I went to attend the age-old festival Ati-atihan of Kalibo in Aklan so I decided to take my flight to Iloilo because it’s cheaper and so I can visit as well the community of Panay Bukidnon. I contacted the alumni of 3rd Katutubo Exchange namely Wilson Lastrilla, adult leader and former katutubo participants Reychel Mae and Jhon Denver to organize the Katutubo Exchange Outreach Program.
The said activity was held on January 16, 2016 at the School of Living Tradition center of Brgy. Agcalaga in Calinog town of Iloilo. Straight from the airport, I went to the community of the Panay Bukidnon also known as Sulodnon or Tumandok, by taking a van and rented a single motorcycle. It was a remote place located up the mountains. I was accompanied by volunteer Mark who helped in the documentation of the activity.
There were 25 children and six elders who participated in the outreach. There were performances such as traditional dances, indigenous music and chanting to welcome us. Wilson opened the program. I introduced our group Katutubo Ecxchange Philippines and later asked the alumni to share their experiences of 3rd Katutubo Exchange held in Manila. I also presented their certificates of completion of the program.
Later I started the workshop on writing the old Filipino script Baybayin. I found the participants to be enthusiastic about the workshop especially Reychell and Denver who undergone same workshop at the National Museum during the KX program. I asked some of the participants to write infront and they were able to have it done correctly.
I brought with me bookmarks which I made and wrote some phrases on Baybayin and asked them to read and instantly most of them can read it. After reciting correctly the words and phrases then I gave away the bookmarks. There was one little girl who can quickly read the bookmarks and I was impressed so most of the time she gets the bookmarks. The elders were able to follow also our workshop and I told them to employ Baybayin in their designs in their tribal embroidery Panubok.
After the workshop, we took snack – royal bibingka, which I brought from Ilocos. While having snacks I asked them who wants to join the next KX and they all raised their hands. I was happy to see that but I told them that we will consider their community’s participation as we can plan it out. Later, we concluded the activity by thanking them all especially the KX alumni members.