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PAMATI: Listen to Bodies, Songs and Waters


PAMATI (Cebuano-Visayan for “listen” [v.] and “feeling” [n.]) is an intergenerational, intersectional, transnational, intercultural and interfaith 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. It proceeded as prayer, storytelling and chant circles; a visit to the sacred lake Kanimbaylan in the Agusan marsh, and to the public school of Agusan del Sur State College of Agriculture and Technology. 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.

Two years after PAMATI 2015, PAMATI 2017 was mounted again, but this time, in Luzon due to terrorist attacks and the declaration of Martial Law in Mindanao. PAMATI 2017 in the new venue of Sakahang Lilok in Tanay, Rizal, proceeded as prayer, chant and storytelling circles and the transmission of the embodied knowledges of gongs, chants, dances, martial arts, hilot and plant medicines. The participants also visited a lagoon in Rizal and the sacred mountains of Banahaw in Quezon and Makiling in Laguna. In the latter they engaged with students and teachers of 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.


Dumagat Chieftain Alice Teves speaks to the PAMATI Circle
Dumagat stick dance
Aeta chanter and dancer Bernard Pan leads prayer
Bla'an nungaru Dakel Makondon leads prayer
Panay-Bukidnon babaylan Elena Gamayao Elena Gamayao speaks
Elders Circle at Sakahang Lilok
Elders Circle at Sakahang Lilok
Aga Mayo Butocan, Kulintang master teacher
Kulintang Lessons
Tausug Kuntaw Teacher Abraham Sakili
Kuntaw students
Kuntaw students with Tausug Kuntaw Teacher Abraham Sakili
Binisaya Hilot lessons with Hilot Master Mary Jane Camacho
Binisaya Hilot lessons with Hilot Master Mary Jane Camacho
Mandaya mananambal holding plant medicines lesson
Mandaya mananambal holding pulsing lesson
Panay-Bukidnon binanog dancer, chanter and ex-binukot Teresita Castor
Tagbanua music and dance
Aeta music and dance with Aeta elders Shaon Flores, Bernard Balatbat and Barsaty Balatbat
Aeta mang anito Barsaty BalatbatAeta guitar
Aeta music and dance with Aeta elders Shaon Flores, Bernard Balatbat and Barsaty Balatbat
Tausug Kuntaw teacher Arafa Biste
Tausug Kuntaw teacher Arafa Biste
Walk to Batlag Lagoon
Walk to Batlag Lagoon
Maria Marasigan at the Batlag Lagoon
28 Kinabuhayan, Mt. Banahaw, Dolores, Quezon
Kinabuhayan, Mt. Banahaw, Dolores, Quezon
Kinabuhayan, Mt. Banahaw, Dolores, Quezon
Kinabuhayan, Mt. Banahaw, Dolores, Quezon
Kinabuhayan, Mt. Banahaw, Dolores, Quezon
Philippine High School for the Arts
Philippine High School for the Arts

For more information,
please email us at
taomusicpilipinas@gmail.com



Tao Foundation for Culture and Arts, 2015. All rights reserved.