The City Government of Davao, through the Peace 911, in partnership with the New Zealand Embassy in Manila officially turned over the two-story Bahayahay Learning and Workshop Center for Indigenous Women in Barangay Pandaitan in Paquibato.

The Bahayahay project is a two-storey multi-purpose building constructed to provide the Ata women in Paquibato a venue where they can conduct training on their traditional crafts including dressmaking, beading, and basket-weaving.

At the very core of the project is the intent to ensure the preservation of the cultures and traditions of the Indigenous People such as the traditional weaving and bead-work craftsmanship unique to the Ata tribe of Paquibato.

The project was funded by the New Zealand Embassy through New Zealand Aid and has been made possible with the coordination of the City Government of Davao and the IP community in Paquibato.

Biyo Alma Omo, President of the Ata Women Association of Paquibato District, extended her gratitude to the City Government and the New Zealand Embassy for the project.

She said that the project is a huge help for them as they now have a venue to share their traditional weaving and beadwork with the younger generation.

“Didto mi makakat-on pag-training, matudluan namo ang kabataan nga mao ni ang amoang mga ginbuhaton sa amoang culture and tradition, nga mapreserba ang amoang kultura nga dili dayon mawala, nga hangtod sa kahangturan magpabilin ang amoang tribo sa Ata diri sa Paquibato [The Bahayahay will be our venue to train and teach the younger generations about the practices in our culture and tradition, to preserve it and ensure that it will last],” Omo said.

In his message delivered by Pamela Chamen, a representative of Peace 911, City Mayor Sebastian “Baste” Duterte extended his gratitude to the New Zealand Embassy for its generosity in entrusting the city with a financial grant.

Duterte also assured the Ata community in Paquibato that the City Government of Davao, through Peace 911, will continue to serve and support the community, especially in their efforts to preserve their indigenous culture, practices, and tradition.

Meanwhile, the New Zealand Embassy, in a message read by Rolando Torres, a representative from the Office of the New Zealand Honorary Consul for Mindanao Executive Director, congratulated the Ata women in Paquibato and expressed hope that the project will help in the preservation of their culture and tradition.

The City Government of Davao hopes for the sustainability of the project and will continue its efforts to help Indigenous People preserve their cultures and traditions throughout the coming generations. CIO