Issue of July 8, 2018
     
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Culture bearers in our midst

The Free Dictionary describes culture bearers as “any individual, especially a migrant, who carries, and thus diffuses, cultural values and traits between societies. The role of culture bearers is particularly important within those cultures undergoing transition or experiencing threat from outside the culture.”

The gathering and meeting of culture bearers and experts in their fields at the Baguio Museum was brought about by the 2017 Ambassador’s Fund for Cultural Preservation project of the U.S. Embassy in Manila, under the auspices of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, Cultural Heritage Center of the U.S. This is in line with the U.S. foreign policy objective of promoting and protecting cultural heritage worldwide.

For the Baguio Museum, the goal is to bring a visually striking display of the Cordillera provinces and its tribes and complement it with a vivid historical account based on the expertise and experiences of the culture bearers.

The Baguio Museum welcomes and thanks the following experts for their enthusiastic participation and sharing: Isikias Picpican, Clarita Prudencio, Fr. Oscar Alunday, Dr. Lucia Ruiz, Margarita Balansi-Gayac, and anthropologist Andrea Dominique Cosalan. We still need to hear from Gov. Pedro Mayam-o of Ifugao and Gov. Elias Bulut Jr. of Apayao.

Vice president Edilberto Tenefrancia, who was also present during the gathering, mentioned he wants to pursue a project called, “A Dictionary of Cordillera Dialect and Languages.” Calling the National Commission for Culture and the Arts.

Dr. Ysaye Barnwell, a culture bearer, a composer, singer, teacher, and author, shares her definition of a culture bearer: “For me, a culture bearer implies a person who has consciously embodied culture and is in the process of transmitting it.”

We are grateful that many people are willing to help the Baguio Museum, a community museum whose vision is to be the hub of art and culture in Baguio and the Cordillera. For the information of the public, we also have a Baguio Gallery, which showcases the historical development of the city and two other floors for art and cultural exhibits, trainings, and forum.

Thank you Tessa Badua-Larsen, U.S. resident and a member of St. Louis University Girls High School Batch ‘68 for your kind words: “Visited the Baguio Museum early this year. Stella de Guia and the curator Gemma (Estolas) did a wonderful job of educating the group. I have to admit that I didn’t know the history of Baguio City, its founders, the make-up of the mountain provinces and their cultural influence when I lived there. Visiting the museum and being in the city after 42 years of absence definitely made an impression on me. I have a better appreciation of my birthplace through the hard work of the people responsible for managing and maintaining the artifacts on display. Thank you.” I am positive the Baguio Museum Board of Trustees, at present headed by president Fred Bagbagen, will be happy.

On July 20, the Baguio Museum in celebration of “Philippine-American Friendship Day 2018” will sponsor “A Talk on RP-U.S. Relations and the Influence of the Americans on the Art and Architecture of Baguio.” Guest of Honor and Speaker is U.S. Embassy Deputy Chief of Mission Michael S. Klecheski.

For more information and queries, please contact Gemma Estolas at 444-7541 or 0927-124-7570. We cordially invite architects, artists, students, and faculty to come and join us in this momentous activity.

I don’t know what July 13 means to most of us, but to my family, it means remembering a very special gentleman, a United States Army Forces in the Philippines veteran who inspired and guided his family, the late Turiano de Guia. Happy birthday, papa Tur! Thank you for the memories.

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