I learn a lot from this adventure of mine. I learn what are the real life situations which given to different people in the planet.
Learning to Real Life Situations from Aeta People in the Philippines
The Aeta are an indigenous tribe of Luzon, Philippines, who live in isolated mountainous areas. They are thought to be among the Philippines' first settlers, arriving before the Austronesian migrations. Anthropologists and archaeologists are still puzzled by the Aeta's past.
According to one theory, the Aeta are descended from the Philippines' first occupants, who, unlike their sea-faring Austronesian neighbors, arrived across land bridges linking the country to the Asian mainland some 30,000 years ago.
Deforestation, Mining,illicit logging, and slash-and-burn farming have slowly reduced the indigenous populations in the Philippines to the level where it now counts in the thousands today. They have no full protection here in the Philippines. Furthermore, due to the social and economic pressures on their culture and way of life, which had previously stayed intact for thousands of years, the Aeta have become exceedingly unchanged.
We went camping and trekking in the Philippines' Pampanga province, which is located in Central Luzon. We plan to camp along the "Tanag River" for the night. Around 3 p.m., we decided to take a one-hour journey from the city to the Tanag River. The road is fighting against us. It's a bumpy road with a lot of "Carabao's" blocking our way. Carabaos are a common type of animal used for farming in the Philippines.
They're known as Farmer's Bestfriend. There was a time when two carabaos stood in the path of our driveway. They're held by a leash and chained to the tree. We stopped and kept thinking what shall we do so they won’t block our driveway but in an empathic manner.
I decided to open the window, create a noise, and wave my hand. It was a huge success. They took the route on the other side of the mountain and walked away. We were all laughing at that point because we were afraid they would attack us.
We're coming close to our destination. We were greeted by a member of the Aeta tribe named " Mang Rolly," who led us to the river on foot. We parked our cars near the Aeta tribe's homes. We had three cars and a total of 12 people at that time.
When we arrived, my friends and I decided to build our tent before it got dark. We built a bonfire and cooked some frozen food we had taken with us. There's no need to worry about the rice; Mang Rolly suggested that they prepare it in their famous style of cooking called “Binulo”. They wrapped the uncooked rice in banana leaves and put it in bamboo sticks and placed it near the bonfire until it was cooked.
They decided to sing some music and have some beer near our campsite, where we were seated by massive rocks near the river, after we finished eating. It's about 12 a.m., and several of us, including myself, are starting to feel tired. After the music session, we opted to sleep in our tent. I awoke around 2 a.m. to the sound of laughter. I got out of bed and noticed that several of our friends were still awake because Mang Rolly was telling them important stories about their lives and cultures. I chose to sit with them in order to learn some facts about their tribe rather than myths that I had heard from everyone.
We noticed dazzling lights approaching the campsite at 2:30 a.m. We asked Mang Rolly, and he explained that he is one of their tribal leaders, and that he checks every midnight with his gun and dog to see if the visitors are well and safe. He sat and jammed with our story sessions, which drew dozens of new curious questions from both him and Mang Rolly. Because we're too curious about their culture and living. Not like us, We are drowned in so much technology that we forget to rest our minds with the beauty of our nature.
The following are the questions we've asked:
What is your way of livelihood resources everyday?
Gathering mountain goods, fishing, charcoal production, and share planting, as well as serving as hired agricultural labor, are among their sources, according to them.
There are three types of farming: upland (gasak), highland (patal), and lowland. Gasak refers to cultivated areas on the mountain's summit or sides where shrubs and trees have grown, whereas "patal" refers to flat areas on high ground. Lowland farms, on the other hand, are riverbeds that encircle villages and maintain water until December before drying up completely by March or April.
Most families keep a gasak or swidden farm since it primarily supplies them with food and shelter, even in difficult times. Because these are rain-fed and irregularly sloping lands, a variety of crops are cultivated in tiny quantities. The more consistently inclined sections would be planted with upland rice, while root crops and vegetables would be put alongside shrubs or under the trees. The steeper sections are home to banana trees, while the rolling areas are home to mango, citrus, and coconut trees. Throughout the year, the cropping pattern of upland rice-vegetables-cassava, sweet potato, and ginger is observed.
Cassava, sweet potatoes, and watermelons are grown in patal or flat upland fields, which are 12 to 1.5 hectares wide and can be prepared using farming tools such as plow and harrow. Throughout the year, a sweet potato-cassava, sweet potato and watermelon cropping pattern can be seen. Lowland farms are typically 1000 sq. m. areas cultivated in a rice-sweet potato/vegetable-cassava pattern over the course of a year. These are run in addition to a gasak or patal farm, which is where the residents' homes are.
Trading or vending is another business that some residents engage in to earn a consistent income throughout the year. Small farmers sell their products to local purchasers at lower prices than the market price, or they ship their goods to select purchasers in town via local purchasers for a Php50 cost.
Hunting requires a wide range of abilities, yet there is no guarantee of what the forest will provide. Hunters go hunting for food, income, and to improve their hunting skills. It is also a way of life for them.
Other resources are available. Residents supplement their income via fishing, charcoal production, picking banana blossoms (pamumuso), sharing planting, and working as hired labor on larger farms. Farmers who do not have access to large-scale farming equipment frequently combine these businesses. There is no expense other than labor for these.
Is it true that some people always come here to provide help and support?
According to Mang Rolly and the other leader, they had previously been visited by various educational institutions and companies, but only a few of them returned after the initial visits. Normally, visitors would come at special occasions such as Christmas to give the Aetas food and gifts, take photos with them, promise to return to give them more stuff, and then go.
However, as one elderly Aeta pointed out, most guests do not return. Worse, during campaigns and fund-raising efforts, politicians and representatives of so-called "foundations/NGOs" would come to them with a lot of promises and pictures, but the Aetas received no assistance from these people.
What is their Family Routine and role of each member?
The residents have established routines and assigned tasks to their members. Children who have recently married build their homes near their parents' homes and labor on their father's farm for a while. They are later given a plot of land to produce for their family's needs, and they become self-sufficient. Grandparents frequently reside in the same compound as their children's families and eat with them, but they have their own home.
Parents get up at 4:00 a.m. and begin preparing for the day's duties. The day comes to a close at 8:00 p.m., when all of the children have gone to bed.
When the woman wakes up, she tends to the kitchen and makes coffee for her husband. The husband gets his tools and animals ready for the day's labor. He gets up early in the morning and travels to his farm with his breakfast, returning home after sunset.
When the husband leaves, the wife wakes up the children and has breakfast with them. She gets them ready for school and sends them off between 6:30 and 7:00 a.m. She resumes her household duties till lunchtime.
Around 12:00NN, the children return home and have their lunch. They play for a while before leaving for school at 1:00 p.m., beating the 1:30 p.m. school bell. They arrive home after 5:00 p.m. and are told to do housework.
The mother keeps working on the unfinished duties. She begins gathering things for the market around 3:00 p.m., which she hopes to sell to a local buyer. She begins picking vegetables for the evening meal at 5:00 p.m. and then begins cooking.
Following dinner and kitchen tasks, the children complete their schoolwork with the help of older siblings or parents. At 8:00 p.m., the lights are turned off.
The father's responsibility is primarily to provide food and funds for other family necessities, while the woman is in charge of housekeeping and optimizing the family's resources. She ensures that the children eat three meals a day and arrive at school in good health.
What are the Problems constraining their progress in life?
Due to low prices, perishability, and seasonality of crops, residents find it difficult to market their products for a living. Small farm businesses' earnings are limited by their distance to market, as well as a lack of cash and resources.
Education, scholarships, and financial support for secondary and tertiary students, as well as a shortage of IP instructors in the area, are all issues that residents are concerned about. They want to ensure that their children have an education so that they can have a brighter future.
Residents are concerned about the nutrition of school students, as well as their sources of potable water and their need for medicinal supplies. During the rainy season, from July to late early September, they observe hunger among the children.
Technology and communication are also an issue since they connect people in times of need. It could also be the quickest way to get help from the town's civil service units in an emergency. Few residents own communication devices, TV, or radios. Service provider signals are also poor, if not, random.
Is traditional tribal execution true?
Yes, it is true.The Aeta tribe's customary laws include the phrase "eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth." is part of the Aeta tribe’s customary laws.
That day, we were given a variety of knowledge. I've always wished to be free and live on an island or in the woods. But it isn't that simple. I learned a lot from them, including the fact that living in our time is the luckiest life on the planet.
We awoke in the morning, and it's time to say our goodbyes. I observed a group of Aeta children approaching, so I greeted hello and they smiled back. It means I'll be able to interact with them. I join them in the river to swim, collect plants, crabs, and even fresh water from a spring hidden among the big trees.
I showed my gratitude by giving them a bag of candy, some chips, and some cash. You can see in their eyes that some of our simplest things are their greatest wishes.
I learn from them that,
Money isn't the most important thing in the world.
Develop great relationships with your community.
Give what you can to those who are less fortunate.
Make peace and equality your top priorities.
Being happy is the most important thing in life.
This adventure of mine, Is worth sharing!