The National Commission on Arts and Culture (NCCA) celebrated National Heritage Month 2024 with the theme “Championing Heritage: Capacity Building to Transform Communities,” emphasizing the much-needed support for our cultural workers and advocates within local communities and indigenous peoples themselves by boosting their knowledge and skills in heritage management.

The closing program activities, in partnership with the City Government of Malaybalay through the efforts of City Tourism Office, spearheaded by Ms. Honolu Marie C. Cruzin, Supervising Tourism Operations Officer, were held at the Kaamulan Open Theatre in Malaybalay City on May 29, 2024. This event also marked the commencement of cultural mapping activities in Malaybalay City, representing the first NCCA cultural mapping project in the Province of Bukidnon.

The activity was gracefully attended by NCCA Commissioner Mr. Carlo B. Ebeo, the Secretary-General of UNESCO National Commission of the Philippines, Dr. Ivan Anthony S. Henares, City Mayor Jay Warren R. Pabillaran, City Councilors, private sectors, stakeholders, various agencies of the Government sector, IPMR Representatives, SK Federation members, and Manlilikha ng Bayan Awardee, Marife S. Ganahon from the city. Presentations of Certificates of Appreciation from NCCA were also given to the City Government of Malaybalay, the 2nd District Representative Office, and the Provincial Government of Bukidnon.

In the afternoon session, a proper cultural mapping orientation and social preparation meeting were conducted with the assistance of Keynote Speakers Mr. Glenn Francis Lantigse and Ms. Sitie Juhanna Pandapatan, the NCCA Cultural Mapping Facilitators. They discussed preparations for Phase III, which involves training the Local Mapping Team, skills and knowledge requirements, and critical next steps. The program concluded with a closing message from City Councilor Hon. Cromwell Kiril D. Dinlayan, SP Chair of the Committee on Culture and Arts.

Contributor: APRIL ZANE L. FERNANDEZ – City Tourism