Pamana't Yaman - The Tagkawayan Local Cultural Profile


Upholding the utmost value of prompting and giving due regard to the protection and conservation of Tagkawayan’s natural endowments, preservation of local cultural heritage, elevating the people’s cultural awareness, and better and effective management of local festivals for the socio-economic growth, generation of investments and employment opportunity in the locality, the Local Government Unit (LGU) of Tagkawayan signified its interest to the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) in the implementation of Cultural Mapping Project thru a letter of request on January 29, 2021. It was considered the most crucial time of venturing into a laborious endeavor given the fact that the whole nation was in the middle of fight and struggle against the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic.

On February 2, 2021, four days after the request was sent, a prompt response from the NCCA was received by the LGU. The NCCA sent the Cultural Mapping Project Design and requested the formulation of an executive order for the creation of the municipality’s Cultural Mapping Committee and execution of Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between the NCCA and the LGU.

The Sangguniang Bayan then formulated SB Resolution No. 58-2021 on February 15, 2021 stating and expressing its full support to the Cultural Mapping Project of the municipality. After almost two weeks, on May 3, 2021, the LGU requested to NCCA the conduct of the first stage of the Cultural Mapping process which is the ‘Scoping & Negotiation’ at the same time, MOA between NCCA and LGU was executed. The Scoping & Negotiation meeting was granted on May 18, 2021 where mappers are informed of the phases of the Cultural Mapping Project, the needed participants and the duration and logistical requirements for the project. It was also in this phase when the local mappers were introduced by Mr. Prince John Catumber, NCCA Project Coordinator to three (3) NCCA facilitators namely: Raymund C. Marcaida, Bernardo M. Arellano III and Divine G. Arawiran. The latter became the local mappers’ advisers during the implementation of the mapping project as well as in the mapping of each cultural items and resources into the NCCA data gathering forms all throughout the duration of the project. Finally, on May 21, 2021, Executive Order No. 58 was made. It was an order creating the committee for Culture, the Arts and Heritage Mapping and Inventory Project of the Municipality – with one (1) Local Project Coordinator (LPC), seven (7) mappers, six (6) validators, three (3) technical working group (TWG) and two (2) advisers/consultants.

The second stage of Cultural Mapping which is the ‘Social Preparation’ took place on July 19, 2021 where local mappers were briefed on the essential information on culture and cultural mapping, the data-gathering forms, the finished outputs and the frameworks on culture and heritage in the context of Republic Act 10066 also known as the National Cultural Heritage Act of 2009.

On August 9, 2021, as part of the preparation for the upcoming 5-Day Local Mappers’ Training, a meeting was conducted with Barangay Chairpersons of barangays with identified cultural and heritage resources to be mapped during the 5-day training scheduled on August 16-20, 2021. Eighteen (18) mappers, consisting of 10 males and 8 females were grouped into 3 clusters, each with assigned 5 items to be mapped: 1 item per day in 5 days. On the final day of the training, there were a total of 15 mapped items, to which each item underwent a thorough analysis and review by the facilitators. Consequently, about 153 cultural resources or elements were also identified for mapping.

On October 5 and 6, 2021, the First Follow-up Meeting with NCCA facilitators was held. The goal was at least 50% of target items must be mapped. Submitted mapped items were uploaded and presented in the Google drive for checking and review of the facilitators. Of the targeted 141 elements, only 23 or 16.3 percent of the total were mapped. The output was too short of the targeted 50% due to reasons that some of the mappers who are LGU-based cannot dedicate 100% of their time to mapping since they also have their official functions to attend to. Another reason was that since the activity was conducted right in the middle of the COVID-19 accelerating of cases in the municipality, travel restrictions within the locality became hindrance to the conduct of mapping in the barangays. Out came the worst when almost all mappers were either infected by the COVID-19 virus or were subjected for 14-day home quarantine and isolation because they were in contact with a COVID-19 positive person thus forcing the whole mapping activity to halt in great consideration of the mappers’ health and safety.

As the mapping activity went through and given the fact that the outputs were way below the aspired target, the Local Project Coordinator (LPC) realized the need of additional mappers in order to catch-up with the targeted number of mapped items by the end of the year. Thus, the Reconstitution of the Cultural Mapping Committee was enacted thru Executive Order No. 66 on November 17, 2021 with additional three (3) mappers – constituting a total of 18 mappers: 11 males and 7 females.

The Second Follow-up Meeting happened on December 6 and 7, 2021. A total of 40 items were already uploaded in Google drive but during the meeting proper, some of the items were deferred upon the analysis and review of the NCCA facilitators. These deferred items were those with insufficient information and data gathered which cannot truly support the items’ significance in the community. On the other hand, it was also determined in the meeting that there were about five items to be mapped by Group 1, seven for Group 2, and five for Group 3 resulting a total of 65 items to complete the municipality’s local cultural profile. In the meeting, the NCCA facilitators also gave important points on what is going to happen and what to prepare for the upcoming Mock Validation, which is the next stage of the Cultural Mapping Process.

On December 7, 2021, the Mock Validation was held at the Sangguniang Bayan Session Hall. There were three (3) internal validators invited in the Mock Validation, they were Mr. Timoteo V. Valencia III, former Sangguniang Bayan member, Mrs. Elma I. Soneja, former elementary school teacher and Mrs. Erlinda P. Magsino, former COMELEC Election Officer. One item per domain were presented, these items were Kitay Mangrove Forest for Natural Resources, Manuel L. Quezon Monument for Tangible Immovable Heritage, Ilohan for Tangible Movable Heritage, Tain-Making for Intangible Heritage, Judge Guillermo O. Eleazar for Personalities and Tagkawayan Central Elementary School for Cultural Institution. At the end of the session, the NCCA facilitators gave several reminders to the mappers as the presenters and the LPC as the moderator in the next phase of the mapping process which is the Community Validation.

As part of the arduous preparation for the upcoming Community Validation, the Mapping Team decided to conduct an orientation for the identified Internal Validators whose roles and tasks in the activity will serve as pivotal to the success of the project. In the orientation, the internal validators were presented of the process of the Community Validation, their roles were also thoroughly discussed, special notes and reminders were also mentioned to them since the validation process is within time-constraint. Reproductions of all 52 mapped items to be presented in the Community Validation were also distributed to both the External and Internal Validators for advance reading, review and note-taking.

After a year of preparation and execution, the Community Validation for the Local Cultural Profile Book 1 of the Cultural Mapping Project was finally held on March 10, 2022 at the Municipal Function Hall. Together with the local mappers, the Community Validation was attended to by the Local Chief Executive, Honorable Luis Oscar T. Eleazar, members of the Sangguniang Bayan, LGU Department Heads and some employees. NCCA Project Coordinator, Mr. Prince John Catumber and all three of the NCCA facilitators were also present in the event. There were three external validators invited in the validation, namely: Dr. Eufracio Abaya, Anthropolist and professor at the Department of Arts Studies, College of Arts and Letters in UP Diliman, Architect Alnie Khayzer Hayudini, resident NCCA architect and lecturer at the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila, Maria Cristina Decal, heritage advocate and Sariaya local historian, Founder of Kulinarya Tagala, and Joselito Barros, Community Environment and Natural Resources Officer (CENRO) in DENR – Calauag, Quezon. Their primary task is to give their comments and feedback as each of the 52 mapped items will be presented by the respective cluster. Joining the three external validators were selected local internal validators, all residents and personalities of Tagkawayan and experts in their respective fields: Attorney Vicente Salumbides Jr, former Mayor and Legal Officer, Reverend Father Ricardo Mariano Eleazar, Parish Priest of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, Timoteo Valencia III, former Sangguniang Bayan member, Hernan Jason, former Municipal Secretary and Municipal Planning and Development Coordinator, Elma Soneja, retired Deped teacher, Erlinda Magsino, former COMELEC Election Officer, Engr. Jose Aquino, Municipal Engineer, Enp. Francis Villanueva, Municipal Planning and Development Coordinator, Maria Judith Batalla, Municipal Accountant, Concepcion Mestidio, Municipal Civil Registrar, Leonisa Lampos, former DepEd District Supervisor and Dr. Rebecca Rufo, retired Associate Professor.

On April 20, 2022, all 52 mapped elements are expected to be 100% polished, edited and proofread, fashioned carefully as to the guidelines of the local cultural profile issued by NCCA, ready for print-outs as the local cultural profile of the municipality. The official turnover of Tagkawayan’s Local Cultural Profile is scheduled a month afterwards.

The enormous task of the Cultural Mapping Project – PAMANA’T YAMAN: TAGKAWAYAN LOCAL CULTURAL PROFILE Book 1 has now come to an end. An end that is also the beginning of still many more years of tedious tasks of identifying, recognizing, appreciating, mapping and recording of all cultural heritages and resources of our town, for the preservation of our heritage and its protection for the next generation—all for the glory of our beloved town of Tagkawayan.

Kaway Tagkawayan!