Unity gong relay commemorates 25 years of CAR
By DELIA BAGNI
BAGUIO CITY — Line up of activities for the month of July in the celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) were bared during the weekly Kapihan sa Baguio at the conference hall of the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) here.
With the theme “CAR at 25: Looking back with Pride, Moving Forward with Hope”, the month long celebration is said to enhance awareness, deeper appreciation and unwavering commitment to the history and aspirations of the Cordillera Region. Present during the press conference on June 27 are Regional Development Council Co-Chairperson Virgilio Bautista, Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Dir. Liza B. Fangsilat, RDC Secretary Florinda Faculo and John Castañeda.
The kick-off of the silver anniversary celebration was held at Mt. Data, Bauko, Mountain Province on May 18 to commemorate the SIPAT (peace agreement) between Cordillera Peoples Liberation Army’s Conrado Balweg and President Corazon C. Aquino. Executive Order 220 was signed in the said event that led to the creation of Cordillera as an administrative region. The launching activity involved the participation of Local Government Units (LGUs) of the region.
Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Cordillera Regional Director Castañeda who spearheaded the Cordillera Unity Relay said that the gong is a symbol of gathering and the sound of stricken gong calls for the start of the celebrations.
He said that the relay started when the gong was passed to Abra in Mt.Data on June 4. Abra Vice-Gov. Rolando Somera turned over the gong to Gov. Nestor Fongwan in Sablan, Benguet on June 11.
A week after the turnover, the gong was passed to Ifugao Gov. Eugene Balitang by Benguet Vice-Gov. Crescencio Pacalso during the Gotad Festival. Balitang passed the gong to Kalinga Gov. Jocel Baac during the Matagoan Festival in Tabuk City on June 23. It will stay in Kalinga until July 4 when it will be passed to Luna, Apayao.
The culminating program will be held in the Baguio City on July 15. Baguio Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan is expected to receive the gong from Apayao.
A parade will be held to conclude the celebrations. # nordis.net