Dressed in colorful ethnic costumes, indigenous people from various parts of Central Philippines showcased their tribal songs, dances, crafts and potions against evil spirits, at the opening of the two-day Dayaw Festival at the Negros Occidental Multi-Purpose Activity Center in Bacolod City yesterday.
“Our people are fast losing their sense of identity. The best foundation of our identity is traditional culture because it is homegrown,” Felipe de Leon, chairman of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, said.
He stressed the need to preserve the practices and culture of the country’s indigenous people.
About 200 participants in the festival include the atis from Negros and Panay, Dumagats of Quezon Province, Panay Bukidnons, Waray/Abaknons, and Romblon’s indigenous people.
“The different forms of creative expression of our cultural communities are being showcased in the festival,” Marichu Tellano, NCAA chief for Plans, Policy, Formulation and Programming Division, said.
She said there is need to perpetuate the traditions of the country’s indigenous people for the Filipinos to experience and learn from.
Director Carlos Buasen Jr. of the National Commission for Indigenous People, said the NCIP is pushing for the passage of two bills pending in Congress – one on the institutionalization of the indigenous people’s education system within mainstream educational system, and the other for the recognition of ethnic origin in the national census.
The law on the Indigenous People’s Rights exists, it is just a matter of fully implementing enabling rules and regulations, Buasen said.
The Dayaw Festival yesterday included an arts and crafts exhibit, cooking demo and food tasting, traditional games, and recognition of cultural masters in the evening.
Recognized were Roger Caspillo and Rowena Ratil of the Panay/Bukidnon tribe, Virginia Sinag - an ati of Antique, and Virginia Nabat - an ati from Negros Occidental.
To be held today are an interaction between cultural masters and crafts producers, outreach performances at the Bago City College, Negros Occidental High School, Silay City, and Visayan Maritime Academy, and the closing rites in the evening.*CPG
back to top