CELEBRATING THE IFUGAO RICE TERRACES, A WORLD HERITAGE SITE

MANILA,
May 17, 2004  (STAR) The Office of the President recently proclaimed May as National Heritage Month. Set in the air-conditioned Clamshell of Intramuros, the annual celebration is intended to inculcate pride among Filipinos, particularly the young who are no longer aware of our national heritage.

The celebration will showcase UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including the country’s baroque churches, the Tubbataha Reef and Ifugao Rice Terraces.

UNESCO Philippines Secretary-General Preciosa S. Soliven will open the exhibit of the Ifugao Rice Terraces today, May 16, by featuring the new Ifugao Montessori Pagsasarili Literacy Program of "Mother and Child Learning." Since 2003, the UNESCO Rice Terraces cluster municipalities of Kiangan, Mayoyao, Hungduan, Batad, and Bangaan have established affordable Montessori-Pagsasarili Preschools, which serve as models for the other 124 Ifugao day care centers.

Ifugao DSWD head Joyce Niwane and 15 newly trained Pagsasarili teachers will do workshops on good grooming and hygiene, housekeeping, child care, cooking and food service. The workshops aim to elevate the status of women, develop their potentials to the fullest and keep them economically self-sufficient.

A UNESCO heritage expert from Sweden reminds the UNESCO member states that having their heritage site selected is not like winning a beauty contest. The state obligations must be seriously fulfilled.

UNESCO reiterates that the key to reviving tourism in heritage sites is to train the people in quality food service, tourist lodge keeping and efficient tour guiding.


Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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