Generations of Cordillera cultural workers celebrate 20th anniversary

Northern Dispatch

BAGUIO CITY – Old and new generations of the Cordillera cultural workers met and shared experiences on their 20th anniversary here, July 31.

Under the theme, “Ibandera ti Kultura ti Wayawaya” (Foster the Culture of Freedom), Dap-ayan ti Kultura iti Kordilyera (DKK), an alliance of cultural worker organizations in the region, celebrated its 20 years of serving the people through art.

Luchie Maranan, one of the founding members of the DKK expressed the overwhelming happiness shared in the presence of the old DKK members. “You are the wellspring of the finest cultural workers,” she told them.

Quoting from Mao Zedong’s Yenan Forum, Maranan said, “Our art should emanate from the widest of the masses. This until now should serve as a guide to all cultural workers in the pursuit of art.”

Maranan also shared an “agit” mantra she learned from an international cultural forum last month, “Act the struggle, serve the people; Paint the struggle, serve the people; Sing the struggle, serve the people; Dance the struggle, serve the people!” to deliver her message.

Ani Bonggaoen, a founding member of Salidummay, shared that their group fueled the formation of the alliance. Through income generated from concerts, they were able to establish the center for cultural workers. The DKK, she said, served as a learning space for them. “We saw the need to establish a center because there were a lot of cultural groups and talents they could share and to achieve this we needed money.

Today, DKK is an alliance of several organizations such as Salidummay chapters in Benguet State University (BSU), Kings College of the Philippines (KCP) and University of the Cordilleras (UC); Grupong Binhi, Republic Sayote, Shengnget, Kulturati of Saint Louis University (SLU), Tanghalang Bayan ng Kabataan sa Baguio (Tabak-Baguio), Artista ti Kordilyera para iti Wayawaya (Arkiw), and Tan-aw Multimedia Collective, etc.

Representatives of earlier DKK batches also shared their experiences on cultural work especially in community integration to the new and younger members. This, they said, is a very important aspect of cultural work because it helps the members internalize real situations among the basic masses.
“If you are detached from the community for a long time, you will run out of input for your art,” Maranan added.

She said further that the cultural worker’s art works emanate from and are dedicated to the basic masses and they should not be detached from them or their life.

Maranan called on old and new members to continue working hand in hand in exploring and developing various forms of art with the common goal to free nations from imperialist culture. “There are no young or old in our cultural work,” she said.

During the jam sessions, the batch from the 90s performed the mime and verse version of the “Kaigorotan” while the new generation, performed the song and dance version.

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