By ALMA SINUMLAG
BAGUIO CITY – From March 1 to 7, the Kaigorotan Youth Week (KYW) would be celebrated with the theme “Tawid Kaigorotan: Revitalization of Cordillera Culture and Heritage for the Defense of Land, Life and Resources.”
The KYW is an annual event to commemorate the struggles of the valiant Igorot youth who were violently dispersed in a march-rally in Baguio City during the 1980s. The march-rally was a protest against the simultaneous mega-projects of the Marcos government that would displace indigenous communities in the Cordillera. Among these destructive schemes being opposed then were the Chico River Dam Project in Kalinga, the Cellophil logging concession in Abra, Kalinga and Mt. Province and the Grand Canao in Baguio city in the Cordillera.
In 1993, with the collective efforts of Pigsa, Benguet-Ifugao-Bontok-Abra-Kalinga-Apayao organizations (Bibak) and the Sanguniang Kabataan in Baguio, a resolution was approved by the city council declaring March 1 to 5 as KYW.
The Progressive Igorots for Social Action (Pigsa) and Dap-ayan ti Kultura iti Kordilyera (DKK) are spearheading this year’s celebration.
The culminating activity would be held on March 14, 2010 at the UP Auditorium. The culminating activity aims to gather indigenous youth and advocates in Baguio and Benguet to share and learn more about our Cordillera history and culture.
During the culminating activity, there will be a Quiz Bee on Cordillera history and culture as part of the opening ceremony. There will be a Soil Painting workshop to promote an environmental and cheaper way of painting; an Indigenous Dance and Instrument workshop to gather culturally inclined youth to share their knowledge on Cordillera dance and instruments that will be held simultaneously after the Quiz Bee. Thess workshops are part of cultural renewal with the youth as target participants.
A search for Mr. & Ms. Kaigorotan will be held on the solidarity night. Unlike mainstream beauty pageants, the search will determine how knowledgeable the indigenous youth are about their culture.