It was an emotional moment among the Indigenous People (IP) researchers as their book entitled Sugilon sa mga Kahibalo, Gawi ug Binuhatan sa Manobo sa Kadanawan sa Agusan nga Nalambigit sa Kinaiyahan or Indigenous Knowledge, Systems and Practices (IKSP) of the Manobos in Agusan Marsh was formally launched on November 15, 2016 at the Patin-ay Training Center in Agusan del Sur.
The IKSP Book is a product of a three-year collaboration among 5 IP Communities, the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), , with support from the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH through the Conflict Sensitive Resource and Asset Management (COSERAM) Program.
IP researcher Ms. Marilyn T. Trasmil of Loreto, Agusan del Sur said that it was a dream come true for them to finally have a printed documentation of their IKSP, “I am excited to go back to our community and show them this book which would serve as our legacy to the youth.”
Reflecting on the research process, Melba Cornelio from Rosario, Agusan del Sur explained that it was an eye-opener when she found out that some flora and fauna that used to grow in Agusan Marsh, has already vanished.
“If we had not conducted this research, we would have never known that various IP practices are already gone and that the environment that we are living in is now slowly being damaged. This book will serve as a reminder to all of us, of the beautiful practices that we have as a tribe,” Cornelio added.
Zaldy P. Barcelete, of Poblacion La Paz, Ausan del Sur meanwhile cited the importance of research in protecting the environment, “Through research, we found out that since time immemorial, our ancestors have long been protecting the environment. Although some of these practices are now gone, we learned valuable lessons that we are now adopting, such as going back to traditional fishing methods instead of illegal fishing.”
The IKSP Book of the Manobos in Agusan Marsh is the first of its kind in the country and the right of the Manobos to protect their intellectual property needs to be respected. In order to do so, it was agreed that the IKSP Book should be first registered with the support of NCIP and only distributed to institutions which are included in a list attached to the resolution of consent.
This book is the first important step in recognizing and promoting the contribution of IKSP to biodiversity conservation- a topic which is increasingly gaining relevance in the Philippines and internationally.
The IP researchers or authors of the book are:
Antonio A. Alcomperada of San Marcos, Bunawan, Agusan Del Sur
Maribeth G. Amado of La Flora, Talacogon
Zaldy P. Barcelete of Poblacion, La Paz, Ag Sur
Nilda O. Bello of Loreto, Agusan del Sur
Siegfred L. Corvera of Bunawan, Agusan del Sur
Ma. Lyni Reyes Cullantes of Loreto, Agusan del Sur
Xyrix Anthony S. Mendez of La Paz, Agusan del Sur
Marsolito Mercado Perez of Talacogon, Agusan del Sur
Helen G. Mendez of Talacogon, Agusan del Sur
Isidro P. Mendez Sr. of Talacogon, Agusan del Sur.
Vivian D. Montes of Bunawan, Agusan de Sur
Rodolfo A. Montes of Bunawan, Agusan del Sur
Duke Kelvin T. Pedro of Loreto, Agusan del Sur
Vlademir K. Pendon of La Paz, Agusan del Sur
Abelardo P. Rodrigo of Rosario, Agusan del Sur
Delia L. Santing of Talacogon, Agusan del Sur
Juvy S. Tagaroma of Loreto, Agusan del Sur
Marilyn T. Trasmil of Poblacion, Loreto, Agusan del Sur
Melba P Cornelio of Novele, Rosario, Agusan del Sur
Virgilio R. Cagumay of Novele, Rosario, Agusan del Sur
Venancio O. Numeron Jr. of Novele, Rosario, Agusan del Sur
Julieto C. Rendon of Novele, Rosario, Agusan del Sur