Buenavista, Agusan del Norte – An Inpandawatan Ritual of Mayapay Tribal Council (MATRICO) was conducted atHeadquarters 23rd Infantry (MASIGASIG) Battalion, 4th Infantry (DIAMOND) Division, Philippine Army, Purok-6, Brgy Alubijid, Buenavista, Agusan del Norte Friday morning, April 22, 2017.
The 23rd Infantry (Masigasig) Battalion recognizes the existence and claims of the different IPs and tribes within its Area of Operation. The unit also respects their customs and traditions particularly the conduct of “Inpandawatan Ritual” in order to strengthen its relationship with the IP stakeholders towards achieving peace and development in the area.
A ritual is usually conducted amongst different tribes in the area to settle misunderstandings and/or acceptance of certain customs and traditions of a particular tribe. Living or settling of a community within the tribal domain of a particular tribe needs the acceptance and blessing of that particular tribe. This ritual is called “Inpandawatan Ritual” or “The Acceptance of Tribe”.
The ritual started at around 9:00 o’clock in the morning that was facilitated by the Masigasig troopers and participated by the different tribal leaders from Mayapay Tribal Council. It was officiated by Richard “Datu Malakas” L Gubaton the “Baylan” of the tribe. The ritual continued with the “Baylan” calling for the “Supernaturals” in the area for the soldier’s safe and peaceful stay in the area.
Datu Malakas then explained why the ritual is needed between the Mayapay Tribal Council and the 23rd IB. The importance of Inpandawatan Ritual is to determine and resolve any misunderstanding between the Tribe and the 23rd IB.” Datu Malakas stated.
Meanwhile Lieutenant Colonel Emil J Cruz the Battalion Commander of 23rd IB said that “We the 23rd IB give our full support to the IPs and tribes within our area and asked permission to the Tribe regarding our stay in their tribal domain.”
All of us wanted to live peacefully in the land of promise, free from harassment and intimidation. Let us condemn those who threaten to use violence against the people of Agusan del Norte, Cruz added.
A certificate of Free Prior Informal Consent (FPIC) was handed to the unit then it’s Commanding Officer LTC Emil J Cruz at the end of the program attest that the Mayapay Tribe allowed and approved the presence of the military unit (23IB) in the area to secure the peace and unity of the Tribe people within the Ancestral Domain.
Thereafter simple boodle fight followed the activity where Masigasig troopers and members of Mayapay Tribal Council strengthened their resolve for peace and development.