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Stephanie: I have never thought that up to this day, racial discrimination does exist. But when I met the Aetas, the living proof among the many cases of discrimination, I realized that is time for a change. As a citizen of our country, I believe that even students like us can help people like them in our own ways. And that is the main purpose of doing this documentation and that is to encourage people to help and keep an open mind on the societal issues that our country has. Its never too late for change. So lets act now.

Eleanore: We all have experienced discrimination in our everyday lives, may it be a serious one or something that is laughed at the end of the day. But no matter how funny we think about the things we say about others, in some point, we've already offended and caused pain to other people. For me, all we need to do is to be more careful of what we say unto others to prevent things from hurting each other. We are all created equally and I dont see any reason why people should treat each other unfairly. Maybe, what we all need to do is to look at ourselves in the mirror before we start saying mean things to others. These are childish acts that we have brought as we grow older and I guess we all should be mature enough to notice everything that we're doing. We must learn to appreciate others and respect!

Kara: When I first got in the area, Im in doubt if we can make the interview possible. We even mock Aetas along our way to Zambales but during the interview as I saw the sincerity in the eyes of the Aeta, it changed the way I see them. We often think that they are not civilized and we often call them taga-bundok. But they are human beings who feel pain and should be respected. As the song goes it doesnt matter if youre black or white.

Llowell: I learned a lot of things and discrimination does still exist. My message for everybody who discriminates others is to stop what theyre doing. We were created by God equally so we dont have any rights to dehumanize others

Louie: I can simply see how they feel through their eyes for their eyes become so expressive that I need not to ask more questions cause I already got it. I am one with the Ita in their quest against discrimination and I will always be grateful that I had a chance of doing a wonderful interview.



"Discrimination has been defined as expressed in overt

the unequal treatment of equals. Discrimination

while prejudice is expressed in




Ethnic discrimination in this country is closely related to historical patterns of immigration and migration, particularly in the flow of newcomers to northern cities. Immigrants to the cities have, as groups, tended to occupy the lowest social and economic level.

During the last thirty years efforts to combat racial discrimination have figured prominently in our history. The civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s won the passage of important legislation; decisions of the Supreme Court and regulations of federal agencies have contributed greatly to fighting discrimination, yet it is obvious that a great deal more needs to be done." The group made a documentary regarding the said topic. We went to Botolan Zambales to interview Aeta's and we interviewed a foreigner from Iraq who's studying at CEU. At first, we never thought that all of this would happen for we encountered a lot of problems as we were planning. Upon reaching Botolan, Zambales, we interviewed two Barangay officers who are Aeta's and have experienced discrimination when they were young. They used to live near Mt. Pinatubo and was relocated to Botolan for their own safety. However, they still prefer living their old lives for they were much happier and were much peaceful then. Although they have experienced discrimination, they never took it negatively though we must conclude that it really left a scar upon their hearts. People would often say "Ita, kulot" out loud and laugh whenever an Aeta passes by. Mean right? They have dealt with that kind of "insults" ever since they were younger. They barely get decent jobs for big companies would think they know little about the world. One of the major strengths of the Aeta community is the brotherhood and unity within themselves. Theyve established a rather disciplined and respectable relationship with each other. With every law they violate, there is a corresponding punishment. But before they punish the subject, they try to solve the problem first by discussing it with the group of people concerned. Another factor is that theyve managed to rebuild a better community for themselves. They started from scratch and tried to establish a living once again. And they succeeded through the immeasurable efforts of every individual. They were able to cope up with the environment around them although they experienced different levels of difficulty. Every individual in the community hopes that someday they an Aeta

will be treated equally, that they will not be seen as but as an individual with rights and abilities just like everybody else. They want to be

successful in the field that they will choose and get a good decent job just like every normal individual can

There is a cure for racial discrimination and that is not

to let words get to you. All you have to do is to believe in yourself that every individual is good in his or her own way. The important thing is you fight for what you believe in and stand firm on it.

Who Are the Aeta?

The Aetas are considered as one of the earliest inhabitants of the Philippines. They belong to a general classification of Philippines indigenous peoples called Negritos, which means, black people, with reference to their skin color. They are generally called by the local people as Kolot, meaning curly, which refers to their kinky dark brown or black hair. Aetas are currently inhibiting the mountainous areas of Northern Luzon, and some are scattered in many parts of the Philippines archipelago. They are naturally small people with small frame and stature. They have small nose and big dark brown eyes. Aeta women used to chew nga-nga, a medicinal herb that puts a red color in their teeth and gums, but at the same time makes their teeth strong. The nga-nga is also functions as a medicine for some types of sickness. The Aetas are one of the numerous indigenous peoples in the Philippines that are subject to exploitation and discrimination on the basis of their education and economic status. They have also been victims of various displacement brought about by illegal loggings, mining and political reasons. Their rich and wellmaintained culture was preserved but it also has become a reason for them to refuse assimilation with the mainstream culture, putting them on the disadvantaged side. Aetas however, are very resilient people. Their natural way of life is often hampered by calamities both natural and man-made. With numerous organizations composed of educated Aetas, they are now active in promoting and upholding their rights particularly to their ancestral domains.

Copyright 2009-2010 All Rights Reserved The Aetas are known inhabitants of the Pinatubo area. After the 1991 Mt. Pinatubo eruption, a huge number of the Aeta population were displaced and forced to relocate in resettlement sites in lowland areas to survive. The relocation affected their nomadic and semi-nomadic practices as they tried to adapt to a new lifestyle. Assistance on basic social services came in. Young Aetas were given opportunity to attend school through government assistance and scholarship programs offered by Religious groups and NGOs to help them better adapt to these changes. However, the more they get exposed to lowland practices, some manifests lack of interest and sense of pride to their indigenous culture. Aeta parents raise concern over the reluctance of some Aeta youth to raise their hands when asked if they belong to an indigenous group fearing discrimination from other students. Motivated to address this dilemma, Aeta elders supported the 1st Pamilalamu. An Aeta word for solidarity, Pamilalamu is the 1st Youth Festival that aims to provide young Aetas an opportunity to

develop an in-depth appreciation of their culture, traditions and other social issues affecting them, and most importantly an understanding of their role in protecting their ancestral domain. With over a hundred expected youth guests from 13 Sitios in Tarlac and Zambales, the Aetas of Sitio Alunan has been busy preparing food and other logistical needs just to make sure that everyone enjoys the Pamilalamu. They didnt mind the extra work as long as they achieved together their common goal of passing onto their children their important tradition. The long trek, ranging from 2-6 hours from their respective Sitios did not stop young Aetas to actively participate in the different activities while Aeta elders enthusiastically shared their knowledge on cultural practices and traditions. The elders were very thankful for the opportunity to impart the Aetas rich cultural heritage. The 2-day affair was filled with excitement as participants learn different things through story telling, cooking demonstrations, games, singing and dancing. As a tradition, the festival commenced with the "Duroro," a hymn of praise to Apo Namalyari and followed by Lapinding, an Aeta traditional dance. Young boys and girls showcased their talents through traditional song and dance numbers while others chose to explain traditional practices like panliligaw. Laughter filled the air as they showed off their strength and agility while competing with each through traditional games like Kabayu-kabayu, shatong, Moro-moro, traditional archery and rice planting. On the more serious side, Aeta Elders like Apo Bayani Sumoang, Leader of LABAY KU shared inspirational words while youth representatives from different Sitios reasserted their commitment in protecting their heritage during the closing ceremony. Pamilalamu was held last May 30-31, 2012 at Sitio Alunan, Barangay Sta. Juliana, Capas, Tarlac through the support of Kabalikat sa Kaunlaran ng mga Ayta, Inc. (KAKAI), Lupon ng mga Katutubong Ayta para sa Bagong Adhikain upang Yumabong ang Kabundukan at Umunlad ang Bawat Isa (LABAY KU) and Sigbin. Last year, they also organized Mam-eh, which meant to share traditions on Aeta food preparations. Posted 4th July 2012 by Gigie Cruz

Pamilalamu: One in Protecting the Aetas Indigenous Heritage