PIA-CAR office to be converted as guest house #Makapasangit

by Lorraine Joy Signey

Imagine something precious taken away from you. I think it’s a basic human emotion to feel sad and cry when something you’ve cherished is reduced to a mere nothing.

A lot of people in Facebook have expressed their disagreement to the plan of converting the PIA-CAR office into a cottage for the Executive Secretary. And if one would ask why, the answer is simple. The PIA-CAR office or also known as Cordillera House is a historical site.

The place have catered to various events that have greatly contributed to the rich history of Cordillera and its people.

Photo by: Carl Cariño Taawan

According to a post of Cordillera Voice in Facebook, even before the establishment of PIA-CAR, the Cordillera House was the place where five of the eight fatalities from the Cordillera Peoples Liberation Army, who were ambushed in Baay Licuan on June 1997, was lain during a wake.

And as PIA-CAR took over, the Cordillera House have become a place of convergence of local and national media practitioners, government agencies, NGOs, and citizens.

Photo by: Carl Cariño Taawan

“The venue, both indoors and outdoors has practically become the hub and studio of media events, the regular Kapihan Sa Baguio which is a program of the Cordillera Association of Regional Executive, the Baguio Correspondents and Broadcasters Club (BCBC) and Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas.” — Cordillera Voice

The Dap-ay outside the Cordillera house was used for events such as public consultations, celebrations, and rituals. These gatherings have strengthened ties and have enriched the history of Cordillera.

If the concern is really about the “weak and dilapidated” condition of the Cordillera House as the Office of the President – Inventory Team claims, then it is best to be addressed accordingly to PIA-CAR because they are the custodian of the property. The agency have the means to rehabilitate it.

However, fact that the Cordillera House is planned to be converted into a cottage for the Executive Secretary shows that there is another agenda at hand. Definitely, this is considered  a cultural sacrilege.

This place should be given more value.

The Cordillera House, Dap-ay and Ifugao huts must be preserved. It is a heritage site that witnessed Cordillera people’s struggles, triumphs, and celebration of culture.

We have to give importance to the preservation of our heritage sites and culture rather than pushing for a pseudo-development.

There is no room for people who have absurd plans for our beloved city.

Stop making Baguio City foreign to its people.

Stop making the people of Baguio forget the face of their home.