The National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) trains the limelight on our precious cultural heritage.
The 2014 Taoid Heritage Program Celebration will be held in different parts of the country, in the three island clusters of Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao, consisting of assorted activities and events.
Awareness and preservation of heritage are vital in the construction and strengthening of our national identity, which will engender pride, enable to us to overcome crises, and guide us towards progress. Because of these, Proclamation No. 439 was signed on August 11, 2003, declaring the month of May of every year as National Heritage Month. This is “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.” The choice of the month is apt because May is replete with fiestas, festivals and various celebrations, many of which are born out of traditions.
Explore the beauty of our country’s heritage sites.
1. Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park, Palawan
VIRTUAL TOUR: Virtual Vacation at Puerto Princesa
2. Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park, Palawan
Tubbataha Reef is among the top 10 dive sites in the world and is home to an astounding diversity of marine life. It has 600 fish species, over 350 coral species (around half of the world’s coral species), 11 shark species, 13 dolphin and whale species, and more.
3. Ifugao Rice Terraces, Cordillera
These vivid green stairways were built 2,000 years ago by indigenous Ifugaos, and are considered by the UNESCO World Heritage Centre as “a living cultural landscape of unparalleled beauty.”
4. Vigan City, Ilocos Sur
VIRTUAL TOUR: It's More Fun in Vigan
5. Philippine UNESCO Heritage Churches
VIRTUAL: Visit the 4 UNESCO Heritage Churches
As the leading agency for arts and culture, the NCCA, led by its chairman Felipe M. de Leon Jr. and OIC-executive director Adelina Suemith, spearheads the celebration of National Heritage Month. The NCCA’s Subcommission on Cultural Heritage (SCH), headed by Rev. Fr. Harold Ll. Rentoria, OSA, has lined up activities for a whole month as well as beyond that will surely feed the soul.
With this year’s theme, “Pamanang Pinoy,” the 2014 Taoid Heritage Program Celebration will give us a glimpse of the legacies of the past and how it remains to shape the present and the future. It is a recognition and celebration of the different aspects of our national cultural heritage—our traditional art forms and practices, important cultural structures both movable and immovable and other objects of national importance whether tangible and intangible.
Because of the recent disasters the country went through last year, particularly the earthquake in Bohol and super typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) in Leyte and parts of the Visayas, during which irreplaceable heritage structures have sustained serious damages, if not totally destroyed, the 2014 TAOID Heritage Program Celebration will also touch on disaster preparedness and risk reduction. Engaging also the youth and families, Taoid 2014 will give emphasis on rebuilding, connecting places and generations, and drawing strength from our cultural heritage.
The province of Southern Leyte and the municipality of Limasawa hosted a prelude of the celebration in conjunction with the 493rd commemoration of the first mass in the Philippines. Taoid sa Limasawa, which happened on March 31, 2014, jumpstarts the highlighting of heritage in the Visayas.
The provinces of Albay, Masbate and Sorsogon, collectively nicknamed AlMaSor, will be the venue for the National Heritage Month celebration from May 1 to 4, 2014. The event will start in Albay on May 1, where the Run for Heritage will be held from the Cagsawa Ruins in Legazpi City to the Daraga Church in Daraga. This will be followed by an ibos-making demo and a breakfast of local delicacies.
In Sorsogon on May 2, a motorcade will go around Sorsogon City, making sure to pass by heritage structures to promote National Heritage Month. The day will end with a formal opening of the celebration and musical performances at the Sorsogon Capitol Building.
In Masbate on May 5, an ocular inspection and technical assessment will be conducted and will conclude with a formal opening of the celebration at the old municipal hall of Masbate City. A local history writing workshop will be held at the Masbate National Comprehensive High School.
There will be a concert at the Facade of San Agustin Church, Intramuros on May 7 at 7:00 PM.
Mark your calendars for the 5th Tam-Awan Arts Festival on May 7-11.
There will be a Heritage Pilgrimage by the Filipino Heritage Festival, Inc. on May 7-9 in Iloilo, Capiz and Aklan; May 16-17 in Laguna and Tayabas; May 21-24 in Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, Tayum, Abra.
For the Mindanao leg, Misamis Occidental will be the host, particularly the town of Jimenez and Ozamiz City, where ocular inspection and technical assessment will be conducted and a formal opening of the celebration will be held on June 2014.