(Poster courtesy of NCCA)

MANILA – This October, the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), through its Subcommission on Cultural Communities and Traditional Arts (SCCTA), is celebrating the National Indigenous Peoples (IP) Month pursuant to Presidential Proclamation No. 1906 signed in 2009 wherein the Constitution mandates the “recognition and protection of the rights of Indigenous Cultural Communities/ Indigenous Peoples (ICCs/IPs)”.

Various agencies such as the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP), Office of the Muslim Affairs (OMA), Commission on Higher Education (CHED), and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) are among the agencies celebrating the annual celebration.

The theme of this year’s Dayaw, “Katutubong Filipino: Atin ang Tagumpay!”, highlights the ways in which Philippine indigenous peoples firmly manifest their optimism, views, and practices or their “strategies of prevailing” in the midst of adversities.

This year, approximately more than a hundred representatives from various indigenous groups will be gathered at their communities, where they will conduct engaging cultural performances, timely discourses notably on the shared cultural values embodied in their responses to the current crisis, which entails the widest dissemination of the indigenous peoples’ artistic and cultural ways of living, presenting, and celebrating their diverse cultural heritage, traditional art, and knowledge, and recognizes and appreciates their efforts to safeguard intangible cultural heritage.

These activities will be video documented, presented into five episodes -- Pagpapasinaya sa Tagumpay: The Dayaw Opening Ceremony on October 9, 2021; Dayaw sa Sebangan: The Southern Cultural Communities on October 17, 2021; Dayaw Sito Lubbon Na Unnot: The Northern Cultural Communities on October 24, 2021; Dayaw sa Butnga: The Central Cultural Communities on October 30, 2021; and Pinagtagumpayan: The Dayaw Closing Ceremony on October 31, 2021, and will be aired over social media platforms and television.

To ensure that the different activities and their key messages cohere towards an effective and lasting cultural education among the diverse publics the IP Month aims to reach out to, the program will include themes such as Spirituality and Well-being, Indigenous Learning Systems, Young Indigenous Entrepreneurs, Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage, and Responses to the Impact of Climate Change and Disasters.

Special events shall be pursued including the promotion of Anyo: Assistance for Filipino Artisans virtual exhibit and the Video Documentation on Intangible Cultural Heritage, the virtual launch of the Schools of Living Traditions E-learning Resources, and the virtual launch of the book El Folk-Lore Filipino and English Translations.

The event shall culminate with recorded performances of various art forms such as dancing, epic singing, or poetry writing.

This 2021 IP month celebration, in coordination with the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP), Year of the Filipino Pre-Colonial Ancestors (YFPCA) is also celebrated pursuant to Proclamation No. 1128, s. 2021 declaring 2021 as the YFPCA.

The launch of the book El Folk-Lore Filipino and English Translations will also be the NCCA’s contribution to the celebration of the YFPCA highlighting the voice long forgotten, both in our national and world history: that our ancestors had a significant contribution to the achievement of science and humanity.

The SCCTA is led by Commissioner Abubacar Datumanong, head of the Southern Cultural Communities, and Dr. Edwin Antonio and Mr. Pablito Gonzales, the committee heads of the Northern and Central Cultural Communities respectively with each committee consisting of 15 clusters of cultural communities. (PR)