One of the joys of blogging is that you get to meet new friends in this limitless cyberspace, folks who happen to relate to a particular theme you yourself are passionate about. In exchanging thoughts with them, your life continues to be enriched by their wisdom.
One of these friends is manong Martin Apopot who now lives in the US. In one of his mails, he quoted a song which says, "no mamaid na ugale, mamaid tako abes" (when our tradition/culture perishes, we also perish).
I was quickly reminded of this quote while watching a Lang-ay 2008 Festival video footage shared by Rafael Manuel, Jr. via YouTube (see below).
Without devaluing the men and their role, I have to say that the video impressed me with the fact that women in these highlands have always been at the forefront in the preservation or enrichment of our indigenous knowledge systems and practices. And, of course, in the defense of our natural resources against unwanted capitalistic incursions.
And the children too. I couldn't keep myself from crying for joy seeing all these kids in their heart-warming performance of the tadek/sagni (native dance). Shame on you, these kids know our native culture better than you do, I kept telling myself.
That these kids did well during the street dancing parade speaks well of their parents and other older kakailyan who trained them. These kids issue a solemn challenge to a parent like me -- continue teaching your children to look back to and take pride in their roots. These kids embody a message of hope -- hope that the best of our native culture will continue to be passed on to our children's children, hope that our native culture will continue to help enrich our collective, national heritage.