By DEE AYROSO
Photos by DANA BATNAG and BEDETTE LIBRES
BAGUIO CITY — The beating of the gangsa for Cordillera Day 2010 – the 30th year of Macliing Dulag’s martyrdom – marked the continued fight of the indigenous peoples for land and self-determination, all the way to congress. The celebrations were held, side-by-side the meeting de avance of the Katribu partylist, which aims to get congressional seats for the indigenous peoples.
It was a rainbow of colors as local candidates from various political parties joined the celebration, along with Makabayan senatorial candidates Satur Ocampo and Liza Maza.
Heavy rains turned the grounds of Burnham Park from dusty to muddy. Still, the gangsas beat on, the pattong (community dance) carried on well into the night, led by delegates from the different Cordilleran provinces, and Ayta and Moro delegates.
As most speakers put it, Katribu’s fight for a congressional seat is not the end-all of the struggle. “Even if we succeed in getting seats in congress, we must continue organizing, educating and advancing the struggles of the indigenous peoples. Or all will be for naught,” one delegate said.
Petra Macliing, member of Cordillera Peoples’ Alliance (CPA) advisory council with senatorial candidate Liza Maza and Katribu party-list third nominee Nelson Mallari.
Makabayan Coalition senatoriable and Bayan Muna Rep. Satur Ocampo joins the celebration and gives his solidarity message in struggle of the Cordillerans and indigenous peoples.
Makabayan Coalition senatoriable and Gabriela party-list Rep. Liza Maza (seated at far left) and Katribu party-list third nominee Nelson Mallari join the delegates from Pampanga.
Betty Guiniden, widow of the late Matthew “Manong Mat” Guiniden, long-time organizer of miners and urban poor.
Beverly Longid, first nominee of Katribu partylist.
Patong, a traditional dance of Cordillera Tribe.
Symbols of the Cordilleran people: tapuy (rice wine), gangsa, spears, shield, baskets, woven cloth, pasikking (backpack) and the red banners of the Cordillera People’s Alliance.(Bulatlat.com)