The Province of Capiz showcased its heritage and culture during the Tukibon Paranublion Learning Visit and Special Meeting of the Regional Culture, Heritage, and the Arts Committee (RCHAC) of the Regional Development Council (RDC) – Western Visayas on May 27, 2022.  The RCHAC members visited the 14-hectare Capiz Ecology Park and Cultural Village in Cuartero, Capiz dotted with its collection of indigenous trees and shrubs and replicas of indigenous houses belonging to the Ati, Panay-Bukidnon, and Hiligaynon ethnic groups.

The RCHAC VI Chairperson and Capiz Governor Esteban Evan B. Contreras together with the Provincial Tourism Officer, Mr. Alphonsus D. Tesoro, welcomed the RCHAC members with Ms. Annie Divinagracia Sartorio of Annie Divinagracia Sartorio – School of Performing Arts and Architect Roderick Tiamson of the United Architects of the Philippines. The National Economic and Development Authority staff led by Chief Economic Development Specialist Ms. Joyalita B. Tigres were also present as the RDC-RCHAC Secretariat.

Mr. Rommel Castor, Panay-Bukidnon Cultural Master, discussed the symbolisms in their indigenous weaving craft Panubok, the ordeals of a Binukot in their community, and the adventures of Humadapnon in the epic Hinilawod.  Meanwhile, Mr. Warlito Salveo, Ati Cultural Master, shared the workmanship in producing handcrafts from the indigenous vine nito, the low monetary valuation imposed on their products, and the vine’s scarcity due to overexploitation and rapid urbanization.

The RCHAC members also visited the Balay Capisnon Institute of Living Traditions where local artisans demonstrated their handcraft weaves made of bamboo and abaca and took part in cooking various indigenous pastries such as bitso-bitso, linupak nga saging, kalamay hati, and cuisines namely binakol nga manok and pantat nga may dahon sang balinghoy.

The Tukibon Paranublion Learning Visit included tours of the Panublion Museum in Roxas City, Capiz with its collection of indigenous and religious artifacts; the Acuña-Roxas Ancestral House where former Philippine President Manuel Roxas was born; and the Santa Monica Parish Church in Panay, Capiz which houses the biggest Catholic Church Bell in Southeast Asia.

The Tukibon Paranublion Learning Visit is one of the RCHAC activities to celebrate the National Heritage Month, share best practices in the promotion of culture, heritage and the arts, and gain an in-depth understanding of the existing challenges in the grassroots that would require immediate intervention and policy action. (RGCaspillo/NEDA6)