Sarangani indigenous traditions live on

07 May 2016
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KIAMBA, Sarangani (May 7, 2016) - Other than its tourist spots, Sarangani province is known for being a haven for its three indigenous tribes: Tagakaolo, Tboli and Blaan.

The local government units have pushed efforts in preserving their rich cultural heritage thru the establishment of School of Living Traditions (SLT).

“This only shows buhay ang tribu sa Sarangani. Buhay ang kultura,” said Celito Terando, Sulong Tribu program manager. “We are thankful to Governor Steve Solon for this initiative taking into consideration that not all provinces in the country have the same initiative.”

There around 349 SLTs in the country. SLTs are in response to UNESCO’s call for the preservation of ethnic traditions to ensure their transmission to the next generations. It is where a living master teaches skills and techniques of doing a traditional art or craft.

In Sarangani, 50 young Tboli learners have concluded their 15–day summer workshop on April 29 and 30.

Following last year’s workshop, there were also 30 learners who participated in this year’s activity. They were able to learn traditional performing arts like dancing, chanting, playing of traditional musical instruments and composition of songs in their own ethno-language and score.

Meanwhile, it is the first in New La Union, Maitum to conduct such workshop with 20 learners who were able to enjoy basketry, accessory making, embroidery, and performing arts during the sessions. Also, the learners were given opportunities to be employed in White Water Tubing Adventure and Eco Park as ushers.

This initiative is funded thru Sulong Sarangani in collaboration with LGUs and ABS-CBN Foundation.

The province has been active in searching for partners to strengthen its activities.

“This is all because of the symbiotic relationship of the LGU, PLGU and the tribes that it is easily pushed thru,” Board Member George Falgui said during the graduation ceremony in Kiamba.

Sulong Tribu plans on institutionalizing SLTs into formal school which offer cultural lessons that requires tuition fees from learners. This will help sustain the needs of the school and its cultural masters.

At present, Lamlifew is the only SLT in the province which is working on that. Some 22 teachers from Upper Suyan Elementary School in Malapatan have immersed to the locality to study their beadworks.

Sulong Sarangani Program director Imelda Senobago said the implementation in Lamlifew will be the baseline.

“With this, we are aiming that the community will no longer ask for professional fees for honorariums for their cultural master or mentors because they can provide on their own,” Senobago said.

Last January 2015, the Sarangani province was awarded as the Best in Cultural Preservation Efforts in Asia by the ASEANTA in Myanmar. (Cherry Marie Irish D. Cruz/SARANGANI INFORMATION OFFICE

Sarangani Awards

Legislative Information