REPRESENTING THE TRIBES. Vice President Sara Z.  Duterte arrives at the Batasang Pambansa in Quezon City Monday (July 25, 2022) with Senator Imee Marcos wearing with pride the traditional attire of the Bagobo-Tagabawa tribe of Davao City. Marcos, on the other hand, wore a modern interpretation of the terno designed by Jan Garcia. (Photo from Inday Sara Duterte Facebook Page)

DAVAO CITY – Officials here have expressed appreciation to Vice President “Inday” Sara Duterte for donning the traditional attire of the Indigenous People (IP) here during the first State of the Nation Address of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. Monday.

Councilor Al Ryan Alejandre, former executive director of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, thanked Duterte for “adoring the indigenous cultural communities”.

“The Vice President wore the tribal dress of Bagobo Tagabawa, one of the 11 tribes that dwell in Davao City and parts of Southern Mindanao. If you want to learn about our culture and tradition, I invite you to visit Davao City, especially this Kadayawan 2022,” Alejandre, who also chairs the Kadayawan 2022 executive committee, said.

Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) Secretary Maria Belen Acosta also echoed her gratitude to the former Davao City Mayor for choosing to wear IP's attire.

“Thank you very much Vice President Inday Sara Duterte for giving importance to the tribes in Mindanao),” Acosta, who also served as a City Council member during Duterte's term as mayor, said.

Meanwhile, Migs Nograles, PBA Partylist representative and a native of Davao City, also expressed how elated she was that the tribal communities were acknowledged and given prominence during the first SONA.

“I feel happy and proud because VP Inday Sara chose to take pride in the Bagobo-Tagabawa tribe,” she said.

Duterte was a scene-stealer when she arrived wearing an authentic Bagobo-Tagabawa ensemble for the opening of the 19th Congress and Marcos' first SONA at the Batasang Pambansa Complex in Quezon City.

Reynold Munsayac! Duterte's spokesperson, said she borrowed the tribal dress from Bae Sheirelle Antonio, the deputy mayor of the Tagabawa tribe of Davao City.

The Bagobo-Tagabawa IPs, along with the 10 other indigenous tribes, consider Davao City their home.

The Kadayawan Festival, which is celebrated in August here annually, highlights the contribution of the 11 IP tribes who are the original dwellers of the city. (PNA)