June 16, 2013
The Aetas are an indigenous people who live in the mountainous regions of Luzon, most notably in the province of Zambales. They are usually darker and smaller in frame and height than the average Filipino, and tend to have curly or kinky hair. Of course, they now live like any other Filipino, and these three young men donned their traditional bahag (loincloth) only to demonstrate several of their traditional dances during our Zoobic Safari tour. But truth be told, like many other indigenous peoples in the Philippines and all over the world, they have problems claiming and protecting their ancestral domain from people who want their land, and their access to basic services (eg, healthcare, education) and employment opportunities are not at par with with the rest of the population.