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I. PROGRAMS

A. THE AGUSAN DEL SUR-SCHOOL OF LIVING TRADITIONS OPENS 

Seventeen years since the Tao Foundation began its work in Agusan del Sur, and three years since the Tao Foundation submitted its application to the National Commission for Culture and Arts for the establishment of the Agusan del Sur-School of Living Traditions, the ASLT finally opened its doors on August 5, 2017. A series of indigenous ceremonies, an opening program, and an orientation led by the Local Coordinating Team, the Cultural Masters and Students marked the long-awaited event.

Three Manobo indigenous hinang-hinang (ceremonies) were mounted: sugnod dedicated to the umagad or souls of the departed; binangko dedicated to the diwata, often likened to angels or servants of the Creator; and uyagdok dedicated to the tabbanwa or dwellers of the land, waters, trees, mountains and other specific places. The three hinang-hinang were officiated by three baylan (ritualists): Datu Makalipay from Esperanza, Datu Hagupit from Bayugan, and Datu Mandonkuan from San Luis.

Following the ceremonies, an opening program was participated in by representatives of various partner and support agencies. Dr. Grace Nono, Founding-Director of the Tao Foundation for Culture and Arts, and Hon. Charlito Rensulat, Barangay Captain of San Teodoro, welcomed everyone to Balay Agusan. Inspirational messages were then offered by Hon. Rico Pableo, Jr., Executive Director of the National Commission for Culture and Arts; Ms. Benilda R. Camba, Enterprise Development Coordinator of Non-Timber Forest Products-Philippines; Mrs. Elizabeth M. Ysulan, Department of Education Regional Indigenous Peoples Focal Person; and by representatives of Living Asia, Panaghiusa Alang Sa Kaugalingnan Ug Kalingkawasan, Inc., and other organizations. Ten Cultural Masters from seven municipalities of Agusan del Sur: Bae Lucy Rico, Bae Suyam, Bae Katipunan, Datu Makalipay, Datu Malinog-Linog, Datu Madahuyog, Datu Kanimbaylan, Datu Lagnasan, Datu Hagupit, Datu Tuay spoke to express their commitment to transfer their knowledge to their youth. Finally, 20 students from eight municipalities of Agusan del Sur responded, expressing their hopes, dreams and reasons for joining the Agusan del Sur-School of Living Traditions. This signaled the end of the program and the beginning of the orientation when the curriculum, schedules, policies, and other details were discussed. An impromptu sharing of dances, instrumental performances, chants, and a communal supper capped the gathering.

The Agusan del Sur – School of Living Traditions is a non-formal learning space where Cultural Masters from both lumad (indigenous) and dagatnon (settler) communities in Agusan del Sur transmit to the youth their knowledge of 1) language and performing arts (chant and storytelling, musical instruments-making and playing, and dance); 2) arts and crafts (weaving, embroidery, basketry, beadwork, grass-paper making, pottery, traditional house-building and boat-building); 3) health/ healing, environment, and spirituality; and 4) history, governance, gender, customary law, mediation and peace-making. The ASLT is headed by Dr. Rhodora Toyong, Bae Lucy Rico, Rose Toyong, JP Camino, Mark Jay Jamboy and Robilyn Floro.

The ASLT is located in Balay Agusan, Purok 7, Barangay San Teodoro, Bunawan, Agusan del Sur—Tao Foundation’s center in Mindanao.

Feedback/Evaluation:
Datu Malinoglinog, Agusan del Sur Cultural Master for Language and Customary Law:

Ang kasaysayan sa lumad, sugod sa pag-abot sa magkalainlain nga mga tawo, tribo sa Mindanao, ang sinultihan pud sa mga lumad nagkalain-lain pud nga pagpractice sa ilang sinultihan, kay kung makasilingan kag Hilonggo, ang imong mga anak mag-HInilonggo na pud. Kung makasilingan kag Ilocano, ang imong anak, grabe pud mag-Inilocano kay grabe ka-adaptive sa huna-huna sa mga lumad labina sa sinultihan. Pero ang ikadaot lang kay ang mga imigrantes o kun mga langyaw, dili sila hilig sa Minanobo nga sinultihan kay maglisud pod ang ilang dila, talagsa ra nang maningkamot nga mga migrant nga magasulti sa Minanobo kun dili sa 95% ang wala gyud nila ibulag ang ilang pag-inistoryahay sa ilang sinultihan. So ang mga lumad karon, nahimo na pud nga 90% ang lumad nga nagbinisaya na. Ang us aka puntos mao na lang to ang nagsultig Minanobo. Una mga makuha diha (sa SLT), sinultihan. Ikaduha pud, ang mga tradisyon, ang mga kinaiyahan. Ibulag na man nila ang mga kinaraan nga mga sanina, kay kusog na silang mu-adapt sa mga bag-ong mga estilo. Ngano nga ang mga lumad nahimo nang magbInisaya tungod kay mahadlok na sila, maulaw, kay nakasinati na sila sa bullying mga bully nga pama-agi: “Ati, Manobo… E, Manobo man diay ni…” Kung imo ganing tan-awon unta, bagay sila nga magbully ang taga-diri magbiaybiay sa sinultihan nga lain… Kung imong tan-awon sa kasaysayan sa Judah o sa Jerusalem, pag lain gani nga sinultihan, ila tong gi-bully. Pero lain diri sa ato-a kay ang laing sinultian, ang tagadiri hinuon ang gibully sa mga immigrant. Mao diay na sila maulaw na magsulti’g minanobo kay grabe kayo… Mao na sila nga ila nang itago, ila nang ideny ang ilang pinulungan kay gibully man.

Kultura man ning atoa, balik sa  tradisyon ug pagtuki, so kun pananglitan ang uban imong itago, nagapasabot nga ang imong gitaguan sa kadugayan ana mawala kay…Nganong nakaingon ta ani nga mas pinakanindot nga nagkatagbo ang mga maestro ug mga lumad labina kun madayon kining School of Living Traditons nga atong padak-on ang nagaka-aup nga gikan sa mga sinultihan hangtud sa mga buhat sama sa suyam, nagapasabot nga kini karon kung atong masugdan ni, ingon pa sa kandila o sa suga, murag atong bwelo-bweluhan nga mudan-ag na ni siya kung pananglitan imong itago na gani, una diha, tay-an, ikaduha ana, mawala, ikatulo ana, kutkuton sa ilaga hangtod sa mawala. So ang pinakanindot didto nga ug magkadayon ni, magkonekta ta sa pinakanindot sa atong palibot nga ato nang ipagawas ang tanan para nga muanam pud ug kalambo hangtud mubalik sa una, Makita ang kinatibuk-an ang dagan gikan sa tradisyon ug customary…

Ang bawal. Ang rason nila- unsaon man nimo pagrespetar, pagkahibalo sa mga balaod sa Manobo nga wala man i-sagol didto sa local ug unsaon pagrespetar o unsaon paggamit, nga ang among naandan, bisan pa mag ako sa una, ang balaod sa local ug ang balaod sa Manobo (lain). Ako na lang ning gihalo sa akong kinabuhi hangtud sa pagka-karon. So—ug pangutan-on ko sa local, makatubag ko kay duna man pud koy dyutay kay sigi man pud kod seminar didto. Ug pangutan-on ko diri sa tradisyon, makatubagtubag ko dyutay kay naa man pud among kabilinbilin. Mao na siya nga ang pinakanindot didto, mas nindot nga makonek unta na nga kun unsay ipangutana sa imo o unsay ananyan kuhaon sa atong kabataan nga anayan nimong ipagawas makita pud sa nawong sa atong mga kabataan kay ang atong mga kabataan mao man toy saha nga sa sunod ana, human ta mubunga ingon pa sa saging, Malaya na man ta, ang mga bata kung walay ikabilin nimo didto nga talento, nga simbako, ug usa lang ang imong bilinan, kining usa maoy namatay simbako, kining wala nimo mabilini maoy nagpabilin, nagapasabot nga sibugdanan na to sa pagkawala. So ang nindot ana nga kung mapatay man ning unom, nagapabilin ang upat, magapadayon.

Datu Makalipay, Agusan del Sur Cultural Master for Ritual and Customary Law:

Ang pagbalhin sa atong nahibaw-an, duha ra man n aka klase: naa kadtong pinamilya ug naa kadtong sa eskwelahan. Atong sabutan kung unsa ang angayan lang nga itudlo. Sa ikaduha ka adlaw, nagsugyot na gyud ko nga kinahanglan ang kultura itudlo na sa majority Pilipino: mga Bisaya, mga settlers. Kita minority man ta kay kita ra may ang nagfocus sa atong pagtuong diwata. Ang uban, si Dagohoy nagrebelde unta batok sa iyang relihiyon batok ngadto sa mga Kastila so mao nga adunay pipila ka bol-anon nga nagpadayon pa gihapon sa ilang pag-tuo ug mga Hilonggo. Pero matud pa sa mga Hilonggo, tapulan na kuno sila. Mao na nga nakasugyot ko nga kanang pagtuo nato sa pamilya ra na. Kanang pagdiskubre kinsay baylan dili na pwede sa eskwelahan kay ang maestro dili man pud baylan. Pero naa gihapoy (basic), apan dili tanan na gyud nga ang angay itudlo. Ang angay ra itudlo kadto rang mga title pananglitan ang taephagan, kanang uyagdukan, pwede man na buhaton bisan dili baylan basta makamao manawagtawag unya serious lang dili yagayaga.

Bae Lucy, Agusan del Sur Cultural Master for Language, Mediation, Gender, and Customary Law:

Sa dugay na nga kapanahunan, kita nga tribo, atong nakita nga, gawas adtong gi-istorya ni (Bebero) nga nakapawala sa sinultihan tungod sa discrimination, dugangan sa eskwelahan nga wala gyud ingon nga nahatagan ug pagtagad ang kultura sa tribo, so mao na nga pasalamat ta aning agi nga tungod kang Luistro naay mga DepEd Order nga iyang gipirmahan nga nag-ila sa mga kultural sa tribo nga matudlo diha sa atong eskwelahan. Mao tong pag-open ni Grace sa ako niini nakabisita ko diri, mao to nga akong gikuan dayon sa iya nga kini siguro ang way kay sa among mga training sa mga titser, mismo sa pagdemo na nila sa ilang lesson plan nga indigenized, akong nakita nga diha gyud sila maglisud mahitungod sa, kay dili man sila makabalo sa kuan sa tribo, so maglisog sila. Kung mag-interview pa sila, madugay na, dili dayon madali, so mao na ang mga kalisdanan. So ingon ko nga kining SLT, hinaot nga makatabang niining mga problema sa mga maestra. Mao nga ingon ko kang Grace, unsa kaha kung aton istoryahan si Ma’am Isulan ang Regional IP Focal Person diri sa CARAGA Region. Dugay naman pud mi/ako nga naengage sa- gikan pa lang sap ag-draft sa DepEd Order, kami na, sa Davao, 2005, naggikan sa Davao ang consultation hangtod sa Tagaytay.. wa lang ko nagdahum nga napprobahan diay… Hangtud nahimo tulo na ang DepEd Order, kadtong sa Framework sa IP education, hangtod sa kana nang paggamit sa mga gamit sa tribo nga dili na siya basta-basta gamiton sa eskwelahan, kanang sa mga dances, mga instrument, kung walay sakto nga pagpasabot. Pareha anang mga pangutana sa amo nga unsaon man nang pareha anng kadayawan nga dako na kaayong mga drum, mao pa ba na, ang amo, wa man nay problema basta dili nga ingon nga kini, sayaw ni sa tribo kay dili na gyud na siya sa tribo. So kana ang akong nakita nga kini nga SLT maoy hinungdan nga nakaadto ko sa Butuan Regional Office. Maayo gani nga pag-send pa lang ni Grace sa iyang letter kang Ma’am Ysulan… ok kayo sa ila kay dakong ikatabang sa titser. Dako gyud ang ikatabang ang mahitungod niini sa ako lang paglantaw kay pananglitan, madugangan ang pagsabot sa mga titser. So kana palang ang status sa atong nagkadaiyang eskwelahan nga naa pud sila sa proseso nga ang ilang pagtudlo mahimong culture-sensitive, sensitibo sa mga nagkadaiyang kultura kung asa man kung asa man dapit ang eskwelahan. Pero nakafocus lang sila sa kadtong gitawag nga 100% nga mga eslwelahan, kadtong pulos gyud tribo, wala gyuy sagol. Kining atong mga eskwelahan diri, naa may mga 50%, nay 75%, wala pa na, uwahi pa, ang naka- kadtong mga pure pa gyud nga kasagaran ana kadtong tua sa mga lagyo, sa mga bukid nga mga eskwelahan, kay pila ra man ka barangay halos diri sa CARAGA ang pure sa gyud nga solid. Ang high school gani, murag upat o unum ka high school ra ang solid nga tribo pa, samut na sa elementary. Pasalamat ra pud ta nga niabot ta ani nga punto nga kanang pagtuon nga unsaon nato nga mahimong sensitibo ta, kita didto sa lain ng tribo, ug kini pud nga mga tribuha, mahimong sensitibo pud sa atong mga kultura tungod kay nasayod man sila. So kun dili pud nato ipasabot, dili nato ipasayod, unsaon nila pag maging sensitibo nga wa man lagi nakabalo.


B. PAMATI 2017 PUSHES THROUGH DESPITE DISPLACEMENT DUE TO TERRORIST ATTACKS AND MARTIAL LAW IN MINDANAO

PAMATI (Cebuano-Visayan for “listen” [v.] and “feeling” [n.]) is an intergenerational, intercultural, interfaith, intersectional and transnational gathering of a small group of Philippine Elders—ritualists, healers, storytellers, musicians, dancers, martial artists, peacemakers and community leaders—and an equally small group of Philippine and Philippine descended younger generation scholars, artists, religious, holistic healing practitioners, peace advocates, sustainable agriculture advocates, gender activists, environment and social justice worker who are interested in reclaiming Philippine ancestral ways. PAMATI promotes mutual listening that privileges the voices of Elders, the socially-marginalized and the practitioners of indigenous spiritual traditions who are often not heard in society. PAMATI seeks to contribute to dialogue and the bridging of alienation between older and younger generations, the unschooled and the professionals, the indigenous and settler, rural and urban, homeland and diaspora, World Religions and Indigenous Traditions, and the various classes, genders, ethnicities, races, forms of education, and religious and political persuasions. PAMATI is also a venue for Philippine Elders to directly transmit specific embodied knowledges (that they are allowed to share with others) including the indigenous understandings of these knowledges to younger generation Filipinos and Filipino descendants. Related to this, the ethics, protocols, and appropriate methodologies of transmitting of ancestral knowledges across ethnicities and social locations are taken up in PAMATI.

PAMATI first took place in July 2015 in Balay Agusan, Bunawan, Agusan del Sur, immediately following the center’s rebuilding after its 2012 destruction by super-typhoon Pablo. PAMATI 2015 began with the building of a Tinandasan (traditional house) by Manobo master house-builders followed by prayer, storytelling and chant circles; a visit to the sacred lake at the Agusan marsh, and engagement with local public school students and teachers. PAMATI 2015 was co-convened by the Tao Foundation for Culture and Arts, the Center for Babaylan Studies, GINHAWA, and the Institute of Spirituality in Asia.

Slated to take place in Balay Agusan, PAMATI 2017 was displaced at the last-minute due to terrorist attacks in central Mindanao and the declaration of Martial Law in the whole island. After a frantic search for a new venue, PAMATI 2017: Listen to Songs, Bodies, Mountains found a welcoming host in Sakahang Lilok in Tanay, Rizal, Luzon where it proceeded as prayer, chant and storytelling circles and a space for transmitting embodied knowledges of gong music, chants, dances, martial arts, hilot and plant medicines. The participants also visited a lagoon in Rizal, the sacred mountain of Banahaw in Quezon, and the other sacred mountain of Makiling in Laguna where the participants engaged with public school students and teachers at the Philippine High School for the Arts. PAMATI 2017 was co-convened by the Tao Foundation, the Center for Babaylan Studies, GINHAWA, the Institute of Spirituality in Asia, and Jung Circle Center, in cooperation with Indigenous Facilitators.

Feedback/Evaluation:
ELORDIE MESAC, Tagbanua, Philippines

Pasasalamat sa panibagong pamilya, grupo at mga katribu,sa pamati at sa ideyang napakahalga para sa katulad kong katutubong nag aaral at ayaw mawalang kultura at sining,maraming salamat sa inyo maam grace sa tiwala at suporta,sa mga nag aaral gawin at isabuhay ang mahalin ang kanya kanyang kultura,kasabay ng pag unlad at teknoloheya pagyamanin natin ang ating kultura at sining.

LUCY RICO, Manobo, Philippines

Salamat sa pamati organizer, participants at mga elders marami akong natutunan. I learned the balance of listening "LISTENING TO OTHERS AND LISTENING TO OUR SELF."

ABRAHAM SAKILI, Tausug, Philippines

Maraming salamat din sa mga naibahagi na mga kaalaman at karanasan at bihirang pagkakataon na makasalamuha ang iba-ibang mga kapwang nagpapahalaga sa ugnayan ng kalikasan at sangkatauhan at sa pagkilala ng higit sa lahat na Kadakilaan ng Maylikha ng lahat na tinatawag sa iba-ibang pangalan. Truly ang pangungusap na 'diversity in unity' and/or unity in diversity' is both a challenge a motivation to make life in this world truly  inspiring and meaningful. Bilang isang Muslim lalo kong naisabuhay ang kahulugan ng salitang ASLAMA na 'to submit, vow or surrender to the Will of One and Only God. Salamat.

ARLENE NATOCYAD, Mt. Province, Philippines

Peace and all good to ALL! Yes! Words are not enough to express our profound PAMATI experiences. Only a word of gratitude (as most have expressed) can encapsulate those experiences - SALAM-AT. Ang pasasalamat na iyon ang siyang nag-uumapaw sa akin hanggang sa ngayon...

As we went back to our respective places the sacred space that held us together was widened; looking forward to coming together again for another PAMATI in the future to rekindle that Sacred Space again for growth, peace, happiness, health and well-being for the self, others and the rest of creation.

Salamat, salamat at salamat...
Bathala Nawa,
Arlene

GENEVIEVE BALANSE-KUPANG, Mt. Province, Philippines

Iyaman, iyaman, iyaman Grace! 2017 PAMATI has given me back the strength, peace, deep connecting to the spirit of Fransis espe our last ritual a while ago. Before we left PSHA, I saw a similar yellow butterfly same color that I saw two yrs before during his wake. Thanks for everything!

RICO PONCE, Visayan, Philippines

I wish to express my gratitude to each one of you for a wonderful and meaningful engagement with one another together with our Babaylan and Elders. For me, it was a moment of retrospection-reflection which led me to a lot of insights and realization as a person, as a priest and as a fellow pilgrim-seeker of this world. Daghang Salamat kaninyong tanan, Maraming Salamat Po.

SANDY EBRADA, Visayan, Philippines

1. What had been most important for you? And/or your most significant learning(s)?
• That I met them since I have only read about them especially in my Phil. Studies in UP
• They are such wonderful people full of wisdom, very grounded, with a great sense of humor and confidence, showing with great clarity what they truly value in life – a sense of great community amongst themselves, with the environment, and with higher and lower beings strengthened by rituals, dance, art, and music. They reminded me of how I should live life to the fullest.

2. What are you thankful/grateful for?
• For having the opportunity to be part of this gathering.
• For Grace and the others who worked so hard to make this a success.
• For the babaylans and elders’ generosity of knowledge and joy.
• The place was just right – the big kubo, the food, surrounded by nature.

3. What are your noticing(s)? What have you discovered?
• That even the youth should have the same week-long gathering with them to learn from them and discover their own calling in life
• The trips to Mt. Banahaw and Mt. Makiling were good for the babaylans and elders. I took it for granted that they travelled as much as we lowlanders do. But I realized that they do not necessarily go out of their place just like that. So trips to other sacred places for them to visit is a plus for them.

4. Which part/activity do you consider as most relevant and/or personally beneficial for you?
• Both the big group sessions and break outs. The only break out session I did not attend was of Mang Rodel’s.

5. A new awareness/major insight that changes or transforms you?
• I’ve dreamt of colors and forceful energies right after the gathering. I still have to find out what they mean.

6. Anything you would like to add or delete?

7. What aspect(s) was/were challenging for you?
• Since we lived out, I got to miss communing with them during the breakfasts and to join the informal gatherings in the evenings although I do appreciate staying in the retreat house.

8. Suggestions/Recommendations of what you would like to see in future PAMATI Gathering (general, committees, organizers, content, methodology, etc...)
• Just helpful logistics like First Aid kits, maps to different venues so as not to get lost. Have a car and driver always available during the gathering.
• Room assignments should have been done way before going to the venues.
• It would be helpful to have personnel solely for support and logistics. While this would entail added expense, this would allow fuller support.

9. Something you would like to share to the Facilitators/Volunteers/Organizers/Convenors

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

LILY MENDOZA, Kapampangan, US

How to capture in words seven days of glorious communing with indigenous elders (chanters, healers, storytellers, baylan/mang-anito/mumbaki, hilot, herbalist, dancers) and fellow urbanized participants and with the lush vegetation, waterfalls, springs, and mountains of Tanay, Rizal and the sacred mountains of Apo Banahaw, and Mariang Makiling? This is the longest time I've been away from my laptop and cellphone screens, thanks to the forbidding distance from civilization (and perhaps to the energies of the sacred mountains to which man-made electronic signals proved no match?).

Gratitude. Deep gratitude to our gracious PAMATI 2017 venue hosts--Sakahang Lilok, Nature Villa Banahaw (c/o traditional healing arts practitioner Boy Fajardo), and the Philippine National High School for the Arts at Mt. Makiling (courtesy of Director Vim Nadera whom I finally met in person for the first time). Thank you for partnering with us and allowing our bodies (and our minds) to be refreshed and nurtured by Inang Kalikasan (Mother Nature). Thank you especially to Sakahang Lilok tor teaching our bodies to fall in love again with the simple deliciousness of (mostly) plant-based slow-food cooking and the totally respectful and sensible concept of zero-waste living (where even our human waste becomes "ambag"/useful contribution for other earth beings). Grateful, too, for the permeable walls and bamboo structures of our sleeping quarters that allowed the elders' contagious laughter and loud uninhibited bantering to wake us up in the early morning, sometimes even before dawnbreak--the one thing I'd probably miss the most from this year's PAMATI!

I imagine this is how it must have been when we still lived embedded in the generosity of the natural world and in the face-to-face sociality of our indigenous villages: waking up to the first rays of Grandfather Sun whose westward trek is aided by the cacophonous voices and toothless laughter of elders (and the running about of happy children's feet); ordinary conversations spontaneously breaking into song or poetry at a moment's inspiration (Datu Makalipay and Manong Rodolfo, I will miss your mellifluous duets of love songs!!!!); work life spared of tedium by the rhythmic accompaniment of song to motion and/or the trading of tsismis; young people's bodies naturally synched up to the rhythms of nature's circadian clock, to the beat of gongs, drums, and other native instruments--the energy of dance and movement climbing up their spine and out their nimble limbs without so much as effort or trying. And when death, sickness, or conflict occurs, the gathering of the whole village to grieve, deliberate together, and perform rites of healing and/or reconciliation.

PAMATI 2017 gave us but a tiny taste (a "patikim") of that earth-based life that we all used to know (and perhaps, to a degree, still know in our bones) before a part of our species had the brilliant idea of breaking away and building a culture (purportedly) "more advanced" and unconstrained by the collective necessities of village- and land-based living. And indeed, given my overly civilized body, a part of me, like an addict in withdrawal, craved at Sakahang Lilok for the usual comforts of unhampered electricity, sanitized flushing toilets, and piped in water supply (that didn't constantly remind one of the preciousness of water and the deleterious effects of the water closet system, and the chloro- and hydro-chlorofluorocarbons and other greenhouse gases released by airconditioning and the energy-hungry operation of electricity on the ecosystem). So much so that by the 6th day, when we got to the imeldific structures (yes, designed by the famed "patroness of the arts" herself-- Imelda Marcos) of the executive suites of the Makiling Philippine National High School for the Arts where we were to close out our gathering, it was as though the drug-starved neurons of the ease-addicted civilized body instantly started firing--having finally found their "stash."

Alas, whatever pleasure the initial "hit" brought, it wasn't long before grief's reality check followed suit. Just like our (my hubby, James Perkinson and I) recent experience of a 5-star hotel stay in Bangkok (courtesy of a conference host), where, upon entering our luxury room and lighting a ritual candle to pay homage to the new place and taking time to praise the wood paneling, the stone, and metal that graced the tastefully designed interiors, and imagining what grandmother tree (or rock or iron) had to be sacrificed, forcibly taken from its wild abode to be tamed and reshaped for another purpose by human ingenuity, I wondered what sort of rituals of permission and honoring, if any, were performed in the building of these lavish structures that allowed one the glorious panoramic view of the mountain from the unalloyed convenience of one's individual veranda.

I cry now writing these reflections, realizing my body's patent domestication that causes it to flinch at the slightest bit of discomfort and revel, despite awareness of the cost to other beings and to life itself, at the invention of modern conveniences. When I heard one elder ruefully remark on what he thought was their mountain's "relative disadvantage and undesirability" in comparison to the sleekly paved Mt. Makiling foothills, I knew I wasn't alone in my discord. But as if to affirm the complex relations between human-tamed and wild places, another elder replied, "Pero mas malakas pa rito ang energy ng mountain namin" ["But the energy of our mountain is even stronger than this one"].

There have been many learnings for me. Despite the limitations of the framework of PAMATI (that artificially brings together in the span of eight days a roughly equal number of indigenous elders and indigenous root-seeking urbanized Filipinos both in the homeland and abroad for mutual listening, there is something powerful even in such brief of an encounter. For the younger urbanized participants, the copious tears and heartfelt expressions of gratitude to the elders for their unstinting generosity in sharing their gifts and stories and for the sense of community created is testament to the need for such initiatory opportunities for mutual encounter (as kapwatid Sobey Wing has aptly noted). For the elders, to find such openness of hearts and eagerness among the urbanized participants for a taste of what they had to offer was deep affirmation of their sense of self in contrast to the racialization and devaluing of their ways of being that is just their default experience living cheek by jowl with mainstream culture. The mirroring back to them by the younger participants of what they still have--the memory of how to live in a good way on the land--that the young ones have lost and are only now seeking to recover in a world of amnesia creates a fertile ground for mutual love and transformation. "I see you," they seem to say to each other--and in that deep seeing and affirmation of generations is the seed of wholeness, healing, and recovery of well-being.

I saw this in the eyes of the students of the Philippine National High School for the Arts, elite young scholars all, that we were privileged to engage on the last day of our gathering. Here were students schooled almost exclusively in the Western arts (apparently what were deemed "the real arts" worth learning, not the dubious so-called "arts" of primitive peoples like those with us at PAMATI). I saw during our time with them the hunger in these students as they listened to the testimonies of our own young participants. And as they joined the workshops conducted by the different groups of indigenous cultural masters, we saw them gamely try their hand at native instruments (kulintang, gong). We witnessed them move their bodies to the vigorous guitar rhythms and dance steps of the Ayta and to the graceful movements of the Maguindanaon kuntao. We saw their curiosity to learn about the indigenous healing arts (hilot, herbal/plant medicine) from the elder practitioners. Even after the formal plenary where each group reported on their learning experiences, a number of students persisted in playing the kulintang. One 15-year old came to me unable to hold back her tears, sharing her grief at being forcibly severed from what she recognized as her gift of third-eye seeing that she said she's had from a very young age, of being able to connect deeply with nature spirits and of being friends with unseen beings, until her parents, now Christian, performed a ritual to close up that third eye and effectively banish her spirit guides from her--what she now experiences as a deep loss for her. She said the testimony of one of the diasporic Filipinos who shared her story of being deemed "mentally ill" from her possession of a similar gift until she was able to find indigenous teachers who helped her make sense of her experience resonated deeply with her.

Such resonances were many during the recently concluded PAMATI. As well, questions and struggles of where now to go with this kind of learning and experience. A lot of our process in the co-convening group (Tao Foundation, Center for Babaylan Studies, GINHAWA, Institute for Spirituality Asia, Carl Jung Circle) has been "we make our way as we go" knowing the kinds of times we live in--dire times of climate change, species extinction, ecosystems collapse, war and more war.

I personally take my cue from the example of the Cuchumaquic village people of Guatemala who, when faced with the devastation of a 7.5 magnitude earthquake of 1976 thinking the end of the world has finally come upon them, determined to live their last moments even more beautifully, in Martin Prechtel's account:

"[T]hey had come to pass the world's end at the place all Mayans, every village and tribe, know as their rumuxux or the "umbilicus of the world." They wanted the symphony of their thousand years' struggle to live in the arms of the corn seed's earth to end here where it had begun: at the place of their mutual origins. In this way they themselves would become spiritual seeds and their passing become temporal humus from which the Divine could regrow a world beyond their own time. In their parallel understanding of vegetation and human culture, they wanted to be rooted in the Earth's memory of their having been there, even if they as humans had to disappear. After all, all the mythologies said that they as people had themselves sprouted from a time previous to any of our own presence, and like seeds had resprouted themseves from the compost of a world of previous human failures....

"The trick was not to seek the fantasized comfort or the falsely anchored dependability that civilization promises. Instead of the illusion of security, it's better to get good at riding out [Earth's] motion like a bone cell heaving in the ribs of Her breathing chest..." (from _The Unlikely Peace of Cuchumaquic: The Parallel Lives of People as Plants_)

I feel this is a time when, like the people of Cuchumaquic, we no longer come together "just to have a better chance at survival" but rather to learn to prepare for a time beyond our own. May we sow seeds of love for the Holy in nature that can resprout after the dying.

VERMA ZAPANTA, Visayan, US

This week, I had the privilege of learning and hearing about the experiences of babaylans, healers, leaders, chanters, and artists from various indigenous tribes in the Philippines through an intergenerational community gathering called PAMATI. At first, I felt shame in struggling to articulate my purpose of attending and how I found my way there. I traveled alone not knowing anyone in that space. It was terrifying. But I know my ancestors brought me there. As I continued to sit and listen to our elder's stories of struggle, survival, resistance and resilience, I realized that it was healing me in a way that I didn't know was possible. A sister that I met helped me to see that was exactly my purpose. To just be. To be present. To be open to receive and allow myself to hear spirit and my ancestors. This experience was the beginning of a journey that I needed to rejuvenate my soul and reconnect to a part of myself that had been stolen or forgotten in my ancestral lineage. 32 years of realizing that I didn't know how to listen. This was a beautiful experience of a lesson learned.

For the first five days, our group stayed at a sustainable, zero waste organic farm called Sakahang Lilok in Tanay, Rizal. We were greeted by a Dumagat chieftain who's ancestral land we were gathered in. We humbly asked for permission to hold space. Afterwards, the other tribal elders began to circle up and I had a feeling in my chest that is indescribable. So, I just cried silently, but knew that this is what it felt like to be truly connected to myself.

JANA-LYNNE UMIPIG, Ilocano, US

Day 14 (Friday, July 7, 2017): Mount Makiling
Last night we arrived back late and the sleeping arrangements had Grace, Karen and I on the floor of the main gathering area and not on a bed in one of the dormitories that we were being housed at the Mount Makiling, Philippine High School for the Arts. This was our closing space, where Ate Grace was an Alumni of in her youth. I found myself already longing for Sakahang Lilok, and all of the ways they held us. I made certain to call myself back to myself throughout the morning as I found myself traveling to all the mountains I had journeyed through in the past days. I feel woke up as if I was still partly in a dream and a little unready to reconnect with everyone. And this was the first night no dreams were remembered, all there was was the memories of the past weeks of my journey filling my heart.

After breakfast, we walked to join the students in flag ceremony and it was a beautiful site to see the Elders share the prayers they had been sharing with us for the past week, with the youth. And how well they listened to them. As we walked to the hall, two students approached me, and I asked them what they studied and they stated “Theatre.” Perfect.

“What are you studying?” I asked them.
“Stanislavski and Ann Bogart’s Viewpoints.”
My heart giggled at the notion that they were at a point of learning and understanding self in the context of their artistic development that was so familiar to me.

We gathered in the area we slept in last night, an open hall/ community space, in the same circle configuration we had at Sakahang Lilok. Elders circles in center, participants of Philippines and Diaspora in an outer circle and now joined with over 100 students and young artists. Ate Grace, told us that she wanted us to take 2 minutes each to share with the students who we were and what we learned from Pamati.

This part of the trip shifted us, as now we were opening up such an intimate time of 7 days of listening deeply and uncovering truths, to youth. I questioned in my mind how to do this most responsibly and how to make this time with them most fruitful.

In my 2 minutes, I shared with the students our connection, in being moved by the arts. I asked the group who was studying theatre and referenced my exchange with the two young girls who were practicing Theatre and let them know I studied the same as them- that I was familiar with the western learnings of the Arts. I let them know the places I studied- UC Irvine Claire Trevor School of the Arts, Accademia Dell’arte in Arrezo, Italy and New York University and they reacted with the type of respect and admiration that you have when you are living and being guided by the perspective of achievement and advancement that is created by the colonized, capitalistic constructions of development, success and power. And I used this moment to share with them that it was not until I allowed myself to have my expression be rooted in deep knowing of self and of spirit that my Art became its most fulfilling.

We as artists have a gift to move the spirit, to awaken the soul, to connect to the whole of a person’s being, to resonate with something that is inexplicable inside of every being. And I connect this ability to that of an ancestral ancient power source that has been maintained by the indigenous peoples of our world. I recalled the rituals, the songs and chants of the T’boli, the dance of the Aeta and Panay Bukidnon, the weaving and stitching of spirit by Robelyn in Visaya and how all of this was taught and lead not by a teaching in school, but by the heart, by spirit. And the ability to recognize that sometimes, our greatest gifts cannot be taught to us, they are meant to live and be expressed and released.

We spent the rest of the day with the youth, they took workshops with the elders and then showed what it was they had gathered. I envisioned the ability to deepen this, understanding that the time we had was limited and we were doing what we could, with the time we had- and hoped to vision and have conversations with the organizers about how to make this even more meaningful for us and the youth and elders in the future. This was a powerful exchange; it would be just by the mere joining of these circles together in one room. In way of critique it could have had more time, it could have involved more opportunity to create deeper connections, it could have had more organization around how the talks would happen- and what I affirmed throughout Pamati, is that the lessons are uncovered fully, because it turned out exactly as it needed to.

We took a rest afterward, though some had already checked out, because the shift between our time descending from Banahaw, up until now was immensely different. I felt the shifts already. I felt the change in behaviors and demeanors and people’s needs were being taken more readily. We then gathered for debrief and evaluation.

The evaluation was open; it was not one that made to be structured and so many things were released on many fronts.

My own evaluation included my reflection of the ritual at Banahaw and all that occurred the day before leading up to it. What I expressed was that Pamati is a dance of understanding what happens when we create spaces to confront where our Earthly obligations and Spiritual obligations meet. This is one of the most complex programs I have ever seen unfold, because of this central truth of its nature, of its design. It is easy to forget why we gather if we are too embedded in the Earthly and then it becomes chaotic and there is a feeling of inability to grasp the whole of the event when it is too Spirit lead. This caused a lot of issues, a lot of critique, a lot of feelings that made internal dialogue in all participants of how they experienced Pamati very loud and conflicting. But this I believe is the beauty of what it creates straight on to have an event that invites the whole.

As much as I was experiencing the pains, the anger, the disappointments, the feelings of shame, guilt and struggle of all that is connected to participation in this. I also felt there was so much listening, learning and growing of self that unfolded. Misunderstandings, and miscommunication will and did occur, we just have to learn the lessons that come with these difficult moments. To me communication was always made room for- even if it was allowing for it to occur in privacy. And even when communication ended in the dismissal of another person’s communication, because sometimes it’s hard to listen to something that contradicts your experience and that makes us feel a need to defend what is inside us- there are lessons there. There are opportunities in these moments to make decisions about how we want to walk. And I’m ready to do that. This trip challenged me to do this more readily with every exchange.

I did not feel this in person evaluation was a place for me to express concerns that may open up even larger conflicts of community, of colonization and of human struggle that are difficult- there were moments I felt a lack of discourse about as I had spoken before, religious colonization and also Gender dynamics as there were many patriarchal issues that disturbed my heart, but I understand that one week will never be enough time to unpack all of these issues. What it did do though, is create a beginning vision of possibility to see one another and how our collective Pamati (Listening/Awakening) can bring forth for some slow movements toward making room for these conversations.

I learned so much to pray deeper than I ever have, and also to find extra patience and compassion for the things that feel so difficult to sit in discomfort with when you under/overstand the world for what it is not speaking. I will be continuing to uncover the lessons that I have uncovered in Pamati. There are many conversations I know that will have to be had in order for us to move forward- in personal spaces and also in large ones. But for now, I continue my journey of understanding- everything has unfolded as it should, and it will continue to.

At the end of the night, Maria, Sobey and I went and had water ceremony under the Full Moon with the water I gathered from Banahaw. And we set our intentions moving forward, then spent the night reflecting together. Sobey invited so much us to be able to relieve ourselves beyond venting and seeking the understanding that we need to uplift our journeys here after.

I'm thankful for all the organizers of Pamati, for the elders who gave of their selves mind, body and spirit to lift all of us who have been seeking learning and support in our own journeys. And I am so thankful to all those who were in circle with me, from the Philippines and the diaspora, who taught me so much through our collective Kapwa. All that we experienced together is already propelling me forward.

Like the centipede at the end of the ritual at Banahaw, I have gained 60+ new legs to carry me through my Journey.

MAMERTO TINDONGAN, Ifugao, US

Pamati Two: My personal Reflection
The 2015 Pamati One event had such a profound impact on the participants that there was clamor for a second Pamati. We got it in July 2017. The following is my personal reflection.

Background
I attended Pamati Two upon invitation. There was a set of principles to guide participants. These principles were set based on the First Pamati experience to prepare participants physically, mentally, and spiritually. Elders agreed during the First Pamati that only non-rituals can be shared to learners during public events including massage (hilot), herbal medicine, and music. Only serious shamanic apprentices were supposed to learn rituals. There were committees created to make the event run smoothly. My assignment, as an Indigenous Knowledge Bearer (Ifugao Mumbaki), was to head the Trance Committee.
A few days before leaving Banaue to go to Pamati Two, Grace Nono asked me to bring Betel Nut quid and Rice Wine for the opening ceremony. This is in addition to ten pounds of rice from my town to be shared to everyone, and a gift for the Dumagat elder. I thought to myself, Betel Nut quid and Rice Wine are the paraphernalia for a Pa’o (divination) ritual in my tradition. Coincidentally, I was invited that day by my neighbor to a Pa’o ritual. I took Jana lyn Umipig, who came all the way from New York to visit, with me to attend the ritual. If there was any significance of this ritual to the upcoming Pamati event, I dismissed it. Jana and I took the night trip bus from Banaue to Manila to meet fellow Pamati participants at the UP Diliman Hotel where we carpooled to Sakahang Lilok in Tanay, Rizal.

Welcome
The Sakahang Lilok owner and staffs were very hospitable. Members of the Dumagat tribe welcomed us with something that reminded me of a practice I learned from my elders a long time ago. My elders taught me that when you go to a new place, take a small piece of earth and eat it. This is supposed to prevent sickness because you introduce yourself with the land. The Dumagat had three small earthen bowls; one containing pulverized earth, the other with small stones, and the third was empty. Newly arrived participants were instructed to pinch a small amount of earth and touch it with their lips, then to pick up one stone and to place it in the empty container. I did not hear if this Dumagat tradition was explained. Sakahang Lilok was definitely the right place especially for those who like to have an experience of simple and organic way of living. They are off the grid and practice recycling among other earth friendly life ways.
Role Playing
I observed that the program was not very rigid; it was fluid. Each day, an elder/shaman from one tribe did the opening prayer followed by activities such as learning herbal medicines, massage therapy, kuntao--traditional Filipino martial art, and kulintang music. The facilitator made sure the program for the day went smoothly, including snack time. The first opening was led by the Dumagats where we shared betel nut quid. Somehow I did not feel it was right to share the rice wine that I brought for this opening, and I was not asked either. Maybe Grace Nono forgot the wine or she was preoccupied?
The night before my turn to give the opening prayer, I was a bit uneasy. It was because it is a PRAYER, which means calling spirits for assistance/favour. This, I thought, will be in conflict with the focus of the event. Compounding this feeling, I was approached by father Rico, after breakfast, about possibly doing a ritual for reconciliation. This has something to do with the Christianization of indigenous people. He said Karen Gamutan got the spiritual message of the need to heal colonial trauma. I told father Rico that I will just add this intention when I will lead the program’s opening prayer that evening. At this point, I wanted to talk to Grace Nono and to clarify my role. I like to adhere to Pamati Two’s focus of limiting spiritual rituals. I was not able to talk to Grace.
It was my turn to give the opening prayer. I told everyone that I honestly did not know what to do because PRAYER to me means calling spirits. And when they come, you better entertain them. I explained that I like to respect the focus of Pamati Two. So I led the group to access their higher selves and meditate on practicing SELF-FORGIVENESS without calling any deity.
Speakers for the night were our Mindanao comrades. The war stories evoked sympathy, anger, and worry. I can sense tension in the Octagonal shelter. Before long, I was sensing the presence of warrior spirits. I knew I was not the only one sensing their presence. At this point, I thought of bringing out the rice wine to help appease these spirits. So I went to get the bottle of wine and waited for an opportunity to ask the facilitator if I could share the wine with everyone. The program rolled on. Father Rico and Fr. Teody even took the chance to give their spiritual food offering for reconciliation. I then got the wine, asked everyone to pray to the spirits that they are close to, and passed it around. At this point, I noticed Jana lyn Umipig and Karen Gamutan stepping out of the circle.
At the end of the extended program, Grace Sevilla approached me and told me that she has a gift for me, but it is not money. She said; “you need to complete the ritual and do it right.” On my way out, Karen Gamutan also approached me and said; “the warrior spirits are not happy.” Either Jana or Karen also said that the warrior spirits did not like the reconciliatory approach, but rather demanded an apology from the clergies. I went to sleep with all of these comments and questioning my shamanic role and authority.

Appreciation
I woke up in the morning and shifted my focus on appreciating everybody’s talents and skills. I especially appreciate the elders like Lily Mendoza, Tita Pambid, and those who have PhDs in their belts yet they humbled themselves and attended the event as students. The priests came to learn as well. These are honorable people worth emulating.

Ritual for Protection
Time to prepare for Mount Banahaw. Shaman Dakel and company performed the ritual for protection. I observed that they had the food offering eaten by people. In other cultures, spiritual food offerings are only for the spirits. I decided not to partake of the food. I learned later that I was not alone in not eating the food. Of course I respected the ritual.

Mount Banahaw
I wanted to go to Mount Banahaw before even knowing that it is part of Pamati Two’s itinerary. Did this influence what happenned next? I don’t know. But let me tell you, I did not use Pamati Two to achieve my personal goals. In any way, any spiritual goal I have is for the whole human race as well.
Here is what happened. I was just deeply LISTENING (practicing PAMATI). Obviously, I was not alone. Karen Gamutan and Grace Sevilla approached me again and said I need to complete the ritual that I started in Sakahang Lilok here. As I was meditating on it, Grace brought me Betel leaves that she picked up from the yard. Meanwhile, Karen finished the sketches of patterns where we were supposed to perform the ritual. I saw these symbols (Square, Triangle, and Circle) as well when I was closing my eyes. Neither of us have been to Mount Banahaw before. When Dempster saw the symbols, he said he knew exactly where the place is. He then volunteered to guide us.
There were five males and four females comprising the team that went ahead and performed the ritual to appease the warrior spirits who followed us to Mount Banahaw. I hope that Dempster will share the video that he made for all of us to see.

Mount Makiling
I noticed that there was a change in mood among the participants, especially the young ones. They were more open in expressing themselves.
Last night of Pamati Two in Mount Makiling. I could not go to sleep no matter how I tried. I went through all the meditation techniques that is supposed to put me to sleep, but they just put me in total relaxation instead. I was able to dose off at around 4:00 AM, only to be woken up by Grace Sevilla and Karen Gamutan. They said I need to perform a closing ceremony. Accordingly, spirits showed one of the participants in bad situation. Of course, I know the importance of closing ceremonies. But I felt I already almost caused disarray because of the Mount Banahaw ritual. Besides, we cannot afford to hold those who were scheduled to leave for their flights. The compromise was to perform it with those who were able to participate.

What after Pamati?
The answer is simple yet hard to do. Put into action the principles that you learned and believe in.

Readiness
You know that you are ready to live a spiritual life when you are able to give up drinking diet coke, for example, that your taste buds may have gotten used to.
Can you still do what you like to do even without HONOUR and MONEY? If your answer is yes, then you are ready. Thank you for reading.

ASUNCION OJEDA, Bikolano, US

What had been most important for you?  And/or your most significant learning(s)?

As a musician, I came to Pamati with music as my main interest.  It was wonderful to see that Maguindanao kulintang, a tradition in which I have invested specialized study, was represented.  I also wanted to hear/see/experience/learn about music from other indigenous groups who were present.  The rhythms from the Aeta guitar and the Tagbanua gong and drum ensemble fed my hunger for these musics, and I was delightfully mesmerized by the Tausug folk song variations played by Prof. Sakili on the gabbang.

What I consider to be my most significant learning is a deeper understanding of the cultural context in which music is performed.  That context gives the art greater meaning.  The dances of the Aeta helped me realize just how profoundly connected they are to nature.  Although we did not witness any Maguindanao rituals, it was good to hear about them from Guro Aga and others who had previously experienced and participated in them.  As beautiful as the Panay Bukidnon and the B’laan chants are on their own, they are even more so when we hear them as part of their respective rituals.

What are you thankful/grateful for?

I am thankful for the opportunity to see Guro Aga, to learn about her teaching methods, and to hear from her what her music means to her.  It is good to know that she continues with her musical life amidst the restrictions of her Islamic faith.  Guro Aga was (Eleanor Academia’s) my U.S. kulintang teacher’s teacher, and connecting with her at Pamati was also an affirmation of the work that Eleanor has been doing.

I am also thankful for the overall Pamati gathering and how it was a profound way to get reacquainted with my homeland.

What are your noticing(s)? What have you discovered?

My travels to Bali (this year) and to Cambodia (last year), as well as the little bit that I am learning of their cultures and histories, influence my answer to this question.  I am noticing how much we are connected to our southeast Asian “cousins!”  Taking away the cloak of colonial influences reveals just how much we have in common in our customs, beliefs, and languages. Which part/activity do you consider as most relevant and/or personally beneficial for you?

Our venue(s) were certainly relevant, and I appreciate the organizers’ thoughtfulness in determining our gathering places.  The communal nature of our lodgings, the environmentally mindful limitations, our nature walks, excursions to the river/falls, and the simple (and delicious!) meals, especially at Sakahang Lilok, helped me adjust to an appropriate frame of mind for what was taking place.

Also, the rituals and prayers that were offered help me understand the indigenous communities’ outlook on life and the world around them.  That understanding, in turn, prompts me to examine my own attitudes and consider any necessary adjustments.

A new awareness/major insight that changes or transforms you?

My perception of the elders’ outlook, based on the commentary shared, and the prayers, and rituals offered, is that one’s intellect and talent take a back seat to guidance from the spirits.  This inspires me to re-establish my personal faith practice, and it helps me to minimize or work towards eliminating ego from my artistic endeavors.

I had never before thought about just how many indigenous communities there are in the Philippines… and only a few of them were represented at Pamati!  Upon hearing what they had to say and living with and among them for a few days, I realized my own insensitivities in my work environment in the US.  I work with students from Latin American families, some of whom are from Central American indigenous communities, and I have tended to consider them as merely part of this big Spanish-speaking Latin American fabric.  I realize that I need to be more thoughtful of the students’ and their families’ backgrounds, and behave accordingly when communicating with them.

Anything you would like to add or delete?

It might be easier to have only one base camp for the entire week.

What aspect(s) was/were challenging for you?

The concept of “de-colonization” was mentioned, several times by some of the Participants, as a necessary step in getting to know our indigenous identities.  What exactly is this “de-colonization?”  Does it, perhaps, mean something different for each individual?  And isn’t the “colonized” part of our identity just as important as any other part?  What about reconciliation of the colonized and the indigenous aspects of our identity…is that possible?

Suggestions/Recommendations of what you would like to see in future PAMATI Gathering (general, committees, organizers, content, methodology, etc...)

I don’t know how appropriate it would be, given the mission of Pamati, but should participation be offered to government officials?  I was thinking that in terms of fostering deeper familiarity with and sensitivity to the needs of the indigenous communities, would it not be beneficial to have the ears of those who are in a position to affect change?  (I am a foreigner, and I am ignorant of whatever corrupt tendencies might be pervasive in Philippine government.  Please forgive my naiveness.)

Something you would like to share to the Facilitators/Volunteers/Organizers/Convenors

THANK YOU for the opportunity and the experience!

What now?  In a nutshell—visit the Bicol region, especially Albay province where my family is from; continue studying with my kulintang group and plan for future classes teaching kulintang to young folks (using Guro Aga’s methods); apply for Philippine citizenship (I was born in the Philippines; I am eligible for dual citizenship!) in order to have a voice in the democratic process.  I plan to keep in touch with other Pamati participants, especially from Turtle Island, and continue the dialogue.

(You may add your own question and answer what you wish to share to everyone)

I would like to explore children’s songs and singing games from the many indigenous groups in the Philippines.  Does anyone know of any researchers who are working on this?  Any leads would be greatly appreciated!
Maraming salamat!!!

ELLEN RAE CACHOLA, Ilocano, Hawaii

Just wanted to let you know that I have been very impacted by Pamati and I have learned very important lessons, and began to form healing relationships. Thank you for the artistry, vision and leadership Manang Grace. And of course, the whole Pamati collective.

Grace Caligtan and I will be doing talks in our community about our experiences at Pamati. 

My desire and hope is that we continue to stay in touch with Pamati and that Pamati can create direct relationship with Hawaii.  Grace and I are very keen in preparing people to apply for the next one.

RACHEL HAUSER, Tagalog-adoptee, Philippines

The PAMATI event with all its encounters still lingers positively with us. We are so grateful we were 'crazy enough to accept you crazy people' (as you once called yourselves). We regret nothing, rather we feel much rewarded with something none of us would have easily come across, even if we were looking for it. 

Significantly, one of our Nanay cooks said afterwards that when this group comes again, she will want to spend more time in the Octagon and witness that part of it. "If that group comes again..." yes, that is how we feel about it: we would probably welcome you again! Of course, who knows what will be next and with the reality that Sakahang Lilok is unlikely to expand, the same limitations will still be there. While, who knows, interest in PAMATI might increase, which would of course be a very good thing. But quite regardless of whether anyone is yet thinking of the future that far, I smiled to myself when I heard those comments. That is how positive it was for us. I also want to point out how we appreciated the great care everyone took for the place. We felt (and saw) a lot of consideration for the practical things. This is not taken for granted. We are very grateful for it and so feel a deep respect for the work we do.

Finally, thank you for all the gifts you left behind: The colours and textures of weavings and batiks, the wonderful and soulful music of Diwa and of the Kulintang  as well as the stories for children and for adults about the wise people in the Cordilleras and many smaller and even less tangible but very precious gifts. 

I for one have learnt so much that week and probably that is the most precious gift of all.

Warmly on behalf of "Barangay Sakahang Lilok",
Rachel


II. OPERATIONS

The Tao Foundation warmly welcomes Bae Lucy Rico as its newest Trustee. Bae Lucy is an Indigenous Agusan-Manobo woman leader who comes from a long line of panguyo (indigenous leaders) and baylan (ritualists). She is a community facilitator, a teghusadan or settler of conflicts, and a peace negotiator/advocate.

Bae Lucy holds a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education degree from Fr. Urios, Butuan. She has worked with the Tribal Filipino Apostolate, as well as with Mindanaoan as head of scholarships, and as community organizer and as researcher. In the past few years, Bae Lucy has often been invited by the Urios Law School, the Department of Education, the Department of the Interior and Local Government, and the Mindanao Women’s Commission as Resource Person for Customary Law, the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act, and Gender. She also serves as Tri-People Representative in the Mindanao-Sulu Pastoral Catholic Commission.

In addition to Bae Lucy, the Tao Foundation further welcomes to its Staff Ms. Dinda Paeste as Administrative Associate. A graduate of Bachelor of Arts major in Economics, Bachelor of Laws, and Masters in Business Administration, Ms. Paeste has served as Legal Researcher for private and religious organizations. Also joining the ranks of the Tao Foundation Volunteer-Staff is Yeyette San Luis, a Sound Healer and Accountant by profession. Ms. San Luis will be handling Tao Foundation’s books.

Tao Foundation’s Board now consists of the following:


Tao Foundation’s Staff now consists of:





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