Ata village tour opens March 15

The Ata tribe community in Davao City together with iEmergence initiated an ATA Cultural Village Tour, guided by ATA tribe members, slated on March 15-18 at Magsaysay Park “to further understand about their presence and will also uphold the culture of respect to their traditions.”

Bob Ali of the Ata Tribe said during the Kapehan sa Dabaw at SM City on Monday that the cultural village will allow hundreds of visitors and locals alike to get a glimpse of the cultures and traditions of the tribes of Davao City.

Ali said that project was initiated by their ATA elders in partnership with iEmergence, a division of Indigenous Pathways, a non-profit/non-stock organization focusing on holistic community and leadership development in indigenous and tribal communities.

“There is a Balay Turugan, a dwelling place for the visitors or even tourist who would visit their community and Balay Kauyahan where they display their works and products such as their beadworks,” He said.

He added that the proceeds of the tour will go to the construction of tribe’s traditional school and other ATA traditional structure especially to establish more Panuluanan, a cultural center in all barangays in Paquibato District and all tribes are interested with the project that encourages the youth to be educated.

“The youth will be more educated about their culture and will ignite pride for their tribe. This will somehow prevent their fellow Lumads to be easily encouraged joining rebel groups,” He said.

He said that they seeks to promote and uphold their culture in Panuluanan School for living traditions situated at Sitio Sorayan, Barangay Colosas, Paquibato District.

Ali added that they’ve been engaging their youth to develop better understanding in their traditions under the new millennium to ensure that it will be permanently etched in their mind and hear.

“We are also teaching the youth to be proud of their tribe and not be ashamed of their culture),” he said.

Matt LeBlanca, a Canadian iEmergence’s executive director, who also hails from an indigenous community called Mi’kmaq in the Eastcost of Canada, said that they have been helping a lot of IP communities across the country and they’ve been working with Ata tribe since 2011.

“I could actually relate to the local community here, similar to his IP heritage that also has the history of colonization and is facing the effects of Westernization,” He said.

He added that the project will give locals and tourists a deeper understanding about their presence and will also uphold the culture of respect to their traditions. It is a huge factor for the development of a community.

“I ‘am inviting the public to join them for a tour in their traditional house in Magsaysay Park from March 15 to 18, who could not go to Paquibato, will have the chance to experience firsthand the hospitality of Ata and their way of life,” He said.