HomeNewsChurch sends IP delegates to WYD in Portugal

Church sends IP delegates to WYD in Portugal

Four representatives from different indigenous groups in the country are among the delegates attending the World Youth Day (WYD) in Portugal’s capital of Lisbon next week.

The delegation arrived in Lisbon on Tuesday, led by Bishop Severo Caermare of Dipolog, vice chairman of the Episcopal Commission on Indigenous Peoples (ECIP) of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines.

Caermare on Sunday presided over a Mass with the “IP youth representatives” at the San Lorenzo Catholic Student Center in Manila.

In his homily, the bishop emphasized how the IP delegation can share their “sense of trust in God and their sense of respect for nature” with other WYD pilgrims.”

“To the indigenous people’s delegates, I wish you all the best on this particular pilgrimage,” Caermare said, “as you try to be as you are, as indigenous, we , at the same time, are all one as we journey together in the fullness of the Father’s love.”

Aeta leader Tubag Jugatan said that their invitation to the WYD “strengthens the ties between the Church and the indigenous peoples.”

“We will not waste this opportunity to showcase the culture of the Aeta tribe to the people,” Jugatan said, “as the culture bearer of our group, I am looking forward to having our identity recognized.”

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Jugatan, who has long been a partner of the ECIP, is the chieftain of one of the Aeta communities in Zambales province.

An advocate for the preservation of their traditional clothing, Jugatan said he will be wearing his loincloth or “bahag” throughout the WYD gathering and during their visits to Portugal’s neighboring countries.

As a first-time WYD participant, Jonalyn Camanso, a member of the Bukegnon-Magahat tribe in Negros Occidental, is looking forward to the experiences that await her in Lisbon.

“Back then, we found ourselves only reserved to the mountains but now, we are happy to be able to join these kinds of gatherings,” she said.

Also joining the IP delegation are Jose Paje of the Higaonon tribe from Misamis Oriental in Mindanao and Arci Bandas of the Kankanaey tribe from Benguet.

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