LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – The traditional Cordillera Unity Gong Relay, one of the long running events in celebration of the annual founding anniversary of the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), is now underway to spice up the celebration of the region’s 30th founding anniversary.
The Gong Relay kicked-off at the Benguet Provincial Capital Saturday following the kick-off program spearheaded by Gov. Crescencio C. Pacalso, provincial officials and other concerned stakeholders followed by a tree planting activity within the premises of the Provincial Capital.
The precious gong which symbolizes the unity of the Cordillerans will be turned over by the Benguet delegation to Mountain Province officials led by Gov. Bonifacio Lacwasan, Jr. during the Unity Gong Relay program prepared by the Mountain Province government to be held at the capital town of Bontoc on Sunday, July 9, 2017 where the activities will also include tree planting activity in designated places around the province.
On July 10, Mountain Province officials led by Gov. Lacwasan will turn over the Unity Gong to Abra provincial officials led by Gov. Maria Jocelyn Valera-Bernos during the Abra leg activities that will be held in the capital town of Bangued.
The Abra delegation will then motor to Kalinga via the Abra-Kalinga road for the turnover of the gong to Kalinga provincial officials led by Acting Gov. James Edubba for the Kalinga leg of the Unity Gong Relay which will be held in Tabuk City on July 11 and the Kalinga provincial government has lined up activities for the said event.
On July 12, Kalinga officials led by Acting Gov. Edubbba will turn over the Unity Gong to Apayao officials led by Rep. Eleanor Bulut-Begtang and Gov. Elias C. Bulut, Jr. during the Apayao leg of the Unity Gong Relay which will be held in the capital town of Luna wherein the Apayao provincial government will prepare the activities for the said event.
Apayao officials will also turnover the Unity Gong to Ifugao provincial officials led by Gov. Pedro Mayam-o during the Ifugao leg of the relay where activities prepared by the Ifugao provincial government will be held at the capital town of Lagawe on July 13.
On July 14, Ifugao officials will turn over the Unity Gong to Baguio city officials led by Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan during the Baguio leg of the Unity Gong Relay to be held at the city hall grounds where Presidential Peace Adviser Jesus Dureza will be the special guest of honor and speaker as he will not be able to attend the CAR founding anniversary program on July 15.
In the afternoon, Baguio officials will be turning over the Unity Gong back to Benguet in preparation for the main CAR founding anniversary program the following day where the main program will be held at the Wangal sports complex.
Benguet is the lead local government while the cordillera office of the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP-CAR) is the lead agency for the 30th CAR founding anniversary this year.