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The Lumad Tribe of Mindanao


By: Joe Mauricio


Through the invitation of the Philippine Consulate General of Chicago, VT/CPRTV interviewed the visiting group of indigenous people of the Philippines, specifi cally the Lumad tribe of Mindanao.

In my CPRTV interview, the spokesperson of the group had feared the Communists takeover of their tribe even during the Hukbalahap movement days. There are more than 15 tribes of indigenous people in the Philippines of Lumad origin.

These days, the Philippine government, through help from the United Nations are doing some digital projects for the tribe’s history preservation. The amount of funds and effort devoted to such projects are enormous, and now they are providing greater opportunities and researchers to view the metamorphosis of the Lumad tribe. The possibility of using video technology for the presentation of cultural activities (museum tours, musical concerts and theatre performances, etc.) in virtual reality devices.

The Cry of the Lumad was so loud that it pierced my heart, at the point shedding a tear or two. It got me in my vulnerability. But how could you not feel the plea for survival?

We must help to save the Lumad’s indigenous’ knowledge, language, food, customs, and heritage.

The major challenges to the management and preservation of indigenous knowledge are the issues relating to collection developing, intellectual property rights, access and the preservation media.

The challenges and opportunities in the protection and preservation of indigenous knowledge in the Philippines are reliance on us, who love to see our grandchildren see the beautiful indigenous of the Philippines.

We must continue to support the cultural transmission, a process of social reproduction in technological knowledge and behavior patterns in its culture. I am sure that certain skills and incomplete transmission of others would be a lower level of mastery than the older generation. It would be attributable to changes in the educational environment, diminished tribe available.

These factors seemed to impair the traditional mode of education based on participation and observation in the lowlands or uplands in the mountains.

Another threatening factor for the indigenous extinction is the mining companies’ taking over the lands and destroying the tranquil and sacred environment of their ancestors.

I dreamt that someday, we can prevent the catastrophic extinction event that might befall the Philippines’ indigenous groups, such as, the Lumads, Ifugaos, Mangyans, and Igorots, and many others’.

Let us help preserve the indigenous people’s knowledge, culture and heritage, after all, they are also Filipinos like us. Ating mga Kapatid!

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