From Benguet to Baguio
In the rainy morning of July 13 at around 6:40 am, the unity gong reached the Baguio City – La Trinidad boundary arch where it was turned over by Governor Nestor Fongwan of Benguet and was welcomed Baguio City Mayor Mauricio Domogan. And from the boundary, it traveled to the Baguio City Hall for the ceremonial beating.
In his acceptance speech, Mayor Domogan emphasized that the symbolic gong relay means unity among the people of the Cordillerans. He signified ‘unity’ as being the value without regard to people’s ethnicity and tribal origins as long as they are domiciled in the region and embody the sentiments of the people of the Cordillerans. He further stated that unity also means having a common vision of development in the region that is collectively pursued by its constituents.
Preparing again for a long travel, the unity gong left the Baguio City Hall at around 10am to travel to Abra before its final stop to the province of Apayao.
From Baguio City to Abra
After around 6 long hours of miles of travel, the unity gong reached the boundary tunnel of San Quintin, Abra at around 4:00 pm where Baguio City contingents officially turned over the unity gong to the province of Abra which was received by Governor Eustaquio “Takit” Bersamin.
And travelling from the tunnel, the unity gong journeyed to Bangued where the ceremonial beating was held at around 6:00 pm. In his acceptance speech, Governor Bersamin urged the constituents of Abra to open their minds to the idea of regional autonomy as it entails more possibilities for the region to pursue a collective and unified regional development.