BAGUIO CITY, July 14(PIA)--The Regional Development Council will lead a simple celebration rites for the 33rd Cordillera Foundation Day thru a blended program on July 15, 2020, Wednesday, with Agriculture Secretary William Dar as the guest of honor and speaker.
With the theme "One Resilient Cordillera: Embracing the New Normal Towards Recovery," this year's celebration will highlight how regional autonomy will enable the preservation and strengthening of Cordillera culture which is the foundation of the region's resilience and socio-economic recovery.
Due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, only a few officials and members of the RDC Cordillera to be led by the RDC Economic Development Committee will gather at the University of the Philippines Baguio Gymnasium Complex for the celebration.
Former Baguio City Mayor Mauricio Domogan will kick off the celebration with the traditional "pitik di tapuey" or a ritual to appease the spirits and ask blessing for the successful celebration of the Cordillera Day this year.
The Police Regional Office - Cordillera will then lead the Entrance of Colors followed by the singing of the Philippine National Anthem and the Cordillera Hymn.
RDC Chairperson Abra Governor Ma. Jocelyn Bernos will deliver her message via online streaming.
Sec. Dar, the Cabinet Officer for Regional Development and Security for the Cordillera will be physically present to deliver his keynote message.
The Secretary together with the RDC and local government officials present will then take turns in the traditional beating of the Cordillera Unity Gong symbolizing the Cordillerans call to action to celebrate the people's camaraderie and oneness and to drum up support to the region's call for autonomy and development.
Participants from the different Cordillera provinces of Abra, Apayao, Benguet, Ifugao, Kalinga and Mountain Province will also be beating the gong which will be shown live over the social media during the program.
Cultural presentations will be presented by the BIBAK Igorot Theatre Arts Guild.
This year's host committee, RDC Economic Development Committee chaired by DTI-CAR Myrna Pablo will then turnover the unity gong to Watershed and Environment Committee Chair DENR-CAR Regional Director Ralph Pablo who will be hosting the 34th Cordillera Month celebration next year.
RDC Vice Chairperson and NEDA-CAR Regional Director Milagros Rimando earlier said that due to existing community quarantine and other health protocols due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Cordillera Month celebration was toned down with limited activities. She encouraged all Cordillerans to join and participate in the July 15 program which will be live over the social media pages of the NEDA-CAR, SPCAR, PIA Cordillera and other Cordillera government agencies and LGUs.
Malacanang has declared July 15, 2020 as a special holiday in the CAR. (JDP/RMC- PIA CAR)