The month of October celebrates Indigenous Peoples’ Day and commemorates the creation of the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act or Republic Act 8371.
The Province of Bataan, home to the Maanchi Aetas, celebrated IP day last October 27. Eighteen (18) Aeta communities gathered in Brgy. Bangkal, Abucay. The celebration was spearheaded by Panlalawigang Asosasyon ng mga Ayta sa Bataan (PANABAT) in collaboration with PDI, IPA, NCIP, and the
Bataan Provincial Government. PANABAT President Danilo Salonga reported on their accomplishments and lobbied government agencies to respond to their needs. He emphasized their success in accessing funds from the Provincial Government for the delineation of their Ancestral Lands.
The Provincial Government of Bataan supported the celebration with food and transportation for the 18 communities. In behalf of the Governor, his daughter Mam Gila Garcia came to the celebration.
She emphasized the willingness of the provincial government to help the 18 Aeta communities. She also promised to help the out-of-school and in-school youth to pursue their education through the provincial government’s scholarship program.
Also present in the celebration was a representative from Petron Foundation who expressed the company’s willingness to help in the reforestation project in Bataan.
After the program, each community gave a cultural presentation, telling their stories through dancing, singing and acting.