The Cordillera generally conjures beautiful landscape; rich natural resources and hospitality of the people. The issues behind the positive repute were precisely what the young Austrians learned and experienced during their short stay in Tanglag. Lubuagan, Kalinga.
For a span of 3 days, the nine Austrian KAPINTIG participants were able to experience the living condition and culture of Tanglag tribe. They interacted with the community, experienced unique lodging, tasted native food and participated in the day to day activities. Among the activities that they participated was the planting of rice, while in the fields they asked the farmers to describe the process how the palay seedlings that they are planting will turn into rice. They appreciated the community folks for their endurance on the arduous process to produce rice.
They also experienced how to process coffee from pounding dry coffee beans, roasting and pounding to turn the roasted beans into powder. After the firsthand experience on coffee processing, one of the Austrian said: “from the time we arrived, we enjoyed drinking coffee not knowing the hardship of processing locally made coffee”. Aside from agricultural activities, the Austrians joined the school children and teachers in the two elementary schools located in the village. They taught simple geography, songs and games; in exchange the children showed them how to play indigenous music instruments made of bamboo.
During nighttime, community folks gather around to share with the visitors on lot of topics to know about life in Austria. The Austrians also asked the folks on the issues being faced by the people in Tanglag and their struggles to protect their land against the proposed big dam along the Chico River that crossed their community. They also have chance to dance and beat the gongs in their last night stay.
Thus, only through immersing & living with Indigenous Peoples can one experience the life and understand the issues of Indigenous Peoples.