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Romblon’s Sibuyan Mangyan Tagabukid Celebrates Indigenous People’s Day; Commemorates Awarding of Ancestral Domain Title

Posted on August 10, 2017

The Sibuyan Mangyan Tagabukid (SMT), an indigenous group in Sibuyan Island, Romblon, celebrated the Indigenous People’s (IP) Day on August 8, 2017, a day prior to the World’s Indigenous People’s Day, to commemorate the awarding of their Certificate of Ancestral Domain Title on August 8, 2004.

Dubbed Adlaw ng Kasadyahan (Araw ng Kasayahan), this is the second IP Day observance in Sibuyan Island, following the first celebration in 2013. The Adlaw ng Kasadyahan showcases indigenous culture and tradition of Sibuyan Mangyan Tagabukid through a parade, cultural presentations, and product exhibit, among others.

Sibuyan Mangyan Tagabukid in a parade for the Adlaw ng Kasadyahan
 

This festivity not only honors the IP community but also calls for continuous partnership and collaboration with local government units, national government agencies and civil society for the preservation of the SMT culture and tradition and conservation of remaining forests of Sibuyan Island. The whole island is considered as an environmentally-critical area for conservation in the Philippine Biodiversity Conservation Priorities (2002).

 
Sibuyan Mangyan Tagabukid presenting their indigenous way of fire-making (bag-id) (left) and healing (bi-aw)(center and right).
 

FPE has adopted Sibuyan Island in 2015 as one of its site-focused area to sustain the gains of its Mainstreaming Indigenous People's Participation in Environmental Governance (MIPPEG) project implemented from 2010 to 2014. The Foundation commits to support projects in the area to restore and maintain biodiversity in partnership with different institutions, organizations, and stakeholders.

Mt. Guiting-guiting Natural Park (left) and Cantingas River (right), a major tributary, in Sibuyan Island.
 

Through the Asosasyon ng Tribong Sibuyan Mangyan Tagabukid (ATSMT), the recognized organization of Sibuyan Mangyan Tagabukid, the Foundation currently entered into a partnership agreement with the community for the project Pagkabuhi kag Pagpadayon ng mga Gawi kag Kinamatarong ng Sibuyan Mangyan Tagabukid translated in Filipino as Pagsasabuhay at Pagpapatuloy ng mga Kinagawian at Karapatan ng Sibuyan Mangyan Tagabukid. This project supports the continuing advocacy of Sibuyan Mangyan Tagabukid to uphold their rights, promote indigenous knowledge on natural resources management, and build local capacities.

Group photo of guests and participants.
 

Romblon Governor Eduardo Firmalo, Odiongan Mayor Trina Firmalo- Fabic, San Fernando Vice Mayor Arben Rosas, NCIP CDO III Mr. Julito Garcia, FPE Chair and CEO Dr. Lourdes Simpol, FPE Executive Director Mr. Oliver Agoncillo, Indigenous People’s Mandatory Representatives’ Councilor Valentin Regla (Cajidiocan), and Councilor Celedonio Tamayo (San Fernando), and ATSMT President Melchor Tamayo graced the event.

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Contributed by Marjorie Marasigan, Project Officer, FPE Luzon Regional Unit

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