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Gingoog culture, art exhibit calls for environment preservation

GINGOOG CITY, Misamis Oriental (PIA) -- "Work together to preserve the delicate balance between culture and the environment," international artist and renowned advocate for soil painting and indigenous arts, Datu Rodelio “Waway” Saway said during the mixed media art exhibit, "Gasayuda 2024," Gingoog City’s local celebration for National Arts Month on Feb. 21.

"Dako kaayo among ihatag nga pagtagad tungod kay gusto nato nga ma-improve and ma-develop gyud ang talento sa mga kabatan-onan sa Gingoog [We will pay a lot of attention because we want to improve and develop the talent of the youth of Gingoog]. Rest assured that as your leaders, the local governance will always support our constituents, especially our artists dinhi sa siyudad sa [here in the city of] Gingoog. Soon, we will invite them and we will expose our local talents to the national arena," Mayor Erick Cañosa said. 

Elaborating on the mayor's call for support to artists, Saway emphasized the significance of preserving the cultural and environmental heritage of the Mindanao mountains, especially the youth, through its arts and music. He added that it is important to safeguard the Mindanao mountains from the impact of climate change, while referring to them as a region rich in cultural heritage, biodiversity, ecological significance and the home of indigenous communities. 

Saway, who is also the current municipal councilor of Songco, Lantapan in Bukidnon, stressed that these communities have cultivated unique traditions, oral histories, arts, music and rituals that are deeply connected with nature. He said that indigenous art forms, such as intricate weavings, wood carvings, and traditional dances, celebrate the region's natural beauty and biodiversity. 

“Cultural evolution in the Mindanao Mountains has been guided by oral traditions that emphasize environmental preservation and stewardship. Through storytelling, songs, and rituals, indigenous communities have passed down knowledge about sustainable land use, resource management, and conservation practices. These oral traditions serve as a repository of wisdom that highlights the interconnectedness between culture, environment, and human well-being,” the indigenous artist said.

Saway added that music and chants are used to honor the spirits of the mountains, rivers, and forests, fostering a sense of reverence and respect for the environment. Rituals performed by indigenous communities serve as ceremonial expressions of gratitude, protection, and renewal for the land and its resources. 

“These rituals reinforce the spiritual connection between people and nature, promoting a holistic approach to environmental preservation that transcends individual actions and encompasses the collective well-being of the entire ecosystem,” he said.

Gasayuda 2024 can be viewed at Gaisano Grand Mall in Gingoog City until Feb. 29. Mayor Cañosa, together with City Council Chairperson on Tourism, Cultural Affairs and Zoning Councilor Stephanie Marie L. Kho, and the City Tourism Office were present to support the local artists. (IJBD/PIA-10/Misamis Oriental)

Gingoog City Mayor Erick G. Cañosa led the ribbon-cutting ceremony of Gasayuda 2024 on February 21, 2024. (Photo: JRJ/PIA-10/Misamis Oriental)
Judges screened the entries of the Mixed Media Arts and Installation Arts contest, as part of the Gasayuda 2024 celebration. (Photo: JRJ/PIA-10/Misamis Oriental)
Gingoog City Mayor Erick G. Canosa, during the Gasayuda 2024, expressed his support in developing the talents of creative Gingoognons. He said that soon, artists and works of arts originating in the city will gain national exposure. (Photo: JRJ/PIA-10/Misamis Oriental)
Special Program for the Arts students of Gingoog City perform using traditional music instruments. (Photo: JRJ/PIA-10/Misamis Oriental)
Datu Waway Saway spoke before the Gingoog City artists and students of the Special Program for the Arts during the Gasayuda 2024, the arts month celebration of Gingoog City. (Photo: IJBD/PIA-10/Misamis Oriental)

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Irene Joy Dayo


Region 10

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