TRIBU CAMP 2024: Advancing IKSP of Lumad Communities

A group of Menuvus from Barangays Bacusanon and Nabaliwa of Pangantucan, Bukidnon headed by their Indigenous Peoples Organization (IPO) Chairman Datu Elpedio “Imbay-ao” Suclatan with Board of Advisers Datu Herminio “Tumanod” Guinto, and Datu Arnold “Diomala” Salido spent two-days of cultural exchange and learning with the Songco Talaandig Tribal Community from February 17 to 18, 2024.

The TRIBU Camp 2024 is part of Xavier Science Foundation’s initiative under the Mt. Kalatungan BioCon project supported by the USAID and Gerry Roxas Foundation. This cultural learning aims to strengthen the living traditions of Lumad communities, particularly of the members of Nagkahiusang Manobong Manununod sa Yutang Kabilin (NAMAMAYUK) as they learn about the culture and traditions of the Talaandigs.

The TRIBU participants were welcomed with a ritual headed by Datu Victorino “Migketay” Saway along with Bae Liza “Nanapnay” Saway and other Talaandig elders.

A ritual is a traditional prayer offered to seek the permission and guidance of Magbabaya and other spirits for a successful event.

The program then started with introductions facilitated by XSF Deputy Director Thieza Verdijo, each member shared about their names and expectations in the next two days. They hope to learn a lot of which Datu Tumanod shared that they feel most welcome in the community as Bae Ada welcomed them with the statement “salamat sa inyong pag-uli” [thank you for coming home] means the entire place is a space for tribes to come together and that they [Menuvu community] is one with the Talaandig community.

To deepen the sharing and cultural exchanges among them, small groups of elders, women, youth, and children were formed to further encourage the participants to mingle and share similar experiences about their respective tribes.

With the venue to do so, the youth and children enthusiastically shared aspects of their culture, showcased their talents, and recounted various activities undertaken within their respective organizations.

It sparked new friendships and interests about each other. Learned about new traditional songs and dances.

On the second day, the participants had the unique opportunity to explore the homes of Talaandig artists, gaining insight into their creative processes and cultural practices. The day culminated with a heartwarming ceremony of awarding certificates, a closing ritual symbolizing unity, gratitude, and the continuation of cherished traditions.

Article written by: Rheymhar B Pader, XSF Intern

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