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Fostering Meranaw culture, honing Tugaya locals on Baor making

MARAWI CITY, Lanao del Sur (PIA)--The Bangsamoro Commission for the Preservation of Cultural Heritage (BCPCH) - Lanao del Sur conveyed its oozing determination to highlight the essence of culture and its sustainability.

As part of this dedication, the commission has partnered with the local government of Tugaya to kick off the four-day skills training on Baor making from September 7 to 11, wherein ten participants received their toolkits while the Office of Member of Parliament Diamila Disimban-Ramos pledged to extend financial assistance. 

BCPCH-Lanao del Sur Commissioner Robert Alonto conveyed that piloting the activity in Tugaya town caused him elation, especially since this carries the branding, identity and pride of being a Maranao and a resident of the Bangsamoro region. 

He recognized the excellent works produced by the artisans in this locality, saying that the living industry here has become the centerpiece of the Ranao culture. 

With this, Commissioner Alonto stressed that it was only proper and fitting that his office initiated the first session of the skills training in this place, which has been geared towards the major showcase of cultural singularity and producer of brassware not only in this province but also throughout the country. 

“Tugaya is the capital of traditional craftsmanship and artisanship of Ranao. It is, therefore, proper that the BCPCH-LDS holds its training here in baor making, alongside brassware artisanship,” he said. 

Bangsamoro Commission for the Preservation of Cultural Heritage (BCPCH) - Lanao del Sur Commissioner Robert Alonto says it was only proper that they started the baor making in Tugaya, Lanao del Sur, considering that this houses most of the Meranaw culture in the province. (PIA-10/Lanao del Sur)

BCPCH-Lanao del Sur Community Affairs Officer Salahudin Alonto further shared why his office opted to push for Baor making in pursuit of fostering the Meranaw culture. 

He underscored that the art of crafting Baor, or the scrupulously designed wooden box is beyond a mere utilitarian item as this serves as a visible testament to the Maranaos’ intricate artistic legacy and profound cultural narratives. 

Officer Alonto stated that this bears centuries of remarkable evolution, which allowed Maranaos to not only uphold their ancestral traditions but also offer future generations a solid link to their heritage. 

Aside from the cultural aspect, he additionally noted that the baor making signifies significant economic value for artisans, considering that the demand for these unique and handcrafted boxes alleviates the living of numerous families. 

“The emphasis on baor crafting is not merely an endeavor to preserve an art form. It represents a broader vision of safeguarding the Meranaw’s rich cultural tapestry while concurrently ensuring its artisans remain economically empowered and the craft remains relevant in today’s globalized milieu,” said Officer Alonto. 

Meanwhile, executives of the local government unit of Tugaya expressed delight over the enforcement of the program of BCPCH-Lanao del Sur in their municipality. 

Tugaya Councilor Queenie Maharlanie Pacalna-Asum stressed that her town is home to various cultural artifacts, thus, her great gratitude for initiating a skills training on Baor making.

“The municipality of Tugaya is host to one of the highest concentrations of traditional craftsmanship kaya (that is why) we are so thankful sa BCPCH para sa programang ito para ma-preserve itong mga gawa sa Tugaya (to BCPCH for this program which will preserve the products of Tugaya). Thank you so much,” she said.

After the success of the skills training, the BCPCH-Lanao del Sur looked forward to conducting more skills training focused on cultural preservation. (CRG/PIA-10/Lanao del Sur)

A baor is a wooden box designed with complex patterns of Meranaw. According to Bangsamoro Commission for the Preservation of Cultural Heritage (BCPCH) - Lanao del Sur Community Affairs Officer Salahudin Alonto, this holds various narratives of the history of Maranaos. (PIA-10/Lanao del Sur)

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Claire Gigje

Information Officer I

Region 10

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