Untold Stories, Unheard Songs
Weaving Justice and Peace through Culture, Arts and Storytelling
WE, the God-centered, multi-ethnic stakeholders and traditional leaders of Mindanao. Recognizing our right to live peacefully and equally protected by law - affirm our identity, culture and tradition as an invaluable part of our national and local patrimony.
Uplifting our communities, we envision a society in harmony with the environment with participatory, transparent and gender-sensitive governance rooted in our culture and expressing it through arts, education, livelihood and other traditional practices.
The Bangsamoro Cultural Advocacy Project consisted of a series of fora, key informant interviews (KII) and focus group discussions (FGD) formulating and advocating the infusion of a cultural agenda in the Bangsamoro Basic Law. These activities were organized in Awang, Cotabato City; Davao City; Upi, Maguindanao; Wa-o, Lanao del Sur and Zamboanga City.
To provide a localized foundation to the BBL, consultations were conducted where participants told stories of positive indigenous, cultural and traditional aspects of community life. These were organized along 6 themes:
(1) governance, justice and peacemaking
(2) arts and cultural heritage
(3) ancestral domain and environment
(4) traditional medicine and spirituality
(5) livelihood and sustainable development
(6) education and learning
Embedding a participative approach in the FGDs and KIIs, the project team used the Indigenous Appreciative Inquiry (Storytelling) method to gather the narratives from members of the communities. This method documented the cultural realities that work best in communities and which contribute to their development as people. In relation to the identified themes, the team asked the participants to narrate or share stories of a time when their communities were at their best. The main elements and commonalities that emerged from the stories were recorded along with the relevant points flowing from the cultural narratives. These included key words that were repeated and the significant or profound metaphors and images that were used to explain the narratives. Cultural sayings or proverbs that express deep truths were also captured along with the local or tribal names of songs, dances, chants, rituals, ceremonies and instrumentation. At the final consultation, participants created the vision statement for the cultural agenda in the Bangsamoro.
The other main component in the project was coordination with various Mindanao peace partners and attendance at other fora and discussions. These were important as they provided key venues for sharing and validating the insights and learning.
The final report on the BCAP shares the highlights of the many deep and important stories that were told. To download the full report, click this link: Bangsamoro Cultural Advocacy Project Final Report.