President hails Ifugao for preserving culture, traditions

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Wednesday, June 29, 2011


LAGAWE, Ifugao - President Benigno Aquino III commended the province for preserving its rich culture and traditions.

Represented by Secretary Ronaldo Llamas of the Office of the Political Adviser, the President who was invited as guest of honor on the 45th Foundation Day of Ifugao, June 18, praised the efforts of the local government in ensuring the people are rooted in their history as the province looks forward to the future.

“The Gotad ad Ifugao brings together the entire province, and even the entire nation, to celebrate and commemorate the rich historical and cultural heritage of the Ifugao,” Aquino said in his speech read by Llamas.

“I congratulate you for leading the efforts towards the further development of the province; for continuing to honor your uniquely Ifugao identity while at the same time recognizing it as a channel towards greater progress for the rest of our countrymen; by turning the inherent talents of the Ifugaos into economic and cultural successes that can be appreciated by others,” he said.

Aquino appealed to the local leaders and citizens to continue on this road to enable everyone to work together and achieve goals like the provision of social services to indigenous peoples and the protection of communities from developmental aggression and discrimination.

He made special mention of the Rice Terraces, which according to him, always stands as a testament of the Ifugao’s hard work and ingenuity. “It stands as a unique symbol of what the Ifugao province has to offer. Perhaps this is why we Filipinos consider it as our Eighth Wonder of the World as it was built by our people,” he said.

The President added the rice terraces may well be the best example of what it means for humanity to work in communion with nature.

He also appreciated other natural attractions in the province like the numerous caves, well preserved mountains and forests and the Magat Dam, the biggest dam in Southeast Asia. “Yours is a province that has been bestowed with an abundance of natural resources. It is only to be expected that these same resources have a prominent place in Ifugao culture.”

In the same speech, Aquino disclosed the culture of the province likewise provides not only spiritual, but also economic benefits to the region mentioning the weaving and wood carving industry of the Ifugaos which attracted tourists and enlivened the textile industry of the province and transformed the woodcarving into the province’s major industries with excellent examples finding their way into many homes in this country and even beyond our borders.

“Such industries speak of the ingenuity that is part of the identity of the Ifugao, an identity you can be proud of and in which many others are beginning to immerse themselves,” Aquino said.

He also challenged the present generation to take active part in preserving not only the natural resources of the province but also its culture and traditions.

The event was attended by local officials led by Gov. Eugene Balitang, Rep. Teddy Baguilat Jr., Vice Gov. Pedro Mayam-o, board members and the 11 town mayors. (Vency D. Bulayungan)

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on June 29, 2011.

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