The Foreign Service Institute (FSI) received 35 participants of the 3rd Katutubo Exchange, a program that promotes cross-cultural understanding and traditional arts and heightens awareness on indigenous culture, at the Special Envoy Carlos Chan Room on 7 August 2015.
The program, a project of Katutubo Exchange Philippines (KXP), a volunteer organization of youth and cultural workers who advocate the promotion of traditional arts and indigenous cultures, included adult leaders and youth from the B’laan, Panay, Mansaka, Ayta, Tinggians, Ibaloy, Ivatan, T’boli, Subanen, and Yapayao indigenous groups.
Director-General Claro S. Cristobal welcomed the delegates and shared his personal experiences in the foreign service, noting that anyone from any walk of life can be a member of the foreign service.
Mr. Robert D. Quintin, Principal Assistant at the the Cultural Diplomacy Unit of the Office of the Undersecretary for International Economic Relations of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), discussed some of the important duties of the DFA, such as policy formulation, migrant workers affairs, and civilian concerns. Meanwhile, Ms. Villanueva, Head of the Institutional Linkages Unit of the Institute, explained the mandate and the objectives of the FSI and its role in the foreign service. She also talked about the Institute’s role as the research and training arm and institutional consultant of the DFA and gave a briefing on the Institute’s various research and training projects.
The exchange program coincides with the celebration of the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples and International Youth Day. Another program was held at the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) in Pasay City on 8 August 2015, which included a lecture on indigenous cultures titled “Idadakay,” followed by “Daton,” which featured performances by the indigenous children organized by KXP in cooperation with the GSIS and the National Commission for Culture and the Arts.