DOST commits to preserve gong-making tradition in Cordillera

Published July 9, 2021, 11:45 AM

by Charissa Luci-Atienza 

The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) is committed to ensure that the gong-making tradition in Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), especially among the youth, will be preserved.

Gongs, or locally known in Cordilleran communities as “gangsa” (DOST-CAR Facebook Page)

DOST Secretary Fortunato “Boy” T. de la Peña said the department through its Metals Industry Research and Development Center (MIRDC) provided equipment and trainings in Benguet to involve the youths in honing and mastering the craft.

He noted that the Gong Fabrication Facility in Benguet has six young skilled gong workers. “They are using the lathe and forging machine to mechanically mold and shape the metal for the gong. Although the machines mechanize the process, the superior sound quality of the gangsa ultimately rests on the skills and expertise of the worker,” he said in a report.

“The local government units (LGUs) at the barangay and municipal level also provided support to the project with the former donating a 200 square-meter lot for the project site while the latter, completing the access road.”

In 2019, the DOST-MIRDC, DOST-CAR and local government unit of Mankayan inaugurated the Gong Fabrication Center.

De la Peña said considering the crucial role of gongs, or locally known in Cordilleran communities as “gangsa”, the DOST helped jumpstart a project in 2018 “to fuse science, technology, and innovation with the unique creative process of producing gangsa.”

The gong-making project is funded by the DOST-Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology (PCIEERD). It is jointly implemented by the DOST-CAR, DOST-MIRDC and the LGU Mankayan.

“As an update, the project now serves as a source of livelihood for the locals while showcasing the traditional instrument, including the processes and principles in its production,” the DOST chief said.

“This collaborative project of the DOST and the LGU has ensured that such unique practice in gong-making shall not be lost.”