What is most admirable about members of cultural communities is their resolve to preserve, pass on, nurture and strengthen the hold and relevance of their time honored practices and traditions that defy the onslaught of modernization and technology, and even the pandemic.
This, I believe is the reason why the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), through the Subcommission on Cultural Communities and Traditional Arts (SCCTA), leads the celebration of the National Indigenous Peoples (IP) Month.
With its theme of “Pagtataguyod ng Pamayanang Kultural para sa Isang Matatag na Pilipinas,” the IP Month, which happens this month, focuses on the significant role of the cultural communities and how they managed the COVID-19 pandemic while safeguarding the communities’ intangible cultural heritage (ICH) and their strategies on moving forward.
The IP Month is celebrated pursuant to Presidential Proclamation 1906, s. 2009 declaring the month of October as the National Indigenous Peoples Month mandates the recognition and protection of the rights of Indigenous Cultural Communities (ICC)/IPs.
One of the most awaited and celebrated occasions in the IP month celebration is the most anticipated and celebrated Dayaw Festival. This happens in different parts of the country and it highlights the beauty creativity, color, flavor, relevance, and power of our cultural community brothers and sisters. The National Capital Region is the center of this year’s face-to-face festivities at the Metropolitan Theater this October 23 and 24.
More than 300 IP representatives from the Northern, Central, and Southern cultural communities are coming together to engage in an exchange of music, dance, and oral tradition performances; to share narratives on best practices on safeguarding ICH, and sharing of cultural values embodied in their responses to the current crisis.
What we can expect from the festival that is Dayaw, a “patikim” and “payanig” happened recently at the Open Air Auditorium in Rizal Park.
The most memorable performances that one fine Sunday evening were the brawny men and graceful women of the Kalinga Bodong Dance Troupe who wowed with their physique, precision and synchronicity as they made their daily activities into dances. The “Binalog” from the Panay Bukidnon community of Calinog, Iloilo, and the Manobo Talaandig group of Mindanao presented versions of the dance whose inspiration is the hawk that is why the birdlike movements in the dance were most prominent.
Another show highlight was the Pusaka sa Maguindanao with the “kulintang” and its players highlighted their musical dexterity. TheBanda Kawayan Pilipinas was a marvel to watch because they performed with several bamboo instruments – like the kumintang, ang klung, and flute – in an effortless manner with a repertoire of Ilocano folk songs such as “Ti Ayat Maysa Nga Ubing” and “Pamulinawen.”
The teaser show ended with singing icon Joey Ayala and the Bagong Lumad with their unforgettable anthem “Karniwang Tao.”
Some of the most important personalities who attended the Dayaw kick-off were NCCA Executive Director Oscar Casaysay, Dr. Abubacar Datumanong, PhD, Cmmissioner for Cultural Communities and Traditional Arts / and Head, National Committee on Southern Cultural Communities, Pablito Gonzales, Vice-Head and Head, National Committee on Central Cultural Communities, Edwin Antonio, PhD, Secretary and Head, National Committee on Northern Cultural Communities, and Jennifer Sinug-las of Central Mindanao’s NCIP office.
After two years of gathering virtually, the IP Month celebration this year, aside from the Dayaw Festival will also include Online Capacity-building Training Workshop
and Schools of Living Traditions Exhibition.
For more details on this event, please contact the SCCTA Secretariat through firstname.lastname@example.org.