THE Department of Science and Technology (DOST) has committed to the preservation of Cordilleran gong-making traditions, particularly among the youth of the region.
DOST Secretary Fortunato T. de la Peña touted the department’s moves to aid in the preservation of the traditions through the provision of equipment and training to Benguet youths through its Metals Industry Research and Development Center (MIRDC).
“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, lauding the six youth workers in the Benguet Gong Fabrication Center.
The Gong Fabrication Center was inaugurated in 2019 as a joint project between the DOST-MIRDC, DOST-CAR, and the local government of Mankayan itself.
De la Peña said that the use of gongs, steeped in culture, led to the start of the unique gong-making project that combines the traditions with modern science and technology.
He also cited the project’s positive impact on the local economy.
“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,” he said.