(A Dumagat family in their full traditional clothing in front of the Dumagat Day mural painted by AARPS artist-in-residence Cece Carpio of the Trust Your Struggle (TYS) visual arts collective from the Bay Area in the U.S. Photo by Tomas Leonor)
THE ADOW NE DOMAGET FESTIVAL 2018
The Adow ne Domaget festival is initiated by the five Dumagat communities in Dingalan, Aurora – Brgy. Caragsacan, Brgy. Dikapanikian, Brgy. Matawe, Brgy. Ibona and Brgy. Umiray – through the leadership of Indigenous Peoples Mandatory (IPMR) representative Francesca Aumentado and Chieftain Jhornie “Sonny” dela Cruz. The festival was finally held last 28-29 of May 2018 in Sitio Cabog, Brgy. Matawe, Dingalan, Aurora.
The two-day event set the small town of Dingalan, Aurora abuzz with parades, traditional Dumagat games, story-telling, and closing program to give tribute to the communities’ Elders as cultural bearers and to sign three community resolutions to uphold Dumagat rights and claim to ancestral domains, to keep the Adow ne Domaget as a yearly event, and a statement to stop militarisation in the Dumagat ancestral domain.
DAY 1: Games and Story-telling as Important Community Meetings
Day 1 of the festival started with a program at the Dingalan municipality center with opening prayers, welcome remarks of Mayor Shierwin Taay and a traditional parade throughout the center.
(Moments before the Dumagat Day festival parade. The Dumagat community raise their hands in order to indicate the joy they feel in finally having a festival on their behalf in Dingalan, Aurora. The parade was headed by the various Chieftains of the different Dumagat community in Dingalan. In the photo are Chieftain Jhornie (Sonny) dela Cruz and elders of the Bulos tribe from Brgy. Matawe. Photo by Carel Mapaano)
Members of the community then headed back to Sitio Cabog where the rest of the festival will happen and started with various traditional Dumagat games such as bow and arrow and spear precision shooting.
According to the Elders, since most of these communities walk to far away places to hunt, forage, slash and burn and fish for food and other livelihood, games became an important community tool for gathering, merriment and discussing community issues.
(Dumagat competitor, Kuya Sarte, for bow and arrow competition. Photo by Carel Mapaano)
The first day culminated through the traditional Dumagat story-telling/community meeting called pasurot-surotan. In this event, the community gathering around the bonfire by the beach and under the full moon to talk about pertinent issues in the community.
(Photo by Carel Mapaano)
DAY 2: Tribute to the Elders as Cultural Bearers and Upholding Community Solidarity through Community Resolutions on cultural heritage, ancestral domains and protecting the IP life and livelihood
Day 2 of the festival started with more games.
Some of the games that were featured in the festival were lost games or games that has not been recorded before. The pagbo or traditional Dumagat wrestling is a game in which the community especially loved as a form of entertainment, but it also shows the competitive side of the usually deemed as gentle and non-confrontational Dumagat.
(Photos by Carel Mapaano)
The event culminated in a program to honour the inaugural celebration of the Adow ne Domaget festival through a tribute to the Elders of each Dumagat community in Dingalan, Aurora as cultural bearers. It ended with a strong political statement/resolution through the signing of three community resolutions – one, to uphold the Dumagat Indigenous peoples rights and claim to ancestral domain; two, to keep the Adow ne Domaget festival as a year Dumagat cultural heritage festival and finally, to uphold the Dumagat rights to safe existence and livelihood by petitioning to stop military operations in their ancestral domains that have caused massive evacuations in their communities and unjust detainment and/or questioning of some their tribe members.
The Adow ne Domaget festival of 2018 is a joint project of the Pasulosagkaden ah Kinasigepoan ne Domaget (PAKNED) or Dumagat Cultural Council, the office of the Indigenous Peoples Mandatory Representative in Dingalan, Aurora, the five Dumagat communities in Dingalan, Aurora and the Aurora Artist Residency Program and Space (AARPS); with a great deal of support from our partners the Nagkakaisang Kabataang Dumagat (NKD), Management and Organisational Development for Empowerment (MODE), Municipality of Dingalan, Aurora, the National Commission for Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) in Dingalan, Aurora and individual sponsorships from the people of Dingalan, Aurora.
SEE YOU AGAIN NEXT YEAR!