"Dream of All Eata (Aeta)" Festival and Development Forum Program

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    Festival & Development Forum

    ( DREAM OF ALL EATA )

    Hosted by the Malay Highlander Foundation (MAHIFO Inc.) in Malay, AklanCovered Court opposite the Malay Town Hall

    February 25 - 26, 2012

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    Grand parade o Agta Dumagat during earlier Panuppoy estival in Inanta Quezon Province (April 2010)

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    i. Bckgd

    The dierent IPs with a hunter gatherer background, collectively reerred toas Negritos represent the most ancient civilization in the Philippines, with anuninterrupted presence going back more than 30,000 years in time. Few in numbersoverall , small pockets are scattered over much o the country. Their distinctivecultures and orest related way o lie is as yet little understood in much o mainstreamsociety and they have since long been marginalized and pushed aside - even icompared to other larger IPs.

    These ethnic groups among which the Eata/Ati and Ayta o the Western Visayasand the Batak o Palawan - have a strong relationship with the natural environmentin which they live. And many cultural traits reect this relationship, while relevantknowledge and skills are unsurpassed. Furthermore, their society is highly egalitarianand decision making is traditionally most inclusive.

    For the Negritos, everywhere, oods wild gathered rom orests, rivers and brooksand coastal waters, traditionally are a key element o the diet. Food items include leaand root vegetables (the ormer including dierent species o erns, the latter variousDioscorea yams), mushrooms, wild banana owers ( Musa sp.) and palm heart (ubod,a generic term reerring to a range o palm species), as well as, fsh, molluscs, crabsand other aquatic animals.

    In act, the nutritional value o organic plus natural oods is in no way inerior tothat o arm crops. On the contrary, recent research fndings increasingly point to thesuperior health benefts o these oods . Another undeniable orte o wild oods is themuch greater (variation o) taste.

    However, the consumption o wild gathered oods, is oten perceived as a sign obackwardness. On the other hand, modern processed and comparatively nutrientpoor items are now widely available in the communities and have (e.g. in the orm osnacks) become a signifcant staple o day-to-day diets.

    Still, even today, wild oods, albeit a minor component volume-wise, are a healthyand enjoyable part o the diet, while the related knowledge base is still largely intact

    within the tribes. Some o the skills involved in hunting or gathering also serve aspronounced identity markers.However, in the context o persistent erosive cultural pressures, it seems timely to setafrmative action in motion. Thereore, the scheduled February event, which aims to:

    1) Enable the revitalization o the distinct cultural identity o the participating Eata/Ati,Ayta and Batak.

    2) Encourage cooperation among communities and create a platorm or sharing theiraspirations and concerns in relation to the development agenda.

    3) Have a productive dialogue with, and provide grass root inputs to, LGUs and othergovernment agencies, in order to provide those key actors with the tools to beoptimally eective in inducing positive change.

    4) Invigorate the healthy ood tradition and oster greater pride in related skills,

    knowledge and customs.

    Finally, the estival cum orum is part o a larger eort to strengthen the capacity orsel-determination o the IPs with a hunter gatherer background o the Philippines.It will build on the experience with two earlier and hugely successul estivals, oneorganized by Agta-Dumagat in Quezon province (SAGIBIN) and the second by the

    Aeta o Tarlac (KAKAI).

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    ii. p f ac

    It concerns a two day event, comprising o a ood-themed cultural revival estivaland a multi-sectoral development orum.

    Over 250 Negrito participants (not counting children) are expected to attend, comingrom the islands o Panay, Boracay, Guimaras and Palawan, with a smaller contingentrom Luzon (Agta and Aeta).

    During the frst day, a cook and taste session o traditional oods will take centralstage. For this session, participants will be encouraged to contribute specialty ooditems rom their respective areas.

    Apart rom the actual tasting, recipes, rituals and inormation related to theingredients will be shared.

    In addition, participants will be invited to engage in story telling and singing relatedto the ood served, while beore and ater the C&T session, other survival skills andcultural expressions will be demonstrated.

    The 2nd Day, a multi-sector development orum will take place, involvingrepresentatives o government (municipality, province, NCIP national/regional, DENR,

    DST, Dep. o Health/Education); civil society and local/national media. The orum,with Eata leaders in charge, aims to provide a platorm or sharing their aspirationsand concerns - including those in relation to:

    Ancestral domain situation and ecosystem rehabilitation; Food security and ecosystem-based livelihood development; Education and health care issues.

    The orum is also to unction as an occasion to discuss appropriate bottom upterms or uture collaboration with relevant stakeholders. Finally, it is oreseen thatthe sharing will lead to a better appreciation or an unique and ancient culturalheritage, which is at the roots o the regions rich and appealing abric.

    Meanwhile, expectations are high, as the estival initiative appears to resonateremarkably well in the Western Visayas, not only in communities, but also with policymakers, local entrepreneurs and others.

    Among the speakers at the Aeta Development orum in Tarlac (April 2011), NCIPCommissioner Conching Calzado, Tarlac Governor Victor Yap and Congresman Teddy

    Baguilat.

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    Fby 25 (sdy)Arrival o participants rom outside the provinceo Aklan

    Fby 26 (sdy):

    8:00 Festive Parade rom Caticlan to Festival

    venue.

    10:00 Opening Ritual, Welcome words and song.

    10:45 Games, among which competitions in archery,

    javelin throwing, stilt racing (youth) and fre

    making. (The latter in 3 tool categories: int,

    iron and bamboo.)

    12:30 Lunch

    14:00 Continuation games and demonstration oskills incl. o hilot midwiery and honey

    hunting.

    16:00 Music/dance & start preparation o specialty

    oods.

    18:00 Intro to the ood served, ollowed by tasting

    and more much more music, song and

    dance.

    February 27 (Monday)

    7:00 Breakast & preparations or the day.

    9:00 Welcome words and intro MAHIFO. ollowed

    by presentation o development aspirations

    and issues by speakers rom dierent areas.

    9:30 Aklan

    10:00 Other provinces o Panay plus Guimaras

    10:30 Q & A

    10:50 Negros

    11:15 Palawan

    11: 25 Luzon (Agta Dumagat, Aeta): response to

    presentations

    11:00 Q& A

    12:30 Lunch

    14:00 Welcome words Mayor John P. Yap

    14: 10 Summary morning

    14:30 NCIP Commissioner Dionesia Banua (with

    Regional Director Catolin)

    15:00 DENR HQ representative Joey Austria

    15:20 Aklan Governor Carlito S. Marquez

    15:40 Mayor John P. Yap

    16:00 Plenum

    17:30 Joycie Dorado-Alegre, head o the NCCA

    subcommision on cultural minorities and the

    arts:Relections on the day and closure

    18:00 Dinner and departure o most participants

    Fby 28 (tdy)Negros participants travel back to Bacolod ormuseum event

    Fby 29 (Wddy)Last day o National Arts Month, at 18:30,opening exhibit related to the estival in TheNegros Museum, Old Agricultural Bldg. GatuslaoSt. Bacolod City. (Until May 2nd, 2012.)

    ii. t pg

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    iv. ogz d s

    The event is hosted by Malay-based Eata PO MAHIFO and has been organised inclose collaboration with and/or supported by:

    NTFP-TF, National Commission on Indigenous People, Mayors ofce o the

    municipality o Malay, Both ENDS, The Negros Museum, AnthroWatch, NCCA/LAHI,and SAGIBIN/KAKAI/NATRIPAL.

    Sumptuous ood rom the forest & swiddens