THE Davao City Tourism Operations Office (CTOO) targets to open two tribal villages in Davao City before the Kadayawan Festival in August as they also plan to open tribal villages for the 11 tribes in the city for a more inclusive relationship with the Lumads.
CTOO Head Generose Tecson, during the weekly forum at Habi at Kape, Abreeza Ayala Malls Thursday, May 4, said they plan to open two tribal houses in the city specifically in Marilog District and in Tamayong, Calinan District.
"Last week, I have talked with our Lumads through the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples sessions and happily, they were very receptive to our plans of establishing cultural community-based tourism. In fact, it is not us anymore who open these up anymore to them. Instead, they are the ones who come to us asking how they can participate in the project," Tecson said.
She said CTOO is already finalizing talks with the elders of the Lumads in Marilog and Tamayong for the project.
By next week, Tecson said she is scheduled to visit them in their localities for an ocular visit.
"This is going to be the Lumads who are going to plan which activities they will have in their communities. If we have guests coming to the villages, it will not be up on the guests or the tour operators’ terms. It's going to be on the Lumad's term regarding how the tour would go," she said.
Although CTOO had already put aside around budget for the establishment of the village, Tecson said they would want the Lumads to have the liberty of developing their villages according to their preference.
"What we want really is for them to do things with what they have. We will not put cemented pathways there. We will not put restaurants there. When you go to a village, it is what you see, what you get. We want to preserve their culture and we can’t do that if we cement everything and make plans according to what we want. It’s going to be what they want for their place," Tecson said.
The tribal villages will be established and will be open to visiting public, both to tourists and locals alike, in the hopes of educating them and exposing them to genuine Lumad culture incorporated in Davao City.