LAGAWE, Ifugao -- The Department of Agriculture cited an Ifugao tradition as a cultural heritage during the 51st founding anniversary of the province held last Wednesday, June 14,.
Department of Agriculture (DA) Undersecretary Evelyn Laviña in her message, read by DA-Cordillera technical adviser Cameron Odsey, said the Gotad Ad of Ifugao is a tradition that is usually celebrated after harvest season of palay through singing, dancing, and drinking. Ifugaos are gathered together to value the centrality of the earth’s produce.
The undersecretary was the invited opening day guest of honor but could not make it due to health reasons.
She related she has not seen this almost reverence-like regard for a lifestyle and agricultural and cultural practice anywhere in the Philippines and cannot stress how important it is for the Ifugaos to preserve their culture and tradition, which she thinks is the secret of the resiliency, strength and continuity as a people and province.
She marveled at how beautiful the forested mountains in Ifugao are and she read that this environmental wonder of conserved forests is the result of the concerted effort of the Ifugao people, which has become the life-source of domestic and agricultural water.
Laviña thanked also the Ifugaos for the world-famous Banaue rice terraces.
As a gesture of solidarity, cooperation and belief to the Ifugaos, Laviña said the government through its various agencies and instrumentalities has also started concrete steps to help preserve the environment, the traditions and products of the Ifugaos such as the heirloom rice.
The DA will remain dedicated to mutually generate beneficial growth for both farmers and stakeholders and consumers with the objective of improving the economic, social and cultural status of farmers, improving their quality of lives and contributing to the balanced development of the national economy becomes achievable by strengthening the bond that keeps us together.
“Probably, even these efforts are not enough, late in coming and not really done for the appropriate reasons we shall not give up, slow down nor neglect our duties because throughout the years the Ifugaos have done their share and our President and our Secretary are committed to make the necessary change to make the lives of the Filipinos better than it has been”, Laviña concluded. (PIA)
Published in the SunStar Baguio newspaper on June 20, 2017.
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