NAPC produces docu-drama on life of Manobo chieftain Bib Bibyaon
The life story of Bai Bibyaon Ligkayan Bigkay, the only female chieftain in the history of the Manobo tribe, will be the focus of a docu-drama that will “highlight the plight indigenous women and their collective struggle,” the National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC) said on Wednesday.
The film, a NAPC production to be directed by award-winning director Cenon Palomares, will feature Maria Isabel Lopez as the adult Bai Bibyaon, while her daughter Mara Lopez, will be the young Bai.
The role of the elderly chieftain will be portrayed Bai Bibyaon herself.
“The film aims to highlight the plight of indigenous women and their collective struggle for self-determination and their ancestral domain,” the NAPC said in a statement.
In 1994, the group said, Bai Bibyaon led a tribal war against the Alcantara & Sons timber company that encroached into the Pantaron Mountain Range – the ancestral lands of the Manobo.
Today, the chieftain is still at the forefront of the Lumad struggle against the plunder of their ancestral domains by huge mining corporation, the NAPC added.
Bai Bibyaon was the recipient of the 2017 Gawad Tandang Sora from the College of Social Work and Community Development (CSWCD) of the University of the Philippines.
The award is given to outstanding academics, practitioners, and organizers in social work, and community, women and social development.
“NAPC is pushing for greater involvement of women and Indigenous Peoples in governance and nationalist development, through Kilos para sa Sampung Batayang Pangangailangan (Kilos Sambayanan), the agency’s anti-poverty agenda, which is anchored on the fulfillment of the 10 Basic Needs of the poor: food and land reform, water, shelter, education, healthcare, work, social protection, healthy environment, and peace, and participation,” NAPC said.
The agency also believes in the “urgent need for the government to recognize and protect indigenous women’s rights and the rights of their people, under international and domestic laws.”
“Kilos Sambayanan is a call for convergence and a commitment among all sectors of society to address poverty across its many dimensions and represents the ultimate measuring stick of the impact of government programs on the lives of the poor,” the group said. /atm