Istambay sa Mindanao

Personal blog of MindaNews' Walter I. Balane. Visit www.mindanews.com for more news, views and information on Mindanao.

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Location: Malaybalay City, Bukidnon, Mindanao, Philippines

I'm Walter Balane. I am a journalist based in Malaybalay City, Bukidnon, Philippines. I initiated the group called Atong Press (www.atongpress.ning.com) for press freedom and responsibility and media education in Bukidnon.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Updates: Gimuat, A Dibabawon Community Festival in Asuncion

I came across this invitation to MindaNews to the Gimuat 2006, a Dibabawon community festival in Binancian, Asuncion, Davao del Norte. Gimuat is vernacular for awareness
in Dibabawon.

The festival was scheduled from June 8-10, 2006 which I sourly missed. The theme was "Kinaiyahan ampingan, yutang kabilin panalipdan".

The festival was organized by the Dibabawon communities, the National Commission for Culture and the Arts and the Relief and Children's Alternative Program Foundation, Inc.

According to the programme, they set up the Children's Visual and Theater Arts Workshop and played some indigenous musical instruments on June 8. They also held a Dibabawon food and recipe contest on June 9. On June 10 they held a forum on IP development, Issues and Concerns) and other closing rites.

I am putting this here even if I missed the event because activities like this start to grow from our communities around Mindanao with the initiatives of the indigenous communities and the support of some patrons.

The way I see it, just like what I saw in Sungko, Lantapan, Bukidnon for the Talaandig tribe at the foot of Mt. Kitanglad, people are resilient and exercising agency in asserting their identities amid growing and creeping threats to their culture.

So it must not be sheer pageantry, as in the case of other festivals who claimed to be "cultural and ethnic" in orientation. These "festivals" should be a showcase of the state of the indigenous peoples around Mindanao.

There you will see them dance without the pay and the hakot that subjects them to exploitation with "consent".

Kudos to communities and groups who look at the situation of IPs not only in cultural and artistic appeal, but also to their economic, political and educational and social plight.

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