There is a future in the art of indigenous children

Published November 22, 2021, 11:17 AM

by John Legaspi

12th Kutitap back online from Nov. 22 to 27, 2021

In celebration of the 2021 National Children’s Month and National Indigenous Peoples’ Month, the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) through its Cultural Exchange Department (CED) in partnership with the Integrated Performing Arts Guild (IPAG) Artists Resource Management and Marikina Culture and Arts Council will hold another virtual edition of Kutitap: Isang Piging ng Kabataang Makasining starting today, Nov. 22, until to Nov. 27, 2021.

Poster art of the 12th Kutitap

Representing various cultural communities all over the country, 150 children and their adult leaders will gather for a six-day celebration of arts, culture, and traditions. Now on its 12th year, Kutitap pursues its goals of instilling among the Filipino children and youth a deep sense of understanding, appreciation, and pride for Philippine indigenous arts and culture, as well as promoting creativity and positive social values. Kutitap will conduct interactive activities to include mini-workshops and showcases (in dance, drama, music, rituals, visual arts, etc.), storytelling, crafting, traditional games, film viewing, group discussions, creative collaboration, among others.

Since the first gathering in 2009, Kutitap has already reached over 3,014 children from 149 local communities nationwide. In 2011, the project was redesigned for the benefit of the children in Northern Luzon who were badly affected by typhoons Pedring and Quiel. For the first time in 2015, Kutitap was brought out of the CCP. It was hosted by the City of Batangas. For the first time, too, the program was filmed and presented as part of the Children of Asia research project under the Asian Culture Institute (ACI) in Gwangju, South Korea. The film made by Kevin K. Park was shown during the opening of the Asia Culture Center (ACC) in Korea. In 2016, Kutitap was brought to the Visayas under the hosting of the Province of Capiz, in 2017 in Tagum City, in 2018 in Los Baños, Laguna, and in 2019 in Koronadal City.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the project migrated online in 2020. It was participated in by 120 kids from 12 communities nationwide. The 2021 edition adopts the theme “Mga Batang Makasining Para sa Isang Malusog, Mapagmahal, Mapagmalasakit, at Masaganang Buhay (Creative Children for a Healthy, Independent, and Progressive Future).”

From Nov. 22 to 27, Kutitap will engage (virtually and on site) the kids in educational, cultural, creative, and other participative activities designed to enable them to learn, understand, and appreciate better indigenous life, traditions, and practices while emphasizing the values of good health, love, compassion, and perseverance. It will also include sessions on indigenous food, games, folktales, music, dance, herbal medicine, film, and crafts.

This year’s participants are children ages seven to 13 years old from 15 cultural communities in Agusan del Sur, Zamboanga del Sur, Lake Sebu, and Bukidnon in Mindanao, in Capiz and Negros Occidental in the Visayas, and in Quezon, Sorsogon, Marinduque, and Cavite in Luzon, and also in Tondo, Quezon City, and Marikina in the National Capital Region.

Kutitap 2021 is also being supported by the National Book Development Board (NBDB) with over 500 books that will be given to all the participants.

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