Friday, August 8, 2008

My Sadanga Cultural Retreat

Returning home feeling sick after an extended coverage in the Mountain Province. Exhaustion, having to get up early and sleep late, the heat, and eating mostly meat. But in those mountains you get a lot of time for yourself. No cell phone signal, no internet, and no noisy traffic. Just friendly people still following the old Agricultural Calendar. That's why Sadanga was dubbed as "a living museum".

Not much photos, mostly video is what I got coz the LGU and NCCA wanted a video documentary of their Fvegnas. The rest of the Media people weren't able to come so my coverage would be what a one man team can get. Only one angle and just using a power shot for the video but I guess I got the most important parts and the result came out ok. I created the video titled "Fvegnash 2008", it's Sadanga people's show of their undying legacy. It showcases their different customs they presented during the event. Karareng (nose flute), Ullalim, Uggayam, Tinaroyod, Darngek/Ayegkha and other cultural presentations.

Watching them perform revives an old passion I gave up years ago. To create a documentation of our dying cultures before they are completely forgotten and while there are still people practicing our customs.
I started a book on the Myths of Igorots six years ago after I read the Aenid of Virgil and the Greek Mythology. I believed there was a way our story can be told also in such a manner by collecting all the myths and legends throughout the Cordilleras. And true enough, each place has a story to tell that are consistent to other tribes. All that’s left is to stitch them together and correlate each story to find out what we Igorots really believed in in the olden days.

Studying our mythology and our diverse customs will help us understand what we are as people. And if you try to live in those places, if you look hard, you will find out that we were not as ignorant as the first travelers and conquerors labeled us to be. In the urban areas, we are adopting the segregation of garbage that our ancestors had been doing for centuries. And that’s just one of their systems that are very orderly. The most important of those is when they follow their stablished agricultural calendar that blends well with nature.