As the year comes to an end, the Ateneo de Zamboanga University, true to its Mission of a University committed to peace and community empowerment among IPs in Mindanao – through its Center for Community Extension Services (CCES), together with the Campo Uno Indigenous People Primary School (CUIPPS) in Labuan – reports as one of the highlights of 2017 – the first Indigenous People (IPs) Solidarity celebration of IP month dubbed “Kolodyaan” (Subanon for “celebration or festival”).
With the theme “Celebrating the gains of Indigenous Peoples in Education” or IPEd Program, the event, held October this year at the CUIPPS, was participated in by over a hundred Indigenous Peoples (IPs) composed of children and adults from the Sama Bangingi from Simariki Island, Talon-Talon; Subanon from Monte Central in Patalon; and Bajao from Buggoc in Kasanayangan.
The Kolodyaan,celebrated with IPED stakeholders and partners in attendance, sought to provide avenues for IP communities to reflect and explore collective means to strengthen the IPEd of various IP communities in Zamboanga City, by showcasing IP indigenous knowledge systems and practices for greater awareness and appreciation of their culture and traditions and immersing them in creative methods and approaches of collective learning; and nurturing relationships and partnership among communities and tribes.
Together, the Sama-Bangingi, Bajau, Subanon and their partners and stakeholders, celebrated the gains of the IPs in education through various activities.
“Malalim at makahulugan ang paglalakbay ng bawat katutubo na naging bahagi ng IP Education. Maraming kwento ng pagbabago at pag-asa sa bawat komunidad … Ang IPEd program ang naging daan upang kaming mga katutubo ay maipagpatuloy ang misyon at gawain para sa ikakaunlad ng aming tribo,” shared Rolando Bernardo, Subanon Teacher-In-Charge of Kolodyaan host CUIPPS, in his testimony.
The highlights during the stay-in two-day festival included, in addition to the testimonies of gains by different IP communities, the culture sharing of different IP groups, showcasing their indigenous dances including the Subanon Mongigal, Sama-Bangingi Piya-piya, Kulintangan and Dayang-Dayang, and Bajau Igal-igal; song presentations of the Sama-Bangingi Ag-Kalang and Subanon Ika; and indigenous games.
In the evening, the participants gathered for the kigulangoy or story-telling, and sharing of indigenous knowledge by the different tribes of their folklores, stories that related their struggles, hope and change. The night ended with a cultural bonding or Lami-Lami.
Other activities included the presentation and awarding of the winner of the Songwriting Competition participated in by the IP communities and the Stewardship Ceremony, which consisted of the turn-over of a classroom to the community and school. The classroom was built by the Bravo Company Labuan Detachment headed by 1st Lt. Jerome Mandocdoc, the 11 Infantry Battalion under Lt Col Rolando P. Gomez, and the Campo Uno Education Council. The solidarity dance “Idana” led by IP communities together with guests, marked the culmination of the activity.
The festival was supported by various organizations, foremost by the Assisi Foundation, Inc. Also present during the event were the City Indigenous Peoples Mandatory Representatives (IPMR) Tungku Hanapi, Councilor Josefina Pareja, Department of Education IPED Focal person Adonis Rojas, also Lapaz Elementary School Principal; other DepEd Principals and Elementary School Heads and Teachers of Labuan District: Florencia Seño from Labuan Central School, Evelyn Cabaniero from Patalon, Cecile Dime from Sinubong, Corazon Fabella from San Ramon, Athanel Castro from Ramon Enriquez High School, Reynaldo Bernardo from Montecentral Indigenous People Elementary School (MIPES); Barangay Local Government Unit of Patalon, Labuan and Limpapa; Barangay Councils and IPMRs Abelardo Sanggadan of Patalon, Martin Gunillac of Labuan, and Jusain Salarihon of Limpapa; Silsillah Dialogue Movement, the National Commission on Indigenous People (NCIP), Rubilyn Aguidan of the Ateneo de Zamboanga University-Grade School; and elders and leaders from indigenous cultural communities: Sama Bangingi from Simariki School for Indigenous People; Bajau from Angiskul Ma Bangka; Subanon from Monte Central Subanon Elementary School, and Limpapa Patalon Labuan Indigenous Cultural Communities (LPLICC) headed by Leo Gumandao.