February 9, 2023

It took the whole community of Kapangan, Benguet to gather over 50 oral traditions from its 15 barangays in a research conducted by students and teachers.
The National Commission on Culture and the Arts-funded research, entitled “Parayaw: Documentation of oral traditions and practices in Kapangan, Benguet” was launched in Oct. 16 through presentations coming from the different barangays at the Governor Bado Dangwa Agro-Industrial School, which is the lead implementer of the project.
GBDAIS Head Teacher Marcelo Otinguey, project head, said they have spread out all of their 65 personnel in the school with the help of students to document the oral traditions of the barangays.
Otinguey said the oral traditions include stories on how the barangays got its name, folktales, chants, songs, and riddles. Cultural bearers who are the elders and leaders in the barangays were the key informants during data gathering.
In the launching program, the students and the community interpreted the oral traditions through dance-drama, dances, and songs, such as the traditional way of courtship and marriage, traditional settling of land disputes, and discussions on the “inayan” culture of Kapangan.
“This is our way of promoting our culture. Minsan nalilimutan na ng mga bata kung saan sila galing. I hope as an Igorot, they will be able to appreciate their own culture as shown in the traditional values such as respecting the elders and looking up to their guidance when there are disputes,” Otinguey said.
The elders validated the presentations of the community. He said there are 20 to 30 living elders in the communities, who are helpful in passing on the oral traditions they have also received from their elders.
Otinguey, upon hearing of the research grant of the NCCA, took the opportunity knowing that it would be a great way to preserve and pass on the indigenous knowledge and values to the younger generation.
NCCA provided P144,000 for the parayaw research.
There were also cultural skills demonstration per barangay such as “tongba” making, “tapey” making, preparing and processing the “book,” soft broom making, preparing “bobod” or yeast, basket weaving, “patda” embroidery, “tapa kiwet” preparation, flower anthurium arrangement, preparing “pinuneg” (blood sausage), “kini-ing” or “etag” making, cassava processing, cooking “pising” or taro, “inti” or muscovado sugar making, and preparing cassava “binobodan.”
The school children and elders also joined in Kapangan’s official dance, the grand march, as part of the culminating activity.
Otinguey, the 2013 National Search for Outstanding Teacher awardee, said they plan to create a book or learning materials for the Indigenous Peoples Education of the Department of Education.
“We are hoping to have that in the second phase for the project. Hopefully NCCA will fund us again,” he said.
Kapangan Mayor Manny Fermin urged the community to hold on to the rich tradition of their municipality and to be proud of one’s culture, starting off by wearing traditional cultural attires. – Ofelia C. Empian