BAGUIO CITY, the Philippines – Gopnad, an Ifugao cultural group, will release its first album soon, a collection that aims to promote environmentalism and social consciousness among the youth.
The group’s album, titled “Soul Tunes of the Tinawon,” has 12 songs sung in three dialects: the Tuwali, Ayangan and Kalanguya. Tinawon is the indigenous rice of Ifugao. Some are originally composed by the group while some are Ifugao folk songs. Some of the songs are arranged in the pattern of Salidummay tunes.
From only 12 members when it was founded on Oct. 12, 2008, Gopnad grew to 26 members from the different municipalities of Ifugao. All of the members are students of the Ifugao State College of Agriculture and Forestry in Lagawe.
The group took its name from the Ifugao term for the foundation of the stonewall of rice terraces. Gopnad has three categories for membership: singing, acting and visual arts. The group is supervised by Jackson Bayang, their musical director, and Robert Pangod Jr.
Members said the term aptly describes the group, which seeks to build a better foundation for Ifugao youths and in the preservation of Ifugao indigenous culture and active social awareness.
Anthony Cabbab, a member, said Gopnad seeks to expand it’s membership province-wide. He added that they are also looking to recruit out-of-school youths.
Gopnad is affilliated with the Dap-ayan ti Kultura iti Kordilyera or the Center for Culture in the Cordillera. The group is being supported by the Ifugao Resource Development Center, the Ifugao Peasant Leaders’ Forum and the Baguio-based Tebtebba Foundation.
Joy Napadawan, another member, said they are also planning to solicit financial assistance from the Ifugao provincial government to burn more copies of their album and hopefully launch it through a concert. (Aldwin Quitasol/Northern Dispatch/bulatlat.com)