Sen. Loren Legarda hosts ‘Dayaw,’ underscores culture as key to nation-building

November 3, 2016

Senator Loren with various indigenous peoples group during the National Indigenous Peoples Cultural Summit she organized at the National Museum

There are people who consider the idea of preserving culture pointless, deeming it unnecessary in a materialistic world.

But Senator Loren Legarda is adamant we need it more than ever.

“Culture gives us a sense of pride, a sense of belonging, and these are things necessary for nation-building,” she said.

“Technological advancements are not enough tools to propel a nation forward. We need to establish identity first and we could not do this without learning and understanding traditional culture.”

And while the senator has done much to protect and preserve the rights of indigenous people and their culture, “there is still a lot of work to be done.”

She said: “I’m neither content nor happy with how things are. There are many issues affecting our indigenous brothers and sisters: wars, poverty, mining… they are continually being displaced, marginalized, and with it comes the devaluation of culture.

“I’m pushing to make people aware of this. I believe together we could all help make a difference.”

As part of her efforts, Legarda, who was once among ABS-CBN’s leading reporters, returns to TV via “Dayaw,” a six-part, 30-minute weekly documentary series focusing on the preservation of the country’s culture and heritage.

A partnership between ANC and the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), “Dayaw” explores the arts, culture, traditions, and beliefs of various indigenous groups to glean how each contributes to the Pinoy identity.

“I hope through ‘Dayaw,’ Filipinos will be inspired and encouraged to discover their indigenous roots. To me, it is not just another television show but a legacy for the Filipino people,” Legarda said.

The spark

She related when her passion for traditional culture came to be.

“My interest in indigenous peoples’ culture goes back three decades. I don’t know, maybe it was something I read as a young girl or maybe I got it through the influence of my mother,” she said.

“Realizing how diverse and rich Filipino culture is amazed me. It stayed with me even as I established my career as journalist. When I became senator in 1998, I started moving towards protecting them. So it evolved. From mere awareness and appreciation, I became a champion to the cause.”

Legarda hopes “Dayaw” will affect viewers the same way.

The commitment

ABS-CBN Integrated News and Current Affairs head Ging Reyes, meanwhile, expressed the network’s commitment to the project.

“As journalists and media practitioners, we in ABS-CBN and ANC have deemed it our responsibility, in fact our duty, to do our part in promoting this knowledge about our past, pushing for an enlightened citizenry.

“Honestly, I really do believe kulang tayo sa awareness. Kailangan malaman natin kung saan tayo nanggaling, kung sino at ano tayo. Dapat may pagpapahalaga sa mga ganitong bagay para magkaroon tayo ng mas malalim na pangunawa at pagmamahal sa bayan.

“‘Dayaw’ is part of that thrust. But hindi enough na mapanood lamang natin ito. This is just the start. We are hoping through the show we could inspire viewers to actually immerse themselves in the culture, visit these places, know these people,” Reyes said.

The installments

In the first episode, “Dayaw” zeroes in on the ways we preserve, prepare and present food – from the salt-making tradition of the North, to the Halal of the South.

The second episode tackles how the environment shapes traditional homes, and will look at the Ivatan home, the Ifugao Bale, the T’boli longhouse, the Bahay Kubo, and the Bahay na Bato.

In the third episode, it will show the different rituals that employ music, chant, and dance, such as the Subli of Batangas, the Tudbulul chant of the T’Boli, and the Bulul ritual of the Ifugao.

Episode four will take on an even more spiritual route, as it surveys the rich spiritual traditions of the Agusanon Babaylan, the Mambobolo and Mananambal of Siquijor, and the Baglan of Abra.

The last two episodes, meanwhile, will focus on traditional adornments on the body, from the Kalinga batok tattoos of Whang Od, and the traditional jewelry of the Ivatan, to the heirloom beads of the Kalinga and the Gaddang, to the modern jewelry of Bulacan.

“Dayaw” starts airing today, 6 p.m. on ANC.

Source: Manila Bulletin