BAGUIO CITY – Photos of Elmer Sacwog wearing full Kalinga attire while teaching is making the rounds online.
A Kalinga attire includes a bahag, armbands and a headdress adorned with feathers.
Sacwog, who is from Kalinga, is a teacher at Pines City National High School (PCNHS) in Baguio City.
He said the photos were taken from their celebration of National Indigenous Peoples' Day last August 9.
All of the teachers and even the school heads in PCNHS wore traditional Cordilleran outfits.
“Ngayon kasi, parang hindi na normal kapag may nakasuot ng ganun. Gusto namin ipakita sa kanila na hindi dapat ikahiya,” Sacwog said.
(Nowadays, it is not normal to see people wearing traditional clothes. We want to show others that they should not be ashamed of wearing their traditional clothes.)
Most of the students were shocked at first but eventually became comfortable with what their teachers were wearing.
“Parang inspiration po sa akin na 'yung culture namin at pagkatao namin hindi dapat ikahiya,” said Mark Glen Salvador, a Grade 7 student.
(It's like an inspiration for me that we should not be ashamed of our culture and identity.)
The Department of Education (DepEd) mandates the incorporation of culture in school subjects. This has been practiced in schools in Baguio City and has positive effects on the students.
"Yung Cordilleran attire na lang for example, nung una, nagulat sila, pero habang tumatagal, nasanay sila, parang normal na lang,” said Enriqueta Rabanal, officer-in-charge of PCNHS.
(The Cordilleran attire, for example, students were initially surprised, but as time passed, it became normal.)
Even students who came from other regions learn from Cordillera’s rich culture.
“Inexplain po sa amin na ganun po pala talaga yung traditional na attire nila sa Cordillera. Naisip ko din po na 'yung Cordilleran, hindi nila kinakahiya 'yung suot nila, traditions nila, talagang ginagawa pa rin nila, ” said Angelica Caluag.
(They explained to us that it is the traditional Cordilleran attire. I also realized that Cordillerans are not ashamed of their culture and traditions.)
Aside from PCNHS, teachers in other schools in Baguio City also wore traditional Cordilleran attires during IP day.