Cotabato IPs want DepEd 12 hymn revised

Tourism • Fri Jul 14, 2017 03:20 PM  •  110   0
By Malu C. Manar
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KIDAPAWAN CITY – Tribal chieftains and elders here felt being ‘discriminated’ after they learned that the regional hymn of the Department of Education (DepEd) allegedly ‘belittled’ their contributions in the development of Central Mindanao. 

Datu Camilo Icdang, deputy mayor for the indigenous peoples (IP) here, said the composer of the regional DepEd hymn failed to see how important the role of the lumads was in making the region what it is today. 

For one, Icdang said, vast hectares of lots where schools were built were donated by the natives. 

“In fact, it was our family that donated the lot where the biggest and largest elementary school in Kidapawan City was located,” said Icdang. This is also true to many schools in Region 12, he said. 

A line in DepEd’s hymn that the IP wanted to change goes like this, ”…  Muslim at Kristiyano at iba pang mga tribo. (Muslims and Christians and other tribes).” This was not the first that the IPs in North Cotabato reacted to a hymn that they thought failed to recognize their ‘worth’ in the society. 

In 2012, the IPs in Kidapawan City had urged the city government to stop the singing of the “Himno ng Kidapawan” during flag ceremonies and flag retreats in schools, and other government-sponsored activities unless they revised the song. 

The revisions were made two years later. For her part, Cotabato 2nd district Representative Nancy Catamco said she would ask DepEd 12 to do some revisions on its hymn. Just like Datu Icdang, Catamco has expressed frustrations “because other sectors of the society seemed to forget some important parts of our history.”  

Catamco claimed she is a member of the Manobo tribe in North Cotabato. 

In fact, some IP groups call her ‘diwata’ (fairy) of Mount Apo, the country’s highest peak and considered ‘home’ of the natives. 

DepEd 12 spokesperson Antonio Maganto said he would look into the concerns raised by the IPs. They, however, need a formal complaint from Icdang’s group before the agency could revise the song, he explained.  
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