La Union produces inventory of cultural elements

Concretizes commitment to heritage preservation


The Provincial Government of La Union has recently produced its own inventory of cultural elements that are found in the province, as part of its objectives to promote heritage preservation.

The inventory was the result of the validation phase of the province’s Cultural Mapping Program on April 16 to 17, 2024, through the technical assistance of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA).


La Union is the first province in Region 1 to complete NCCA’s cultural mapping program.

Through a community validation process, a total of 359 cultural elements were validated, thus forming part of the inventory. The list includes 111 elements in the natural heritage domain, 104  intangible cultural heritage, 71 tangible movable objects, 46 immovable heritage, 17 cultural institutions, and 10 significant personalities.

The validators were composed of community leaders, key informants, government representatives and other cultural stakeholders, whose inputs and expertise were crucial in refining the cultural map and verifying the entries in the inventory.

External validators also helped substantiate the validity and impartiality of the listing. Involved in the process were Dr. Leah E. Abayao, History Professor of University of the Philippines Baguio; Dr. Danilo S. Alterado, Former Philosophy Professor of Saint Louis University; and, Dr. Jocelyn L. Alimondo, Former Administrator of Diocese of Baguio Schools.

La Union Governor Raphaelle Veronica “Rafy” Ortega-David said the inventory is a timely product to celebrate the National Heritage Month this May.


“As we finally validated our cultural elements which were collected through years of dedicated effort and collaboration, may we reflect on the importance of our cultural mapping program, which should not only serve as a tool for conservation but also to engage communities and people in intergenerational dialogues,” said Governor Ortega-David.


La Union’s cultural mapping program began in 2022. The provincial government hired around 10 cultural mappers for the data gathering.

The program culminates with the printing and reproduction of the inventory, which is set for June to July this year.

Some of the cultural elements in the inventory include the famous churches in the province which have long become tourist attractions; unique flora like the  green jade vine, and flora such as pawikan; ancestral houses; rituals and social practices like the sangadil; and personalities like traditional healers.

Photos by Provincial Government of La Union