The Philippines is home to many indigenous peoples, in honor of which October is designated as Indigenous People Month by the National Council of Churches in the Philippines. Observances are held throughout the country.
As part of Indigenous People Month, the Dumagat community celebrated with traditional ceremonies, a parade and cultural presentations. The Dumagats take pride in their cultural identity and history, and enjoy sharing it with others.
The Dumagats live in a remote mountainous region on the northern island of Luzon. They are known for loving peace, being close to their land and loving nature, and their respect for their ancestors. All of this is expressed in their dress, music and dance. Their relative isolation has allowed their culture to continue to thrive, but has also contributed to illiteracy and poverty.
Unbound has had the privilege of working with the Dumagats since 1999, through sponsorships, literacy initiatives and assisting in their successful efforts to have their ancestral lands recognized by the Philippine government.
According to Malou Navio, coordinator for Unbound’s Antipolo program, “the [Indigenous People Month] celebration was full of emotions, cultural expressions, gratitude and the pride reflected from winning over their fight for their ancestral land.”
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