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Ifugaos Punnuk Celebration ---- Every year in the

Cordillera mountains of Luzon a ritual is held to

celebrate the end of the rice harvest season. Over a
two day period, three barangays gather to give thanks
and blessings of post harvest with the celebration
culminating in a punnuk (tug-of-war) which is held in

The Mansaka of Compostela Valley -----Mansaka

a river flowing through the heritage rice terraces.

means the first people to ascend the mountains or go

Throughout the two day period all processes are

upstream. The mansaka identify themselves as utaw

performed by a ritual specialist, a person ordained

or people created by the magbabaya or tyumanum.

specifically to administer the various blessings

They recognize themselves as a people with dignity

required. The first day known as huwah proceeds at

and responsibility to the community and Earth. A

the house of a prominent elder who will receive other

person is responsible for the care of the environment,

respected members of the community and guests to

the source of everything. They are a peace-loving

partake in the drinking of a rice wine especially

people. What they do is always in line with their

fermented for this event (the rice harvest blessing).

customs and traditions. Generally with fair with

Before and during the opening of the wine the ritual

bridged noses, brown hair, and oval faces, some

specialist will conduct a blessing which takes the form

scholars have classified the Mansaka as a distinctive

of verbal chanting. The blessing involves five areas of

subgroup of Mandaya. In 1972 the population

tribal spiritual beliefs that need to be satisfied for the

estimate of the Mansaka was around 4,000. The

post harvest. The following day the punnuk takes

Mandaya-Mansaka group of languages is often

place in the river as a means of cleansing the soul

classified under the Manuvu linguistic group. This

and spirit with organic figurines being offered to the

includes the dialects of the Tagacaolo of Davao del

river as a means of thanksgiving. The event is a time

Sur, Davaoeno of Davao City, Mansaka or Mandaya of

for the whole community to come together in unity to

Davao del Norte, and Isamal of Samal Island,

celebrate. Three barangays challenge each other in

linguistically speaking.

the tug-of-war ritual with men,women & children

partaking. Instead of rope two long sturdy branches
known as a pakid are interlocked & bound together.
The celebration was revived in 1999 but 2014 was the
first year outside visitors were allowed to attend.

supporters, have been vocal in fighting for

their legal rights for many years, and the
struggle continues.

The Philippines consist of a large number

of indigenous ethnic groups living in the
country. They are the descendants of the
original inhabitants of the Philippines. They
were not absorbed by centuries
ofSpanish and United States colonization of
the Philippines archipelago, and in the
process have retained their customs and

Up to 15 per cent of the Philippine

population - about ten million people belong to distinct indigenous communities
and retain a close link with their traditions.
They avoided Hispanisation during Spain's
350-year colonisation of the Philippines. In
1987, after the fall of the Marcos regime, a
revised Philippine Constitution recognised
the ancestral land rights of indigenous
people, and ten years later, in 1997, those
rights finally became law in the Indigenous
Peoples Rights Act.
The Indigenous Peoples' Rights Act (IPRA) is
modelled on the provisions of the UN Draft
Declaration on Indigenous Peoples' Rights.
In theory IPRA is one of the most
enlightened laws dealing with Indigenous
Peoples, recognising the free prior and
informed consent (FPIC) of Indigenous
Peoples, and asserting that in the absence of
such a clear level of consent, a project
cannot proceed. In practice however, this is
regularly undermined, not least by
legislation such as the 1995 Mining Code,
which in many cases gives mining claims to
the same Indigenous land supposedly
covered by IPRA. Indigenous Peoples
communities and organisations, and their

Organized by the Subcommission on Cultural

Communities and Traditional Arts (SCCTA), one
of the four subcommissions of the NCCA, in
partnerships with different government agencies,
local governments, non-governmental
organizations and private companies, Dayaw
2014 will have the theme Katutubong Filipino
para sa Kalikasan at Kapayapaan or indigenous
Filipino for the environment and peace to
emphasize the effects of environmental
degradation and conflicts on indigenous
Most of the indigenous groups of the Philippines
will gather together from October to November
to celebrate their traditional cultures and
heritage in celebration of National Indigenous
Peoples Month.
Said to be biggest gathering of Philippine
indigenous peoples (IP) by far, Dayaw 2014: The
Indigenous Peoples Festival, annually held by
the National Commission for Culture and the
Arts (NCCA),