Diverse IP village traditions and IP culture through performances La Union, Ilocos Sur, Pangasinan, and Ilocos Norte highlighted the 26th Regional Indigenous Peoples’ Summit at the People’s Center, in Nueva Era town in Ilocos Norte over the weekend. Yet the largest gathering of Indigenous Peoples’ (IP) in Region I hosted by the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) Region I in partnership with the Ilocos Norte provincial government themed: “Pagpapayaman ng Pamanang Kultural at Katutubong Yaman Tungo sa mas Maliwanag na Kinabukasan para sa Bagong Pilipinas,” the celebration was a grand show of the diversity of Region I’s four provinces.

Prior to the summit’s opening program, IPs, in collaboration with various national government agencies joined the Solidarity Walk. IPs were also provided with essential healthcare services including free medical consultations, health counseling, blood typing, and free medications through the combined efforts of the Municipal Health Office of Nueva Era, the Philippine Red Cross–Laoag Chapter, and Nueva Era police. Ilocos Norte Governor Matthew Marcos Manotoc, expressed his gratitude to the Indigenous Peoples’ Mandatory Representatives of Region I provinces, recognizing
their “contributions towards the securing land and title rights for Indigenous Peoples.”

“Kasama po ako in making sure na kailangan lahat ng ating Indigenous Peoples’ dito po sa Ilocos Norte ay may sariling lupa, may sariling titulo. Syempre, hindi lang po dito sa Ilocos Norte pero pati na rin sa Region I and I would speak on behalf of my fellow governors. We all know that each and every one of the Indigenous Peoples’ deserves a title and a place to call home dito po sa ating Region,” the governor promised. He also emphasized the vital role of IPs in the Ilocos Region— “their togetherness, the sense of community, the ecological responsibility and the way they conduct life in accordance with traditional customs and lifestyles.”

Artemio A. Dumlao/ABN

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