INDIGENOUS PEOPLES’ DAY CELEBRATION

The Indigenous Peoples’ Sunday celebration in the Diocese of Bangued took place on the 26th October 2009 sixteen days after the usual calendar date not only due to typhoon Pepeng that left great devastations in the Northern Philippines but to give opportunity for parish priests to take part in the celebrations. The theme of this year’s celebration is: “TA SIMBAAN KANDAT NAINSIGUDAN A TATTAO AGKAYKAYSADA A MANGAMIRIS TA PAMMATI”

Indigenous Peoples Sunday 2009 002At eight o’clock in the morning people majority dressed in the formal indigenous attire started to turn up  at the Divine Word College of Bangued Gymnasium. The celebration of the Holy Eucharist presided over by Msgr. Nilo Peig, the Vicar General with no less than fifteen priests concelebrating with him, set the mood of the day festive at the same time solemn. In his homily, Fr. Andres Lunes Taoil, an indigenous diocesIndigenous Peoples Sunday 2009 004an priest himself, hammered on the relationship of Christianity with the faith of the indigenous Elders. He tried to insinuate that God’s revelation was given also to the indigenous peoples (Elders) even before the coming of Christtianity. Having been baptized as Christians is a confirmation of that faith handed down by the Elders from time immemorial to the present age.   He lamented though that many beautiful aspect of faith and cultural heritage had been eroded and destroyed in the passing of time by what he called “negative influences” of modernity and affluence. He recounted a number of personal accounts on how he in his early stages of life imbibed the indigenous values that were way of life then  like  “land ownership”, “alluyon” (common working together), “strict justice” application and so on.  As he looks ahead, he envisions a strong Tinggian ( a term for the Indigenous peoples of Abra) communities harmoniously connected with nature and living peacefully with all people of different culture.Indigenous Peoples Sunday 2009 005

While waiting for the program to commence, “patupat” (a native delicacy made of glutinous rice) was generously distributed. Likewise, “basi” ( sugar cane wine) was brought in and later on served by  beautiful young ladies to the enjoyment of men and women as they exchange pleasantries.

The flow of the program from the beginning to the end was commendable. The cultural presentations showcasing the history, life, faith as well as aspirations of the Indigenous peoples, the Tinggian of Abra in particular have gained great satisfaction as demonstrated by the thunderous applause at the beginning, middle and end of each number. Indigenous Peoples Sunday 2009 012Indigenous Peoples Sunday 2009 015The Speakers, Fr. Cirilo Ortega, SVD (Inspirational Message), Mr. Belmer Yano (Guest Speaker) and Congresswoman Hon. Cecilia Seares Luna (Sharing of an Elder) did their job well. In a gist, our Speakers were in one mind that the Indigenous Peoples are children of God like anybody else here on earth. That in their life and aspirations, the Indigenous Peoples endeavor to live harmoniously with their environment and they do everything they can to preserve, protect and to enhance it. They also reach out to other communities in love, justice and peace. And among themselves, they promote coresponsibility and trustfulness…and altogether they help build the Kingdom of God. That their sense of values is deeply rooted to their culture and in the Word of God. KODUS to Fr. Rodel Molina, the IPA (Indigenous Peoples’ Apostolate) diocesan Director and to the IPA core Group for a job well done.Indigenous Peoples Sunday 2009 006Indigenous Peoples Sunday 2009 008Indigenous Peoples Sunday 2009 018Indigenous Peoples Sunday 2009 022Indigenous Peoples Sunday 2009 027Indigenous Peoples Sunday 2009 032Indigenous Peoples Sunday 2009 029Indigenous Peoples Sunday 2009 001

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Yesterday we celebrated the birthday of our beloved Father Provincial Superior Jerome Adriatico, SVDThank you for coming...May God ever bless you!May God ever bless you!DSC00197One, two, BLOW!May you live long, Father...