Kitanglad IP community profiling book – first in the country

Children from the Bukidnon, Higaonon and Talaandig tribes of Mt. Kitanglad attend the book launching program in Bukidnon State University on March 9, 2018  – Photo by Ronald Christopher Neri/BukidnonNews.Net

MALAYBALAY CITY (BukidnonNews.Net/15 March 2018) Three years after the celebration of the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples and the signing of the memorandum of agreement (MOA) of the cultural profiling dream project of Datu Makapukaw Adolino Saway, the supposed 48-page report was finally launched into a 200-page book entitled “The Wisdom Keepers of Mt. Kitanglad”.

The book was launched on March 9, 2018 at Bukidnon State University Auditorium and was attended by almost 500 people from different sectors. It was positively recognized by the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) and other government stakeholders, the academe, business, , media and the rest of the IP community.

The book project was a result of the cultural profiling that Datu Makapukaw and the cultural experts of Mt. Kitanglad, composed of three tribes namely Bukidnon, Higaonon, and Talaandig. It was made possible with the help of Kitanglad Integrated NGOs and other groups doing work in Mt. Kitanglad.

“The production of this cultural knowledge book is a lifelong quest that I embarked upon with utmost determination to accomplish, whatever it took,” Datu Makapukaw said.

Easterluna S. Canoy, Kitanglad Integrated NGOs’ executive director and cultural profiling head researcher, said the book will serve as the IPs contribution in contextualizing their indigenous knowledge systems and practices and how these have been interfaced or integrated into the national park policies following the spirit of the National Integrated Protected Areas System Act (RA 7586 on NIPAS) and the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act (RA 8371 on IPRA).

“This book is a product of tribal community profiling own initiatives and designed by the Talaandig, Bukidnon, Higaonon indigenous peoples, this book may be considered a pioneering effort, hence, the first in the country,” Canoy said.

Datu Makapukaw said that the pursuit of the project was motivated by the desire to address the gap in knowledge of their existence and to provide answers to fundamental questions that could free everyone from cultural blindness.

“The IPs faith and knowledge of their environment can greatly contribute to valuing nature, which is deeply linked to our existence, to our humanity,” Datu Makapukaw said.

Included in the 200-page book is the preamble, full map of Mt. Kitanglad ranges and its sacred places, stories of the elders, profiles of 18 cultural experts, rituals, signs and omens; plants and animals, tribal norms and cultural policies and afterword.

The Wisdom Keepers of Mt Kitanglad is an offshoot of the cultural profiling endeavor of Datu Makapukaw, the Council of Elders and KIN. This project is funded by the United States Agency for International Development or USAID’s Biodiversity and Watershed for Improved Economy and Ecosystems Resilience (B+WISER). (Iyren A. Dalipe of CMU Public Relations and Information Office for BukidnonNews.Net)