PAMPANGA -- The National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) teams up with the provincial government led by Governor Lilia Pineda for the celebration of Dayaw 2015, an indigenous people's festival, touted to be the biggest gathering of Philippine indigenous peoples (IPs).

With this year's theme “Katutubong Kaalaman para sa Kalikasan at Kapayapaan" (Indigenous Knowledge for environment and peace), Dayaw 2015 will be held from October 15 to 27 this year in Angeles City and in the City of San Fernando, focusing on traditional and local knowledge on environment protection and advocacy for peace while sharing the uniqueness of each cultural community in the country.

Organized by NCCA's sub-commission on Cultural Communities and Traditional Arts (SCCTA), Dayaw is annually held in celebration of National Indigenous People's Month observed every October.

Dayaw showcases the different indigenous groups of the country, and an enriching and interesting array of activities including performances, rituals, forums, traditional cuisine demos, traditional games, arts and crafts exhibit and cultural exchanges among others.

The National Committee on Southern Cultural Communities headed by Dr. Al-Anwar Anzar said Dayaw aims to highlight the importance and richness of indigenous cultures, to discuss issues indigenous peoples face today and facilitate interactions with other indigenous peoples and it also aims to mine traditional knowledge as well as draw inspiration and insight from indigenous ways of life to find solutions for modern problems.

Marichu Tellano, chief of the Plan and Policy Formulation of NCCA said the Dayaw opening ceremonies on October 15 will be held at the Bayanihan Park, where the IP representatives will gather in their traditional costume for a spectacular parade.

"They will be joined by Pampanga's government officials as well as students, drumming up awareness on the different IP groups of the country and their rich heritage," Tellano said.

She said an exhibit of traditional clothing and Manlilikha ng Bayan crafts will be opened at SM City Clark accompanied by pocket workshops. "IP delegates will also conduct traditional games demonstrations at the mall's event center, and everyone is encouraged to watch.

"The following days will be full of activities such as an IP summit in the City of San Fernando where about 100 IP delegates will discuss various concerns including IP rights, environmental issues and promotion of peace and unity," she said.

She said the IP delegates will also conduct outreach performances in schools, including the Holy Angel University, City College of Angeles, City College of Mabalacat, Angeles University Foundation and Systems Plus College Foundation.

"They will showcase their traditional dances, songs, chants, games and cuisines. Then they will go to different places in Pampanga for cultural exchanges and performances with the local communities in Lubao, Santa Rita, Macabebe, Arayat, Porac and San Fernando," she added.

She also said the NCCA will also showcase the winning entries of its tri-regional weaving design competition, ready to wear clothes and school uniforms inspired by traditional textiles and patterns, during a dinner hosted by the provincial government on October 16 in the City of San Fernando.

"Closing the festival is a ceremony and the recognition of cultural masters, particularly the masters for the NCCA's Schools of Living Traditions at the Plaza Anghel," she said.

The SCCTA is also composed of the National Committee on Northern Cultural Communities headed by Dr. Darwin V. Antonio, the National Committee on Central Cultural Communities headed by Alphonsus Tesoro, with Tellano and the programming division and Renee Talavera as SCCTA section head. (Joel Mapiles/Pampanga PIO)