By IVAN LABAYNE
BAGUIO CITY — Tracing a tradition dating back to 1983 when the Cordillera youth marched together in opposition to destructive projects like the Chico River Dams and the massive logging of Cellophil Resources Company initiated during that time, different indigenous youth organizations led by Dap-ayan ti Kultura Iti Kordilyera (DKK) and BIBAK-University of Baguio Chapter will have a series of activities to commemorate the Kaigorotan Youth Week from March 4 to 11, 2012.
The series of activities will kick-off on the 4th of March with a Cultural Parade starting from Sunshine Park and culminating in a short program at KM. 0. The kick-off activity will also carry the theme of opposing the Mining Act of 1995 which was passed into law on March 01, 1995.
This week-long celebration will be highlighted in its activities on March 11, starting with the Quiz Bee on Cordillera history and culture; the Cultural showdown, and the Pageant Search for Mr. and Ms. Kaigorotan in the evening.
For the past years, KYW has become a venue for the indigenous youth to promote their cultural practices and make their stand regarding the pressing issues they face collectively as members of the Cordillera youth.
Some of the issues raised and carried in the past by KYW activities include the degradation of environment alongside related issues like destructive, large-scale mining and disaster preparedness, food insecurity, lack of participation in decision-making concerning their issues, mis-recognition of their rights and the bastardization of the indigenous culture.
Proof of the recognition of this celebration and the issues they promote is the passing of a resolution in the City Council in 1993 by then Baguio City Sangguniang Kabataan Federation Chairperson Florence Ibarra declaring the dates March 1-5 as Kaigorotan Youth Week. Since then, KYW has been a staple part of the indigenous youth’s assertion of their rights and culture.
“In the activities we organize during the Kaigorotan Youth Week, we renew our commitment and resolve to carry out our responsibility in protecting our cultural heritage and continue the advancement of the rights of the indigenous people that our ancestors had started.
This is also an opportune time since our activities almost coincides with the closing of the Panagbenga festival where for the past years, instead of nurturing the indigenous culture has been reduced to a commercial entity shows insensitivity to the genuine depiction of our heritage and traditions,” Matyline Camfili, Chair of DKK said regarding the value of KYW.
DKK, along with the other organizers expect a more vigorous participation from different indigenous groups and individuals for the KYW this year.
Together with DKK and Bibak-UB, the Cordillera Youth Center is also part of the organizers of the KYW activities this year. # nordis.net