Under the heat of the sun, the 5th installment of Dayaw Festival: National Indigenous Peoples Festival was officially opened October 7, 2011 in a colorful and meaningful ceremony and with a pronouncement that could boost Tagum as the country’s newest cultural hub.
“We hope that this year in Tagum City, we can have the cultural center of Mindanao and soon to be the cultural center of the Philippines”.
Thus said Department of Education Undersecretary Albert Muyot during the opening ceremony of the 2011 National Dayaw Festival at Energy Park in Apokon, Tagum City, reading the prepared remarks of National Commission for Culture and the Arts Chairman Felipe de Leon.
Asked for a comment, NCCA Commissioner Joycie D. Alegre who heads the commission’s Subcommittee for Cultural Communities and the Traditional Arts said this is great possibility.
“Tagum City is an ultra-modern city that is culturally-enlightened,” Alegre noted during the press briefing right after the opening program.
This year’s Dayaw Festival was attended by 14 Indigenous People Clusters with estimated by less than 400 IP from the different parts of the country, according to Commissioner Alegre.
This year’s participants are the following: (Northern Region) Balangao/ Bontok/ Applai, Gaddang/ Isinay, Iloko/ Bayo, Iratun/ Itbayat, Ibanag/ Yogad/ Itawit/ Malaweg, Kalanaguya/ Ifuagao, Ayta of Tarlac, Pampanga, Bataan and Zambales, Kalinga, Bugkalot, Ibaloy/ Kankanaey, Kasiguran, Kapampangan/Tagalog/ Sambal, Apayao/ Isnay, Tinggian/ Itneg, Bolinao/ Pangasinense; (Central Region) Waray/ Abaknon, Sulod/ Bukidnon, Tagbanua/ Pal’awan/ Batak, Ilonggo/ Hiligaynon/ Kiniray-a/ Aklanon, Ati of Negros Occidental, Mangyan, Bikolano, Agta/ Ita/ Kabihug, Ati of Guimaras/ Iloilo/ Capiz, Ati of Antique/ Aklan, Molbog/ Palawan/ Jama Mapun, Agutaynen/ Cayunon; (Southern Region)Tausug, B’Laan/ Sangin, T’Boli, Mansaka/ Kagan/ Mandaya, Bagobo/ Kalagan/ Tagakaolo, Bukidnon/ Higaonon/ Talaandig, Mamanwa, Yakan, Subanen/ Kolibugan/ Chabacano, Matigsalug/ Manobo/ Tigwabanon/ Ummayammon, Maranao/ Maguindanao/ Iranun, Teduray/ Arumanen and Sama/ Bangingi/ Jama Mapun/ Bajan.
The different IP Cluster Heads together with their tribal members were recognized and offered their gifts as a sign of prosperity to the City Mayor of Tagum, Rey T. Uy and Datu Onlos, Chieftain of the Mansaka tribe of Tagum.
“I join the whole nation in hoping that this gathering in Tagum becomes a unifying event for us to collectively commit in the preservation and promotion of our rich culture and tradition,” said Mayor Uy during the opening program of the Dayaw Festival.
“We as a people should immerse ourselves fully in the rich culture of our country. Despite the ethnic diversity of this archipelago, the social fabric of this nation by and large is one.”
Presidential Procalamation No. 1906, states that October of every year as the “National Indigenous People’s Month.” Previous IP month festivals were observed in the different cities of Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.
This year’s Dayaw Festival is under the supervision of the NCCA’s Subcommission on Cultural Communities and Traditional Arts, Mindanawon Foundation, The City Government of Tagum and the City of Tagum Tourism Council. Faith A. Aguana, Dayaw Student Press Corps