BONTOC, Mountain Province – The celebration of the 109th foundation day and 13th Am-among festival of the capital town, themed “Championing change, embracing values, prosperity for all” was graced by Kalinga Representative and Mountain Province Legislative Caretaker Allen Jesse Mangaoang on September 16, 2017.
The celebration showcased the cultural traditions passed down through generations. The festival continues to play an important role and adds structure to our social lives, connecting us with our families and our origins. It has also shown the unity and harmony of the people of the capital town as they unite together for the different activities lined up for the occasion.
In his message, Representative Mangaoang acknowledged the efforts of the late Congressman Maximo Dalog in staging the Lang-ay Festival of Mountain Province that gave birth to the launching of various municipal festivals, including the Am-among Festival.
Congressman Mangaoang said that the theme for this year’s festival befits the occasion because as we welcome change, we also have to continue preserving our age-old cultural values and practices spelling prosperity and progress for all.
The congressman emphasized that change had always been inevitable especially in our life and culture as a people. Rep. Mangaoang narrated that when the early Belgian and American missionaries set their foot into this land, they introduced changes in our way of life without modifying the very sacred cultural traditions that have been practiced before they came and instead, they taught the adaptation of our cultural background into the Christian liturgy.
In his capacity as the legislative caretaker, Cong Mangaoang said that he wants to deliver change by continuing the plans and programs as envisioned by the late Congressman Dalog for Bontoc and Mountain Province as a whole.
Mangaoang reported that various infrastructure projects are lined up especially for the capital town like that of the Chico-Karayan Bridge and the Chico-Karayan-Lanao-Tikitik by-pass road, including other tourism and convergence projects, access roads, multi-purpose buildings, flood controls, irrigations, farm-to-market roads, and restoration of various road section along Baguio-Bontoc Road. “This is the change that we wish to champion in favor of a prosperous Bontoc,” Mangaoang added.
In closing, Mangaoang challenged everyone to start the change from oneself in order to contribute something to the famous capital town. He also asked the support of everyone to continue to pass on the next generation the unique cultural heritage through Am-among and other festivals hoping that our cultural identity shall prevail.
By Wabilyn Lomong-oy