DSWD Field Office 1 employees flaunt their ethnic attires during the Search for Best in Ethnic Attire. The female winner wears an orange indigenous attire (upper picture, 3rd from right) while the male winner wears a modern ethnic upper garment (lower picture, 1st from left).

In promotion and observation of the diverse and rich cultures of the Indigenous Peoples (IPs), DSWD Field Office (FO) 1 actively observes and participates in the celebration of the National Indigenous Peoples Month by wearing ethnic attire every Monday for the whole month of October 2018.

To make the celebration more exciting, the Field Office conducts search for best in ethnic attires, male and female categories, for all employees to show its affinity to the IP communities. In its initial staging, both categories were bagged by the Sustainable Livelihood Program.

“Kailangan nating ipagdiwang ang National Indigenous Peoples Month para maipaalala sa ating mga kababayan, lalong-lalo na sa mga kabataan, na mayroon tayong makulay na kultura (We need to celebrate the National Indigenous People Month to remind our countrymen, especially the youth, that we have colorful cultures),” shared Administrative Assistant II Cherry Y. Rapis, the best in ethnic attire under the female category.

Further, Administrative Assistant II Ronaldo L. Beniegla said that, “Ako’y nakikiisa sa selebrasyon ng National Indigenous Peoples Month para maipakita natin sa buong mundo ang katangi-tanging kultura ng IPs (I sympathize with the celebration of National Indigenous Peoples Month to show to the world the unique culture of IPs).” The best in ethnic attire under the male category highlighted that awareness of the local culture promotes the survival of the rich longstanding cultural traditions.

DSWD FO 1 Regional Director Marcelo Nicomedes J. Castillo encouraged all employees to deepen their understanding of IPs’ values and cultures to promote the nation’s cultural diversity. Director Castillo said that traditional cultural attires reflect the values and beliefs held by members of IPs, and by wearing an ethnic attire or any IP accessory, we can support and sustain cultural resilience and sustainability. The Regional Director also advised that an orientation on the proper use of IPs traditional attire in any public event should be facilitated in compliance with Republic Act 8371, also known as the Indigenous People’s Rights Act of 1997.

National Indigenous Peoples Month is celebrated every October of the year pursuant to Presidential Proclamation No. 1906, series of 2009. (by: Darwin T. Chan, Social Marketing Unit)