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PRESERVING THE IMPORTANCE OF INAGTA

Inagta sa Siaton is a native folkdance with the ethnic and tribal


roots and it is probably the oldest folkdance in Negros Oriental
since it is danced originally by the Agta people or Negritos who
are the first settlers of the Negros Island. The story passed on
by generations of Siatanons through word of mouth confirming
the origin and evolution of this primitive but unique cultural
heritage.
Our advocacy targets to preserve the importance of the Inagta
in Siaton. Inagta Festival is one of the cultural wonders in our
hometown. It is said to originate from the Agtas themselves,
back when Moro invaders tried to attack and dictate them. In
one of these Moro raids, a fierce battle between the Agtas and
the invaders was fought. Miraculously during the battle, a dark
shadow covered the Agtas so that the invaders could not see
them which led to the humiliating defeat of the Moros. The
shadow happened to be from their patron saint, San Nicholas
de Bari. The victorious Agtas paid homage to the patron saint
San Nicholas de Bari by dancing the INAGTA and chanting
VIVA SENOR SAN NICHOLAS. Ever since, they never fail to
commemorate it on the 6th of December.
We chose this as our advocacy for the reason that preserving
our culture can provide an automatic sense of unity and
belongingness. The young generation should be aware of the
Inagta Festival since it has somehow served as our personal
identity. Without the Inagta there wont be any essence of
being a Siatanon. It has already been institutionalized in our
locality, so the least we can do is to inherit this custom and
continue to pursue the quest.
In order to preserve the importance of the Inagta Festival of
Siaton, we ourselves will become the model. We will fully
understand the festival through conducting action research
with the help of the Tourism Office of Siaton. The output of this
research will be submitted to the National Commission on
Culture and Arts (NCCA), the government agency which deals

with preserving the different cultures and heritages in the


Philippines. Through the assistance of the NCCA and the
Commission on Higher Education, the festival will then be
registered and will be part of the curriculum specifically on
Physical Education subjects in primary, secondary and college
levels. As a result, the festival and its value will be inculcated
on the minds of the students.