IN the Philippines, May is declared the National Heritage Month. To usher in the celebration, the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) will hold Taoid Heritage Program Celebration, an annual, yearlong heritage conservation program.
An Ilocano word for “heritage,” Taoid is the flagship program of NCCA’s Subcommission on Cultural Heritage (SCH), which is headed by Commissioner Fr. Harold Rentoria. This year, it has taken on the theme “Pamanang Pinoy: Taoid 2014.”
Heritage clinics will be conducted by the NCCA National Committees on archives, art galleries, historical research, libraries and information services, monuments and sites, and museums.
The festivities will kick off in Limasawa Island, Southern Leyte on March 31 in line with the 493rd commemoration of the first mass in the Philippines that happened there.
SCH will conduct an ocular inspection and technical assessment of cultural properties, sites and structures in Limasawa, among them the First Mass marker, schools, libraries, and natural heritage sites.
A series of activities will be held in Luzon starting with “Taoid sa ALMASOR (Albay-Masbate-Sorsogon area),” a caravan which will tour around the three provinces from April 30 to May 4.
A Spanish word which means “soul sisters,” Almasor invokes a theme about establishing connections or linkages—primarily which Taoid is all about.
There will also be a heritage clean-up drive as part of Bayanihan Project Series (BPS). Bayahanihan, deeply ingrained in the Filipino culture, and perhaps one of the striking qualities of the Filipino people, is a selfless act of helping one another towards achieving a goal deemed impossible for one person to accomplish.
SCH will also hold heritage school tours entitled “Mga Kwentong Pamana sa mga Batang Bida” which aims to spread the message of heritage conservation advocacy to the younger generation.
The steering committee of the Taoid Heritage Program 2014 is composed of Fr. Rentoria, head of SCH and the National Committee on Archives; Dr. Stephen Totanes, vice head of SCH and head of the National Committee on Historical Research; Lucille Karen Malilong-Isberto, SCH secretary and head of the National Committee on Monuments and Sites; Dr. Marilou Tadlip, assistant secretary and head of the National Committee on Libraries and Information Service; Robert Bjorn Santos, SCH member and head of the National Committee on Art Galleries; and Amado Alvarez, SCH member and head of the National Committee on Museums.
Proclamation No. 439, signed on August 11, 2003, declares the month of May as National Heritage Month (NHM) “in recognition of the need to create among the people a consciousness, respect, and pride for the legacies of Filipino cultural history, and love of country.”
In 2009, the government formally made heritage conservation a legal mandate, by ratifying and implementing Republic Act 10066 or the National Heritage Act of 2009, empowering NCCA and its affiliated agencies in their policy-making and implementation of conservation programs.
For more details, contact Rene Napeñas, head of the the NCCA Public Affairs and Information Office (PAIO) at (632) 527-2192 or 0928-5081057. Log on to www.ncca.gov.ph or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.