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Close to 400 delegates from some of these indigenous groups will converge in Roxas City in the province of Capiz, from 8 to 10 October for this fete of culture

The Philippines is defined by its diversity. There are about 80 ethno-linguistic groups indigenous to the archipelago, each having their own distinct culture, traditions and heritage, attesting to the cultural richness of the country. This richness will be in grand display at the Dayaw 2018: Philippine International Indigenous Peoples’ Festival.

Close to 400 delegates from some of these indigenous groups will converge in Roxas City in the province of Capiz, from 8 to 10 October for this fete of culture. Considered as the biggest gathering of indigenous groups in the Philippines, Dayaw is organized by  the national government’s leading cultural agency, the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA).

“Sa selebrasyong ito makikita ang makukulay na kultura at sining ng mga katutubo ng buong Filpinas. For many years, ang pagtitipong ito ay mahalaga sa mga katutubo para magkaroon ng pag-uugnayan at mabigyan-pansin ang kanilang mga issues, concerns at patuloy sa pagpapahalaga sa safeguarding of their cultures and traditions (In this celebration, we see the colorful cultures and arts of the indigenous peoples of the Philippines. For many years, this gathering has become important for the indigenous peoples to establish connections and to bring to attention their issues, concerns and to continue to give importance safeguarding of their cultures and traditions),” explained Alphonsus Tesoro, head of the Subcommission on Cultural Communities and Traditional Arts (SCCTA) of the NCCA and also Capiz’s Provincial Tourism Officer and Cultural Affairs Officer.

THIS eco-park in Cuartero, Capiz will be the venue for the vernacular houses exhibit and other shows.

Big celebration

“Dayaw has evolved into a big celebration. So amidst the colors and pageantry, nandiyan po ang pagkalinga ng ating pamahalaan sa pamamagitan ng (there is the care of our government through the) National Commission for Culture and the Arts, ng (of the) Subcommission on Cultural Communities and Traditional Arts sa ating kapatid na katutubo (for our indigenous brother and sisters).”

The Dayaw Festival aims to highlight the importance and richness of our indigenous cultures, promote a deeper awareness and appreciation of our intangible cultural heritage through the NCCA flagship program Schools of Living Tradition, to discuss issues on indigenous peoples and cultures and to facilitate interactions with other ethnic groups.

“Taon-taon, sa pagpapahalaga sa ating kapatid na kututubo, iba’t ibang mga programa, iba’t ibang components ang ginaganap para lalong makita ng matingkad ang kultura at mga sining ng ating mga kababayang katutubo. Sa iba’t ibang activities, makikita ang kanilang crafts, cuisines, dances, songs, playing of musical instruments, games at iba pa (Every year, in giving importance to our indigenous brother and sisters, different programs, different components are organized to show more vividly the culture and the arts of indigenous countrymen. In different activities, we can see their crafts, cuisines, dances, songs, playing of musical instruments, games and others),” Tesoro further said. “Mayroon ding pagtatalakay sa mga issues na umaapekto kanila at kung paano ito matugunan. Kaya nagkaroon ng mga ugnayan sa iba’t ibang ahensiya ng pamahalaan. Pero ang Dayaw ay hindi lamang tatlong araw o limang araw na pagtitipon. Ang pagbibigay-halaga at pagbibigay-pansin sa mga kapatid nating katutubo ginagawa buong taon sa pamamagitan ng iba’t ibang programa ng Subcomission on Cultural Communities and Traditional Arts. Ang Dayaw bilang pagtitipon ay isang malaking piging ng mga katutubo, celebrating their life, celebrating their culture (There is also a discussion of issues affecting them and how they will be addressed. There will interactions with different government agencies. But Dayaw is not only a three- or five-day gathering.

A TBOLI dancer from South Cotabato.

Importance and attention to our indigenous brothers and sisters is given all year round with the different programs of the Subcomission on Cultural Communities and Traditional Arts.

Dayaw as a gathering is a big feast of the indigenous peoples, celebrating their life, celebrating their culture).”

AN exhibit of traditional crafts.

Sense of identity

With the theme “Pagpupugay sa Pamana ng Malikhaing Sambayanan (Celebrating Heritage of Creative Communities),” the Dayaw activities and events include performances, rituals, forums, traditional cuisine demos, traditional houses, traditional games, arts and crafts exhibit and cultural exchanges, among others.

The traditional performances component, called “Bantug sang Banwa,” narrates the ancient wisdom and contemporary truths of the indigenous communities through their songs, dances and other performative platforms and cultural expressions. This component makes manifest a sense of identity and continuity, provides links from the past to the present, and accordingly helps individuals and groups to feel part of one or different communities and of society at large.

The exhibit component, “Katutubong Likha, Daluyan ng Biyayang Kaalaman,” is designed as an interactive showcase of the shared wisdom and ingenuity of indigenous peoples from all over the country, conveying the richness of their traditional craftsmanship and wealth of indigenous knowledge. It promotes that indigenous heritage is a source of pride of the all Filipinos.

THE Balangao cook the pinikpikan. Indigenous cuisines demo is also part of the program.

An interesting part of this component is a vernacular architecture exhibit that will be mounted at the Capiz Eco-Park in Nagba, Cuartero. Six indigenous houses will be built—the Panay Bukidnon, Hiligaynon, Ati, Bontoc, Sama Badjao and Jama Mapun — as centerpiece  of the Dayaw Cultural Village.

The conferences and forum component, “Maaram, Maalam, May Kinaadman,” is focused on safeguarding and reinvigorating intangible cultural heritage intended to raise cultural awareness, advance cultural sensitivity and nurture sustainable development-orientation for students, educators, cultural practitioners, government workers and administrators, as well as policy makers from all over the country.

‘‘Mamugnaong Pagpa-ambit” is the community outreach component where participating contingents are encouraged to share aspects of their culture in different communities of Capiz.

Expected to participate are different indigenous cultural communities of the Philippines including Ayta of Pampanga, Bagobo Manobo, Blaan, Bugkalot, Gad-dang, Ifugao, Ilocano, Hiligaynon, Ivatan, Jama Mapun, Kalinga, Mangyan, Romblomanon, Tagalog, Maguindanao, Meranaw, Iranun, Panay Bukidnon, Subanen, Tausug, Tboli, Waray and Yakan, among others. Additionally, the Dayaw has invited other ethnic groups in Asia and Australia to join the celebration.

With the theme “Pagpupugay sa Pamana ng Malikhaing Sambayanan (Celebrating Heritage of Creative Communities),” the Dayaw activities and events include performances, rituals, forums, traditional cuisine demos, traditional houses, traditional games, arts and crafts exhibit and cultural exchanges.

In 2009, Presidential Proclamation 1906 was signed declaring October as National Indigenous Peoples’ Month, expanding prior celebrations such as National Indigenous People’s Thanksgiving Day and National Indigenous People’s Week. NCCA has been mounting projects and events highlighting indigenous cultures.

It held Dayaw: Philippine Cultural Communities Arts Festival in 2000,  Kalimudan: Panaghi-usa sa Mindanao in 2007, Timpuyog: Indigenous Peoples’ Month Celebration in 2008 and Dungog: Indigenous Peoples’ Festival in 2009. In 2010, the National Indigenous Peoples’ Month celebration of the NCCA took the permanent name of Dayaw: the Philippine Indigenous Peoples’ Festival.

Under the helm of the SCCTA, the Dayaw Festival has over the years flourished into a grand celebration, developing more components and activities. Each year, Dayaw Festival is held in different parts of the country. The Dayaw Festival is now on its 10th staging.

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