In observance of the annual celebration of Heritage Month, the Provincial Government of La Union (PGLU) through the La Union Provincial Tourism Office (LUPTO) – Culture and the Arts Unit, successfully concluded the 3rd La Union Annual Youth Taoid Camp (LUAYTC) on May 20-24, 2024 at the J&V Hotel and Resort, Sevilla, City of San Fernando, La Union. As initiated through Provincial Ordinance No. 420- 2023, the LUAYTC was conducted to envision a generation of KaPROBINSYAnihan youth who deeply appreciate their identity by understanding their past and drawing inspiration from it.

The camp’s mission is to encourage active youth engagement in raising awareness of the National Cultural Heritage Act of 2009 and integrate heritage into diverse youth initiatives. Gov. Raphaelle Veronica “Rafy” Ortega-David, a strong advocate for youth empowerment and cultural heritage, represented by Executive Assistant Eleazar Belgica, PhD., said, “This camp is more than just an event; it’s a movement… to empower our youth to become the torchbearers of our cultural heritage, ensuring that our history and traditions are preserved for future generations.”

Gov. Rafy was optimistic about honing the participants’ potential to carry the Ilocano traditions in the future. “I know that YOUTH CAN DO IT!” she added. This year’s camp brought together 20 participants from every municipality and city in La Union as the third batch of youth heritage ambassadors. They took part in cultural
education, experiential learning, immersion experiences, and team-building activities, including interactions with cultural experts and practitioners, to deepen their understanding and appreciation of their heritage.

The highlight of the camp was an immersive tour conducted at the La Union Special School for Culture and Arts in Santol, La Union, wherein the youth heritage ambassadors had the opportunity to experience, firsthand, the rich cultural heritage and artistic traditions of the municipality. Participants were tasked with submitting project proposals focused on heritage preservation intending to be selected as Kalilibnosan Heritage Awardees for the Linggo ng Kabataan in August 2024.

“The experiences and knowledge I have gained here are truly invaluable… engaging with cultural masters and learning directly about our traditions has motivated me to play an active role in preserving our heritage,” expressed Arlene Joy Nebres, a Bacnotan, La Union participant. In the true essence of LaUnion PROBINSYAnihan,
the camp endorsed diverse and sustainable heritage-centered programs, projects, and activities that encourage
KaPROBINSYAnihan participation. By uniting the youth, LUAYTC not only upheld La Union’s cultural
heritage but also empowered the next generation to embrace its culture with pride.

Joy Ann L. Gurtiza, GPCLUPTO, and Marie Jae Anndre Fronda, PIO

Edited by Rojanah Riel Lyka B. Cabeza/UC-Intern

Amianan Balita Ngayon