The Cordillera Mountains
23rd February, 2023
A friend who lived in the same compound when I was a volunteer photojournalist in the Philippines in 1992 for a non-governmental organisation, got in touch recently. I met up with her briefly In London a few years ago when she was lecturing at SOAS University of London. She is now a Professor and Director of the Museo Cordillera (MK), an ethnographic museum dedicated to the preservation and enrichment of indigenous cultures. It is located in Northern Luzon at the University of the Philippines, in Baguio City. She is planning to organise an exhibition of my photographs at the museum in the next few months. I have sent scans of colour slides and digital copies of Black and White photographs.
The Cordillera Rice Terraces were given World Heritage status by UNESCO in 1995. The living cultural landscape reflects the importance of rice cultivation for indigenous Igorots or “people of the Mountains”. Rice is a symbol of prestige and status, used as a sacrifice to the spirits and prepared for guests as an expression of friendship.