Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Daraghuyan Tribe, communing with the Mountain Leaders

Blog Series 1 - The Rocky and Muddy Trail to the home of Mountain People
Blog Series 2 - Daraghuyan Tribe, paying respect to their customs and tradition
Blog Series 3 - Daraghuyan Tribe, Con Tour's short immersion 

I've been meeting different kinds of people from different tribes in my country, the Philippines, but this is my very first time  meeting with some of the leaders of one of the mountains in Bukidnon, the Pantaron Range, or the Matig-salug Tribe Leaders.

As I was about to go to where they stand during a short break of this event, Datu Miguel, the one with red "costume" smiled at me. That moment, I was able to communicate with him by greeting them also with a good and sincere smile. Datu Miguel didn't have a second thought when I asked them (with Datu Tenuy) for a photo shoot after that warmth smile he spared at me.

We talked and discussed more about their commitment in protecting our forest or the watershed. He even asked me to photograph some of the small scale mining sites in San Fernando, wherein, I gracefully declined because of my demanding job schedule.
When Datu Tenuy showed his pieces of dried betel leaf or a "tobacco-like" leaves. I then got interested on how they prepare the dried leaves before they chew some of it.  "Erbal man kani" (they are herbs with medicinal effect), Datu Tenuy said. 
Datu Tenuy with his unconditional smile.

I continued communing and connecting with them and discussing the significance of forest protection to mankind. The significance of water to lowland, like rice field and other crop production areas in lowland field. And their role in protecting our watershed and your watershed too.
A Datu from Kalabugao in Impasug-ong Area (forgot his name)
also a Betel Chewer

One of them even told the author that if the forest or the water shed will be left behind and nobody will guard them, water eventually will vanish once trees will be cut by unscrupulous individuals or group. A simple wisdom about the significance of the trees, especially wisdom from meek and unassuming people like them. They do understand also the effect of the climate change since they were already briefed about what is happening now with our climate. 

At that very moment, I was in a state of reflecting things that these people, despite of their "child-like attitude" (people without inhibitions), they are very much sincere, serious and committed individual in preserving our mother nature, especially the forest and the watersheds.
Bae Mananawal (a lady healer) showing her necklace made of beads.

Bae Mananawal, right after the culmination of the summit, discreetly gave me some pieces of tree bark and said to be a medicinal one.
The Headdress of Datu Miguel
Intricately carved wood pendants.
Datus communing with each other during the afternoon breaktime 

One Datu also told me that because of their consistent and regular planting of trees, they can now felt the coldness of temperature within the periphery of the water shed and the water in the river becomes cooler. They further averred that the cooler condition of the water in the river is one of the indicators that trees becomes thicker in the forest areas, as far as their observation while living in the mountain.

Before we went back to the workshop venue, I then realized on how sincere their commitment in protecting the forest and continue their advocacy in planting trees, leaving a legacy to the next generation is indeed a noble deeds to be remembered. 

A noble thing that everyone who really love our mother nature would get inspired with their advocacy. The advocacy of protecting our forest, our water and the life of our descendants and the next generation to come.

Con Tour, as KIN (Kitanglad Integrated NGOs) volunteer photographer, attended the culmination of the Tribal Summit of the 7 Mountains last December 15, 2012. 

"Lambaga hu mga Datu daw Bae Pu-en hu pito ha Buntud".

7 Mountains : Kitanglad, Kalatungan, Pantaron, Kimangkil, Kalanawan, Sumagaya, Pamalihi. (KKP-KKSP).

3 Con Tour Passers by:

  1. Replies
    1. Portrait photography earl is a great challenge to me. Especially people who don't like to be photographed.:-). I have to talk to them first until they feel comfortable in taking photos.:-).

  2. Awesome experience Kuya! Na-miss ko ulit ang Daraghuyan. Hoping to go back to Bukidnon soon! Ben promised another climb, Maagnaw naman daw. Hehe. Bagong bukas ang D2K-Maagnaw traverse. Can't wait to check it out. :)


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