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Indigenous Peoples’ Voice(s) – The Journey Continues

Written By Kayla Lapiz, Linking, Learning and Communications officer, Voice Philippines and Indonesia, Hivos

What are the main struggles of Indigenous Peoples in the Philippines? Have you ever wondered the same?

Exclusion from social and political processes, hindering access to their rights as a people is one of them! This is why indigenous groups like Teduray, Lambangian, and  Erumanen ne Menuvu from the Mindanao Island continue to rally for full inclusion.

Through the Voice-funded project of the Mindanao People’s Peace Movement, an influencing grantee from the Philippines, the struggles of these tribes continue to be told and reach a wider audience.

During the awareness-raising activities within the communities, young indigenous people were the main participants accompanied by their leaders and adults.  Through the technique of visual storytelling, the participating youth gained knowledge and skills in story-writing and video production.

They were able to produce three short videos that share their communities’ stories, culture, and stand for the full inclusion of their rights. And we are proudly sharing them here:

(Video 1: Babaylans)

This  video  features  the  Babaylans spiritual  leaders  who  play  an  important  role  in  the  lives  of Indigenous Peoples.  Through  them,  the  communities  are  able  to  seek  guidance  or  help  from  their  ancestors during difficult times, such as the recent attacks on their communities and the current push for political participation.

(Video 2: Kifengfeng)

This  video  is  a  brief  history  of  Kifengfeng,  a  sacred place for the  Lambangian and  Teduray tribes that helps them forecast unfavorable circumstances.  The ancestral domain is being claimed as a Bangsamoro territory in the draft Bangsamoro Basic Law bill.

(Video 3: Simbuhay)

Simbuhay is a village first occupied by the Erumanen ne Menuvu tribe and is another ancestral domain included in the proposed Bangsomoro territory.  The video tells of the village’s history and the tribe’s position in maintaining their right to govern their territory based on their culture and beliefs.  

Being part of the campaign also served as an avenue for the youth who made these videos to learn more about themselves and their history, instilling a stronger foundation for the future survival of their tribes.

These videos are the beginning of a sparked interest among the youth. These are also shared on social media as the groups continue to strengthen their online presence.

Though their Voice-funded project has already concluded, their campaign remains spirited in the move and their hearts even more on fire!



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