Speech: Groundbreaking Ceremony of Oriental Mindoro (Mangyan) Heritage and Cultural Center

July 29, 2021

Groundbreaking Ceremony of Oriental Mindoro Heritage and Cultural Center


Allow me first to extend my congratulations to the Provincial Government of Oriental Mindoro and the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) on this momentous occasion, the groundbreaking Ceremony of the proposed Oriental Mindoro Heritage and Cultural Center.

As many of you know, environment protection, the preservation of our traditional cultural heritage, and the protection of the rights and welfare of our indigenous peoples are my lifelong advocacies. And in my career then as a broadcast journalist and now as a legislator,  I have learned and seen the connection among these three.  As we protect the forest and the sources of water, and all the natural wealth therein, it is paramount that we also protect those who have long been the guardians of our environment and natural resources, our indigenous peoples.

Our IPs are our culture-bearers. I am always in awe of the richness of our heritage, both tangible and intangible, that the IPs continue to preserve – the intricately woven fabrics, their medicinal and culinary practices, their epics, songs, chants and dances that narrate the stories of their ancestors and community life.  This is why I envisioned, conceptualized and collaborated with various government agencies on projects that not only documented and preserved these indigenous knowledge and practices, such as this project, and I made sure that this be provided funding and support.

May this Heritage and Cultural Center be a step towards one goal, that we be able to establish our identity as Filipinos through the preservation of our culture and tradition. Congratulations on this grand endeavor.

Thank you and good day.