I had the privilege of attending the 29th Cordillera Day in Guinaang, Pasil in Kalinga last April 2013. Kalinga is better known as the home of the last mambabatok tattoo artist Fang Od. However, I did not visit Kalinga to meet Fang Od (also, she lives in Buscalan, another town) but to spend three days learning about the plight and situation of Indigenous Peoples all over the world.
We lived in tents for three days, met activists and advocates from all over the world, and listened to sessions discussing the continued exclusion of Indigenous concerns in decision-making processes, how mining debilitates indigenous communities to their very core, and how collective action and awareness can effect change. The experience was a testament in the power of international solidarity and cooperation.
I will be back soon, this time to meet Fang Od, and get permanently marked with a piece of the Filipino culture.
Taken using the Nikon E8400