Pride in one's identity

By Bobet Dimaukom

The experience to have volunteered with iEmergence during the AI workshop in Paquibato District has greatly affected the way I understand my connecting experience with the Indigenous peoples. Having worked for a local NGO before, we have had different experiences with IP communities and have witnessed their rich culture and traditions that they want to preserve as it has proven to have effectively and efficiently worked within their society.

Having stayed with the Ata community in Paquibato District brought my whole interest to understand the culture into a deeper sense and a more personal level. Their aspirations to preserve their traditional way of living in all aspects manifests in their desire to have a Panuluanan or a school of living traditions put up in the community. This was really new to me because I felt the sincere sense of pride and ownership of the tribe to pass onto the next generations their practices and their identity in general – which made me realize the value of my own personal identity as a Moro as well. If there’s an ultimate take home from the whole experience, it’s the preservation of the pride and ownership of one’s identity.

Bobet is a project officer working with forumZFD Philippines, a German NGO working for conflict transformation and peacebuilding in the country. He works at the Cotabato City office of the organization. Bobet has volunteered with iEmergence multiple times to help in the documentation of its activities and programs.