UPV and NCCA kick off cultural mapping training for WVSU, ISAT-U, and GSU

UPV and NCCA kick off cultural mapping training for WVSU, ISAT-U, and GSU

The Cultural Mapping of Panay and Guimaras, spearheaded by the University of the Philippines Visayas, hosted the Cultural Mapping Training Workshop conducted by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts at the UPV Little Theater, February 26, 2024.

The five-day event aims to train and equip the cultural mappers from the project’s academic institution partners, including West Visayas State University, Iloilo Science and Technology University, and Guimaras State University. Joining the three SUCs are representatives of the local government units from Iloilo’s First, Second, and Third Districts and from the towns of Guimaras.

Prof. Martin G. Genodepa, Program Manager, welcomed the delegates from participating SUCs and the NCCA representatives. He announced that the project got the commitment of the Department of Interior and Local Government Region VI (DILG-VI) and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to support it after coordination meetings were held with DILG Asst. Division Chief Mariecelle Bello-Zamora and DENR Regional Executive Director Livino B. Duran, respectively.

Prof. Genodepa also announced that the project will soon be extended to include Negros Occidental in collaboration with the Department of Education Region VI.

He also mentioned the ongoing negotiation with NCCA and the central office of the National Commissions of Indigenous Peoples for the facilitation of the region-wide Free Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC).

Senate President Pro Tempore Loren B. Legarda, the main initiator of the project, addressed the participants of the event through a video. She emphasized the importance of cultural mapping initiatives. “We must exploit every initiative to reintroduce to our younger generation our culture and tradition,” she said. Furthermore, the Senator added that under the General Appropriations Act of 2023, her office was able to allocate a total of 50 million pesos for the cultural mapping of Panay and Guimaras. The cultural mapping project is a priority project of the senator.

Dr. Clement Camposano, UPV Chancellor, also delivered a message that underscored the importance of the training and the support of Senator Legarda in the cultural mapping project. The Chancellor believes that the cultural mapping addresses one prevalent cultural issue, which is the hyperfixation of Filipinos in locating themselves in Asia or becoming more Asian. “We need to locate ourselves both pre-colonially and in our colonial heritage,” the Chancellor said. Dr. Camposano hopes that in this cultural mapping project, we become more plural and inclusive.

Commissioner Arvin Villalon of NCCA spearheaded four out of five lectures for the morning and afternoon sessions, namely: Lecture 1: Culture and Cultural Heritage, Lectures 2 and 3: Cultural Mapping; and Lecture 4: Methods. Lecture 5: Tangible Movable Heritage was discussed by Arch. Sy during the afternoon session. Together with the Commissioner are NCCA representatives Jose Soliman Jr., Veronica Amboni, Arch. Wilfredo Sy, and Gladys Mae Argonza.

Also present during the event were Anna Razel L. Ramirez, overall project leader; Asst. Prof.Anthea Redison, overall co-project leader; and project leaders of the cultural domains covered by the mapping project. SUC focal persons Dr. Mary Ann de La Vega (WVSU), Prof. Eric de la Vega (ISAT-U), and Dr. Bernardo Cagasan (GSU), as well as various university officials such as Research Director Ethel Jungco of GSU, Vice President for Research, Innovation, and Extension, and Cultant for CMPG-WVSU, Dr. Greta G. Gabinete of WVSU, also joined the activity.

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