The Philippines is a culturally diverse country with an approximate 14- 17 million Indigenous Peoples (IPs) representing 110 ethnolinguistic groups. They are mostly concentrated in Northern Luzon (Cordillera Administrative Region, 33%) and Mindanao (61%) with a few groups in the Visayas.
By virtue of Proclamation No. 1906, section 2009, the month of October was designated as National Indigenous Peoples Month.The commemoration is proclaimed in the context of indigenous peoples’ rights in the Philippines and the preservation of indigenous cultural communities as integral parts of national life. This month commemorates not only the contributions of our indigenous sisters and brothers to our country, but also serves to remind us of their rights and collective well-being.
MORESCO- has its own share of indigenous people thriving in the hinterlands in its franchise area, some of which had already been integrated to the general communities and become part of its growing members-consumers-owners.
Let’s not just celebrate the creativity of our cultural communities, its traditional culture and its various creative expressions as a dynamic part of the national cultural mainstream – but also enhance the social fabric by promoting cultural awareness, identifying and inculcating values for the common good, cultivating creativity, and promoting culture-sensitivity in governance and development efforts.
Let us keep in mind the significance of indigenous groups in our country and our obligation to protect them.