MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews / 4 Oct) – The Episcopal Commission on Indigenous Peoples (ECIP) of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines will hold its National IP Sunday celebration to be hosted by the Diocese of Malaybalay with a mass in the indigenous dialect Binukid and a bike for IP peace as among the highlights.
Fr. Crisanto O. Aninloy, a Higaonon and director of the Indigenous Peoples Apostolate (IPA) of the diocese, will be the main celebrant of the mass to be held at the San Isidro Cathedral. The IPA has co-organized the celebration from October 5 to 6.
Aninloy will be assisted by Malaybalay Bishop Jose A. Cabantan, Tuguegarao Archbishop Sergio L. Utleg, and ECIP Mindanao priests.
Utleg, ECIP chair, will lead around 60 bikers from Bukidnon and Luzon who are expected to join the Bike for Indigenous Peoples Peace (IPeace) from Kisolon in Sumilao town to Malaybalay on Saturday, October 5.
By Saturday evening, organizers have scheduled a simple program featuring well known indigenous peoples who will share their experiences and learning on the works of the Catholic Church about “Inculturation and Evangelization,” which is the theme of the celebration.
The Sinanglay and Hamog bands will perform songs and dances promoting Bukidnon culture.
Samuel Talocdo, an IPA coordinator, said the theme was chosen because in this year’s celebration of the IP Sunday, the indigenous peoples will no longer take inputs in evangelization from the Jesuits and other congregations but from their own.
Aninloy, the first ordained priest in the diocese from Bukidnon’s Lumads, will conduct the liturgical service in Binukid, the dialect common among IPs here.
In 2010, Aninloy, then assigned to the parish in Valencia City, also initiated a mass said in Binukid as part of the parochial fiesta in honor of San Agustin, the patron saint.
Last year, the diocese celebrated the IP Sunday on October 14 with a mass held in Barangay Kalasungay here, a predominantly Lumad community.
Aninloy said during last year’s event that the move was meant to elevate the Lumad’s customs and traditions in the province.
He said they were planning to hold regular Binukid masses in certain parishes and to use the dialect in making the liturgy or order of mass.
He cited the effort of Jesuit missionary priest Vincent Cullen to translate the missal into Binukid in the 1960s.
“We are going to revive that now,” Aninloy said then.
He admitted however that there might be a need to update Fr. Cullen’s translations for accuracy.
Cullen started the tribal apostolate of the then prelature of Malaybalay.
According to the CBCP website, the ECIP “shall work for and with Indigenous Peoples in their effort, first, to secure justice for themselves, second, to protect their ancestral lands, and third, to preserve their cultural heritage.”
The commission was also tasked to foster “among the Christian majority a greater awareness of and appreciation for the indigenous peoples in order to help in lessening, if not totally eradicating, prejudices against them.”