BANAUE, Ifugao—Dance has always been an important part of life for the Ayangan tribespeople, one of the three tribes in the province. It expresses their powerful and rich 2,000 year-old history. Last April 16, in their colorful costumes and dancing to traditional chants and rhythms, tribesmen from around 22 barangays once more showed their pride as a solid community during the Ayangan Festival. The occasion is observed to signal the Hugdungan planting season and to appease the Rice God.
Touted as the Caretakers of the Cordilleras, the Ayangans have been protecting the mountains and helping in the preservation of its centuries-old trees. The tribe observes indigenous laws when cutting down trees.
With the recent Earth Day celebration and as we continue to renew our commitment to care for the planet, we look up to these beautiful and inspiring people. In this slideshow are their many faces, young and old linked together, each one with a look of joy, pride, and resilience in preserving their ancestral land and tribal identity.