By Lee Flores
The winning of Bislig’s contingent in Kadayawan’s Street Dance Competition in Davao City is a cause for a lively celebration, and certainly enough a bad news that gives us cause for embarrassment and reflects the ignorance and insensitivity of the city’s organizers and pseudo-artists.
Many people also blame the festival’s organizers for not strictly screening each entry because in this time and age, political correctness is a major requirement as not to offend a particular sector of society.
Some people even question the need to have street dancing when the event itself is not a reflection of rich cultural heritage but part of commercializing tribal culture. If the Christians living in the city want to embrace or show off their support and respect to indigenous people (IP) then it is enough to patronize their goods and products and take part in a simple thanksgiving ritual and camaraderie in a designated sanctuary.
As the urban Christians calling the shots of a so-called thanksgiving and tribute rituals, the authentic IP groups are being used as props drown by urban-based street dancers and performers who do not even understand what they are dancing about and what it means.
That is why the discrimination of “lowly people” continues because no one bothers to seriously examine the meaning and relevance of it all. Even more disgusting is that educated people with lumad lineage blindly and naively embrace the tricky form and expressions of tribal discrimination. Some of them, working in the government even make excuses and sound they know better. Or do they? Heard of the word unintended betrayal? Or ignorant betrayal?
On radio, people teased that the Manobos of Surigao have shiny butts and it should be part of their tourist attraction. It’s a cruel and insensitive joke. No thanks to the performers and organizers who call themselves champions.
Artwork courtesy of Federico Boyd Sulapas Dominquez