By Shah Balaw-ing

Baguio City:  “May this anniversary drive you to pursue your goals with even greater fervor and passion, that you may soon realize your collective aspirations as Cordillerans and as Filipinos”. 

This was the written message of President Benigno Simeon Aquino III or PNoy (President Noynoy) to the Cordillera people read during the closing program of the Cordillera Month at the Saint Louis University here last July 26, 2013. The message, signed by the president himself, was dated July 25, 2013-the 26th anniversary of the Cordillera Administrative Region.

The Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) was created through Executive Order 220 signed in July 15, 1987 by the former President Corazon Aquino, PNoy’s mother. 

“Twenty six years ago, the promise of a substantial regional autonomy was guaranteed by the 1987 Constitution to the peoples of the Cordilleras allowing them to participate in the task of nation-building in a manner that recognizes, respects, and gives deference to the region’s time-honored traditions,” stated the president. 

He underscored what unity can do in the pursuit of regional autonomy saying the fulfillment of the vision of CAR continues to evolve with the steady and careful shaping of the building blocks that, together, form the foundations of a proud and progressive region. 

“Every community is itself a single, colorful strand that, when woven together, forms the vibrant tapestry that is the Filipino nation. In this time of revitalization, let us take comfort in the knowledge that, through solidarity and bayanihan, we can harness our collective energies into concrete actions that will allow us to build a brighter, more prosperous future for all of our countrymen,” the president concluded.