Mr. Elmer Tadeo (left) and Mr. John Paul Ganti (right) represent the municipalities of Sallapadan and Malibcong, Abra respectively during the Concert-Forum on Cordillera Autonomy. Both local artists debuted their original compositions on regional autonomy.

BANGUED, Abra – With the help of the Provincial Government of Abra, the Cordillera Regional Development Council (RDC-CAR) was able to tap local artists, namely Elmer Tadeo and John Paul Ganti as performers during the Concert-Forum on Cordillera Autonomy held last March 22, 2018.

Both artists debuted their original compositions on Cordillera autonomy which the audience appreciated. Ganti’s composition entitled, “Ipatakder ti Autonomiya” [Establishing Autonomy] dwells on various topics such as ancestral domain, natural resources, bodong, pagta and the importance of unity among all six provinces of CAR in the pursuit for regional autonomy. Another composition, entitled “Kapintasan ay Abra” [Most Beautiful Abra] showcases the province’s beautiful sceneries, unique and diverse culture as well as the harmony between the Ilocanos and the Tinggians.

Tadeo’s composition entitled, “Aweng ti Autonomiya, Pagilian a Cordillera” [The Sound of Autonomy in the Cordillera] has a similar message with Ganti’s composition and also calls for unity. His second piece, “Ti Danum” [Water], though not directly related to regional autonomy, highlights water as a valuable natural resource.

The CAR is home to watersheds and major river systems such as the Abra River, Agno River, Amburayan River, and Chico River, among others. These river systems play an important role in agriculture and industrial activities in the region as well as the generation of hydroelectric power. This made CAR to be known as the “Watershed Cradle of Northern Luzon”.

It can be recalled that other local artists such as veteran singer Lourdes Fangki; and Jon Sawac, Jaymoh Javier and Jasmin Lapnawan of the The Cordillera Connection band composed songs on regional autonomy. To date, there are a total of six original autonomy songs gathered by the RDC-CAR.

These are valuable additions to the current IEC collaterals and materials being used by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA-CAR) and the RDC-CAR in boosting awareness on Cordillera autonomy of all stakeholders in the region. Lourdes Fangki’s composition, the autonomy jingle, Jon Sawac’s “Yes We Can” and Tadeo’s “Ti Danum” are uploaded in the One Cordillera Youtube Channel. These are aired during the radio autonomy program scheduled twice monthly during Sundays over at the Bombo Radyo Baguio. (Zenia P. Cadiogan-Alalag, NEDA- SPCAR)