Ubun na Kettal

In the first week of December 2015, Indigenous youth leaders from the Tagakolu tribe in Malita gathered together to participate in a leadership training and evaluation activity. Fifty-three youths from the two pilot areas participated in the workshops and discussion sessions from December 5 to 7.

The workshops included a story-telling activity where an elder from the tribe shared their traditional Creation story, and the youth retold and mastered the story using their own language and understanding. The young leaders also took the time to look back at the past activities in 2015. They shared their reflections and learning from the activities such as pawa, conversations on traditional birthing, and their involvement in the Allaw ng Lumad. Much of what was shared centered on how many of them were able to overcome their lack of confidence in expressing their being Tagakolu especially with those who are non-Indigenous, and growing deeper in their rootedness in their traditions.

As a culminating activity, the youth together with the MATAMIS staff and priests, re-baptized the IYL program to "Ubun na Kettal" which literally means "cultivating culture" in Tagakolu. The renaming was the community's way of affirming their sense of ownership of the program. As one youth shared, "Ubun na Kettal" is pivotal because it recognizes my role as Indigneous youth in reclaiming our culture and bearing it for the generations to come." Another youth also expressed joy in the new name saying, "The term is powerful as it encapsulates the message that I have a stake in taking care our way of life."