RESPhil-SCENe Conference and Wood Culture Tour in Philipphines

Culture Tour

From 6 to11 May, IWCS had attended to a two-day conference -“Oneness of Nature and Culture for Sustainable Ecosystem Conservation”, held by Restoration Ecology Society of the Philippines-Saving the Cordillera Ecosystem Network, Inc. (RESPhil-SCENe, Inc.) in UP Baguio, Baguio City, Benguet, Philippines. During the stay, IWCS crew documented abundant natural and cultural resources of the Ifugao aborigines, and interviewed the master Wilfredo Tadeo Layug, who is the master of religious woodcarving and painting. 

Scholars from the Philippines, China and Japan had interdisciplinary discussions towards preserving natural resources. Themes include perspectives of sustainable development, wood culture’s impact towards global conservation effort, the conservation of endangered species, the bio-invasion evidence and conservation practices in rice terraces, Ifugao aboriginal farming tradition, etc.

On the first day of the wood culture tour, we drove to Asin, which is famous for wood polishing works. This is usually a job for women in Asin. Susan Anabon is one of those who do this job to earn their living.

These woodcrafts were made by aborigines in Ifugao. Ifugao are known for people’s ingenious skills on woodcarving and spectacular farming scenes- “Rice Terraces” where five clusters located in four municipalities of all rice terraces. It has been inscribed in the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1995. The Ifugao Rice Terraces epitomized the historical-social structure, physical and cultural spirit of the ethnic groups for over two thousand years. 

Later on our journey, IWCS crew drove over 6 hours  from Ifugao to Guagua, Pampanga to interview Wilfredo Layug, a master who was praised for which he breathed life into sculpture and made it “REAL” by using his artistic skills and unconditional love for the Almighty. 

The Philippines has rich legacy and culture that nourishes its people. Talented artists were born here and created works with nature. We hope to see the Filipinos continuously cherish natural resources and preserve the ethnical culture for the next generation.

By YiNing Wang