NCCA slams ‘Banaue’ as liquor brand

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Friday, June 20, 2014


WHAT will happen if you drank a bottle of "Banaue"?

Aside from the obvious alcoholic side effect, there may also be a disorientation from history and culture.

The recent move of Destileria Limtuaco, Inc. (DLI) to register the Ifugao capital as an alcoholic beverage was met with opposition by both the Intramuros Administration and the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA).

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"We are supporting the protest of the Intramuros Administration," NCCA lawyer and Heritage Office head, Trixie Cruz said.

Cruz said the NCCA is tasked to protect the Intangible Heritage of the country, which includes the names of the places and people who are deeply rooted to the history and culture of the country.

If DLI is given permission to use the names and places closely connected to history and culture, it will give not only an unfair advantage to the company but also steal the historical value of areas and people from students and those unaware of their worth.

Along with Banaue the company has made moves at the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) to trademark names of historical figures like National Hero Jose Rizal, the three martyr priests, "GomBurZa" (Padre Mariano Gomez, Jose Burgos and Jacinto Zamora), historical places like "Intramuros," "Laguna" and "Vigan."

“The National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), as primary agency that creates policy on all matters concerning culture and the arts call the attention of the concerned government agencies and the general public on the issue of the misappropriation by private corporations of the names of heroes and historic and cultural sites,” NCCA chairman Felipe de Leon Jr. in a statement said.

“The Commission strongly opposes such applications. Historic persons, national heroes and heritage sites are given the highest level of recognition and dignity by the State and imbued with public interest.

Thus, their misappropriation for commercial enterprises or products not only distracts from the achievements of these persons or the importance of these sites, but sends the message that their names can be desacralized, privately owned and used to enrich private interests.

Thus, no person or corporation should or ought to have any rights of ownership or other such congruent rights over them,” de Leon said.

Cruz said automatic advertising will be given DLI as well as stealing the association one has to places like "Banaue" as a cultural gem to becoming a mere alcoholic drink.

"The primary association will be for the drink, not the area," he stressed.

Cruz continued if the trademark is given, students who will learn about the historical places and people will automatically associate alcohol with the area or person, therefore losing its historical and cultural significance.

Sun.Star Baguio sought to get a statement from Ifugao Representative Teddy Baguilat, but as of press time, the congressman was unavailable.

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on June 21, 2014.

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