Flalok Congress bridges cultural gap
POLOMOLOK, South Cotabato—Members of different indigenous people’s groups from South Cotabato and nearby Sarangani Province gathered recently at the Polomolok Gymnasium in Barangay Poblacion in South Cotabato for the 1st Flalok Congress.
With funding from the USAID, CLAFI embarked on project to revive the Blaan art of storytelling to improve literacy and develop a community of readers in South Central Mindanao by adopting the Department of Education’s mother tongue-based multilingual education (MTB-MLE) approach in improving literacy outcomes particularly among young learners.
Flalok is the traditional art form of oral storytelling of the Blaan tribe. Over the years, the art of Flalok has been gradually fading away due to the dearth of written records about the Blaan tradition and the stories that have been passed orally from generation to generation.
The Flalok congress also served as an opportunity to drum up support in reviving the Blaan story telling tradition.
Organized by the Conrado & Ladislawa Alcantara Foundation Inc. and the United States Agency for International Development, the event gathered representatives from various Blaan communities in Region 12, local government executives from South Cotabato, Sarangani, General Santos City and Koronadal; officials from the Department of Education; and non-government organizations to celebrate the success of the Flalok project of CLAFI, the corporate social responsibility arm of the Alsons Power Group.