The National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) called Tuesday for local government support to local community artists and indigenous peoples (IP) groups for them to sustain their unique perspectives on art and culture and to preserve them.

NCCA executive director Al Ryan Alejandre said that the barangay, city, municipal, and provincial governments have big roles to play in terms of helping the artists hone their crafts and the IP groups in being proud of their culture and tradition up to the next generation.

“Hindi puwedeng NCCA lang, dapat ang mga LGUs ay tumulong din sa ating mga local artists at IP communities. Hindi nila dapat kinakahiya ang kanilang kultura. Kasi may iba na ayaw nila sabihin na they are from the IP groups, hindi sila proud. Kami naman, we want to educate people na we should be proud kung saan nanggaling at kung gaano kayaman ang ating mga kultura,” Alejandre said.

“May mga programa kami together with the LGUs kasi hindi puwedeng si NCCA lang talaga,” he said, explaining they want to collaborate with the local governments since they are the ones well-versed in the areas that the NCCA should visit.

He said the NCCA’s mission is to go around the country and help fellow Filipinos who excel in arts and culture, particularly those coming from IPs.

Alejandre said there is a lot of potential artists from the IPs who are good in the different disciplines of arts but have not yet been given enough opportunities and exposures.

“We want din na mabigyan ng opportunity ‘yong ibang mga grupo o ibang LGU na gusto namin tulungan para naman ‘yong kanilang artists o grupo nila ay mabigyan namin ng training at gumanda pa ang kanilang works,” he said.

Ceasar Sammy Magbanua, program manager of the Palawan Culture and Arts Program (PCAP), said that the provincial government is now working on this, prioritizing the preservation of the culture and traditions of the IPs.

He said it is a good thing that even different IP communities in Palawan also want to preserve their culture and arts, knowing they are increasing in value and can be transferred to the next generation.

“Talagang pina-prioritize namin ang pag-alaga at pagtulong sa mga kapatid na katutubo para ‘yong kanilang kultura ay ma-i-preserba. Tuwing may festival tayo, we always give them a chance to be able to present their culture and their traditions. Pati ngayon sa ating Sikatugyaw Festival, may isang araw na naka-devote para sa mga katutubo,” he said.

Magbanua said they want to give more days for the IPs to participate in the festival, but most of them have limited time and are busy farming.

Alejandre said, meanwhile, that culture and arts can help boost Palawan’s tourism industry as most travelers love to be introduced to one of a kind activities, may it be music, dance, paintings, weaving, and other forms of arts.

He said they have the school for living traditions (SLT) to help the IPs preserve their culture and traditions, such as weaving so younger generations can learn from their elders.

“Ang ating NCCA for the IPs ay meron tayong SLT, school for living tradition, ito ‘yong nagbibigay ng tulong sa ating IPs, preservation ng kanilang kultura para hindi mamatay. ‘Yong weaving, mga burloloy nila — may workshops tayo. Para ‘yong younger generations ay pa-follow sa ginagawa ng kanilang elders, one way or the other, maipasa,” Alejandre said.

“Kasi sa ibang places, may instance na di na ginagawa ng younger generation ang ginagawa ng elders nila lalo na kung ang kanilang work ay nasa farming, ayaw na maputikan o ayaw na gumawa ng weaving. Nakakalungkot ‘yong ganoong nakikita natin,” he said.