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We Need Cultural Preservation

The Philippines is composed 7,107 islands and was divided into different territories or provinces. Before the word Filipino was given to each people of the Philippines, people were already characterized and divided by their own tribal groups. Each group have their own community; with their leader, cultures, ways of living, livelihood and other aspects.

During our Mt. Mantalingajan climb in Palawan, I saw and met some indigenous people, they are from the tribes of Taaw’t Batu and Palaw-an. Honestly, I was amazed by them, their language, their appearance and their culture. When I came back, I conducted a research if who these indigenous people are and as well as their culture. As a result, I found out that they are one of the ancestral tribes of the modern Filipinos. They are the old Filipinos, without proper education and still living in the primitive way.

Centuries ago, prior colonization, members of the tribal groups worship the sun, moon, stars, trees, birds and some other things, including certain phenomena; it is part of their culture. But, during the arrival of religion, in some areas, everything was changed. Their old culture disappeared and was replaced with the new teachings, new ideas and new beliefs. There were a lot of improvements done, but the richness of their old culture can only be accessed and can only be read in historical books.
What do they really need?

Education – learning and discovering new things and ideas is constant. As new discoveries are made, new thoughts and ideas will follow. But, discoveries can be helpful and can also bring changes to the communities. Today, a lot of the NGOs are focusing on how to bring education to every tribal group members situated on the mountain ranges in the country, which are not accessible. With the effort of the majority, someday, this entire indigenous people will have access to the right education and modernization.

I am not afraid of learning, what I am afraid of is that: If we are giving every modern idea to them, without teaching them first on the right preservation and protection of their own culture, then we are replacing their old ideas with the new ones we teach. Human beings are smart, so even these tribes are considered as “No Read, No Write,” they can easily adapt these new ideas.

Here’s what we can do:

Before teaching them with the modern ideas; we need to make sure that we are providing them feedback about on how rich they are in terms of their culture and we need to give emphasis on the preservation of it.

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