SOME 19 trainees, comprised mostly of out-of-school youth and adults, completed the gong making training including a series of workshops under the local School of Living Tradition.
Three sets of gongs were made from January 22 to February 2 with four pioneer cultural masters of gong making supervising during the workshop
During the culmination program February 8, the gongs were presented in Bedbed, Mankayan, Benguet to Mayor Materno Luspian.
Evangeline Gomeyac, Municipal S&T Coordinator said the trainees comprised of five adults and 14 youths.
The project was proposed in 2016 by the senior citizens of the barangay to the provincial government and was eventually recommended for funding to the National Commission of Culture and the Arts year.
On the same day, a memorandum of agreement was undertaken between the Department of Science Technology and the municipality of Mankayan for the construction of gong training center starting this February.
DOST has allocated P4 million for the project.
Gomeyac said the budget covers the improvement of an old structure to be turned into a training center and machines for gong making. The lot of the building was donated by Bedbed barangay captain Dalion Baygan.
Mankayan Municipal Tourism Officer Jean Manuit said with the graduation of the 19 trainees, gong making in the town is sure to get a big boost and will serves as additional livelihood for the participants.
Hildo Galino, one of the cultural masters of gong making, said the best gongs are made in Bedbed because of the quality of brass used.
Barangay Bedbed currently supplies gongs in Bontoc and Sadanga in the Mt. Province, Quirino province and Tabuk City.
The giant gong measuring six feet in diameter currently in Kalinga was crafted by local gong maker Marvin Galino Onio