Question relevant to other indigenous groups
The Inquirer’s editorial, “Where will the lumad go?” (2/8/18) is a question applicable to other indigenous Filipinos like the Dumagat of Sierra Madre Mountain Range, Aeta of Caraballo, Igorot of the Cordillera, Mangyan of the island of Mindoro, and many others, when claimed ancestral domains and lands are offered by the government as collaterals in enticing multinational investments.
I am an Igorot who is like any “lumad” whose sense of being is tied to a claimed ancestral home territory. Culture and history are results of creative interactions in these home territories.
Such bodies of knowledge are transmitted by one generation to another through dialects and languages. That bodies of knowledge form part of the Filipino heritage which President Duterte and minions of Imperial Manila need not destroy.
Destroying it would contradict his proposal of turning the Philippines into a federal republic, which I think is a brighter model where indigenous people could federate in order to have stronger representation in building a federal state.
Many generations of tribus independientes had been silently practicing the concept of building alliance by federating. That is their silent weapon in outliving the Spanish and American colonization, the Marcos dictatorship or even the Duterte administration.
CLARO Q. ESOEN, PhD, research coordinator, Easter College, Baguio City
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