Sometimes, we fail to remember or even recognize the things engraved in our hearts when we are overwhelmed with what transpires in our surroundings. We are living in a world full of distractions—things that most of the time occupy our minds— hence, we forget what is behind, and what was originally residing in it.
Therefore, we ought to remember.
Every month of May, National Heritage Month is celebrated in the Philippines with the primary goal of raising awareness for the preservation of the rich Filipino heritage. This is being spearheaded by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) and joined by national government agencies, schools, Philippine embassies and consulates, public libraries, and private institutions.
With the theme “PAMANANG LOKAL: Binhi ng Kulturang Pilipino,” this year’s celebration highlights the importance of preserving and promoting local heritage within a community and its impact on shaping the Filipino cultural identity.
Here are five ways on how we can celebrate and appreciate more the rich cultural heritage and legacies passed on from different generations.
1. Discover the cultures in your community
The majority of us do not know that there are cultural heritages in our community. Unfortunately, we know more from other communities than our own. And this calls for our attention. We should have ideas about what made our community our community now. Get to know where and how the values and beliefs in it started to exist.
Who we are now, and how our community is working now, is the result of its roots. Our values and the beauty of our perception in life reflect and bank on what transpired within our community.
2. Get to know the importance of your cultural heritage
A person will not care much if they do not know much. A person will not make time to engage himself in things he has no idea about. Only a person who engages passionately is the person who knows the essence of what he is doing or what he is about to do. This is what we need to possess to not only invest time but invest whole-heartedly.
We all need to be loving, and attentive to our heritage. We have to treat it as the best people and experiences in our lives that molded us, and shaped us into who we are now.
3. Join and attend the celebration
There’s no better teacher than your own experiences; being a first-hand witness of this heritage can bring power to your life. Only then can you create an immense impact on other people’s lives— conceived by the thoughts, words, and actions of the past.
Enjoy and relive what made you you and your community because for sure your past has a big contribution to your character and community development.
As it captured your heart, so it captures others. Be the agent to inculcate the riches of your local community culture to your neighbors.
4. Enlarge your social groups
Social groups have a big contribution to ones becoming but they are not the only ones who can. You can do it to them as well. As you broaden your group of people who are in love with your culture and get even more invested in learning it, you should broaden the group of people who do not. You are there not only to learn and keep it to yourselves but to share it with those who do not have any idea.
5. Put in mind the significance of your cultural heritage preservation
As we all know, Filipinos are naturally adaptive to trends, and sadly forgetful of our own possessions. But these are something to be cherished, commemorated, enriched, and relived, not only every month of May but every day. This is the essence of this celebration.
Being patriotic is seen in how you got a big heart for your heritage— something that does not deserve to be kept but to be loud and proud about.
We all have the information we need, and with that, we are already responsible for what we know because, in the age of information, ignorance is a choice. — Ruth Quinto, PIA Laguna