Legarda: Reviving the Filipino Soul Through Indigenous Cultural Exhibits at the Senate

  • May 23, 2011

Panay: Memory and Enchantment, the third indigenous cultural exhibit Senator Loren Legarda organized in the Senate.

“We will not be who we are as Filipinos if not for our culture and heritage embodied in the life, art, crafts, talent and skills of our indigenous peoples,” Senator Loren Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committee on Cultural Communities, expressed during the opening of the Panay: Memory and Enchantment, the third indigenous cultural exhibit she organized in the Senate.

Legarda, a daughter of Antique, said this latest exhibit showcases the world-class fabrics, arts and crafts from the provinces of Panay Island and highlights the exceptional skills of the Panay Bukidnon indigenous group led by Federico Caballero or “Tay Pedring”, a chanter and one of only eleven awardees of the Gawad sa Manlilikha ng Bayan or the National Living Treasures Award.

“We have a lot to discover and rediscover in our culture and it is quite a difficult task to make our people embrace our culture again. So, if they refuse to visit our history, we must let history visit them.”

Legarda lamented that the Senate Committee on Cultural Communities used to be ignored, but as its present Chair, she wants the people to realize its importance because she believes that, “the 110 indigenous peoples groups in our country constitute the Filipino soul.”

The exhibit showcases the world-class fabrics, arts and crafts from the provinces of Panay Island and highlights the exceptional skills of the Atis and Panay Bukidnons.

“Let this exhibit in the halls of the Senate, be a testament to the greatness and richness of Filipino heritage through our cultural communities or IPs. Let us make the Senate not just a venue of investigation but also for inspiration.”

Previously, Senator Loren Legarda initiated the Isang Habi, Isang Lahi exhibit which displayed the various fabrics and artifacts by indigenous groups from different parts of the country. This was followed by the Mangyans of Mindoro: Myth and Meaning which showcased the baskets, textile and handwriting of the Mangyan ethno-linguistic group.

Legarda said she will continue to arrange such exhibits in the Philippine Senate to invite more Filipinos to embrace their heritage, to preserve our nation’s culture and promote our indigenous peoples’ welfare and rights.

“Our pride in being Filipinos fundamentally begins with the awareness of the beauty of the Philippines—the land and its people—our heritage or ‘pamana’ which we must rightfully pass on to the next generation of Filipinos.”

“We must find common ground in all these efforts and weave them together, creating one unbreakable fabric that is the Filipino soul. So that wherever we go, we know who we are, where we came from and take pride in our being Filipino,” Legarda stressed.

  • May 23, 2011 |
  • Posted in News |
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