The Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) will be celebrating its 30th foundation anniversary this July 15, Saturday. The theme for this year is “CAR @ 30: A Celebration of Unity.”
The day is a special non-working holiday in all provinces under the region as mandated by President Rodrigo Duterte’s Proclamation 247, which Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea signed on his behalf last July 5. The full text of the proclamation can be downloaded here.
There are six provinces under CAR: Abra, Apayao, Benguet, Ifugao, Kalinga, and Mt. Province plus the chartered city of Baguio. The region was created in compliance with Executive Order 220, which was signed by then-President Corazon Aquino on July 15, 1987.
According to a report from the Philippine Information Agency, the activities for the month-long 30th Cordillera anniversary celebration include the traditional Cordillera Unity Gong Relay which will kick off on July 8 and will travel to the different Cordillera provinces. It will be back to the province of Benguet, which is the host of this year’s celebration, by July 15 in time for the Cordillera Day.
The Cordillera Day program will also feature the Cordillera Coffee Pavillion and Trade Exhibit at the Benguet Sports Complex and the Shayoney Fashion Show at the SM City Baguio.
Meanwhile, the 2nd International Conference on Cordillera Studies will be held from July 12 to 14 at the Camp John Hay Convention Center in Baguio City. A cultural summit titled “Celebrating Cordillera Heritage” will be on July 28 at the Benguet Provincial Capitol.
The Cordillera region experienced rebel insurgency during the 1970s and 1980s. Shortly after the removal from power of Ferdinand Marcos, the Cordillera People’s Liberation Army, decided to stop their armed struggle and instead engage in peace talks with the administration of President Aquino.
Three years ago, several House solons from the region filed a bill proposing the creation of a Cordillera Autonomous Region, which will be patterned after the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao. However, it didn’t go anywhere.