ARMM, NCCA implement cultural mapping project for Muslim communities

The Mindanao Examiner Regional Newspaper - - News - (Bureau of Public Information)

COTABATO CITY – The Bureau on Cultural Heritage (BCH) of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) and the National Commission on Culture and the Arts (NCCA) are implementing a cultural mapping project for Muslim communities.

Officials of the two institutions met recently for a consultative meeting on a research and documentation initiative that will come up with an inventory and registry of cultural properties that need preservation and protection. NCCA is the planning and policy making body of the government on the preservation and protection of culture.

Fr. Harold Rentoria, OSA, NCCA Commissioner for Cultural Heritage, described cultural mapping as a process of identifying, recording, and using cultural resources and activities in building communities.

“Ang kultura ay parang kaluluwa ng bansa. Everything emanates from our culture; this is why we would like to preserve it for our identity as people of the ARMM, and as Filipinos. Kaya gumawa tayo ng sistema so that we will be able to pass on to our children what we have in the past, that still exist in the present, that they can use in the future,” Fr. Rentoria said on the need to preserve cultural heritage and the cultural mapping.

Fr. Rentoria also called on local government units in the region to support and take accountability on projects relating to cultural heritage. It is important, he said, to craft projects that will aid in their preservation and protection.

“Ang progress and development natin ay hindi lang sa mga current na pamamaraan, dapat kasama narin ang ating nakaraan. Marami nang mga pag aaral at mga success stories if we are able to preserve our heritage and this can be really good for our socio-economic development as well,” Fr. Rentoria said

Meanwhile, Executive Director Marites Maguindra of the BCH-ARMM expressed optimism on the region’s renewed ties with the NCCA. This is not the first time the two agencies worked together, but Maguindra said stronger ties with the NCCA is very beneficial for the ARMM since BCH has limitations in resources.

“Marami tayong plans on cultural preservation and we have already done some of them even with our constraints and limitations, and we are looking forward that NCCA will help us bridge those gaps,” Maguindra said.

“Nakakatakot na in 10 years time kapag hindi natin na-preserve hindi lang ang mga items, kung hindi pati ang transfer ng skills, baka tuluyan ng mawala ang mga heritage na ito,” she adds.

The consultation meeting was also a venue for BCH to propose to the NCCA possible projects that they could jointly implement in the future. One of these is the operation of the ARMM Museum, or the Regional Center for Cultural Heritage.

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