Press Release
January 11, 2016


When he was first elected in 2010, Senator Teofisto "TG" Guingona III has already held a special place in his heart for Cordillera. In return, different tribes in this region are more than willing to welcome him into their fold.

In Lagawe, Ifugao, the Ifugao Provincial Cultural Group welcomed him with a cultural song that narrates the life and ways of the Ifugaos. Guingona was also conferred with a bayyaong (a native woven blanket of red, white, and black stripes) and a spear, and was asked to join them in a traditional dance.

In Banaue, with the famous rice terraces as the backdrop, elder tribe leaders performed tovang, the ritual slaying of a pig, to determine Guingona's fate in the region. Mayor Jerry Dalipog held the pig's bile and announced its favorable signs for the senator.

"The gods cover us, wherever the senator goes, he is safe. He is welcome in the municipality of Banaue," Dalipog declared.

In an exhibit of the young generations' knowledge of their rich culture and tradition, members of the Amganad Elementary School performed a captivating thanksgiving dance called dinupdup bumayang, which lasted for around 30 minutes.

Guingona was also conferred with a pungot (headdress), a wanoh (loincloth), a baya'ong (blanket symbolic of hospitality), a bolo, and a spear. Members of the Tourism Office Banaue Cultural Group capped off the ceremony with another traditional dance.

Meanwhile, in Sagada, Mountain Province, Mayor Ed Latawan spearheaded the baptism of Guingona as "Gatan," following Apoy di Danum, the ceremonial inauguration of the Improvement of Buasao Irrigation System and Construction of Tanulong Tribe Irrigators Association Water Service Project.

According to Besao Mayor Wellington Pooten, "Gatan" is a legendary figure who taught their ancestors how to farm and protect themselves.

One of Guingona's first Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) allocations as a senator was the development of a water supply and irrigation source in Sagada, Mountain Province in 2011. Then known as "Sagada Domestic Water Supply," the Buasao water project took almost five years to finish due to several setbacks. With its completion in December 2015, the town's new water haven is now a source of comfort and solidarity for residents.

Meanwhile, in 2013, Guingona allotted P300,000 for the rehabilitation of a multi-purpose building (barangay day care center) in Sitio Alimit, Brgy. Poblacion, Banaue, Ifugao.

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