Pamulaan: Shaping indigenous leaders
DAVAO, Philippines - At the heart of Davao’s diversity are its indigenous peoples.
While their forefathers survived at the fringes of society, this new breed of IPs are smart, outspoken and aware of their roles as catalysts of change.
Rappler’s travel show anchor Nikki Luna tells us more.
This is Pamulaan, the center of indigenous people’s education here in Davao. This place is not just dedicated to preserving the heritage of the IPs, it wants to pass on the culture to the next generation.
Janiecel is a Talandig from Bukidnon and she says every color in her dress has a story.
JANIECEL TAGNO-AY, PAMULAAN SCHOLAR: Para sa akin, yung damit ko is very important siya kasi galing siya sa lola ko, at tsaka po nagkaroon ng ritual bago ko po siya naisuot. Kasi sa aming mga katutubo, yung ritual is yung heart and soul ng activity ko. It’s an act of respect sa spirits, sa deities na tumutulong po at gumagabay sa amin. (For me, this dress is very important because it came from my grandmotherand there was a ritual before I wore this. For us indigenous people, the ritual is the heart and soul of the activity. It’s an act of respect for the spirits, for the deities that continue to guide us.)
Pamulaan helps mold leaders for indigenous peoples by rooting them in the realities of of their political life, heritage, and culture. This reality is clear to Rona, a member of the Manobo tribe in Mindanao.
RONALYN FLORO, PAMULAAN SCHOLAR: Pamulaan changed my life by empowering me, helping me to appreciate that my culture is rich, my culture, that I’m worthy to be proud of my tribe.
With one indigenous parent, Rona once rejected her indigenous side.
RONALYN FLORO, PAMULAAN SCHOLAR: Because I’m a half-blooded Manobo. I consider my half blood a stain of my whole being. I grown, I’ve experienced discrimination and prejudice from other groups.
This view changed when she took up Peace Education.
RONALYN FLORO, PAMULAAN SCHOLAR: Magagamit yung Peace Education – nagagamit ang Peace Education kasi yung komunidad ng mga lumad, may ibang dahilan ng mga kaguluhan (Peace Education can be used, because the indigenous communities have different reasons for being in conflict because the indigenous communities have different reasons for being in conflict)
Rona looks beyond negotiations in war-torn Mindanao. She says conflict comes in many different forms.
RONALYN FLORO, PAMULAAN SCHOLAR: Conflicts have different reasons.Ang kaguluhan naman ay hindi lang yung pag aaway, yung giyera. May kaguluhan din dahil sa kakulangan ng edukasyon ng mga lumad. May kaguluhan din dahil sa kakulangan ng social services ng mga lumad. (Conflict is not just about war. Conflict can also happen because of lack of education for the indigenous people. Lack of social services could also drive conflict.)
For the IPs, Pamulaan is a way to evolve with the changing times with their dignity and heritage intact.
The IPs are distinct because they were left out of the baptismal font. They survived at the fringes of colonized society. The IPs are now fighting for their right to go on living and thriving as a culture.
For more stories on what to see, taste, do in Davao, visit www.rappler.com/sharePH. – Rappler.com
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