma, two of the leading old blacksmiths had never been too joyful in seeing the young people taking interest in blacksmithing. The two of them were more than willing to teach and transfer their knowledge acquired over the many decades of metal working. Many of these young men had been interested and are working in the workshop since. They are also earning from their crafts. The SLPA had opened an avenue for the younger generation to learn and relive their tradition that was almost lost in time. All the while, they are earning.
The Anunang Pandayan SLPA and the Kalinga culture played a very significant role in involving all of the community members to the successful implementation of this project — truly community-driven development.