Leaders of the different Indigenous Cultural Communities in Sarangani, led by Indigenous People Mandatory Representative Fred Basino and Provincial Tribal Chieftain Datu Edmund Pangilan, gathered in Upo, Maitum, Sarangani Province to renew their support for the implementation of IP education during the culmination program of IP Month celebration dubbed as Kasbakas, October 20.
Kasbakas is a Blaan word that is used to mean working together or unity.
The theme of the celebration, “Kasaysayan, Karunungan, at Wika ng mga Katutubong Pamayanan: Mga Saligan ng Katutubong Pagkakakilanlan at Tulay Tungo sa Inklusibong Kaunlaran,” recognizes the wealth of the Indigenous Cultural Communities’ history, knowledge, and language and their role as foundations of cultural identity and as a means for achieving inclusive growth.
According to the Division IPEd Coordinator Melchor Maguan that the Schools Division of Sarangani is aiming to build Cultural Heritage Learning Centers (CHLCs).
The CHLC aimd to provide a platform in the schools implementing IPEd program and schools serving IP learners for IP Elders, culture bearers, or IKSP holders to share their expertise, and their crafts, and gradually pass them on to the young learners.
Chief of Curriculum Implementation Division Donna S. Panes recalls the moment when she was conferred the title, “Bai To Tamdo di Banwe.”
In a Facebook post she said, “When I was recognized as “Bai To Tamdo de Banwe Sarangani ” last 2015 by the Sarangani Provincial Tribal Council, I am always being reminded of my commitment to support the Indigenous Peoples in the province.”
These commitments, she said, are: to ensure that all IP learners are in school, to reach the farthest schools to inspire the IP learners and their parents that education is the key to ending poverty, to make sure that every lesson taught to IP learners is contextualized in order to build a strong foundation for their identity, and to ensure that all qualified IP teacher-applicants shall be given the opportunity to teach in DepEd Sarangani.
“These commitments shall remain in my heart as long as I live. Mabuhay ang Katutubong Pilipino! Mabuhay ang Indigenous Peoples ng Sarangani!” she added.
Select teachers from different schools in Maasim, Kiamba, and Maitum participated in the said event and expressed their support, as well, for IP Education.