Cordi Month kicks off with gong Relay; Benguet, NCIP as hosts

>> Sunday, July 16, 2017

By Dionisio Dennis Jr.

LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – The campaign to attain a Cordillera Autonomous Region was boosted with kick-off program of Cordillera Month celebrations here yesterday (July 8) at the Benguet capitol grounds and will end on July 31.
The provincial government of Benguet and National Commission on Indigenous Peoples-Cordillera are hosting Cordillera Month, the 30th anniversary of the creation of the Cordillera Administrative Region.
The program signaled start of the week-long ”unity gong relay,” wherein delegates from the host province, line agencies of government, and Cordillera provinces Abra, Apayao, Kalinga, Ifugao and Mountain Province, will bring the gong to their provinces to promote autonomy.
Agriculture Secretary Manny Pinol is expected to join the program as guest speaker on July 15, during Cordillera Day.
Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Secretary Jesus Dureza is also expected to be in Benguet on July 14.
Included during gong relay is information campaign to inform constituents on autonomy.
The relay will end July 14 in time for the Cordillera Day festivities wherein the unity gong will be turned over to Mountain Province as next caretaker and host of next year’s 31st anniversary .
Activities from July 8 to 31 include provincial celebrations of Cordillera Day today (July 9) and ceremonial tree planting, second international conference on Cordillera studies, Cordillera Got Talent, Youth concert for regional autonomy, Cordillera officials’ fellowship night, Cordillera foundation day parade and program, Coffee pavilion and trade exhibit, Shayoney fashion show and cultural summits celebrating Cordillera heritage.
This year's theme for Cordillera Day is “Celebration for Unity.” 
The event is celebrated annually every July. The region was established on July 15, 1987 under the leadership of the late President Corazon Aquino.
 During the launching press conference, Benguet Gov. Cresencio Pacalso said the province is ready to host the celebration of the 30th founding anniversary of CAR. “As far as the preparation is concerned, we are now ready for the month-long celebration. All the activities were also settled and lined up,” Pacalso said.
The scheduled activities during the celebration will be held in La Trinidad, the capital town of Benguet. Delegates from the six provinces and key cities in the region were encouraged to participate.

 He said the unity gong which symbolizes cooperation of provinces and cities in the Cordillera is now with Benguet. “For one year we became the caretaker of the Cordillera gong which symbolizes our unity in the region. As a host province, we encourage delegates from the other provinces to visit us. We will treat them with utmost hospitality so that when their time comes as the next caretaker, they will do the same,” Pacalso said. -- PNA


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