A digital magazine that compiles literary works about the Indigenous Peoples (IPs) of the Philippines has finally been launched yesterday, October 12.
Aptly called Kasiyanna, a Kankanaey word which translates to “all will be well,” the anthology honors the traditional, rich cultures of indigenous people and sheds light on the collective issues within their communities amidst the pandemic. It exposes both the beauty of the IP communities and problems still plaguing them, including exploitation and disproportionate representation.
The launching via Facebook Live which lasted for two hours and thirty minutes featured creatives and IP rights advocates Venazir Martinez, Margareth Balansi, and Dr. Ryan Guinaran. Dr. Christopher Allen Marquez, director of the Lingkod Maria Community Development and Advocacy Center (LMCDAC) of Saint Mary’s University (SMU)-Bayombong, also served as one of the speakers.
Some of the contributors to the making of the anthology, Allan Paul Catena and Geela Garcia, were also interviewed on their thoughts regarding the IP community. The launching also included special performances from Marinel Villanueva, YM Lagdao, and Raychard Viner Matias.
The video of the full launch here:
Asked for his vision for the IP communities, Dr. Guinaran, an Ibaloy and the executive director of the Doctors for Indigenous Health and Culturally Competent Training, Education, Networking and Governance (DITENG), said his goal for the IPs is the same goal for all Filipinos—matatag, maginhawa at panatag—anchored on AmBisyon 2040, a twenty-five-year long-term vision developed by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) as guide for development planning.
“Andami niyong hindi IP dito, but you are celebrating us, the indigenous communities. Ang IP ay hindi isang identity, ito ay isang puso. Kayo man ay hindi IP, pero marami sa inyong mas nagmamahal sa IP… Kaya hindi ko ihihiwalay ang goal nating IP sa kabuuang goal ng Pilipinas,” he said.
He also hoped, among others, that Cordillera will achieve autonomy in order for the IP communities within the region to lay down self-determinative policies that are consistent with their culture and traditions.
The project is a collaborative effort of Novice and LMCDAC-SMU as part of the university’s celebration of Ethnicity Week on October 12-16 in line with the National Indigenous Peoples’ Month Celebration. The digital issue will be used as a learning material in selected General Education classes of SMU.
Novice hopes that the special issue will “hopefully allow deeper dialogue and engender a stronger call to action” for the IPs.
You may read the anthology here: noviceph.com/kasiyanna