The Cordillera Regional Development Council (RDC-CAR) will be undertaking the Unity Gong Relay from July 8 – 14, 2017 in celebration of the 30th Cordillera Month on July 2017.
Now on its 6th year, the Unity Gong Relay features the passing of the symbolic unity gong from one CAR province to another to drum beat the call for unity as a strategy to preserve Cordillera cultural heritage and for the people to work towards an Autonomous Region for the Cordillera.
This year’s Unity Gong Relay is spearheaded by the Committee on Indigenous Peoples’ Concerns (CIPC), led by its Chairman NCIP-CAR Director Ronald P. Calde and Governor Cresencio C. Pacalso of the Province of Benguet as host province, together with DILG-CAR Director Marlo Iringan.
The Unity Gong will start in Benguet Province on July 8, followed successively by Bontoc, Mountain Province; Bangued, Abra; Tabuk City; Luna, Apayao; Lagawe, Ifugao; Baguio City until it goes back to Benguet Province on July 14 for the turnover to the next host during the Foundation Day celebration on July 15, 2017. The governors/mayor or their representatives serve as relayer and receiver of the gong.
Celebrations will be undertaken to greet the arrival of the Unity Gong in the provinces where provincial/city officials will take turns in beating the Unity Gong. The Provincial celebrations will include a brief program, annual tree planting activities, Information, Education and Communication (IEC) drive on Cordillera regional autonomy, and Cordillera Regional Development Plan (RDP) and Philippine Development Plan (PDP) 2017-2022.
by Joseph Joshua Sibaen, DRD