The story behind the traditional Bagobo Tagabawa dress of VP Inday Sara

The story behind the traditional Bagobo Tagabawa dress of VP Inday Sara


Statement from the Vice President, Sara Duterte


I wore that traditional Bagobo Tagabawa dress to the State of the Nation Address of President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr in honor of one of the tribes that form the 11 groups of people of Davao City, apart from the Christians.


But I also wore it in solidarity with the lumads of Mindanao and the many other Indigenous Peoples groups all over the country who have been uprising against the terrorist New People’s Army’s chronic exploitation of their children, arming them as new recruits — nevermind if they are still minors and unable to understand the madness of the terrorism espoused by the NPAs.

(photo credit to owner)


I wore the traditional Bagobo Tagabawa dress to raise awareness of the victimization of the IPs by the NPA and the Communist Party of the Philippines and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines.


It was lobbying in the open public the welfare of IPs who have always been the favorite darling of the NPA for their recruitment and attacks — which happen every time they register their resistance.


It was to hold a space for another narrative unknown to many Filipinos and to bridge public awareness of what is horribly happening to the IPs in remote places — deceptions, recruitments, and killings are carried out without mercy by the NPAs and their supporters.


This brings me to Eufemia Cullamat, the mother of an NPA fighter who died in Mindanao in 2020.


As an IP herself, Cullamat should apologize to her fellow IPs for allowing a terrorist group like the NPA to strip them of their dignity as a people and dragging them into a war that serves them nothing as IPs.


And as a mother of a dead NPA fighter, she should apologize to her daughter for sending her to her untimely gruesome demise.


Before I stepped down as mayor, Davao City was declared insurgency-free. IPs in Paquibato District and other hinterlands of Davao are now living a life free from NPAs. They are now safe from the likes of Cullamat.


And I will continue to borrow and wear traditional dresses from IPs and other groups I want to honor and stand in solidarity with against terrorist organizations like the NPA and people like Cullamat.


And I will not waver. In fact, you will see me even more relentless because I have a responsibility to the Filipino people, especially to the Filipino children.


And I promise not to stop so that parents like Cullamat do not bury the bullet-ridden bodies of their children — killed in a war perpetuated by a senseless and idiotic ideology.


Thank you.



Sara Z. Duterte

Vice President of the Philippines

Secretary of the Department of Education







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