TABUK CITY, Kalinga – The Department of Tourism (DOT) regional office in the Cordillera seeks the inclusion of “Topayya” of Kalinga, an old courtship dance, in the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco) list of intangible cultural heritage.
“We would like to enroll it as a Unesco cultural heritage intangible treasure, because it’s an old tradition, Topayya. Where can you find in the world courtship that involves community members. This is a great story of the indigenous. We will look into that,” said Jovita Ganongan, DOT officer in charge in the Cordillera region.
An intangible cultural heritage is a representation, expression, knowledge, or skill, as well as the instruments, objects, artifacts, and cultural spaces that are considered by Unesco as part of a place's cultural heritage.
Topayya is performed on special occasions such as weddings and festivals.
Ganongan disclosed the move seeks to influence the youth in preserving their tradition.
She added the provincial local government unit will be the proponent, just as the Baguio City Government was the proponent for the declaration of Baguio as one of Unesco Creative Cities.
The tourism official addressed her message to farmers, cooperatives, business sector, senior citizens and civil society organization on February 15 during the Bodong Festival coinciding with Kalinga’s foundation anniversary and expressed willingness to support for the inclusion of the province in Unesco.
During the third Bodong Festival, Pinukpuk was hailed as champion during the “Digdiga din Tupaya” presentation followed by Tabuk City and Tinglayan.
Kalinga Governor Jocel Baac added Bodong is an agreement between two tribes, once the Bodong is severed, it starts a tribal conflict.
“Bodong saves lives and maintain peace among our people. It protects life, property within their area of responsibility,” Baac said.
Gabriele Giordano Caccia, D.D., Apostolic Nuncio to the Philippines, also visited the province during the festivity.
The governor added the Nuncio took part in the program giving prayer to the province and visited parish church.
The visit is an appreciation to our peace situation now in the province, knowing beforehand that the province was not that peaceful, in our resurgence and with the attitude of our people before maybe that might be the encouragement,” Baac added.