by April Grace J. Garcia
The National Commission for Culture and the Arts, Sub-commission on Cultural Communities and Traditional Arts, in partnership with the Provincial Government of Capiz, will be holding the celebration of the historic Dungog: Indigenous Peoples Festival 2009 here in Roxas City, Capiz on October 2-6, 2009.
A big event of celebration and festivities bound for culture education and learning of the different cultural expressions of over 100 ethno-linguistic communities all gathered together to celebrate and showcase the profuse and diverse customs and traditions of different ethno-linguistic communities which are all undoubtedly worthy to be proud of.
Indigenous peoples (IP’s) coming from distinct places in the Philippines mainly Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao, of over 18 major communities will be featured, and expected 300 participants will witness the said event including 40 international visitors representing the ASEAN will arrive to participate in the forthcoming IPs Festival here in Roxas City, Capiz.
The Provincial Government of Capiz and all the governing/in-charge bodies in the celebration of Dungog: Indigenous Peoples Festival 2009, held its Press Conference at the Villareal Stadium, Swimming Pool last September 23, 2009. Organized by the Capiz Provincial Press Bureau headed by Mr. Edward Basilonia, the conference gathered the presence of all media people of the City and the Province to bring their query and as well as critic the results of the preparation of the festival. The media folks assured their utmost support on the event and will help boost up the promotion of the festival. The said Press Conference was duly attended by the people behind this affair. Leading among them was our beloved Governor of the Province of Capiz, Gov. Victor A. Tanco, who has truly been enthusiastic in promoting and uplifting the local tourism of the province. The presence of Mr. Alphonsus “Al” Tesoro, Capiz Provincial Tourism Officer, was highly recognized for his eagerness, being the Festival Director, in the pursuance of this event. Present also on the center stage were the Capiz Provincial Administrator Mr. Zoe Herrera Jr., Board Member Alfonso “Bo” Bediones, Col. Josephus Angan-Capiz Provincial Director (PNP) and Atty. Joe Villanueva-Provincial Legal Officer. The City Vice-Mayor Ronnie Dadivas was also appreciated and recognized for his full support during the press con.
Main concerns were stressed out by the media people in the Press Conference; the transportation, food, and accommodation for the IPs representatives as well as the expenses and budget of the occasion, the safety and security of the delegates, personnel assigned on different units, even the language barriers of the IP people to the common people of the Province and the City, and finally, the schedule of the event was also given emphasis.
With regards to the transportation and accommodation of the delegates, the officials were confidently sure that all participants will be properly conveyed from one place to another and will be comfortably accommodated. The Food for the participants will be closely monitored especially the does and don’ts when it came to their traditional cuisines. Both the National Commission for Culture and the Arts and the Province of Capiz will spend millions of pesos to make this event a successful one. The NCCA has set aside a budget of P6 Million for the five days event and Capiz, the host province, came up with the counterpart fund of P2.1 Million. Another aspect discussed was the language barrier between IP delegates and the common people of the province. Officials of the event were ready with the matter being raised by the media people and everything was given solution.
There will be respective translators accompanying each IP group especially during interactive activities to be held on each IP houses. And lastly, the schedule of the festival was also given emphasis by the media people. According to Mr. Tesoro, the date of the event was duly scheduled especially for the students and the young generations’ awareness, so as for them to be able to participate in this learning activity. Designated schools from the Province and the City will be scheduled accordingly to each event in coordination with DepEd City and Capiz Division as their educational tour, to give them a fair chance of witnessing this special event. Enjoying themselves on different activities while at the same time appreciating much the culture and traditions of the IP groups and hopefully would change the usual and unfair judgment regarding indigenous people.
Included on the Memorandum of Agreement, all IP houses will be properly maintained by the Capiz LGU ensuring its maintenance and beautification after the said occasion and will be relocated in Governors’ Mansion at Brgy. Lanot, Roxas City. This festivity will surely uplift and boost the local tourism industry of the City and the Province not just being the host of this affair but the hospitality, unity, and cooperation that will be most importantly exhibited on the duration of the event, cited by Mr. Tesoro.
This will be one way for the spectators to gain deeper understanding of the true culture and tradition of the indigenous people who had once proud rulers of our land, yet the one disadvantaged in the world now a day. To Gov. Vic Tanco, this event is more than worth the millions of pesos spent by the province for it will bring pride, good image and publicity, respect and as well give benefit on the local economy of the province in terms of potential income accrued during the duration of the event.