Cultural Heritage – Autonomy advocate William Mamanglo of the Ifugao Cultural Heritage Office (ICHO) stresses Ifugao’s role in the Cordillera history and pursuit for self-determination.

LAMUT, IFUGAO – Mountain Province State Polytechnic College (MPSPC) and NEDA-CAR conducted yet another provincial consultation for mapping and marking of historical sites in the Cordillera. Ifugao State University hosted the 5th provincial consultation for the Province of Ifugao on October 15 as part of their week-long 98th founding anniversary celebrations. Ifugao elders from the academe, local government units and tourism offices all provided their inputs on sites that they deemed worthy to be mapped and marked as part of the region’s history of self-determination and autonomy.

Considered as Ifugao heritage, the participants of the workshop agreed to map several clusters of rice terraces in the province: The Nagacadan Terrace cluster in the municipality of Kiangan, the Hungduan terrace cluster, the central Mayoyao terrace cluster, and the Bangaan terrace cluster and the Batad terrace cluster both in the municipality of Banaue.

Also included is the rice terrace cluster in Barangay Burnay in Lagawe claimed to be carbon-dated as far back as the 6th century AD.

Participants also recognized the Ifugao peoples’ bravery and patriotism and decided to map two sites that demonstrated this: The Awa Victory site in Julongan; and the famous Yamashita 1945 Surrender site in Kiangan. The participants also agreed to include Julongan in Kiangan it being the site of the 1897 Ifugao victory against the Spanish government that set up a command center in Kiangan in 1896. Both sites are already recognized by National Commission for Culture and the Arts.

It was also acknowledged that Ifugao played a role in the pursuit for Cordillera autonomy. Hapao, Hungduan was considered an important site signifying autonomy struggle in the province. Lagawe, as the capital town of Ifugao, was also cited with Ifugao as the sole province that voted ‘yes’ to autonomy in the first plebiscite.

The mapping and marking of Cordillera historical sites, a joint project of the RDC-CAR and MPSPC, aims to foster regional identity for the Cordillera, raise awareness among the youth, towards awareness and support for Cordillera Autonomy. One participant added, “These are tangible structures that could educate our youth and urge them to read further about the struggle.”