The Philippines: Rising from the Ashes

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Name of project: Biyaheng Ayta, a theater cum workshop educational initiative of indigenous youth

Organisation: Paaralang Bayan ng Ayta sa Zambales (PBAZ)

Country : Philippines

Organisational type: Non-governmental organisation (national)                                

Year in which it was started: 2004

Brief description:
Biyaheng Ayta is a mobile youth theater of indigenous youth (Ayta) who left their original communities when Mt. Pinatubo erupted in 1991. The youth travel to the dispersed Ayta communities, offer workshops in the morning for tribal elders and leaders on their history and current issues, and teach the children about Ayta dances and culture.

In the afternoon, they present a play they have developed themselves. The play traces the journey "biyahe" of the Ayta communities from their mountain villages to the lowlands and how they have faced the many challenges. They have also been asked to present it to non-Ayta audiences in Manila.

 Principal target groups covered by the project:
Adult learners

 Main education and communication methods used:
Small group discussions or workshops

What is exceptional or unique about this ESD initiative:
Although ELF has been giving training to the adult and youth leaders of the Ayta, it was the youth themselves who conceptualized the project because they were worried that the Ayta children in the resettlement sites were losing their culture and identity. The theater cum workshop format is also an innovation.

Visually interesting places, people or activities/events that can be filmed in this project:
The Ayta communities are themselves visually interesting to film. Recently, some members of the community have been able to revisit the places they were forced to leave; these mountain sites are near the volcano crater. The theater performance itself is interesting, and the workshops where the children learn traditional Ayta dances e.g. mimicking animals, and courtship dances are fun to watch.