December 8, 2023

TABUK CITY, Kalinga – The provincial government welcomes the plan of the National Museum of the Philippines (NMP) to establish a branch and a research center in the province. 

NMP-Northern Luzon OIC Director Paolo Mar Chan led a team composed of French National Research Affiliate Thomas Ingicco of National Museum of Natural History, Paris France, Andrea Cosalan, an archeologist from the University of the Philippines Diliman; and researcher Maricar Belarmino from the National Museum main office that presented the proposal to Gov. James S. Edduba during their visit to the province recently. 

Edduba and Tourism Officer Lorraine A. Ngao-i see the proposal as a significant step towards preserving and promoting the rich cultural heritage of Kalinga and in protecting the Rizal Archeological Site. They also believe it will not only preserve artifacts but also revive ancient rituals, dances, and ethnic arts. 

“The establishment of a national museum branch in Kalinga would foster a deeper appreciation for the area’s cultural tapestry while empowering local communities to share their stories and traditions,” the provincial government release stated.

The proposal to develop a museum in Kalinga is inspired by the archeological findings in Barangay San Pedro in Rizal town that are significant in the further study of prehistoric pre-historic humans. 

The NMP had declared the archaeological site in Kalinga as a National Cultural Treasure for its “outstanding historical, cultural, artistic and/or scientific value which is significant and important to the country and to the nation” in May. 

In 2018, the archeologists released the result of their excavations in Rizal of a rhinoceros fossil (Rhinoceros Philippinensis) bearing cut marks and percussion marks, and some 50 stone tools and other animal fossils.

These archaeological findings were confirmed 709,000 years old, based on several physico-chemical methods, which “means the presence of early humans on Luzon Island is ten times older than initially believed.” 

The NMP’s proposal is also in support to Republic Act 11770 or An Act Establishing the Kalinga Cultural Center and Museum, authored by Kalinga Rep. Jesse Allen Mangoang to promote culture and the arts. 

It would serve as a medium “for the protection, preservation, presentation and promotion of the cultural, artistic, archaeological, social, historical, religious and philosophical heritage of Kalinga and its people.” Edduba said, adding the provincial government has already a site for the proposed project. – PIA