Twenty-one years since the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act (IPRA)
of 1997 was signed, the Indigent communities in Zamboanga City have worked tirelessly to be recognized. In acknowledgement of the strides that the community has taken towards inclusive development, the AdZU Center for Community Extension Services
(CCES) organized this year’s Kolodyaan II, a celebration of the
Indigenous Peoples (IPs) of Zamboanga, in partnership with the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP).
The event focused on celebrating the individualities and
strengths of each tribe. Held last October 27-28, 2018 at Campo Uno Tribal
Hall, Kolodyaan II was attended by
the five (5) tribes in Zamboanga City including, the Sama Bangingis from Simariki, Subanen from Monte Central, Campo Uno
and Limpapa, Bajaus, Yakans from Manicahan and Kalibugans.
With the theme Pagpapalakas
ng Pagkakakilanlan at Kaugalian ng mga Katutubong Pamayanan tungo sa Pagkakaisa
at Kapayapaan, this year’s Kolodyaan highlighted the importance of gaining recognition by the IP tribes, their rich cultures, unparalleled talents and
resources, and invaluable contributions to society.
Highlights of the stay-in celebration included cultural
presentations from the different tribes including the Mongigal and Gandingans.
In the evening, different activities showcasing the talents of the IPs were
held including the poem writing contest, Indigenous Knowledge and Practices
Exhibit contest, sharing of cultural folklores, and more.
The celebration was supported by different agencies and
individuals including the Indigenous Peoples Mandatory Representatives (IPMR),
local government of Patalon, Limpapa and Labuan, Philippine News Agency, Labuan
Police Station, Labuan Central School, 11th Infantry Battalion,
Labuan Coastguard, Zamboanga Ecozone, Limpapa Central School, NCIP, the
different IPMRs, Labuan Patalon Limpapa Indigenous Cultural Communities (LPICC),
AdZU has been committed to the mission of forming
leaders who will work for social transformation. Kolodyaan I, which centered on
community-based education, was the first step towards fulfilling this mission.
With Kolodyaan II, AdZU wishes to fulfill its vision of addressing needs in
community development, intercultural dialogue, and the common good.
On that same day, NCIP celebrated 21 years of IPRA with
the theme Convergence for IP Empowerment
Toward Comfortable Lives. NCIP representative Jeorge Hocutan emphasized the
importance of empowering IPs through education and livelihood programs with the
help of the academe, nongovernment and government agencies, and community service
organizations. In support of this message, Major Tony Bugawan, Executive
Officer of the 11th Infantry Battalion, advised the IPs
present to continue studying. On reports about IP youths turn to terrorism because of poverty
and misinformation, he advised everyone to arm themselves with critical
thinking skills that would allow them to resist acts of terrorism here in
The City Indigenous Peoples Mandatory Representatives
(IPMR) present expressed their gratitude towards the individuals and groups who
made Kolodyaan II possible. Timuays and Datus in attendance also expressed
their hopes that Kolodyaan will last for years to come in order to pursue unity
and peace among the different tribes.