Tuesday, September 9, 2008

What about them?

This is just an afterthought I had of the Kadayawan festival. My experiences recently at the festival and the museum gave me new insights about the people who lived here long before the colonists came. It immersed me into our very own culture the same time I was seeking more from those in foreign lands, specifically the American Indians. And I thought what a great way to be learning about different cultures. But that's not what I'm supposed to be writing about.

I was thinking about our neighbors who are just there, waiting to be noticed, these outcasts of our society. They are the Badjao. What about them? Are there any festivals that include them in the celebration? I understand why they were not included in the Kadayawan. Although their roots are uncertain, here in the Philippines, they most probably came from Sulu (the west end of Mindanao). They are a Muslim group, but a Muslim classmate told me the Badjao had different beliefs from the other tribes, in some ways. A lot of people cringe at the sight of them (like they carry a contagious disease or something). Outcasts: that's what I think our society has made them.

I remember back in grade school, we had a field trip to one of the Badjao communities in Davao City. It was like a center or a reservation beside the sea. When we got there, they gave us performances which were very interesting. I'm not a very good dancer, but I know a difficult dance when I see one. And the Badjao ethnic dance was difficult (for me anyway). They had all these artworks and crafts made of seashells. (Remember that they are people of the sea.) Then they treated us with a beach volleyball game, their boys versus our grade six (Holy Child) boys. They were just the same size, but we lost pretty bad. I could see there was potential in them. If they could only get more support... But then, most of them probably don't want it anyway, especially in the form of education. I don't know why...


  1. what an experience! thats good. i think you can be a peace advocate or a historian.

  2. wow really? i'd like to be either of the two.

  3. the badjaos are actually peace loving people. you'll see a lot of them in sulu and basilan.

  4. yes i believe that. there are a lot here in Davao, too. it's just that, the badjaos you see here beg in the streets. that's why people here have bad opinions about them. and it's usually us who make them look bad. Like during Christmastime, they are known to go caroling. but some people disrespect them by giving them centavo coins...

    anyway, thank you for your comments =)

  5. here in cebu city, many people have sad things to say about them. i have nothing againts our badjao brothers and sisters, but 1 unpleasant experience made me see something not so nice about the badjao people who beg in the streets here.

    i had a take-out with a chaperone and they circled up on us to beg. they were pulling my plastic of food and tugging my arm while we were crossing the street. i had no choice but to let go of the food because they were already pulling me and begging in really loud voices. another small group also came to us and begged for and grabbed my drink at the same time. i felt so sad that i wasn't able to have my lunch that day, but i could also imagine how hard life on the streets could be for them.

  6. yes i have experienced the same thing. and when you get kind to one, that person would call on his/her companions. but, i don't mind now. it's sad that they depend and giving's the only thing i could do.