The Philippine Embassy, in coordination with the Katutubo Exchange Philippines and the Philippine Bayanihan Society Singapore, hosted “Kasaysayan at Kalinangan: A Seminar-Workshop on Philippine Indigenous Culture” under the auspices of the Sentro Rizal on 11 August 2018 at the Bayanihan Center.
The event featured Dr. Edwin Antonio, Ms. Nykee Kyla Kinan, and Mr. Kenneth Dalimbang. Dr. Antonio is the Founder and President of Katutubo Exchange Philippines, while Ms. Kinan and Mr. Dalimbang are members of the T’boli indigenous group.
Katutubo Exchange Philippines is an organization that promotes traditional arts and indigenous cultures, especially among Filipino indigenous youth groups.
Aside from a lecture by Dr. Antonio, the event also involved a T’boli dance presentation by Ms. Kinan and Mr. Dalimbang, and interactive activities on reading and writing Baybayin, PH’s indigenous script, and the proper wearing of indigenous attires.
The seminar-workshop was also held in observance of the National Indigenous People’s Day last 09 August and the Philippine History Month.
In his opening remarks, Ambassador Joseph Del Mar Yap, highlighted the richness of the Philippines’ cultural heritage. “With over 7,100 islands in the Philippines and three major islands, it is no wonder that there are so many different practices, traditions and groups that are present in our country,” he said.
Among the key takeaways of participants after the seminar-workshop were the need to promote and preserve these indigenous cultural traditions amidst the encroaching influence of modernization and Westernization, avoiding cultural appropriation by being mindful and respectful of the meanings behind such indigenous traditions, as well as being careful in labelling or identifying them to ensure that the correct information is conveyed.