Subic Bay Freeport -- More than 100 “warriors” from six Aeta tribes trooped to a “battleground” in Hermosa, Bataan, to join this year’s "Haribol Katutubo," a sports festival using indigenous weapons.
Wearing only G-strings, locally known as bahag, the all-male participants arrived in batches from the Aeta tribal community in Iram, Old Cabalan, New Cabalan and Mampueng in Olongapo City; Tribong Ayta in Angeles City, and Pastolan in Hermosa, Bataan, the host tribe.
Col. Jeff Tamayo, president of the National College Athletic Association (NCAA), said the event is similar to the World Indigenous Games, the indigenous peoples’ sports festival held in Brazil last year.
Tamayo said aside from Pastolan, there will also be other Haribol Katutubo, Protecting the Natural Heritage games to be held in other areas.
Tamayo explained that the primary purpose of holding the event is to gather all the tribal groups in an event like this, the Haribol Katutubo, so that the young generations could blend with the adults for them to see their natural traditions.
“They, the young and the adults in the tribes, could have a common area to transfer the heritage from the adults, such as the protection of the forests,” he said.
Tamayo cited the need for the young generations to see what their ancestors did to protect the traditional heritage.
Included in the sportsfest are bow and arrow competitions that require the participant to hit the target in different distances while, standing, sitting, squatting; while standing bull’s eye. on the branch of a tree, and while running. There are also competitions on blowgun, spear throwing.
Winners from the competition will also join in UP Diliman in Quezon City with participants from indigenous communities from the North Luzon and other parts of the country. This is in preparation for the WIG to be held this year in Colombia.
When people saw a man carrying a bow and arrow, the impression is aggressiveness. However, for me, bow and arrow is part of a culture.
When you enable an Ayta boy to participate this kind of sports, he is not only joining the game but also learning what his ancestors did to hunt for food. Then we, also taking care of those heritage,” Tamayo explained. (Ruben Veloria, Peoples Tonight)
Aeta tribesmen show their skill in using the bow and arrow as they compete in the tribal games held at the Pastolan Aeta village in Hermosa, Bataan Saturday (Feb. 25). Aeta tribes from Zambales, Bataan and Olongapo took part in the games which aim to promote camaraderie and the preservation of their culture. The project is sponsored by the National College Athletics Association, the Philippine Sports Commission and the Philippine Olympic Committee. (AMD/MPD-SBMA)