NCIP launches ‘Epanaw’ books, photo exhibit

By Zyra D. Ponce


THE National Commission for Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) has launched the Project ‘Epanaw’ coffee table books and photo exhibit at the SM City Naga on Monday, Mar. 29 to promote the rights of Indigenous People (IP) and Indigenous Cultural Communities (ICCs) in the Bicol region.


The books and photo exhibit launching was attended by Usec. Marvel Clavecilla of the Office of the Presidential Adviser for Bicol Affairs, NCIP Bicol Regional Director Lee Arroyo, Naga City Mayor Nelson Legacion, a representative of Camarines Norte Governor Edgardo Tallado, and other NCIP officials.


According to NCIP Camarines Sur chief Agnes Salvino, the objectives of the activity is to showcase the three coffee table books namely Pagkilala, Paggalang and Pagtaguyod.


In Pagkilala (Recognize), it corresponds to the community profile of more than 100 IP groups in the Philippines, where four of them are found in Bicol, namely: Agta, Kabihug/ Manide, Agta-Tabangnon, and Agta Cimaron.


The book contains information about their social characteristics and daily lives.


In addition, the second book entitled Paggalang (Respect), highlights the cultural activities of the IP group as well as their rituals and rich cultural practices.


The third one is named Pagtaguyod (Promote), where it shows several cultural heritages within their ancestral domains that could be a spot for eco-tourism.


Salvino stressed that almost all of the barangay communities in Bicol has IP mandatory representatives to monitor their communities. They have also recorded an increasing number of IP who graduated in college and several programs implemented to promote and protect their cultural heritages.


Meanwhile, the photo exhibit shows several images of the IP and their ancestral lands. It features also their cultural integrity and social involvement among themselves.


‘Epanaw’ is a Manobo term which means “Journey”. The activity showcases the different stories and daily lives of ICCs and IPs’ significant indigenous knowledge systems and practices.


It also shows their contributions towards the sustainable development of the IP community, which underscores the need to pay tribute to their identities and rituals as well as to highlight the importance of protecting their ancestral domains.