By Ma. Joreina Therese A. Blanco
LAOAG CITY, October 8 (PIA) – To step up efforts to promote the culture and arts of indigenous peoples (IP) in the country, the Katutubo Exchange Philippines was staged in Ilocos Norte on October 4 to join the nation in the celebration of IP month.
This year’s celebration comes with the theme, “Celebrating Heritage of Creative Communities.”
Bringing 14 participating tribes from different communities in the Philippines, the IP month celebration here featured IP Pride parade in calesa ride and grand opening ceremony in Laoag City.
An evening of Philippine indigenous performances was also held in Paoay town.
“This is an annual cultural exchange program for our indigenous groups. We invited these 14 tribes across the county to showcase their rich culture,” said Dr. Edwin Antonio, founder of Katutubo Exchange Philippines.
“These tribes are from Cotabato, Basilan, Palawan, Occidental Mindoro, Mountain Province, Benguet, Bukidnon, Iloilo, among others,” he added.
These tribes are composed of B’laan of Sarangani, Tagbanwa of Palawan, Mangyan of Occidental Mindoro, Yakan of Basilan, Maguindanaoan of Cotabato, Bugkalot of Nueva Dizcaya, Ga’dang of Mountain Province, Ibaloy of Benguet, T’boli of South Cotabato, Ipugaw of Ifugao, Ayta of Bataan, and the Tinggian of Ilocos Norte.
During the event, students from various schools in the province are treated with the preserved dances of the IP groups.
“The very purpose of this activity is to showcase the Philippine culture na hindi na masyado nabibigyan ng pansin ng mga kabataan,” Antonio remarked.
The Katutubo Exchange Philippines is a volunteer organization that aims to promote indigenous culture and traditional arts for mutual understanding among Filipinos.
Dr. Edwin Antonio and the group travelled to Ilocos Sur for the culmination of IP month celebration. (Ma. Joreina Therese A. Blanco/PIA-1, Ilocos Norte)