Forgotten Kingdoms: Saving the Cultural Heritage and Indigenous People of the Philippines

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Philippines is known for having a rich culture that lasted form pre-colonial period up to the modern civilization we have today. Tribes of indigenous people and other culture practice traditions and belief with full respect to their ancestors and gods who influenced and introduce the art and treasures they are preserving up to this day. But despite of them trying to protect the remaining culture we have, it seems like lack of protection and access to their basics needs or support from government is being experienced and also human rights violation against them are being practiced.

According to the Asia Pacific Human Rights Information Center (2010), the indigenous peoples, to a large extent “forgotten” by the government, are in the midst of problems. Physical isolation does not shield them from being caught in the crossfire in the on- going armed conflicts in the country, many suffered as internally displaced persons (IDPs) and some killed or detained and tortured as suspected members of the armed opposition groups. Lack of access to basic social services, education, sustainable livelihood, farm-to-market roads, and health services contribute to their continuing poverty. In many cases, the onslaught of commercialism and modern culture came at the expense of maintaining their own culture and tradition (and thus their identity). 

Therefore this petition aims to protect and eliminate discrimination to indigenous people, for us to be able to love the culture we must be protecting and taking care of because it's our duty to preserve our own and to continue to introduce this to future generations. 

Here are some suggestions for the preservation of our Cultural Heritage and Protection of Indigenous Communities:  

  1.  Elimination of the deep- seated discrimination - We may have laws that protect the ancestral lands of the indigenous people such as the IPRA of 1997 or the Indigenous People's Right Act, but despite of this being implemented the indigenous communities are still being discriminated to their own lands. Government must take actions and controls for the protection of their community, it will help if they will provide resources and must implement strict restriction to the ancestral lands being claimed by the private sectors for the purpose of establishing buildings and commercial residences. 
  2. Securing and providing basic necessities for their livelihood and Rituals - Government must invest more in supporting indigenous tribes to their livelihoods since they are tasked to preserved and conserve the culture. Aside from protecting them they also needs to be supported since their form of living doesn't usually follow to the rising of the economic status. They usually suffer from poverty and if this thing continues, they may not be able to preserve the traditions and culture. 
  3. Promoting and enriching the cultures and traditions of Indigenous people - As a citizen of this country, people have also the authority and the responsibility to promote and be knowledgeable about our cultures and traditions. Promoting in schools and also in social  media platforms more often can enhance the knowledge we can acquire and it can also attract foreign people to visit our land and showcase the rich folk arts we have. It is important for every teenage individual of this country to learn all of this because this is where we originate and come from. 

Let us not let our own history to be forgotten, we people should be a tool to not let the tie that holds our identity to be cut off. There's still a lot of solutions for this matter, but only you can make things change and make it possible.