EDITORIAL: Wearing your culture proudly

From being maligned as when it was first donned by Vice President Sara Duterte during the inauguration of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., garments from the eleven tribal aggrupation of Davao City is now part of the official dress code for local government employees.

The Indigenous People’s clothing, branded by critics as “cos-play” and inappropriate, the IP garments and accessories will be flaunted by city government employees as well as those from national government agencies in the city.

That’s how Dabawenyo culture bounce back from the ignorance of politically-driven critics. We are not being pushed away just like that. Instead, Dabawenyo culture will be elevated to sanctioned garments for civil servants at public offices. That’s a slapping vindication from the unfounded criticisms.

According to the ordinance, all city government employees must wear Indigenous Peoples (IPs) clothing every first Monday of the month.

The ordinance authored by Councilor Al Ryan Alejandre requiring for the IP dress code got the nod of the City Council on third and final reading on Tuesday. That means, it will be implemented before the end of the year.

It took the author the courage to mount a dignified answer to the adverse reactions by turning to legislation as a means to institutionalize cultural identification and diversity.

Alejandre hatched the measure as in response to the brickbats from political foes of Vice President Sara Duterte when she turned necks after wearing a traditional Bagobo-Tagabawa ensemble during President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s first State of the Nation Address (SONA). The attire drew mixed reactions. At one side, many praised her for promoting Davao City’s culture. On the other side, there were those who called out what she wore and referred to it a “cosplay.”

The ordinance will eventually reverse these wicked references.

Sadly for those spreading negativity, this will be a bitter pill to swallow. They just cannot mangle culture with their political insecurities.

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