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October 30, 2014

The Many Things I Learned at the Dayaw Festival in Luzon (Part I of II)

Dayaw Festival, known as the Philippine Indigenous Peoples Festival, is held every October. Dayaw means pride. And with the many cultural communities in the country, each having a rich and unique tradition barely influenced by our colonizers for hundreds of years, there is indeed a lot to be proud of in the art and culture of our fellow Filipinos!

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October is a month of many celebrations, one of which is the Indigenous Peoples Month. The Dayaw Festival is the largest gathering of Philippine indigenous peoples. It started in 2007.

The first leg of the Dayaw Festival was held in Baguio City last October 22-23. Various cultural communities from all over Luzon gathered at the Baguio Convention Center. Men, women, and children wore their traditional attire. Some even brought their musical instruments, hunting materials, and even handmade products.

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Gaddang

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Aeta from Zambales

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Apayao/Isnag children

The sheer sight of beautiful people sharing their beautiful traditions was a feast not just to my eyes but also to my mind. The indigenous people have a warm, sincere smile that perfectly complements their attire and other implements. It wasn’t hard asking for permission to take their photos because they are very friendly and approachable. They answered my questions and selflessly shared even more. I realized that the more I learn, the more I got hungry to discover more!

After a few minutes, each group huddled and joined the parade from Upper Session Road to Lower Session Road.

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No wonder fashion designers still turn to indigenous art for inspiration! Whether front or back, the details are absolutely amazing!

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While waiting for the parade to start, some of them started to play their instruments. The other groups waited for them to finish then played their own too. It was pure harmony in music and in respecting others.

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These kids from Bolinao, Pangasinan had the sweetest smiles while playing.

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This headgear is a head turner! The man wearing it shared that it is made of the bird kalaw (Philippine hornbill). Without asking, he gamely posed for more photos, and I gladly clicked away because he is photogenic.

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The parade continues…

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Everyone went back to the Baguio Convention Center where the delegates and participants rested for a few minutes. After singing the national anthem, each cultural community was invited to go on stage, and some even performed dances. The city officers gave their welcome remarks before Al Anwar Anzar of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts delivered an inspiring speech.

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Since “Katutubong Filipino para sa Kalikasan at Kapayapaan” is the theme of this year’s Dayaw Festival, he expressed his pride in the resilience of the indigenous peoples and how they remain to be channels of peace and stewards of nature. He stressed the importance of unity, citing the Dayaw Festival as a venue for continued understanding, learning, and friendship among all Filipinos.

At the right side of the lobby, traditional crafts and traditional cuisine were showcased simultaneously.

Uvud of the Watan/Itbayat is made of fish fillet, pork blood, and garlic wrapped in breadfruit leaf

Uvud of the Watan/Itbayat is made of fish fillet, pork blood, and garlic wrapped in breadfruit leaf

This is the breadfruit leaf. The Watan/Itbayat use it like a plate or fold it like a bowl. Despite the harsh weather that pass by their lands, they are blessed with the bounty of the land and the sea.

This is the breadfruit leaf. The Watan/Itbayat use it like a plate or fold it like a bowl. Despite the harsh weather that pass by their lands, they are blessed with the bounty of the land and the sea.

Gurgurya of Bulacan

Gurgurya of Bulacan

Ilansila of the Kalinga

Ilansila of the Kalinga

The Jama Mapun showed how they make Jaa. Their strainer is called gayong jaa. It is made of coconut shell. They told me that the holes has to have the right size so the jaa can be made perfectly.

The Jama Mapun showed how they make Jaa. Their strainer is called gayong jaa. It is made of coconut shell. They told me that the holes has to have the right size so the jaa can be made perfectly.

Jaa is made of rice flour, brown sugar, and water. After straining, it is then placed on a pan for frying.

Jaa is made of rice flour, brown sugar, and water. After straining, it is then placed on a pan for frying.

The gayong jaa is swirled simultaneously until it is empty.

The gayong jaa is swirled simultaneously until it is empty.

When it turns golden brown, the sides are folded inwards.

When it turns golden brown, the sides are folded inwards.

The audience was glued from the preparation to the cooking. Samples were given once the food was ready.

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It wasn’t just the visitors learning from the cultural communities. The participants also had the chance to learn from each other.

Ligaya Osingat Basit, a Bugkalot, learns how to weave a hat from an Itawit/Malaweg

Ligaya Osingat Basit, a Bugkalot, learns how to weave a hat from an Itawit/Malaweg

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Even some Manlilikha ng Bayan were present during the Dayaw Festival like Teofilo Garcia of Abra who makes tabungaw or upo hat. He told me he learned it from his father and grandfather. Now he teaches it to the youth in their community.

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The upo hat is made is made of rattan, nito, and bamboo then varnished to give it a shiny finish. The small one he is holding is P500. The medium is P1,000, large is P1,500, and extra large for P2,000.

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One Comment on “The Many Things I Learned at the Dayaw Festival in Luzon (Part I of II)”

  • Alma Dayag says October 31, 2014 at 6:29 am

    Very informative article. I love the pictures too… Congratulations Gold!

 


 

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