THE National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) and the provincial government of Benguet have called for an investigation into the recent alleged misuse of the native attire in theater performances.
“We are asking for an investigation of the incident so that we would know the whole story behind the use of the bahag (G-string) by the ladies and the tapis (wrap-around skirt) by the men during a theater play and by the police in a special occasion,” Gaspar Cayat, NCIP commissioner for the Ilocos and Cordillera regions, said in a phone interview on Tuesday.
Benguet, in its provincial board session on Monday, October 24, also approved a resolution seeking a probe into the incidents, which drew criticism from many sectors in the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR).
The incident was a recent performance at the Metropolitan Theater showing the bahag and tapis being interchangeably used by male and female performers. Traditionally, the bahag and tapis are for men and women respectively.
Cayat said they are waiting for the position of the National Commission on Culture and the Arts, and have directed the regional and provincial offices, as well as the IP community action officers, to come up with a recommendation as well as meet with the different tribes in their areas to find out their stand on the incident.
On Monday, NCIP-Cordillera Director Atanacio Addog said the innovation on wearing traditional attires must follow the perspective of the IPs.
“These (bahag and tapis) are not mere garments but they represent the Indigenous Peoples, their cultures and traditions. So whenever we draw inspiration from them, we should ensure that the information we are conveying to the public is true and correct,” he said.