October 23, 2023 | 2023 Indigenous Peoples Month and 26th IPRA Commemoration
In a remarkable celebration of identity, culture, and progress, the Indigenous Peoples (IP) Month was honored today with a grand flag-raising ceremony, sponsored by the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) and the Indigenous Peoples Mandatory Representative (IPMR) of YKalinga.
Additional highlight of this event was the adoption of Chairman Sibug-Las as daughter of Kalinga, naming her as Dinayaw; awarding of CADT to Bangad ICC; launching of the first ever Laga book by the Kalinga Tourism, the Provincial Awarding recognizing the Pasil Slow Food Community and the launching of Free WiFi for the province by the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) – Kalinga, bringing a significant technological advancement to the region.
Distinguished dignitaries from regional, and provincial levels graced the occasion, with NCIP Chairperson Jennifer Pia T. Sibug-las as the guest of honor, accompanied by her commissioners, Hon. Pinky Grace P. Pareja and Hon. Gaspar A. Cayat.
The event unfolded a tapestry of Kalinga culture, showcasing the unique relationship between the people, nature, and spirituality. The Kalinga Sports Center was adorned with traditional trinkets, native products, and vibrant “tapis” clothing, representing the diverse facets of Kalinga’s rich heritage.
Local artists Mauricio Patongao and Kevin Ahmad entertained the audience with their original compositions, while traditional food and dances took center stage, reflecting the integral role they play in the Kalinga way of life.
Honorable Board Member IPMR Michael Karel B. Sugguiyao facilitated the Ayag and Bunnung ceremonies, with IP Elder Mr. Bagtang Basungit performing the Pitik and Sissiwa (opening Prayer).
The Simsim ceremony, symbolizing acceptance and protection, was led by Governor James S. Edduba alongside the guest of honor, NCIP Chairperson Ms. Sibug-las.
The Capitol Choir presented Doxoloxy in the Kalinga dialect and led the singing of the National and provincial Hymns.
The ceremonial Toast, called Losngat and Taug, was facilitated by Honorable Commissioners Pinky Pareja and Gaspar Cayat, with PD NCIP Atty. Catherine G. Apaling’s assistance.
Hon. Vice Governor Jocel C. Baac officially opened the program and entertained the audience and visitors with his wittiness. He briefly expressed his gratefulness to the NCIP to the province.
Hon. Congressman Allen Jesse C. Mangaoang emphasized the vital role of indigenous people in preserving traditions and nature, citing their significant contribution to biodiversity conservation. UN found out that IP only composed of 15% of the world’s population but they protect 85% of the world’s Bio-diversity.
Governor James S. Edduba expressed his hope for partnership and support from the NCIP, especially for renewable projects in Kalinga, underscoring the importance of their collaboration in all provincial endeavours.
“We express our heartfelt gratitude to the NCIP for their unwavering support of ICCs and earnestly hope that the NCIP will remain steadfast in its commitment to champion the causes of the ICC, tirelessly advocating for their rights and ensuring they receive the rights and benefits they justly deserve,” emphasized the governor in his message.
Regional Director Atty. Atanacio D. Addog shared his insights on the significance of IP Month and encouraged YKalinga to contribute to the preservation of their culture and heritage.
Commissioner Gaspar A. Cayat emphasized the importance of embracing and protecting their unique identity, urging everyone to celebrate being Indigenous People and pledging the NCIP’s commitment to preserving traditional practices.
NCIP Chairperson Jennifer Pia T. Sibug-las inspired the community to relive and cherish indigenous cultures, emphasizing that these should not merely be relics or symbols but a way of life. She highlighted the significance of diversity and inclusivity, saying, “We must recognize the unique customs, languages, and artistry of indigenous peoples, for it is through diversity that we find strength.”
The IP Month Celebration brought the YKalinga community together to celebrate their heritage, showcase their rich culture, and inspire a collective commitment to preserving their unique identity.