A rare sight on a common day. These ethnic people from the “Mandaya Tribe” come to the city downtown during the holiday season to ask the locals for “pinaskuhan”- our local term for “Christmas Gift”. They come from the highlands of Davao del Norte.
They weave their own clothes, so colorful that it depicts the very beautiful colors of their history. I am just so amazed that although their tribe was already around for hundreds of years here in Davao, their culture and traditions have not changed much.
I took this picture the other day. The look on their face, determined to cross the street through the pedestrian lane, was epic. They really tried their best to blend in, understand, and adapt the city life.
They are such friendly people. They constantly remind me that happiness is priceless. What they are in the past until today, they are still their own person and they are happy and contented. Nothing and no one can make them think otherwise. Their simple minds were untainted, they were never envious and never felt self-pity. In this chaotic high-technology present civilization, I felt so overwhelmed by the strength of their attachment to their roots.
They held hands before they cross the street. They held hands while crossing the street. They protect and looked out for each other. That’s what they had been doing since their history began, and that is what they are doing until now to preserve their culture for the next generations to come.
Proud and happy people.