The celebration of the Cordillera Day on July 15, 2023 is a momentous occasion that recognizes the
rich culture, heritage, and rights of the Cordillerans. This annual event brings together communities, activists, and advocates to commemorate the struggles and victories of the indigenous peoples of the Cordillera. Cordillera Day serves as a platform to highlight the importance of preserving and promoting the distinct traditions, languages, arts, and customs of the

It provides an opportunity to raise awareness about the unique contributions and challenges faced by the indigenous communities, as well as their ongoing efforts to assert their rights and protect their ancestral domains. This year ’s Cordillera Day celebration carries the theme “Celebrating One,
Resilient, Diverse and Inclusive Journey Toward Regional Autonomy.” It emphasizes the collective strength and unwavering determination of the Cordillerans to protect their land, resources, and

The theme underscores the crucial role of solidarity and unity in safeguarding indigenous rights, cultural heritage, and sustainable development. The festivities in the region feature a diverse range of activities, which aim to foster dialogue, understanding, and appreciation for the rich tapestry of Cordilleran cultures while addressing pressing issues such as land rights, environmental conservation, and social justice.

However, organizations linked with the CPP-NPA-NDF in the Region exploit this cultural event for their own interest and serve as a venue to deceive and recruit vulnerable IPs and youths. Cordillera Day provides an occasion to acknowledge the achievements and struggles of the Cordillera people in their pursuit of self determination, not an occasion where these deceptive and self-interest groups can use and exploit.

The celebration should serve as a reminder of the collective resilience and determination to overcome challenges, promote inclusive development, and preserve the Cordillera’s unique identity. It should not be used for malicious representation of the Region’s martyrs. Thus, the government, civil society organizations, indigenous leaders, and various stakeholders should unite to commemorate this one and only true Cordillera Day, reaffirming their commitment to upholding
the rights, dignity, and aspirations of the Cordilleran communities.

This celebration serves as a testament not only for the Cordillera but for the Philippines’ rich cultural diversity and the nation’s steadfast support for indigenous rights and cultural heritage. We invite everyone to join us in celebrating Cordillera Day, to appreciate the vibrant cultures, recognize the struggles faced by the Cordilleran people. Together, let us forge a brighter future that honors and respects the heritage and rights of all Filipinos.

James Biag/ABN

Amianan Balita Ngayon