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BAGUIO CITY – Around hundred students from the Education and Assistance Program (EAP), scholar grantees of the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) region CAR, expressed their willingness to do research work regarding cultural and social issues affecting their respective provinces during the recently concluded IP Youth Forum in celebration for the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, August 9, 2017 in Rajah Soliman Hotel.
With the theme “Deeper understanding of our roots for today’s realization”, said IP Youth Forum in time for the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples celebration, is an upshoot from last month’s 2nd International Conference on Cordillera Studies (ICCS) spearheaded by University of the Philippines – Baguio Cordillera Studies Center (UP-CSC), which was graced by the NCIP-CAR EAP scholars.
Nora Chulipa, NCIP-CAR Chief Admin Officer said that during their post assessment after the International Indigenous Peoples Conference, NCIP-CAR EAP scholars felt the need for more contextualization of Cordillera history and issues for them to cope with the overflowing yet interesting researches discussed before them during the conference.
“More than just a monetary assistance for our NCIP EAP scholars, ‘IP youth empowerment’ is the main thrust of the NCIP’s education and assistance program for they, the IP youth, who will take on the responsibility, as future administrators and stewards of our ancestral lands”, said Chulipa.
Delegation of NCIP-CAR EAP scholars from Abra and Apayao in the IP Youth Forum expressed their desire to conduct researches and document their province’s version of customary burial, marital and dispute resolution practices. Said traditions according to them where left out by research enthusiast during the 2nd ICCS. They vowed to take on the responsibility to conduct researches which they hoped to be highlighted in the 3rd ICCS.
Dr. Leah Abayao, Director of UP-CSC, 2nd ICCS Chair, and one the IP Youth Forum’s speaker pledged her commitment to mentor those who are willing to endeavour to do research before the NCIP-CAR EAP scholars. “It’s my personal advocacy to teach IP students who are willing to do research of their respective culture and concerns”, said Abayao.
Delegations of NCIP-CAR EAP scholars from other provinces on the other hand were motivated even further, despite the already abundant published researches in their respective provinces, after presentation Cordillera situation by Aldwin Quitasol a North Luzon Correspondent of InterAksyon.com, one of the speakers of the IP Youth Forum. They came into a realization of the need to document and learn the struggles that have shielded the Cordillera off colonization.
“Cordillera is a goldmine of potential researches that can instil wisdom to your future offspring for their appreciation of the Cordillera struggles and experiences”, said Quitasol.
Atty. Roland Calde, NCIP-CAR Regional Director lauded the success of the celebration while recognizing the future collaboration of NCIP-CAR together with UP-CSC in aiding the NCIP-CAR AEP scholars’ aspirations in producing their very own research papers.
“Cultural integrity is one of many rights bestowed by the Indigenous Peoples Right Act (IPRA) and it’s the mandate of the NCIP to uphold the same. Researches from our NCIP-CAR EAP scholars will not only aid them academically of their culture from their respective provinces, but the entire Cordillera as a whole. Researches and documentation of our culture is the best weapon in safeguarding our rich culture. Research and documentation is one way to immortalize our rich culture for future generation’s enjoyment”, said Calde.
NCIP-CAR EAP scholars are expected to submit their research proposals by October 2017 in time for the Indigenous Peoples’ month celebration where it will be going through process of review and development.
By Rocky Ngalob