|Bryan and his young aunt Joy Marie perform a Tingguian ourtship dance.|
We had the awesome opportunity to witness young 'katutubo' from the Cordilleras to Mindanao -- B'laan of Sarangani, Mansaka of Davao del Norte, Panay Bukidnon of Iloilo, Ibaloy of Benguet, Tingguian of Abra, and Ayta of Zambales -- gather together and make 'daton' (offering) of music and dances handed down to them from generations of yore.
This was in celebration of the International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples & International Youth Day last August under the auspices of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) and the Katutubo Exchange. The 'daton' was held in several places; we witnessed the one held at the GSIS Museum,
|A courtship dance of the Panay Bukidnons.|
The young performers were mostly of elementary school age. The older ones were in their early 20s like Joy Marie and Bryan Gabriel of the Binongan tribe among the Tingguians of Abra, and Muller Bato, an Ibaloi college teacher who played the sulibao, one of the instruments used to provide the music accompaniment of their dance number,
|A festive dance of the B'laans.|
We may not have understood the chants but we were very pleased to hear them from children. One of these was a chanted repartee of a boy and girl, apparently one of courtship, because we understood that part where the girl said something like they have to wait until they have finished schooling.
|The Mansaka courtship dance with a beaded necklace.|
We loved the courtship dance of the Mansaka pair. This involved the boy offering the girl a gift of a necklace, but he was spurned three times (the girl took the necklace off her neck and threw it away). Of course, it had a 'they lived happily ever after' ending.
|Talipi dance of the Aytas of Zambales.|
The Ayta children from Aningway in Subic, Zambales danced their talipi. One of the boys danced the role of a hunter, while another one mimicked a monkey trying to find what's inside a basket.
|Ibaloys in celebration: dancing around and around.|
We discerned very great pride among the young katutubo of their very own cultural traditions. They will certainly keep these traditions a living tapestry of colors and rhythms in their costumes, chants, songs, and dances.