Benguet touted as model in SLT

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Wednesday, May 21, 2014


LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – Governor Fongwan has championed the cause of highland culture.

Attending the opening of the 2nd School of Living Traditions (SLT) Summit in Zamboanga City last week, the governor highlighted the success of the thriving SLTs in the province.

Fongwan with Capiz Vice Governor Esteban Contreras were invited to showcase how the SLT program has survived, making the province and Capiz as model SLT areas.

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The two leaders were one with National Commission on Culture and Arts Chairman Felipe de Leon Jr., subcommission on Cultural Communities and Traditional Arts head Al-Anwar Anzar, NCCA OIC-Executive Director Adelina Suemith and NCCA PPFPD Head Marichu Tellano in opening the summit.

During the summit various SLT Cultural Masters and Project Coordinators focused on enhancing the relevance and sustainability of SLT’s.

In Benguet, the Provincial office the Department of Tourism has since partnered with the NCCA in the promotion of arts and culture of the province.

In the province SLTs range from performing arts as well as food and crafts which are performed and crafted by local communities groups, marketed in store outlets while cultural groups are called to perform in events.

Fongwan explained during the summit how the province partners with the NCCA with propagating the SLT.

“The SLT program does not need that much funding, but more on a support for their activities, products, events and programs,” he shared.

Fongwan underlined the need for SLTs to continue doing local rituals, chants and dances as well as products from the communities.

In Kapangan town hand woven baskets are being marketed all over the province as well as the original “Patda,” or embroidery designed cultural wear.

In the town, the barangay Datakan Womens organization has finished the initial phase of training on embroidery of ethnic attire.

SLT projects include native dances such as tayaw and sadong/sarong and playing of instruments such as solibao, gangsa and tiktik. This will be carried out in Buguias (Amgaleygey), Bokod (Poblacion), Kapangan (Balakbak), La Trinidad (Wangal), and Baguio City (Wangal).

In preserving traditional crafts, the skill in Kankanaey beadwork production will be embarked on in areas in Buguias (Poblacion) and Kibungan(Sagpat) while the Ibaloi embroidery was identified in Kapangan.

Fongwan said the marketing of various SLTs is a way to preserve culture as well as serving as a business opportunity for communities.

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on May 22, 2014.

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