Largest gathering of tribes kicks off today in Zambo PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 21 November 2014 12:04

Throngs of people belonging to the different indigenous peoples (IP) groups in the whole of Mindanao are set to converge in the city today and tomorrow for Dayaw 2014: The Indigenous People’s Festival, considered as the largest gathering of different Southern Philippines tribes here.

“The Dayaw participants come from 27 tribal affiliations composed of 12-13 clusters from all over Mindanao,” said Al-Anwar Anzar, National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) Commissioner for the Sub-commission on Cultural Communities and Traditional Arts (SCCTA).

”We expect this to be a very happy celebration and at the same time, this will be a positive strategy in promoting Zamboanga knowing that it was infiltrated last year,” added Anzar, emphasizing that this event is a first for the city. According to him, Zamboanga City was chosen as venue for Dayaw for a number of reasons, including the support from the local government, the presence of a number of IP groups, and because of the series of events that transpired last year during the siege.

“Zamboanga City is a classic example of unity in diversity,” said Anzar. “People of different cultures have been living here together for a long time.” Anzar explained that the convergence of cultures here is testimony to the locals’ love for peace and mutual understanding and respect, and that what happened during the siege was a result of a problem only brought to Zamboanga.

Anzar bared that among the IP groups to visit the city are the Yakan, Subanen, Badjao, Manobo, Higaonon, Bagobo, Mandaya, Mansaka, B’laan, Sangir, Ata Manobo, T’boli, Teduray, Arumanen, Mamanwa, Maranao, Maguindanao, Iranun, Tausug among others.

During the two-day event, activities such as the showcase of traditional crafts and cuisines, photo exhibits and music festivals will be held in various locations in the city.

He shared that Dayaw aims to be a highly entertaining event; however, it will also delve into issues currently facing the IPs, particularly on promoting peace, environmental protection, and strengthening solidarity in diversity. Forums will be conducted during the two-day festival for this purpose. These activities aim to show to the public how IPs have been contributory to society in spite of being one of the most marginalized sectors.

“We want to share our living treasures to the world,” he emphasized.

Dayaw is undertaken by the NCCA in partnership with the Zamboanga City Indigenous Peoples Council of Leaders and the City Government.

Councilor Ismael Musa, the city council’s IP representative, said they have already coordinated with the local authorities with regard to the security of the participants.

“This event is very timely, and we are very grateful for having been chosen as the host,” Musa said.

The ceremonial kick-off of the activity will be held at the Plaza Pershing on Friday, with the IPs performing their traditional rituals there. Other venues where activities will be held include the Zamboanga City State College of Marine Science and Technology (ZCMST) and the Paseo del Mar. — DIS/PIA9-ZBST