KALINGA’S WORLD RECORDS ARE EXPRESSION OF PEACE, PROSPERITY
The province of Kalinga’s recent feat in the Guinness Book of World Records was not only about making a global record of having not only the largest gong ensemble with 3,440 male participants but also the largest clay pot dance with 4,681 female dancers.
But more importantly, the historic feat that could hardly be broken in the nearest future is more about Kalinga cementing a credible image for the province and the region.
For decades, the people of Kalinga struggled to establish its identity distinct from its former “twin”, the province of Apayao.
But instead of the positive, the province earned a bad reputation – the presence of bloody conflicts among ethnic groups, insurgency, and as a source of marijuana.
But there is more to Kalinga than this bad impression.
The province, that is home to more than 230,000 population from the towns of Balbalan, Lubuagan, Pinukpuk, Pasil, Rizal, Tinglayan, Tanudan, and the component City of Tabuk, has beautiful landscapes and well-preserved natural resources, which are ideal for eco-tourism, and a rich cultural heritage that continues to be practiced to this day. And while the province is slowly urbanizing, the province still carries that rustic vibe.
Likewise, the people of Kalinga are a warm people, which make the province deserving of a second look.
The province, in fact, has a lot to offer – heirloom rice, coffee beans, clay pots, and other crafts uniquely made in Kalinga. The municipality of Rizal is also an archaeological site after fossilized remains that were discovered in 2014 changed world history.
The province is also rich in history. Not many know that Kalinga is one of the precursors of the resistance against the abuses on indigenous peoples when the brave IPs of Butbut in Tinglayan fought the plan to build a dam at the Chico River during the Marcos regime.
We can go on speaking about what Kalinga has to offer but it is best for the public to discover for themselves that this seeming nondescript province in the Cordillera is slowly making its mark in tourism, agriculture, and even as a potential industrial site.
We congratulate the people of Kalinga for going the extra mile in making their mark in the world through an event that though difficult to mount, was able to achieve their collective aspiration.
We hope the Guinness achievement will not be a one-day affair. It should instead serve as a precursor for concerned stakeholders to raise the bar in organizing events.
The people of Kalinga with support from the provincial, municipal and barangay officials, were able to organize a grand event, we expect no less when the next one comes.
It was indeed a historic event that symbolizes the drive towards peace and unity of the indigenous peoples of the province despite their differences.