Event | Project Epanaw: Telling the Stories of the Philippines' Indigenous People

Project Epanaw is a project spearheaded by the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) together with government and non-government partners. Epanaw means journey that will tell the stories of the journey of our 101 indigenous peoples in the Philippines. Project Epanaw has several phases and one of the phases include the publication of three (3) coffee table books. Hence, the launching of the Project Epanaw Coffee Table Books last March 14, 2021 at three SM Malls: SM Lanang Premier, SM Aura Premier and SM City Davao.

First Coffee Table Book: "Pagkilala"

"Pagkilala" or Recognize showcases the profiles of each indigenous people (IP) of the 101 IPs in the Philippines. It contains information about their history, location, and overview of their social and daily lives.

Second Coffee Table Book: "Paggalang"

"Paggalang" or Respect features festivals and rituals that the ICCs/IPs practice in relation to important events such as birth and death, agriculture cycle, and the sacred and profane.

Third Coffee Table Book: "Pagtaguyod"

"Pagtaguyod" or Promote contains travel destinations in ancestral domains for tourism. The promotion of these sites not only generates livelihood but also highlights the importance of protecting and asserting the rights of indigenous groups to their ancestral domain.

The project is an instant celebration for me, as I wanted to have an almanac of the Indigenous Peoples in the country. I know that's too ambitious but with the launching of three (3) coffee table books of the indigenous peoples really is a step up with the current situation of our IP brother and sisters. Documenting the 101 indigenous peoples in the country is not a joke and really a treasure that we can keep for generations. It is also a way to tell the country about the existence of our forefathers practicing some rituals and enriching their culture. Indeed, I am among the happy people who have seen the published coffee table books, hopefully I can have a copy, too.

There are some challenges for the indigenous peoples brought by modern influences. There are cultures and traditions that may have been forgotten because the new generation embraces more of the modern practices of the modern society. However, it has been an eye opener to the community of IPs that their cultures and traditions should be passed on and lived on amidst the modern influences. Social media or social networking sites can also be used to document cultural and traditional practices in an IP community. 

On the other hand, I am very much excited also with the cultures and traditions open for tourism potential which other countries also do that entice a lot of visitors. A number of communities in the Philippines are already doing it but excited that more will unlock the potential! Very excited also with the fact that many of these indigenous peoples are in Davao Region. 

Here's a video from my channel JoyoftheWorld about the event...

Furthermore, the Project Epanaw will proceed to its next phase. There will be more in the journey of our indigenous peoples!

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