NATIVE MASSAGE. Guests enjoy a traditional “kolkolis” or foot massage during the re-opening of the Mt. Data Hotel in Bauko, Mountain Province on May 5, 2022. Department of Tourism-Cordillera Administrative Region Director Jovita Ganongan on Wednesday (May 18, 2022) encouraged businesses to include more of the Igorot culture in the services they offer to tourists. (PNA photo by Liza T. Agoot)

BAGUIO CITY – The Department of Tourism in the Cordillera Administrative Region (DOT-CAR) wants the Igorot culture to be promoted more to tourists visiting the region.

"We should offer a very unique experience, very Igorot, to tourists so that they see the beauty of the culture of the people in the Cordillera," DOT-CAR regional director Jovita Ganongan said in an interview on Wednesday.

Ganongan said tourists should be made to experience and appreciate the rituals, chants, dances, attire, and food of the Cordillera.

Among the famous Cordilleran attire are the tapis and the G-string which are carefully handcrafted by the locals using crude methods that show the locals' ingenuity. She said tourists should be encouraged to try them on or try using manually operated loom weaving equipment used to make them.

She said that the DOT-CAR has also come up with the "slow food" tourism circuit where tourists get to try local food made from indigenous or local ingredients.

“We have food in every place which is authentic in every province of the region or the municipalities,” Ganongan said, citing as an example pinikpikan, a native system of cooking chicken flavored with the “etag” (smoked/ sundried meat).

She said that they are also promoting “forest bathing,” which allows the participants to commune with nature.

Ganongan also said that the newly re-opened historic Mt. Data hotel in Bauko, Mountain Province offers the traditional massage called “kolkolis” or foot massage, the “tal-taladtad” or body massage, and the “gis-gisto” or head massage.

“I have asked those who do them at the hotel to explain what it is so that the tourists would know,” she added. (PNA)