Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Provincial SLTs preserve IPs' cultural heritage

ALABEL, Sarangani (November 11, 2009) – Through the province’s Indigenous Peoples Development Program (IPDP) on School of Living Tradition (SLT), Sarangani indigenous peoples learn to value their tradition while gaining recognition from national and funding agencies abroad.

The SLTs provide the opportunity for the Blaan, Tagakaolo, and Tboli to preserve their cultural heritage and pass it on to the next generation.

“Among the eighty SLTs in the country, only Lamlifew was given the opportunity for a second funding,” disclosed Adelina Suemith, National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) Public Monitoring Evaluation Division Chief. Sarangani models the country’s SLTs according to the NCCA.

Sarangani has at least four SLTs for the Blaan in Lamlifew and the Tagakaolo in Malungon town, the Blaan mat weavers in Malapatan, and the Tboli brass casting and basketry in Kiamba.

“This (SLT) will provide livelihood for them while preserving their customs and tradition,” according to the NCCA.

In Upper Lasang, Malapatan town, “dreamweavers” there make mats for their living but more as a means to preserve their tradition. This Blaan community has a continued support on their SLT of mat weaving from the American Women’s Club of the Philippines (AWCP), IPDP, and the Sarangani Indigenous People Professional Association (SIPPA).

Sarangani tribal organizations have won in the regional art exhibit conducted by foreign-funded Kalinawa Art Foundation at the Notre Dame of Dadiangas College, General Santos City in 2007 and 2008.

In Lamlifew, its women association built a weaving house called Gumabal with the assistance from the IPDP. The Provincial Governor’s Office funded a Gu Kmaan or cafeteria near it.

In August last year, the IPDP turned over an ETV (educational TV) set donated by Bantay Bata Foundation to the village.

The provincial government’s special project in preserving the culture and tradition of indigenous people in Sarangani through the IPDP includes the planting of traditional rice varieties which not only give a high yield, but are also disease resistant, glutinous, and very tasty.

Last month, a skills transfer on silk weaving reached the women’s association from masterweavers of the Iban tribe in Malaysia.

The four-day visit was one of the projects of Mrs. Rosevida Alcantara Dominguez, mother of Sarangani Governor Migs Dominguez.

The village school in Lamlifew has produced the most number of professionals in barangay Datal Tampal. (SARANGANI INFORMATION OFFICE)

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