Sideline: Ang Pagpanaug sa Kapatagan
It wasn’t my first time seeing our indigenous peoples head to the city to earn for a living. Just like a probinsyano attracted to the prospects of greener pastures of the big city, some IPs “go down” and seek better opportunities, to either prosper or to survive. The three photos I’d be showing is just one example of such. Captured during Kadayawan Festival in Davao City last weekend, I couldn’t help but notice this group of lumad girls wearing their bright indigenous clothing and posed for a souvenir shot together with a foreigner and several local tourists. My guess is that the group earns a living by posing for tourists or entertain using their indigenous music or probably selling their bracelets that they made. I still yet to know what particular indigenous group is it.
I wasn’t surprised at all. Back home in Iloilo, the indigenous Ati people of Panay descend from their rural territories and flock during Dinagyang Festival, which is said to also occur during Ati-Atihan Festivals in Aklan. They go to urban centers, usually to earn a living either through selling their fresh produce, offer services, or beg for alms. This is the usual scene, away from the lime light of street dancing and performances.
I just couldn’t avoid thinking of the surrealism that happens everytime I go into festivals, from one place to another. While we celebrate the beauty and vibrancy of indigenous Filipinos cultures, those people who we interpret in our parades and performances continue with their daily lives, either to improve their lives, enjoy, or to survive. In this day and age that modernity may be the biggest threat to indigenous cultures, it is indeed high time for us to celebrate together with our indigenous lumad breathren, and at the same time help them in preserving their culture, respect their beliefs, and improve the standard of living for those who are not privileged.
Learn, respect, uplift, educate, and appreciate.