NCCA’s Dayaw highlights rich folk arts and traditions of cultural communities | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022

NATIONAL living treasure Federico Caballero of Iloilo. PHOTOS BY EDGAR ALAN M. SEMBRANO
NATIONAL living treasure Federico Caballero of Iloilo. PHOTOS BY EDGAR ALAN M. SEMBRANO
NATIONAL living treasure Federico Caballero of Iloilo. PHOTOS BY EDGAR ALAN M. SEMBRANO

OVER 40 ethnic groups from all over the country gathered in Pampanga to celebrate Dayaw, the indigenous peoples festival organized by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) for October, Indigenous People’s Month.

With the theme “Katutubong Kaalaman para sa Kalikasan at Kapayapaan” (Indigenous Knowledge for Environment and Peace),” Dayaw was held in the cities of Angeles and San Fernando and the municipalities of Arayat, Lubao, Macabebe, Porac and Santa Rita.

Aside from outreach performances, culinary activities, exhibit of traditional clothing and works of the Manlilikha ng Bayan, a national summit on indigenous peoples was held for the first time, discussing the environment and peace, including the lumad killings in Mindanao.

The festival was graced by Gawad sa Manlilikha ng Bayan (National Living Treasure or “Gamaba”) awardees Teofilo Garcia, Magdalena Gamayo, Federico Caballero, Alfonso Saclag and Eduardo Mutuc.

Gamaba laureates are considered National Folk Artists, in contrast to National Artists, who are practitioners of Western classic arts.

Speaking at the opening ceremonies at Bayanihan Park in Angeles City, Sen. Loren Legarda stressed the richness in culture, history, and knowledge systems of the indigenous peoples.

“We should all know [their] life and culture,” she said.

“If we lose our knowledge on your [indigenous] culture, it’s as if we lose our identity as Filipinos.”


A ROMBLOANON elder in traditional clothes
A ROMBLOANON elder in traditional clothes

Al Anwar Anzar, NCCA commissioner and head of the NCCA Subcommission on Cultural Communities and Traditional Arts (SCCTA), said Dayaw provided a chance for cultural communities “to showcase their cultural heritage and indigenous knowledge.”

He explained the indigenous peoples had their own knowledge on protecting the environment and promoting peace.

“Our indigenous communities are peace-loving people and they have mechanisms, knowledge on how to maintain peace in their communities,” he said.

On lumad killings in Mindanao, Anzar said they were “everybody’s concern.” He said the lumad were “culture-bearers” and any assault of them was an assault on their culture.

KALINGA clothing on exhibit at SM Clark
KALINGA clothing on exhibit at SM Clark

Cultural awareness “is key to our unity and understanding as one nation,” added.

NCCA Chair Felipe de Leon Jr. said it was the first time Dayaw was held in Pampanga, a province known for its rich folk traditions such as Christmas lantern-making, carving, metal smithing and food.

Pampanga, he said, has rich traditional culture “that does not need contemporary technology since it can execute a complete result through its traditional processes.”

De Leon announced that next year’s Dayaw would invite indigenous peoples from other countries in a show of international solidarity.