Protection, preservation of Benguet heritage sites mulled

Apo Anno CaveLA TRINIDAD, Benguet, – Heritage sites with their cultural or physical significance have to be preserved and protected to create a balanced atmosphere where the historic past coexists in harmony with modern society.

This is provided under Republic Act 10066 or the “National Cultural Heritage Act of 2009”.

In Benguet, Board member Blas Dalus authored a measure for the preservation and protection of all heritage sites in the province.

According to Provincial Tourism Operations Office Clarita Prudencio, their office identified heritage sites and events which need to be safeguarded.

For historical sites, many are listed in Kabayan such as the Pyramid or the Kineppol ni Nabaloi located at the Poblacion Municipal Ground, which was constructed around three centuries ago, and the burial tomb of Henry A. Kamora, the Grand Old Man of Kabayan; the Tinongshol and Bangao Burial Caves, abode of centuries-old mummies; Mt. Pulag, the highest peak in Luzon and second in the country; Mt. Timbac with its burial caves and centuries- old mummies; imprinted large footprints on big solid rocks believed to be footprints of the legendary “Besang” found in barangays Ducan, Adaoay and Pacso; Tabalan Hill; Embosi, the first Ibaloi settlement found in Pacso; Bulalakaw Lake, the abode of the huge flying fish called “Bulalakaw”; Dabonay Yard in barangay Kabayan Barrio where Dabonay, the lone husky Kabayan lady heroine wrestled and pinned down a male enemy; Carino Cave in Talukip, Eddet where then Governor Ora Cariño hid and was later captured by the Americans in 1900; and Manenchen, the site of the massacre of the residents of Eddet during the Japanese Imperial Army.

Other historical sites include those in Kapangan namely Camp Utopia, the sanctuary of the 66th Infantry Regime-Philippine Army in World War II; Darew Ancient Ruins of Civilization on the top of the mountain where trading, intermarriage and alliances were forged; Katampan Burial Ground in Bileng-Bilis and Dakiwagan Burial Ground in Balakbak.

In Buguias is the Mummy Apo Anno Cave in Nabalicong, the adobe of the legendary Benguet mummy Apo Anno stolen from his ancient burial cave sometime in the 1920s, and returned in 1998.

For cultural sites, the Talingguroy Burial Ground in Wangal and the Peril Mummy Cave in Alapang in La Trinidad and the Mt. Sto Tomas Burial Sites 1 and 2 found in Tuba.

Cultural events are also counted as heritage like the Bendiyan Festival held every May and the Adivay every November.

Dalus said there are heritage sites which are yet to be identified and validated by the Provincial Tourism Office./JDP/SCA-PIA CAR, Benguet


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