July 19, 2024

A month-long arts exhibit featuring the rich culture and history of Benguet marked the 58th anniversary of the province since its separation from the old Mountain Province.

The exhibit, dubbed: “Iyaman Arts Exhibit” and with themed: “Celebrating cultural abundance and ancestral gifts,” opened on June 18 at the Capitol.  

A total of 26 paintings by local artists are on display for the month-long sale and art exhibit until July 18.

Gov. Melchor Dic-las led the officials together with the artists in opening the exhibit, as well as in the inauguration of the mural at the foot of the capitol.

The mural, located at the roadside below the Capitol, was painted by Santos Oyan, Silvino Dulnuan, Elizardo Ituriaga Jr., Ronald Allan de Leon, and Chrysler Cabalo, and is part of their project funded by the National Commission for the Culture and the Arts.

Diclas, in his message, stressed the importance of holding such an event not only as a commemoration of a significant day in Benguet history, but also to strengthen the cultural identity of iBenguets and to preserve this intangible cultural heritage through generations.

Benguet became a sub-province of Mountain Province in 1908 along with Amburayan, Apayao, Bontoc, Ifugao, Kalinga, and Lepanto through the issuance of Act 1876.

Though years earlier, on Nov. 23, 1900, Act 49 was issued already providing for the establishment of civil government for the province of Benguet.

This is being ce-lebrated yearly along with the Adivay Festival.

On June 18, 1966, the government passed Republic Act 4695 which divided Mountain Province into four provinces, namely, Benguet, Mountain Province, Ifugao, and Kalinga-Apayao.

In 1994, June 18 of every year was dec-lared a special non-working public holiday in Benguet with the enactment of RA 7672.

Thus, Benguet ce-lebrates the two significant events in the province on Nov. 23 as its founding anniversary with the Adivay Festival and June 18 as its official separation from the old Mountain Province as a distinct province of the Cordillera. – Ofelia C. Empian