Gond ed Bedbed Mankayan Benguet

Ikit ng Bayan Opinion

Gong is a disk-shaped percussion instrument that produces a resounding tone when struck with a usually padded hammer. The term was first used during 1590, or locally called Gangsa and Pistan. Eventually, in the Philippines, particular in Barangay Bedbed, Mankayan in the province of Benguet became well-known as one of the best gong makers. In social settings, the gong is used to gather people on an important agenda like meeting and festivities while particularly in Cordillera region, this instrument is used for entertainment and later on a vital tool in choreographing a dance we now call as Tayaw.

If Kalinga Province celebrates the Bodong Festival “Awong chi Gangsa” or the Sound of the thousand Gongs every February to highlight the use of gong for celebration rather than playing music from cd and cassette from previous years, the municipality of Mankayan, Benguet would like to showcase on their Foundation Day this March the importance of gong production as a means of livelihood aside from vegetable and mining, as Mayor Materno Luspian clearly said. Their theme would be “Bantok ti Gangsa” which can be roughly translated as “to play the gong”.

And so it is a good thing that the request letter made by the Senior Citizen President Rodolfo Monte, in behalf of his colleagues in Baranggay Bedbed, Mankayan, to the National Commission on Culture and Arts (NCCA) was granted with a total budget of P500,000 which will be divided as P150,000 for a 10-day training which starts January 23 to Feb. 1 while the P350,000 is to purchase all the needed material for gong making.

Meanwhile, the contribution of Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Benguet Freda Gawisan is to facilitate the product development, simple bookkeeping to sustain the project for introducing the gong as a trade mark product of Mankayan and register it to the Intellectual Property Office so that the ownership is really made on Bedbed, Mankayan. Gong or Gangsa has a standard prize depending on its diameter and thickness. The smallest size among the 7 set is 10 inches worth P3,300 and you only add P300 per item because the complete set is composed of seven pieces from 10 inches to 14 inches is worth P27,000. Why 7, if you ask iKit? That is the musical sound of Do-Re-Mi-Fa-So-La-Ti and back to Do. Well tell you what iKit, for your extra knowledge, 7 is actually a holy day of sanctification meaning to give official acceptance or approval to something. In Genesis chapter 1 and 2:13 Jesus Christ made Heaven and Earth within 6 days and in the 7th day he rested. So this is a time to take a break, play music or sing a song, for God blessed us always with another wonderful day of improving our lives. Happy Sunday iKit! This is yours truly Tita Ara Katter of 98.7 ZRadio FM, always reminding you “Ti panagkaykaysa, mangiwanwan iti naranyag nga pagsayaatan.”