Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Sarangani celebrates National Arts Month (NAM)

By Gandhi C. Kinjiyo

ALABEL, Sarangani (February 27, 2008) - Dressed in colorful tribal costumes, Sarangans (people of Sarangani) from the seven municipalities of the province gathered at the provincial capital Tuesday (Feb. 26) to showcase their different culture, arts and tradition in celebration of the National Arts Month.

Participants from the towns of Glan, Malapatan, Alabel, Malungon, Maasim, Kiamba and Maitum displayed the traditional costumes and dances of Lumads (Indigenous People) and different Moro tribes.

Tribal dances and plays performed by youth participants depicted the way of life, rituals, practices and beliefs of the original inhabitants of the province.

"The gathering entitled 'Ani ng Sining ng Sarangani' provides a venue for the young Sarangans to learn about culture of the people here and appreciate arts as well," said Maribeth Farnazo, program manager of the Indigenous People Development Program (IPDP).

The IPDP, which spearheaded the program, is under the office of Governor Migs Dominguez whose main thrust is the preservation of culture and the arts of the different Lumads of the province.

The IPDP also facilitates the creation of School of Living Tradition (SLT) of the different tribes of the province geared to educate the young IPs in weaving mat, traditional clothes, beads making, making ethnic accessories made of brass as well as performing traditional dances and songs. The cultural experts in the province are tapped as mentors and facilitators in the SLTs.

Majority of the IPs living in Sarangani include Tagakaolo, Blaan,Manobo, Ubo and Tboli with few Klagans. Moro tribes are dominated by Maguindanaon, Samal, and Sangirs. Some Tausugs and Badjaos are found in few coastal barangays.

Farnazo said the affair is in line with the celebration of the National Arts Month and Philippine Arts Festival every February.

Provincial Administrator Fredo Basino and Board Member Arturo Lawa, both belonging to the Blaan tribe, graced the occasion.

Basino lauded the affair as "it opens the door for us to understand who we are." He added that with the event which "reflects and depicts" the culture of Sarangani, "we shall not lose our cultural identity."

Carlos Silva, coordinator of the Philippine Arts Festival from the National Commission for Culture and the Arts was the guest speaker.

Silva related the message of Vilma L. Labrador, acting chairperson of the NCCA which states: "We are certain that 'education through the arts' can empower the Filipinos to create a culture of peace, harmony and understanding towards progress and sustainable development." He said the NCCA is grateful for all the partners in promoting culture and the arts all over the country.The 'Ani ng Sining ng Sarangani' was supported by the NCCA.

Sarangani province has institutionalized a "Provincial Council for Culture and Arts," as a body that plans and prepares policy for the development of the culture and arts of Sarangani. (GCK/SARANGANI INFORMATION OFFICE)