THE Province of Kalinga is ready for the Cordillera Month celebration.

The 2019 celebration, themed “CAR @ 32: Building One Greater Cordillera,” will be held on July 9-15. It will kick-off with a “Unity Gong relay” at the Kalinga Provincial Capitol in Tabuk City.

Kalinga Information Officer Dionica Alyssa Mercado said co-hosting with the Kalinga province is the Department of Public Works and Highways Kalinga Upper and Lower District headed by District Engineer Eugene Batalao and District Engineer David Buliyat.

Mercado said the gong relay will move to the provinces of Apayao, then to Abra, Baguio City, Benguet, Mountain Province and back to Tabuk City, Kalinga for the culminating program on July 15.

The “Unity Gong relay,” led by the Regional Development Council, brings the symbolic gong around the region to renew the local government units and the people’s commitment and support in pushing for regional autonomy and development.

The Cordillera Administrative Region was created in 1987 by virtue of Executive Order 220 signed by then President Corazon Aquino on July 15, 1987 to prepare the region to become an autonomous region of Cordillera as mandated al under the 1987 Constitution.

The program will start with a parade and ceremonial tree planting at the Provincial Tourism Compound, followed by the Cultural Ritual and a ceremonial beating of the gongs.

The July 15 program will highlight the “Cordillera Heritage Night” at the Kalinga Sports Center where the celebration of the Cordillera Culture through music, dance, fashion show and cuisines will be celebrated.

The audience will also be entertained by the “Mountain spirits,” a documentary film in Kalinga. It features traditional textiles and weaving practices of the Ykalinga, Ifugao, Kankana-ey (Mt. Province), Gaddang (Paracelis), and Itneg (Abra).

A special dinner featuring traditional Kalinga cuisine will also be prepared highlighting the uniqueness and diversity of local dishes. Guests will be treated to a culinary experience featuring heritage food by the municipality of Pasil, which is part of the international movement shunning processed food and is recognized by Slow Food International.

Meanwhile, “Pakidum Musical Play” by the Municipality of Pasil will be presented under the direction of by Mauricio Patongao.

The one hour musical will showcase the Kalinga culture and arts showing festive ceremonies, colorful traditional garments and traditional musical instruments with songs and dances.

Part of the program is the “Cordillera Laga Fashion show,” which will feature traditional hand woven indigenous fabrics from local designer’s neo-ethnic collection.

The show will premiere on July 14 at the Kalinga Sports Center as one of the highlights of the Cordillera Month Celebration 2019. (With reports from Nica Regalario, University of the Cordilleras Intern)