THE City Government in cooperation with the Onjon Ni Ivadoy will celebrate the 8th Ibaloi Day on February 22 and 23 at the Ibaloi Heritage Garden, Burnham Park with the theme, “Pansigshan Pan-Aatngan (Let’s Work together for the Benefit of All)”.

On Wednesday, February 22, a “Daing Tan Tahal Ni Ivadoy (Talent and Skills of the Ibaloys)” will be held starting 7 a.m. with rituals (Sepnak Ni Bangkilay and Sepnak ni Indutsek) followed by ribbon cutting led by Soledad Go, wife of Congressman Mark Go, to formally open an exhibit and presentation of books, handicrafts and compact discs on Ibaloy culture.

A program follows with Dr. Ryan Guinarang, one of the Ten Outstanding Young Men (TOYM) of the Philippines 2016 awardees and a member of the Doctors for Indigenous Health and Culturally Competent Training Education, Networking and Governance (DITENG, Inc.), as guest of honor and speaker. A skills competition will then ensue and end with a tayaw or native Benguet dance.

On February 23, Thursday, dawit ceremonies will be conducted by Ibaloi descendants followed by a parade starting 8 am from the Baguio Convention Center, thru the city’s main thoroughfares ending at the Ibaloi Heritage Garden where a skills competition will ensue.

A program will follow with Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Undersecretary Virginia Orogo as guest of honor and speaker. A historical background of the Ibaloys will be delivered by former councilor Isabelo Cosalan.

Awards will then be given to outstanding Ibaloys followed by cultural dances, a concert featuring Ibaloy bands and western line dancing.

The Ibaloys are the original inhabitants of Baguio formerly known as “Kafagway” where one of its patriarchs, Mateo Carino, was named by the Philippine Centennial Commission as a Centennial National Hero in 1998.

His bust is at the Luneta Park in Metro Manila with other Centennial heroes.

Living museum for Ibalois

Members of the City Council passed Monday on first reading a proposed ordinance “declaring the Ibaloi Park as a living museum and installing the bust of Mateo Carino therein and for other purposes”.

Councilor Edgar Avila, the measure’s proponent, said there is a need for a living museum for Ibalois that would create historical settings to simulate past time periods, providing visitors with an experiential interpretation of history.

“A type of museum that would recreate to the fullest extent conditions of a culture, natural environment or historical period,” he added.

A City Council resolution was passed in 2010 declaring the Ibaloi Park at Burnham Park as a Heritage Area.

Avila’s proposed measure also points out the need for the recognition of a distinguished forefather of the Ibalois.

“Mateo Cariño was an Ibaloi chieftain who was among several ‘head men’ of what is now called Benguet province. The head men and their families were the original owners of vast tracks of land in Benguet which they used to pasture their large cattle holdings and farm on. Mateo Cariño owned most of what is now Baguio City,” the resolution states in part.

If finally approved, the measure will also be referred to as the “Mateo Carino Ordinance”.

It tasks the City Environment and Parks Management Office (CEPMO) for the care and maintenance of the Living Museum for Ibalois and could enter into a memorandum of agreement with the Onjon Ni Ivadoy, a duly accredited non-government organization, to effect the same.

The measure also directs the city engineer in coordination with CEPMO to determine the metes and bounds of the museum and shall recommend to the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA) the segregation and preservation of the area.

It also calls for the appropriation of an initial amount of P500,000 to carry out the ordinance’s purpose. Budget for the museum’s maintenance and upkeep shall thereafter be incorporated in the CEPMO’s annual appropriations plan. (Gaby Keith/PIO)