BAGUIO CITY – Filipinos must recognize the important contributions of indigenous peoples and indigenous cultural communities in the overall development of the country considering their rich culture and traditions that allowed them to thwart colonization and influence of other countries, Senator Loren Legards said here Wednesday.
Legarda encouraged Filipinos, especially those in the Cordillera and nearby regions, to participate in the Luzon leg of the 2014 Dayaw Indigenous Peoples Festival, which will be held in the Summer Capital from October 22-23, 2014.
Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committee on Cultural Communities, said that through the Dayaw Festival, citizens will be able to witness various indigenous performances, rituals, traditions and crafts, which are all part of the Filipino identity that allowed our tribes to be able to exist and sustain their respective identities over the past five centuries wherein the country was colonized by various foreigners.
“We have a very rich culture and we should rediscover our traditions through the Dayaw Festival. I invite the people in Baguio, in the Cordillera Region, and even those in other regions in Luzon to participate in the Dayaw 2014 in Baguio,” Legarda stressed.
Cultural performances by cultural masters, traditional games and cuisine demonstrations, parade of IPs, and craft exhibitions are among the highlights of the Dayaw Festival in Baguio which is being spearheaded by the National Commission on Culture and the Arts (NCCA).
The NCCA, the lead agency organizing the Dayaw Festival, earlier announced that the 2014 Dayaw Festival will be held in three different venues—in Baguio City on October 22-23; in Bacolod City on November 10-11; and in Zamboanga City on November 15-16.
“I congratulate the NCCA for bringing our culture and traditions closer to many Filipinos by organizing three Dayaw Festivals this year. This would allow more Filipinos to be part of the celebration and witness the richness and uniqueness of the different culture and traditions which were able to be passed on to generations,” said Legarda.
“I wish to highlight once more that culture is our common ground as a people. We have to find that common ground so that we remain connected to one another and strengthen the unity among our citizens. And so I wish that our citizens would take this opportunity to know about and be proud of what we have and where we came from so that we may find the essence of being Filipino,” Legarda said.
Aside from the participating indigenous peoples groups, in the Cordillera, the Ibanags, Yogads, Itawits, Malawengs, Kasigurans, Ivatans, Itbayats, Aytas, Mangyans, Palawanis, Molbogs, Jama Mapuns, Tagbanuas, Panawans’Agutayens, Bicolanos, Batacs and Cuyunons will be part of the two-day festivities.
Marichu Tellano, NCCA’s chief of plan formulation and programming division, said Dayaw, also known as the indigenous peoples festival, will feature forums on issues and concerns of the indigenous cultural communities and the indigenous peoples and demonstration of traditional crafts, games and cuisines.
“The festival will also be highlighted with recognition of cultural masters, an exhibit of photographs and crafts and outreach performances of ethnic songs and dances,” she said.