Sustaining the Cordilleran culture through photographs

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BAGUIO CITY  – The book “ILI”, compiled and written by the prestigious and well- known artist Tommy Hafalla, was launched at Casa Vallejo Sunday afternoon.

Ili” beautifully documents the life and rituals of the ethnolinguistic groups of the Cordillera.  Translated literally as “home village,” ili is a word widely used to refer to one’s place of origin, but its true meaning is much harder to encapsulate.

As featured in Hafalla’s first book, his photographs capture how the indigenous respond to shifting traditions and modernity. Many of the rituals documented are private, thus his masterpiece provides a window to customs and traditions that are nearly forgotten by this generation.

“Well, the book is a part of the culture advocacy; it is actually for the coming generation because a one year old now wouldn’t know of his or her culture for the next twenty years and of course to enlighten everyone about the myths and representations of the Cordilleran culture,” Hafalla said.

Hafalla’s team took three years to complete his book which includes captioning, interviews, and documentations, however, the planning, organization and development of the concept took six years.

“I hope that the future generations can still sustain our cultures and traditions as Cordillera peoples. Well, it’s a part of basic education to know about our cultures and traditions, and what is culture without traditions,” he added.

As a well-known artist, Hafalla and his team aim to spread and sustain the traditional practices that are almost forgotten because of the rising influence of globalization.

By NEO S.BANAGAN

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