On September 16, after our regular meeting in our committee at National Commission for Culture and the Arts, we were invited to attend the Indigenous Peoples Regional Assembly.
It was convened by Senator Loren Legarda at the Teacher’s Camp in Baguio City in partnership with other government agencies namely: National Commission for Indigenous Peoples, Department of Education, National Commission for Culture and the Arts, Department of Tourism, Department of Environment and Natural Resources and the International Labour Organization.
This affair was participated in by Indigenous Peoples from Luzon covering Regions 1-5 and the Cordillera Region. There was Indigenous Peoples products exhibit at the venue featuring the loom weaving of textiles. A film featuring Buhos was also shown to the delegation.
There were lectures presented at the plenary session with topics Climate Change and its impacts on Indigenous Peoples, Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation Programme and Disaster Risk Reducton: Use of Geohazards Information.
It was followed by Q and A which focuses on mining. It was pointed out that some members of the IP community have the tendency to be bribed to allow mining in their areas. It was emphasized that if they said no to mining then they should solidly stand for it.
There were cultural performances presented during the Solidarity Night. Unity Dance was performed by the NIIT-Baguio and “Tayao” was presented by Benguet delegates. Some dances were joined by the public.
Nose flute was even played by one of the performers. An Aeta woman rendered a song. I also met a woman from Kalinga who has tattoe on her body. It is called batok which signifies beauty among locals. Local wines and cocktail foods were served. Later, we were treated for a dinner with pinikpikan. We had fun attending the event. Regional assemblies will follow in Visayas and Mindanao.