THE PHILIPPINE Eagle Foundation (PEF) partnered with Pasukadoy artist group and San Pedro College for a cultural learning activity that aims to mainstream the conservation of biodiversity among tribal children.
The activity was part of the 2nd Somaya Festival, a biocultural festival of the Obu-Manuvu tribe celebrated on Jan. 6-12 in Barangay Tambobong, Baguio District.
Irick Francisco, PEF communication education and public awareness officer, said the team intended to make the pioneering event an annual activity for tribal kids.
“The PEF follows this culture-based conservation approach, so we partner with indigenous communities for our conservation work, because we believe that they are the most logical partners, as they share a home with our Philippine eagles, kay sila ang naa sa lasang,” Francisco said.
Francisco added they want to inculcate and popularize conservation among the young ones, for them to understand the concept of pusaka, a traditional tribe practice of sanctifying entities, living or non-living, as “precious” or “sacred”.
“We believe that it’s more appropriate to teach them conservation mechanisms that are aligned with their cultural context,” he said.
Among the games and activities conducted were Kalumbata, a game where kids determine which objects are pusaka and which are not; “Kalabugao goes hunting”, a game to identify the eagle’s prey items; paint me a picture, and an art workshop assisted by Pasukadoy IP artist group.
“Pinaagi sa workshop, ma-break ang mindset sa mga tribu nga naa sa mga bukid, nga makita sa mga ginikanan ug mga bata didto na naa’y hope pag-abot sa panahon kung maningkamot sila sa ilahang talents,” Marben Subuan, Pasukadoy IP artist group president, said.
Lipatuan Joel Unad, Obu Manuvu tribal leader, said the Somaya Festival, traditionally celebrated in Cotabato, is also observed in Calinan, one of its ancestral domains.
“Gisabay namo ang celebration kauban ang PEF ug other institutions, aron makasabay sila sa paningkamot sa IP sa pagpreserve sa mga traditional na celebrations sulod mismo sa ancestral domain,” Unad said.
Unad also expressed his appreciation to PEF for supporting the conservation and environmental protection of the area through basic orientations.
The PEF also distributed school supplies and food packs to 160 children, through the Department of Education XI.
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