December 2, 2023

Is it a bahag (g-string) or diaper?
Two councilors of Baguio have asked the City Environment and Parks Management Office to make moves to fix the attire of the five Igorot statues at the Cordillera Freedom Monument at the Igorot Garden.
Councilors Vladimir Cayabas and Benny Bomogao said the statues should accurately depict Cordillerans, including their attire.
They said the bahag of the statues look more like diapers, not loincloth.
“There is a need for monuments depicting historical events and people to be historically correct as these represent the event, culture or tradition, or denomination of the people portrayed,” the councilors said in a proposed resolution.
Unknown to the public, the statues, sculpted by multimedia visual artist Abdulmari Toym de Leon Imao, Jr., had loincloths but about a decade ago, vandals stole the metal bahags.
The case remains unsolved.
The Cordillera Freedom Monument depict the five major ethnic groups in the Cordillera – the Ibaloys, Bontocs, Kalingas, Ifugaos, and Kankana-eys.
It was called the Cordillera Freedom Monument in recognition of the Igorots resistance in converting to Christianity.
In a press conference last Feb. 16, City Planning Officer Donna Tabangin said the local government is studying how to protect all artistic and historical artifacts in Baguio.
The city government is currently conducting a cultural mapping project geared towards protecting heritage sites and cultural properties of Baguio.
The proposal has been referred to the committee on education, culture, creativity, and historical research. – Rimaliza A. Opiña