For the youth – A completely new generation has grown to maturity 30 years since the creation of CAR. The significance of Cordillera day may be different for those who did not witness the region’s initial struggle for autonomy. (File Photo)

BAGUIO CITY – Planning for the 31st Cordillera Month celebrations in July has gone underway when the Technical Working Group (TWG) of the Development Administration Committee (DevAd) of the Regional Development Council (RDC-CAR) met last January 12. The provincial government of Ifugao will host the month-long celebration. On the drawing board are returning activities such as Cordillera’s Got Talent and the Cultural Summit on Cordillera Heritage. The annual Unity Gong relay remains the center piece of the annual festivity.

The proposed theme of this year’s Cordillera Month program focuses on the role of the youth as the future of Cordillera. The Committee will identify young Cordillerans who can serve as advocates for regional autonomy. Events for the youth such as provincial fun runs, youth concerts led by the Armed Forces of the Philippines – North Luzon Command together with the Philippine National Police and a skills event on good governance are some of the proposed activities for the month. The next Committee meeting on February 15 will decide on the theme, the list of activities and the route of the Unity Gong relay, among others.

The Cordillera Month celebration commemorates the creation of the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) as a transitory government towards a regional autonomous government per Executive Order 220. Its primary event is the annual Unity Gong relay, the symbol of Cordillera unity towards autonomy. The Unity Gong is passed from one CAR province to another within one week and culminates its journey in the host province every July 15 – the anniversary of the creation of the region (Marlo T. Lubguban, NEDA- SPCAR)