‘Katutubos’ flash mob to welcome IP month

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A Manobo elder

People will be surprised today when suddenly different indigenous groups “invade” a park and a mall. But instead of wielding swords and spears, the indigenous groups regale spectators with songs and dances, underlining the messages of respect and understanding for all people, especially for the indigenous peoples (IP) or the katutubo.

The National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), led by its chairman Felipe de Leon, Jr. and executive director Emelita Almosara, is holding a flash mob to usher in the Indigenous Peoples Month this October, as well as drum up interest for Dayaw: Indigenous Peoples’ Festival to be held in November.

The flash mob features about 50 indigenous performers and youth participants. It happens at 10 a.m. at the dancing fountain area of the Rizal Park, Manila, then it will move to the Bay Area of the SM Mall of Asia, Pasay City, at 5 p.m.

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Balangao youths from Mountain Province

Some of the IP groups expected to participate in the flash mob are the Keheligal Cultural Dance Troupe, a Tboli performing group from Lake Sebu, South Cotabato; the Mamayog group from Maguindanao; and the Sindaw Philippines Performing Arts Guild from Pasig, which will present Cordilleran and Visayan dances.


Presidential Proclamation 1906, signed in 2009, declares October as Indigenous Peoples Month, “the month of people’s participation in the celebration and preservation of Indigenous Cultural Communities as part of the Life of the Nation.”

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The Keheligal Cultural Dance Troupe, a Tboli performing group from Lake Sebu, South Cotabato

Meanwhile, this year’s Dayaw festival, spearheaded by the NCCA’s Subcommission on Cultural Communities and Traditional Arts (SCCTA) headed by Joycie Dorado-Alegre, will be held in Tacloban, Leyte, from November 27 to 30 in cooperation with provincial government of Leyte led by Gov. Dominic Petilla, and the Leyte-Samar Heritage Society Inc.

The biggest gathering of indigenous peoples of the country, Dayaw 2013 will showcase an enriching and interesting array of activities including performances, film showings, a fashion show of authentic indigenous wear, a food festival and cooking demo. Other activities include an exhibit of vernacular architecture, rituals, forums, traditional games, arts and crafts exhibit and cultural tours, among others.

Dayaw aims to highlight the importance and richness of indigenous cultures, discuss the issues that the indigenous peoples face today and allow interaction with other indigenous groups. It also aims to give importance to traditional knowledge as well as draw inspiration and insight from indigenous ways of life.

Expected to participate are the Gaddang, Isinay, Tinggian, Itneg, Ibanag, Yogad, Itawit, Malaweg, Ivatan, Bugkalot, Isnag, Kalinga, Ifugao, Ibaloi, Kankanaey, Balangao, Bontok, Applai, Ayta, Mangyan, Palawani, Molbog, Jama Mapun, Tagbanua, Pala’wan, Batak, Cuyunon, Agta, Ati, Panay Bukidnon, Waray, Abaknon, Yakan, Subanen, Manobo, Higaonon, Bagobo, Mandaya, Mansaka, B’laan, Sangir, Ata Manobo, T’boli, Teduray, Arumanen, Mamanwa, Maranao, Magindanao, Iranun and Tausug.

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