A Young Aeta’s Farewell Talk

November 18th, 2010

Christopher “Butog”Domulot is a young Aeta who has been studying at the Asian Rural Institute in Japan. In a few weeks, he will be returning to the Philippines, to apply what he has learned. The following is his last “morning talk” to his classmates at ARI.

At this time I want to be slightly serious in as much as this is my last morning gathering. Everyone knows I’m naughty. Yes I admit that I acted as a naughty boy. But this is my own way to express my closeness with other people and provide little comfort though. However, this seems to have become serious for me to be kiddin. I’m very sorry to all who were affected by my jokes. I’m sure that many of you are offended by my jokes, and I would like to apologize.

In every place I go, I always carry with me my culture-my way of life and the way I relate with other people. It is the identity of my tribe. Culture is what everyone of us can afford and not afford to discard. Being part of the new generation in our tribe, I should appreciate it because it is our inheritance from our ancestors. Even in a cold place like Japan, I endeavored to display my identity, though it became a discomfort to others, because I am proud of being a member in my tribe. Though I am already accustomed to wear branded clothing, I cannot afford to let go of my traditional way when the situation demand for it.

Do you still cherish your local culture? Are you proud of your own culture? Or have you discarded it because you are ashamed to be identified with your local people and community? Do you respect others’ culture? If you don’t have respect for your own culture, lets us respect each other’s culture.

Our parents dreamed of our own community school, which we called School of Indigenous Knowledge and Tradition. Learning is based on the life situation through our life. It  means that learning is available in our daily life, not only in books, but in everyday life, lived and incorporated in our culture. This dream is gradually carried out because of the sustained efforts of our community.

Right now our community school (Folk School) is prospering and continues to grow. The students are excelling as proven by over ten graduates who passed the Accreditation & Equivalency Test. Now they continue their formal studies such as high school and college level studies. The school also assists many out-of-school-youth in other communities, not only in my community. Although they are not tribal members, they are welcome in our school.

I dream that one day my tribe will return and occupy again our ancestral land and restore its beauty and abundance. My succesful completion of ARI Rural Leaders Training Program will not only benefit me personally but most specially for the development and integrity of my community.

What I learned here in ARI is incomparable to other trainings I attended. These learnings cannot be grabbed or can not  be stolen from me by other people. I believe that the application of these knowledge will be pretty hard for me,  but when it continues to be applied or practiced it will become more and more sharp.

I would like to end my sharing this morning with a glimpse of my memories when I arrived here in ARI, when I met you, shared with you, and now I have to be back home in a few weeks to be with my community…..but I would like to tell you that you are all part of my learning …..that have shaped my past, present and future journey. It is a photo movie and you are all included in my my dreams for the future – My Journey.

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One Response to “A Young Aeta’s Farewell Talk”

  1. pio crisostomo says:

    So, inspiring! It truly manifests the meaning of ‘education for life’. Have more power to be shared for others; Light to enlighten others mind and heart!

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