Legarda Celebrates UNESCO Inscription of Mt. Hamiguitan in SONA Outfit

July 27, 2014

As a tribute to the recent inscription of the Mt. Hamiguitan Range Wildlife Sanctuary in Davao Oriental as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Senator Loren Legarda will be wearing a traditional Mandaya outfit at the President’s State of the Nation Address (SONA).


Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committee on Cultural Communities, said she wants to further promote her advocacies through the garments she will wear at the President’s SONA.


“My outfit represents two advocacies closest to my heart—environmental protection and heritage preservation. Since the Mt. Hamiguitan Range Wildlife Sanctuary is the newest addition to the Philippines’ UNESCO World Heritage Sites, I want to celebrate this triumph by wearing the traditional garments of the Mandaya, one of the indigenous communities in the area,” she said.


Legarda’s Mandaya attire was handcrafted by the Mandayas and a gift from them and Davao Oriental Governor Corazon Malanyaon. It is composed of a badô (blouse) with embroidered geometric designs of colorful threads and beads, and a dagmay (handwoven skirt) made of abaca strips dyed using organic colorants from plants and herbs. The outfit is worn with various metal jewelry.


The Mandayas, characterized as brave and intelligent, are one of the three major indigenous groups of Davao. In Davao Oriental, most of them reside in Barangays Sangab and Pichon, Municipality of Caraga; Barangay Pantuyan, Municipality of Manay; and Sitio Patong Barangay Aliwagwag, Municipality of Cateel.


Meanwhile, a highlight of Legarda’s outfit at the Opening of the Second Regular Session of the 16th Congress, which will be in the morning before the President’s SONA, is thepangalapang necklace.


The pangalapang is one of the neck ornaments of the Cordillerans, particularly those in the eastern Ifugao region. It is made of at least six pieces of mother of pearl formed into flat trapezoidal shapes and connected by a thin rope of finely braided rattan.


“The outfits and accessories that I wear prove the richness of our cultural heritage and the abundance of our natural resources as these items are made of organic materials. In wearing them, I hope to convey the message that we should not take these things for granted and instead show our gratitude through responsible stewardship of our natural resources and safeguarding our heritage,” said Legarda.


In the 2013 SONA, the Senator also wore indigenous garments from the Gaddangs of Mountain Province and the Bagobos of Mt. Apo in Davao and explained that her outfits represent ‘fashionalism’—fashion and nationalism.