"Be proud, don't be ashamed, and continue to live the culture." This is the pledge of the indigenous youth who attended the second Youth Noken Philippines held last November 12, 2022, online. With the theme "Indigenous Youth: Unite, Help Each Other to Develop, Stabilize and Strengthen Culture", it aimed to give the various tribal youth groups a platform to meet and ato share their initiatives towards the development of their culture and communities.
Eleven youth organizations prepared video presentations, spoken words, handicraft demonstrations, and traditional games, songs, and dances to express their respective cultural practices that they strive to live by. They desired to share their experiences, that despite the challenges they face, such as discrimination and modernization that gradually eroded their traditions, they still want to live on with their Indigenous identities. As a closing to the one day gathering, the Noken participants crafted their appeals to the government, to schools and other institutions, and to their elders: Respect Indigenous Peoples rights and treat them justly; More support for their studies through scholarships; and continuous guidance of their Elders to deepen their understanding and living of their culture.
The second Noken was attended by approximately 400 young people from the communities of Calamianes in Palawan, Misamis Oriental, Bukidnon, Surigao del Norte and Maguindanao, in simultaneous online and on-site activities. This national level Noken is also a preparation for the Regional Youth Noken 2022 to be held on November 27, 2022, where young people from Indonesia, Philippines, Myanmar, and Laos will be meeting in the host community in Indonesia.