09 outubro 2010

Venus Raj joins Indigenous People’s Month celebration Miss Universe

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Miss Universe 2010 fourth runner-up Maria Venus Raj encourages the promotion of Philippine indigenous culture in her short talk at the launch of “Dayaw: Indigenous People’s Month celebration 2010.” Photo by Marvin Alcaraz
2010 4th Runner-Up Maria Venus Raj joins the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) Subcommission on Cultural Communities and Traditional Arts (SCCTA) and the Ugnayang Pang Agham-Tao (UGAT) in celebration of Dayaw Festival: Indigenous People’s Month celebration this October. “Dayaw,” according to festival director Dr. Eufracio Abaya, is an indigenous word from several Philippine languages. In old Tigaonon, spoken in Surigao del Sur, it means “to show off, parade or display,” and “to present with pride what is distinctly and essentially inherent in oneself.” In Catandunganon, it means “to show one’s best with pride and dignity coupled with excitement. And in Ilocano, it means “honor.”

“This year’s festival also draws inspiration from the word “kadayawan,” which means, for the Dabaweños, “a celebration of life, thanksgiving for gifts of nature, the wealth of culture, and the bounties of harvest and the serenity of living,” adds Abaya.

Now on its fourth year, the festival gathers indigenous ethnic groups in the country to participate in cultural exchanges and presentations highlighting significant aspects of their way of life—their culture, arts and crafts, and traditions.

The first celebration of the IP month spearheaded by NCCA was the “Kalimudan: Panaghi-usa sa Mindanao” (Mindanao Indigenous Peoples’ Gathering) held in Davao in 2007. This was followed by “Timpuyog: Indigenous People Month 2008” held in Santiago City, Isabela. In 2009, the celebration, dubbed “Dungog: Indigenous Peoples Festival” was held in Roxas City, Capiz. The IP month celebration is pursuant to Presidential Proclamation 1906, declaring October as Indigenous People’s Month.

Rich culture
Raj, who finished fifth in the 2010 Miss Universe Pageant, was the special guest in the opening of the Dayaw Festival at the NCCA Lobby on October 1.

After witnessing the indigenous presentations, Raj expressed her admiration for the richness of the country’s culture. “Ang ganda pala ng culture natin. Amazing pala,” she remarked as she applauded the NCCA-spearheaded annual IP month celebrations, which aims to promote awareness of our rich cultures and traditions.

She also expressed her sadness that the youth, herself included, does not know much about how rich and diverse the Filipino culture is, and tend to learn more about foreign cultures before their own. She urged the youth to learn more about and, moreover, to be proud of their roots. She generously promised her support for the promotion of this year’s IP month celebration.

2010 Indigenous Peoples Celebration
As in previous celebrations, the festival will feature a variety of activities, including performances, exhibitions, forums, lecture-demonstrations and workshops, and a display of arts and crafts produced by traditional specialists and artists.

Performances will be held at the National Museum and in five universities in five Metro Manila cities—Quezon, Pasay, Pasig, San Juan, Manila and Makati. Titled Indayog ng Kalikhasan, the performances are made possible through the support of National Committee on Dance.

On the other hand, the exhibit, Sa Tinubuang Kalikhasan, is made possible through the support of National Committee on Visual Arts. Unveiled on October 31, it will be on view until October 30 at the NCCA Gallery. There are also traveling exhibits from October 20 to 25.

Leaders of almost 110 indigenous peoples of the country will gather to discuss issues that beset their communities and seek solutions in a forum to be held from October 20 to 23 at the Museum of the Filpino People of the National Museum. Entitled “Kalikhasan In Flux: Cultural Creativity in a Changing Environment” the conference will address IP concerns and will feature speakers and papers from Asia-Pacific countries.

For more details, contact Ms. Marichu Tellano, chief of the NCCA Planning, Policy Formulation and Programming Division, at 527-2214; Renee Talavera, head of the SCCTA Section, at 527-2198; or Rene Napeñas, head of the NCCA Public Affairs and Information Office at 527-5529 or 0928-5081057. Send e-mails to ncca.paio@gmail.com This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or log on to www.ncca.gov.ph.


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