June 14, 2019
Mankayan kids learn traditional Benguet dances thru Lepanto’s workshop
Over 400 community children from barangays Bulalacao, Suyoc, Colalo, Cabiten, Sapid, Bedbed, Taneg, Tabio and Paco of Mankayan, Benguet completed the Lepanto Consolidated Mining Company-sponsored three-day Summer Theater Arts Workshop which highlights the rich culture of the Cordilleras.
This year’s summer workshop was facilitated by the Lepanto National High School (LNHS) Gambang Theater Guild members. Nurtured by Lepanto Mining, the LNHS Gambang Theater Guild is a local school-based theater arts group that has been gaining nationwide recognition; from consistently bagging bronze, silver and gold medals in the Benguet Adivay Festival, to performing in national platforms including the Philippine Mining International Conference 2017 held at Sofitel Manila. The group even represented the Cordillera region in the Dance Xchange: The Philippine International Dance Workshop and Festival 2018 held in Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental.
The theater guild members reached out to the nine Mankayan barangays, starting in the last week of April until first week of June, to teach the community children basic theater acting, playing of cultural appurtenances like gongs and solibao, and traditional dances like “tayaw” and “sadong”. The three-day program culminated in a recital program, where the children showcased what they have learned from the workshop.
LCMC VP for HR and Administration and CSR Mr. Knestor Jose Y. Godino said that the summer workshop has been part of Lepanto’s continuing efforts to help preserve and enrich the Cordilleran culture by ensuring that the community children appreciate their vibrant culture.
“Given the rich and diverse culture of the Cordilleras, we need to exert more effort towards its preservation. This has been one of our thrusts under the #LepantoCares banner, where we involve the local communities, barangay officials and the academe in helping promote the traditional arts. The real challenge, more than passing the knowledge and skills to the new generation, is making it a part of their daily lives,” added Mr. Godino.
The summer activity was met with overwhelming response from the community parents and teachers.
“Maganda yung ganitong klaseng program kasi nakakakuha din kami ng technic para sa pagtuturo namin ng Benguet culture, at malaking bagay din para sa amin na nakakatulong ito para lalong ma-enhance ang confidence ng mga bata”, shared Mrs. Marieta P. Marquez, a teacher from Suyoc Elementary School.
“Though nagtuturo din kami sa school about sa culture ng Benguet, pero etong theater workshop ay lalo pa na-enhance ang aming pagtuturo sa mga bata lalo na pagdating sa mga traditional dances at pagtugtog ng gongs at solibao”, Mrs. Genevive Copite, teacher from Taneg Elementary School added.
The theater arts workshop is also one way of keeping LNHS Gambang Theater Guild alive and kicking, as many of their members have just graduated this school year. The company believes there are promising young talents among the communities, that needed to be nurtured and harnessed, through their membership in the guild.
“Arts and culture will always be an integral part of our business. It is who we are as a company. Lepanto exists because of our culture and heritage, and we must never forget this”, LCMC President and COO Bryan U. Yap remarked.