Telling Your Story, Preserving Our History

by Louise Francine M. Socillo

“What is the most visited place in Iligan City?”

When asked this question, one tourist spot rises above everyone else – the majestic Ma. Cristina Falls that powers 70% of Mindanao. You can ask even the most elderly in your family the history of Ma. Cristina, of how it existed and of how it came to be as it is right now. When you look it up online or in books, you will see the rich information of its history and how it represents the city and why it is situated inside a power plant. This information and everything that you know about the most majestic falls in Iligan is made possible by cultural mapping.

Cultural Mapping is a tool to identify the cultural resources of communities. It is a way of mapping the culture of a community and its outcomes can be harnessed and directed to create sustainable futures and preserve the cultural properties found today.

In line with this, ten barangays of Iligan City participated in the cultural mapping project of the History Department together with the local government of Iligan City which seeks to identify and examine cultural properties and heritage resources of Iligan City. The project aims to expand the frontiers of local history and strengthen our identity as a people.

Jay Rome Delos Santos talks about Cultural Mapping in a seminar-workshop on February 7, 2018 at Hoyohoy Restaurant, Dalipuga, Iligan City.Jay Rome Delos Santos talks about Cultural Mapping in the Cluster 3 Seminar-Workshop on February 7, 2018 at Hoyohoy Restaurant, Dalipuga, Iligan City.

According to Jay Rome Delos Santos, a faculty member of the History Department who served as one of the lecturers during the cultural mapping seminar-workshops, the city is rich in cultural properties and heritage resources. Documentation on how these resources were conceptualized and built and how they have changed through time, however, is still an area for improvement.

The seminar-training workshop was first conducted on June 5 and 6, 2017 at the CASSalida Theater, MSU-IIT.  Christine Dulnuan, senior History researcher of the National Historical Commission; Jonathan Balsamo, a curator of Museo Valenzuela and Secretary of the Philippine Historical Association; Geoffrey Salgado, a retired professor of the History Department; and Luis Montesclaros, a faculty member of the Department, served as resource speakers. Dep-Ed teachers and barangay officials who attended the event which introduced the methodologies and standard procedures in conducting cultural mapping.

To more effectively expand the frontiers of local history and strengthen our identity as a people, the Department decided to go into the grassroots level and conduct cultural mapping seminars with the residents themselves.

To date, ten barangays have participated in the said activities. Each barangay was categorized based on the LGU’s clustering of barangays based on geographical location. Two of these seminars were conducted for Cluster 1 (Abono, Buruun, and Ma. Cristina) and for Cluster 2 (Pala-o, Poblacion, and Tambacan) in the last quarter of 2017. This year, a seminar for Cluster 3 (Acmac, Dalipuga, Kiwalan, and Sta. Filomena) was held on February 7 at Hoyohoy Restaurant.

Each seminar began with Your Story, Our History where the local history of the participating barangays were presented.  According to Delos Santos, knowing the local history of a place makes it easier for residents to identify the cultural properties within their respective barangays.

Participants from Acmac, Dalipuga, Kiwalan, and Sta. Filomena list the cultural properties in their respective barangays during a seminar-workshop on February 7, 2018 at Hoyohoy Restaurant, Dalipuga, Iligan City.Participants from Acmac, Dalipuga, Kiwalan, and Sta. Filomena list the cultural properties in their respective barangays during the Cluster 3 Seminar-Workshop on February 7, 2018 at Hoyohoy Restaurant, Dalipuga, Iligan City.

At the end of each seminar-workshop, the participants were able to produce an initial registry of the cultural properties in their cluster. Aside from documenting the cultural properties and heritage resources, the seminar-workshop also sought to help in preserving them not only through ordinances but also through cooperation between the LGU and the community.

Topics : cultural mapping seminar-workshop  extension