Artworks by Indigenous People (IPs) students and hearing impaired pupils from two Iloilo municipalities are being showcased at the Casa Gamboa Jaro Museum in Jaro district, Iloilo.

Dubbed “Dagaya Mud Painting Exhibit 2018”, around 50 mud paintings which utilized mud as an alternative material in lieu of expensive painting items are displayed until October 30, 2018

Dr. Jesus Insilada, principal of the Caninguan National High School (CNHS) of Caninguan, Lambunao, in an interview Tuesday, said with the help of artist John Michael Catigan from Dumangas, they introduced mud, with different coloring qualities, as the medium.

“Dagaya” is a Hiligaynon/Kinaray-a word, which means abundant or rich, in reference to the mud that is available everywhere — as well as the rich talent of children deprived of opportunities to show their unlimited potential, Insilada said.

The materials came from the towns of Dumangas and Lambunao in Iloilo and Jordan, Guimaras. The colors range from blackish, reddish to yellowish and are combined to create a sepia effect.

The mud painting workshop was first introduced in summer this year for interested children as young as five years old and students of the CNHS, as well as children from the neighboring Calinog town, particularly from the Calinog Central School-SPED, for them to have a worthwhile activity.

Before the opening of the exhibit on Oct. 22, another workshop was held on Oct. 8 to 9, and 11 with more than 100 students of the CNHS as participants.

Insilada said that they chose the paintings appropriate for the IPs and Museum Months celebrations for the exhibit.

The paintings depict the culture of the IPs, their environment and what they see in their daily lives.

“This is very significant because for the first time, their works or art are showcased that could help build their self-confidence, that they are talented and that there are opportunities that they can be showcased. We are very thankful of the opportunity given by people who care for heritage and culture, especially of our IPs,” Insilada said.

IPs from the mountainous central area of Panay, including the Lambunao IPs, are known as Panay Bukidnon.

Meanwhile, on Wednesday, Cherry Ganancial, executive director of the Tinukib Foundation, Inc. of the Taytay Sa Kauswagan Inc. (TSKI), which manages the Casa Gamboa Jaro Museum, said that it has been their advocacy to support IPs. Aside from the CNHS, they also support the Ati from Nagpana, Barotac Viejo.

Casa Gamboa is located at the corner of Commission Civil and Jayme Streets in Barangay Benedicto and opened only in March this year. It used to be the residence of Ilongga heroine Patrocinio Gamboa, known for her role during the inauguration of the revolutionary government in the Visayas during the Spanish period.

Ganancial said some of the paintings on display are already sold. Fifty percent of the proceeds will go to the student-artists while the rest will be for the CNHS Indigenous Students Club for the construction of Kurob-Kultura, a school- based mini-museum for history, culture and the arts.

The museum is open from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. The entrance fee is PHP35 for students and PHP75 for adults.

Meantime, Insilada said they have also lined up several school-based activities to mark the IP Month.

These are cultural contest, workshop on “Panubok” or embroidery, which is a treasured craft of the Panay Bukidnon and “Hangkat sa Kaiwat” to showcase alternative vegetables cooked by IP elders in the past, which are no longer familiar to the younger generation.

Based on the record of the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples, there are 200,000 IPs in Western Visayas. (Perla Lena/PNA)

In Photo: IPs ART SHOWCASE. Mud paintings of Indigenous Peoples from the Caninguan National High School are now being showcased at the Casa Gamboa Jaro Museum as part of the IP Month celebration until October 30. (Photo by Perla Lena)