Baguio City, Cordillera Administrative Region, Philippines

A Successful Elders and Youth Cultural Exchange on Tribal Filipino Sunday 2010

October 12, 2010

The Cordillera Peoples Alliance is pleased to share with you the success of the Tribal Filipino Sunday Celebration thru an Elders and Youth Cultural Exchange last October 9 and 10 at the Maryknoll Ecological Sanctuary, Baguio City. Co-organized with the Regional Ecumenical Council in the Cordillera, Maryknoll Sanctuary and the Dap-ayan ti Kultura iti Kordilyera, the event contributed to the reinvigoration of cultural renewal among Cordillera indigenous youth thru the wisdom and knowledge of our elders, under the theme Ipannakel Kultura a Nakabigbigan! Padur-asen, Aywanan ken Salakniban! (Take pride in our cultural identity! Develop, Nurture and Defend it). We are happy to share that at most 200 individuals from various cultural organizations, schools, church organizations, traditional organizations and friends joined us for the two-day celebration and learning exchange.

More than a workshop to learn indigenous instruments, dances and chants, the activity provided a venue for our indigenous youth to interact with our elders by learning the positive cultural values and traditional knowledge that come with learning such. More importantly, the activity impressed upon our youth the value of culture and our indigenous socio-political institutions in Cordillera indigenous peoples struggle for self determination.

A ritual led by our elders kicked off Tribal Filipino Sunday 2010 on October 9. This was followed by the opening prayer by the National Council of Churches in the Philippines (NCCP). Our host, the Maryknoll Ecological Sanctuary through Sr. Catherine Encarnacion, Directress, warmly welcomed all participants and guests and iterated their solidarity for indigenous peoples’ rights. Our elders’ role for the defense of ancestral land and for self determination provided the framework for the two-day activity, shared to us by Mr. Benedict Solang of the CPA Advisory Council. After the open forum, briefing for the simultaneous workshops on indigenous instruments (gongs and bamboo instruments), dances and chants followed. Facilitators and resource persons for the workshops include our elders from the Movement for the Advancement of Inter Tribal Unity and Development (MAITUD) in Mt. Province, the Metro Baguio Tribal Elders and Leaders and Assembly, the Cordillera Elders Alliance, the Tanglag-Baguio Chapter, seasoned musicians and composers from the Dap-ayan ti Kultura iti Kordilyera, individual musicians who are also staunch advocates of indigenous culture like Baswit and Dr. Delfin Sallidao.

Young and old, men and women were part of the workshops that further enriched the discussions and mentoring. The outputs were presented in a public event the following day, also at Maryknoll. The activities on October 10 started with a presentation of the different indigenous attires of Cordillera indigenous peoples—from description, design, and proper wearing. This was done for all six provinces of the region. Elvira Taguba of the CPA Executive Committee and CEA also demonstrated how traditional weaving is done. There were many interesting discussions and questions that require further research from our communities and elders.

Prior to the afternoon program, a short tribute was held for Ama Daniel Ngayaan of Tanglag, Lubuagan, Kalinga, abducted and slain by the Cordillera Peoples Liberation Army on October 5, 1987. Ama Daniel was vice chairperson of the CPA at the time of his death. As a peace pact holder, he was among those who actively participated in the formation of the Kalinga Bontoc Peace Pact Holders Association (KBPPHA) in 1982. Also remembered on our TFW celebration are the victims of Typhoon Pepeng last year, where one of the regions badly hit was the Cordillera, especially the mined-out areas of Benguet.

The afternoon program was a presentation of all workshop outputs, from the gongs, bamboo instruments, dances and chants. It was a great learning experience for the youth who actively interacted and participated in the two-day event. In particular, we attained the following:

  1. An increased awareness and deeper understanding of Cordillera indigenous youth of our cultural heritage, values and the role of our elders in the indigenous peoples’ struggle for self determination
  2. Greater interaction and a great opportunity for Cordillera indigenous youth, especially those born and raised in the urban, to learn from our elders on positive cultural values, indigenous instruments, attires and dances for the passing on of traditional knowledge from the elders to the youth
  3. Cordillera indigenous youth, especially those urban born and raised, had the opportunity to learn to play indigenous instruments, perform indigenous dances and chants, and wear indigenous attires correctly from our elders
  4. Solidarity forged between indigenous youth, elders and advocates

The Cordillera Peoples Alliance is indebted to the co-organisers, participants, guests and friends who contributed to the success of Tribal Filipino Sunday 2010. #