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Over a thousand Indigenous Peoples (IPs) joined the early Christmas treat from the Davao City government that kick-start in Paquibato district on Monday.

Dubbed Pasko sa Lumad, the activity is a traditional Christmas treat for the IPs in far-flung areas so that they will no longer travel and stay in the city to carol which had been proven risky to them. Pasko sa Lumad is also part of the Pasko Fiesta.

Of the 1,427 families who participated in the opening day, 82 families were from Barangay Fatima, 91 from Barangay Sumimao and 138 families from Barangay Callawa.

City Social Services and Development Office (CSSDO) Malabog coordinator Soccoro Eborde said the Pasko sa Lumad included activities to bring the spirit of Christmas to the tribal communities.

“Every day we will give them food packs. On the 4th day, there will be tribal games, animal consultation, dental, and medical check-ups and on the 10th it will be the children’s day,” she said.

CSSDO assistant head Marilyn Agonia said that bringing the Pasko Fiesta celebration to the tribal communities is good for the IPs since they no longer have to travel far and sleep in different gymnasiums in the city.

“Before there was a car accident (involving an IP) and fever, we would like to avoid that, so instead of letting them come into the city, we will come to them,” she said.

Every December, thousands of IPs from different areas of the city would travel to the city to celebrate Christmas.

The practice was stopped three years ago when the city government decided to bring services to them instead because of unfortunate incidents in the city. CIO