July 16, 2024

The youth of Bauko, Mountain Province participated in a workshop that aimed to empower them to become stewards of cultural heritage and indigenous literature.

Forty participants from various barangays attended on June 14 the Daddad-at Di Sasayangdan-Indigenous Literary Workshop organized by the Balagdiwa: North Luzon Youth Leaders Network (Balagdiwa NLYLN) and Youth for Leadership Democracy (YouthLed) project of The Asia Foundation, co-implemented by local government unit through Municipal Youth Development Office (MYDO) and Municipal Tourism Office.       

The workshop provided them with knowledge and techniques for writing essays, poems, and songs in preparation for publishing indigenous literary pieces.

“This workshop provides us the opportunity to enrich our knowledge with regards to indigenous literary pieces,” said Kayeny Tua-oc Gama, a participant from Otucan Sur. 

Gama they can use the knowledge to empower others in their communities, especially the children and their fellow youth. 

“We have the opportunity to share what we learned here. Our literary works and cultures are an extension of ourselves. If we do not open our hearts and give a room to store this kind of tradition, we are nothing,” Gama said.

To ensure the project’s sustainability, the compilation of the participants’ work and outputs will be published in a book.

The workshop participants will also form a local youth indigenous writers’ group.

The workshop featured presentations by Estella C. Wanden, Vjnhyl Zam Pondivida, and Carmen Malabong. 

Wanden, a grade 1 teacher at Bagnen Elementary School, incorporates indigenous songs, poems, and stories into her teachings. 

“It is our responsibility to teach the younger generation about our culture, traditions, and indigenous literature,” Wanden said.

Malabong, author of “Footsteps”, highlighted the unique character of indigenous literature in the Cordillera. 

“It has a different rhythm and chant when we read and chant it. Thus, putting it in writing is a good way of preservation,” she said.

Rosalina Pesaña, head of the said project, said one of the goals of the workshop is to invest in the indigenous literacy workshop to help Bauko youths appreciate their creative potential while preserving their cultural heritage.  

Daddad-at includes various categories such as poems, stories, songs, day-eng, daing, liwliwa, and baya-o. ‘Daddad-at di Sasayangdan’ translates to ‘literary pieces of old folks,’” Pesaña added.

Daddad-at Di Sasayangdan-Indigenous Literary Workshop is a project supported by Balagdiwa NLYLN and the YouthLed project of The Asia Foundation and United States Agency for International Development, through Ignite grants, a grant facility for projects and initiatives aimed at strengthening youth participation in democratic governance. – Willma Tafaleng