A challenge of keeping tradition, identity and culture

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By Sharon Bulaclac

As a person who teaches History, I always consider it a privilege to spend time with people I consider bearers of our culture. I believe that who we are today is who we were. And having the opportunity of staying with them even only for few days is the closest experience I can get in trying to revisit who we were. The Lumad communities maybe our closest link to our distant past but they too have dreams and aspirations in the present. With my recent trip to the Ata community, I saw a challenge which is also common to
other Lumad communities, a challenge of keeping the tradition, identity and culture while crossing the bridge of time called modernity. They may still have a long way to go but I see a brighter horizon for them, for they have decided to stand and think collectively as one people. May we the bearer of the modern culture be respectful enough to give more space and avenue for the stories of the IPs. May we all learn fully the value of listening and understanding with one another. May we appreciate and learn on how the IPs enjoy the simple beauty of life as we witness and walk with them in materializing their dreams and aspirations.

Sharon is an historian and academician from the Mindanao State University, Philippines who has been supportive of iEmergence's programs and activities. She has undergone the Asset-Based Community Development Training (ABCD) Level II with iEmergence last October 2014 and has since been an active champion of ABCD throughout her work and other passions.