AUSTRONESIAN AS RATIONALE FOR REGIONAL ARCHITECTURE IN THE PHILIPPINE CORDILLERAS
The subject of vernacularism as basis for local character in the Philippinesâ€™ Cordillera region and its Igorot culture groups remains an elusive topic in this nation which has gone thru three centuries of Spanish and half a century of American colonial rule. Language-wise however, and compared to countries with similar histories with a past western colonizer (like most of Latin America wherein the indigenous languages have almost been completely obliteratedÂ by the past colonizerâ€™s introduced language), it is clear that the Philippine languages including those of the Cordilleras, remain relatively intact and in active use. The disparity between the Cordillera peoplesâ€™ arrested state of architectural development vis-Ã -vis the active stateÂ of their mother tongues is the inspiration leading to the locus of this study.Â Based on the premise of the Austronesian heritage of selected Cordillera culture groups and their native languages, a lexicostatistical database was gathered to determine how divergent each culture group has wandered away from the mother tongue. The extracted language variables per respective culture group yields mathematically operable parameters for quantifying culture, despite perceived intangible attributes. Analyses of visible elements of theÂ indigenous dwellings of the culture groups, on the other hand, were the bases for extracting likewise operable parameters to represent the tangible aspect of culture. The mathematically-derived fusion of the native language and native architectural values thereupon produced what may be promoted asÂ an architectural anthropology template applicable for building programs in selected sites within the Cordillera region of the Philippines. A definitive application of this culturally-sensitive building program is exemplified thru a proposed fundamental social infrastructure in the City of Baguio,Â which serves as the regional hub of the CordilleraÂ Administrative Region (CAR), with further impetus for its implementation on the grounds of the City recently being accorded the recognition of â€œCreative Cityâ€ by the UNESCO.Â The City itself was founded as a hill station during the colonial days of American rule. Therefore this architectural anthropology undertaking shall also serve as a symbolic gesture of the long overdue sovereignty of the indigenous Cordillera peoples and the whole Filipino nation over their past colonizers.
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