A Book on Living Heritage Symbolizing the Origin of the Filipinos
2012 Philippines-ICHCAP Publication Project of Intangible Cultural Heritage Guidebook
From the sixteenth century to the founding of the postwar Philippines Republic, successive waves of foreign invaders had systematically undermined the very foundations of Philippines indigenous traditions, in the process depriving them of the most potent symbols of their identity as a people. Yet, sadly, Filipinos themselves continue to degrade what the invaders have not succeeded in wiping out completely.
A nation can only be erected on the basis of self-respect, on a sense of self-worth and dignity. Without pride in our own cultural heritage and achievements, there will be no unifying force in our society for social cohesion and unity that is indispensable for nationhood.
Already, Filipinos recognized that many people are not concerned about their intangible cultural heritage (ICH), so there have been efforts to implement various activities for safeguarding ICH, including institutionalizing a legal system. Furthermore, to raise awareness on Filipino ICH, not only in the nationwide but also worldwide, the National Commission for Cultural and the Arts (NCCA), in collaboration with ICHCAP, implemented the Philippines-ICHCAP Publication Project of Intangible Cultural Heritage Guidebook in 2012.
Filipinos are presented as creators, innovators, and bearers of their collective wisdom and heritage rather than as imitators and passive consumers. In this way, they can call attention to their intrinsic dignity and worth and enhance their self-respect. It is a way of dignifying Filipinos, a significant direction in healing and unifying a nation.