DAET, Camarines Norte, May 5 (PIA) – A convergence to promote the cultural heritage in Luzon was conducted by the officials of the National Commission on Culture and the Arts (NCCA), Philippine Information Agency (PIA), and traditional and social media partners.
This was through a caravan cum seminar in Cagayan Region, Ilocos Region, Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), Central Luzon and National Capital Region (NCR).
Close to 60 participants toured churches and heritage houses, sampled traditional food, viewed native songs and dances in a bid to deepen their understanding of culture and the arts of the regions.
On the first day a warm welcome was headed by PIA Regional Director Purita S. Licas of Region 2. She patiently toured the participants in Tuguegarao City on the following day at the Saint Peter Metropolitan Cathedral, an 18th century Baroque church originally built by the Dominican friars and considered as one of the largest churches in Cagayan Valley. Next stop was the Ermita de San Jacinto, an elevated historic chapel established in 1604.
Participants tasted the pansit batil puton, a delicacy at Jeff’s Panciteria during the morning snacks in Tuguegarao City.
The Old San Jacinto De Polonia Church which is the home of the oldest Catholic Church Bell in the Philippines is in Camalaniugan, Cagayan while the St. Dominic De Guzman Parish located in Lal-lo, also in Cagayan was established in Nueva Segovia, one of the first four cities in the Philippines. It reigned as Cagayan’s provincial capital for over two and half centuries before the seat of power was moved to Tuguegarao City.
Lal-lo Vice Mayor Florence Oliver B. Pascual presented cultural dances during the welcome program in front of its municipal building and served its traditional food “tupig” and other native snacks.
On the way to Ilocos Norte on Day 3, participants took the route in Patapat Viaduct in Pagudpud, an elevated road which is over 30 meters above sea level and 1.3 kilometers long coastal bridge that connects the Maharlika Highway in Laoag to the Cagayan Valley. Here, Freddie Lazaro PIA assistant regional director for Region 1, briefed the participants.
Also in Ilocos Norte are the Bangui Windmills, the very first wind power plant in the Philippines known as the Bangui Wind Farm and Cape Bojeador Lighthouse built during the Spanish times in March 30, 1892.
The Paoay Church also in Ilocos Norte was constructed from 1704 and completed in 1894 and now included in the UNESCO’s Heritage List.
The participants were lucky to visit the Vigan Conservation Complex in Ilocos Sur which houses a repository of archives, a conservation school and a dormitory.
Cultural dances were presented to the participants, followed by a short walk at the Vigan Heritage Village.
CAR PIA Regional Director Helen Tibaldo welcomed the participants with the Cordillera dance and luncheon with vegetable salad in Tam-Awan Village in Baguio City on the following day. Tam-Awan Village gives one a feel of Cordillera way of life, showcasing the traditional Ifugao Huts, and Baguio’s art and culture scene.
Tibaldo said that this is the venue to mainstream cultural and heritage in the country.
The City’s Urban Heritage Walk evolved from the Eco-Walk program, institutionalized/multi-awarded culture-based children’s awareness program was also experienced by the participants led by RD Tibaldo.
Other sites visited in CAR were Museo Kordillera-UP Baguio Etnographic Museum which was recently opened; Casa Vallejo, the declared heritage site and among the oldest buildings in the city and Baguio Museum which displays a variety of artefacts’ and relics of cultural heritage.
In Region 3 in Central Luzon on the fifth day was the stop at the historic San Fernando Railway Station, a part of the Ferrocarril de Manila-Dagupan, the first railway system in the Philippines built in 1892, the National Historical Commission of the Philippines cite is one of the five stations which can be found in the province of Pampanga and turned into a museum.
The last stop of the five day tour was at the National Capital Region particularly at the Manila Cathedral which has been a venue of papal Masses in the country; and the San Agustin Church which was the only building left intact after the destruction of Intramuros during World War II.
The participants also walked at the Intramuros in Fort Santiago and Rizal Museum.
The tour ended with the International Dance Day Concert with indigenous, ballet and contemporary dances were presented at the Rizal Park Open Air Auditorium.
Rene Sanchez Napeñas, head of the Public Affairs and Information Office of the NCCA in an interview said that they also use social media to reach the public especially the youth.
He said that the NCCA partnered with the PIA Cordillera headed by Tibaldo to push the said activity.
He said that they were open to finance projects promoting culture and arts in the country.
The brain of the caravan, PIA Bicol Regional Director Aida A. Naz, said that previously the project was between the NCCA and PIA CAR but turned to include the other regions in Luzon.
She said that this is the first time in the country that a cultural and heritage caravan cum seminar was conducted.
The activity ended with the impression of the participants wherein they have learned and have enjoyed even in a very tight schedule, reaching all the cultural and heritage sites.
Aside from the participants in said regions visited, PIA and media partners from MIMAROPA and Bicol Region oined the said tour from April 25-30, 2017.
Napeñas announced during the closing program that the tour in the MIMAROPA and Bicol Region will push through after the success of the first leg of the Luzon Cultural and Heritage Promotion. (RBM-PIA5/Camarines Norte)