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Legarda Seeks Govt, SUCs Support to Conserve and Promote Phil. Culture and Indigenous Knowledge

August 25, 2013

Senator Loren Legarda today said that she will pursue strengthened partnership with agencies of government and state universities and colleges (SUCs) in the country for the conservation and promotion of Philippine culture and traditional knowledge and indigenous systems.

Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committee on Cultural Communities, said that through a memorandum of agreement (MOA) she will formalize a collaboration with SUCs on the documentation of cultural knowledge and indigenous traditions in all parts of the country with special focus on intangible culture, such as chants, dances, rituals, agricultural and environmental practices, that are in danger of being lost.

Moreover, she will urge the Department of Tourism to promote Philippine culture by institutionalizing small museums in public places like airports, seaports, and train stations.

“There are 110 indigenous peoples groups in the Philippines, with each community possessing its own traditional knowledge that had been passed on from one generation to the other. Our indigenous peoples are the epitome of the tradition, the skill and the creativity of the great Filipino mind, and recording this ingenuity will allow traditions to stay alive and flourish,” Legarda said.

“This is the reason why I supported the Cordillera SUCs’ documentation of indigenous knowledge and practices, particularly in the area of agriculture and environment protection, in the region. I hope that we can replicate this project in other regions through the help of our SUCs,” she added.

Legarda noted that cultural agencies of government, particularly the National Commission on Culture and the Arts (NCCA), are undertaking programs to preserve traditional knowledge and indigenous systems through the Schools of Living Traditions (SLTs), which she hopes will be continuously supported by the government through appropriate funding.

The Senator has supported the development of cultural villages of the Ata-Talaingod, Mandaya, Blaan, and Bagobo Tagabawa in various activities of their SLTs, which teach the young generation the traditional arts, crafts, music and practices of the village.

“The culture passed on to us by our ancestors should never be buried in oblivion. There is no other way for us but to preserve these treasures as they reveal the meaning of who we really are and help us move forward as one people,” Legarda concluded.