Bontoc, Mountain Province – Newly elected Indigenous Peoples Mandatory Representative (IPMR) underscored the importance of the preservation and protection of the age-old culture and traditions for generations of indigenous peoples (IPs) to value their origin.
Thomas Tawagen, Sr. said it has been observed that the practice of age-old traditions such as respect and value for elders, the preservation and protection of the sources of livelihood of the people among others are slowly deteriorating, thus, the need for the younger generations of IPs to be educated by the elders to prevent practices passed on to them by their ancestors from dying if not passed to the future generation.
He admitted today’s youth are reportedly self-centered which was not the practice before by their parents and grandparents, thus, the need for the older generation of IPs to start cascading to their children the value of community effort in formulating consensus to solve community concerns.
In terms of sources of livelihood and the state of the environment, Tawagen claimed today’s youth have obviously forgotten that the mountains, rivers, lakes and other sources of food have been preserved and protected by their ancestors but when it was passed on to them, they did not take care of the said properties that caused the said areas to be not so productive.
He challenged the youth to learn the practical ways of decision-making from the elders because, without respect, the way people think will be affected.
“There was no IPMR before but the people were disciplined and they valued the importance of the environment as the major source of food, among other important practices that allowed them to survive the difficulties of life. However, despite the existence of the IPMR today’s youth seem not to understand the benefits that their ancestors derived from the environment and the communities where they belong,” Tawagen stressed.
Tawagen, who was the former provincial officer of the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) in the province, was overwhelmingly chosen by the various tribes in Mountain Province to represent the indigenous peoples to the provincial government.
According to him, much has yet to be done by the concerned agencies of government in educating them to learn from the experiences of their ancestors that they could replicate as they go on with life on earth.
He appealed to the province’s youth to start reforming their ways and bring back the time-honored and proven ways of harmoniously living with nature so that the present and future generations of Cordillerans will be able to experience the benefits of having to live in a well preserved and well maintained environment that is rich in resources which could provide them their daily supply of food for their families.
Tawagen will be occupying a seat in the provincial board once he will be issued the required certificate of affirmation by the NCIP regional office by January next year.