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PIA Press Release

Abra celebrates 29th Indigenous People's Month

by Maritess Beņas

BANGUED, Abra (6 October) -- "Ta Ginga ni Kabunian kanta Biag Nainsigudan a Tattao" (The Word of God and the Life of the Indigenous Peoples) is the theme of this year's celebration of the Indigenous Peoples' month here.

The IPs of Abra have been observing the annual IP Month celebration 29 years ago. These celebrations have made a big deal on the lives of the Tingguians of Abra most especially in their plight for recognition and respect from people in mainstream society which made them very proud of being one.

The Abra Tingguian has 10 sub-tribes: Adasen, Binongan, Mabaka, Banao, Gbang, Masadiit, Maeng, Balatoc and Uplai who occupy the upland municipalities, and Inlaud tribe who inhabit the lowlands.

This year's celebration of the IP month kicked off on October 3 and will culminate on Oct. 14 with the Parish of St. Therese of the Child Jesus as the main host of the celebrations. However, participation all Abreņos is enjoined.

Series of symposia are conducted in the various districts of the province where topics on the etholingiuistic groups in Abra are discussed to the students of all the secondary and tertiary schools. Medical and dental missions are also conducted in the parishes of Langiden and Peņarrubia. The literary contests like slogan/poster making, essay writing and the Salong-ay and instrumental competition will be done in Bangued on October 12.

The night before the culmination program will be the "Palanos", a solidarity night in Pe?arrubia. This will be graced by the top officials of the National Commission on the Indigenous Peoples (NCIP), Director Myrna Caoagas from Peņarrubia who will introduce Commissioner Eugenio Insigne, who belongs to the Binongan Tribe of Lacub municipality. A production number on the "Christianization of the Tingguians of Patoc" will be presented during the Palanos.

The celebrations will culminate with the foot parade and dancing around the town proper of Peņarrubia and a Eucharistic Celebration to be led by the bishop of Abra, the Most Rev. Leopoldo D. Jaucian, SVD, DD. After the holy mass, there will be merriment where top officials of the province will participate together with the Tingguian priests who now occupy key positions in the clerics' orgnization like Fr. Cirilo Ortega, SVD, the SVD District Superior and Fr. Oscar Alunday, SVD, the Executive Secretary of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines.

The executive committee who served as the prime movers of this year's celebration of the IP Month was spearheaded by Fr. Rodel Molina, director for the IP Apostolate of the diocese, Philip Tingonong, president of the Peņarrubia Parish Pastoral Council and Fr. Efren Ambre, the parish priest of Peņarrubia. (PIA-Abra) [top]

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