Comval's Solidarity Ring joins Kadayawan
by JP Abayon, ComVal
Nabunturan, Compostela Valley (13 August) -- Bringing with it a message for peace in Mindanao, the Solidarity Ring of Compostela Valley, the biggest gold ring in the Philippines, will join this year's Kadayawan, the Festival of Festivals in the whole island on August 18-24.
Governor Arturo T. Uy took the initiative to bring the 1.5-kilogram gold- and silver- toned ring to Davao's grandest festival following the successful display of its replica at the Compostela Valley booth during the 3rd Mindanao Travel & Tour Expo in SM-Davao City last August 8-10.
Immediately, Governor Uy arranged with the organizers of Kadayawan for his province's participation notwithstanding the security risk that would entail the transport of the ring from Compostela Valley to Museu Dabawenyo in the metropolis where it will be on public display starting with the opening of festivities on Monday, August 18.
In a letter to Davao City Mayor Rodrigo R. Duterte, the governor described his province's participation through the Solidarity Ring "a symbolic event of our partnership".
"We know the security risk involved in the transport, display, and safekeeping of our PhP1.5 million Solidarity Ring…but this does not discourage us from joining and becoming a part of this very significant event," Uy said.
For her part, Compostela Valley tourism officer Christine T. Dompor said the display of the ring would be the province's contribution to calls for peace in Mindanao.
"The ring's participation is symbolic," Dompor said.
The ring, an initiative of Governor Uy, was forged to symbolize the political unity in Compostela Valley achieved after he won the 2007 elections. It was unveiled during the First Bulawan Festival of the province last March 3-8, 2008.
An 18-karat two-toned ring with an interior diameter of 5 inches and exterior diameter of 6 inches, it is made up of 1.18 kilograms of gold of shining finish and 308 grams of 99.9 percent pure silver of diamond finish. The ring, weighing 1.488 kilograms, is valued at PhP1.5 million.
Uy, the second elected governor of Compostela Valley, led the idea of forging a ring following the clamour from ordinary people, his former political rivals, and community representatives to celebrate the success of his efforts to reconcile the then warring political factions of the province.
The reconciliation ended the violent and bloody political history of Compostela Valley that had left a number of supporters from all sides killed.
With the new-found peace and solidarity among the leaders of the province, the gold ring came into being to symbolize the unity of the people and their leaders at the same time promote Compostela Valley's image as a gold-rich province.
Responding to the governor's initiative, miners, officials from the barangays to Capitol and the two congressional districts, businessmen, and private individuals rallied behind him and volunteered their share from one gram to 50 grams to realize the new-found spirit of unity.
The ring is on exhibit to the public from Monday to Friday inside a glass case mounted on the ground floor lobby of the Provincial Capitol in Brgy. Cabidianan, four kilometers from Nabunturan, the Capital of Compostela Valley.
In its 1998 report, the Bureau of Mines and Geo-Sciences, Minerals News Service in Region XI, declared that Compostela Valley has gold deposits of 36, 328,699 metric tons of gold, one of the biggest in the world.
The largest deposit of 17 million metric tons is found in the municipality of Mabini followed by New Bataan's 15,594,689 metric tons. In comparison Monkayo, that hosts the Mt. Diwata (Diwalwal) goldfields, has a deposit of only 670,000 metric tons.
In 1997, a technical report of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) cited the strategic economic value of the gold ore at Mt. Diwalwal, Compostela Valley as one that is still easily accessible and that contains the gold metal in concentration from 25 up to 100 grams per ton, approximately 25-50 times more than the famous gold ore from the Witwatersrand Basin in the Republic of South Africa.
This means that gold metal concentration in Mt. Diwalwal outranks the Witwatersrand.
While gold deposits are found throughout the country, they are concentrated in five recognized gold mining districts: Baguio gold district; Paracale gold district; Masbate gold district; Surigao gold district; and Masara (Maco) gold district. (PIA) [top]