IWitness: “Kutkot” Documentary by Kara David

The casual visiting of the dead was just giving out flowers and lighting up the candles, but this unique and interesting way of celebrating his time was as if he was alive. They prepared various foods and called out the relatives to enjoy the feast of the dead. No one can ever destroy the tradition that their ancestors bestowed to them, for they must let it live on for eternity.

Why was Lolo Juan buried in the forest when in the first place he wanted to be buried inside a cave after 1 year of his death?

You see, a promised culture cannot be changed. That kind of practice made them remember who they really are and what their ancestors left a genuine tradition to continue their legacy. Sometimes, you think of it as giving empathy to the dead because their last request must be fulfilled and the Mangyan Tribe are willing to do the favor. Well, other people started realizing that if they die, will the people that are alive will do their last request? Imagine it as if you are holding your final breath and the people that surrounds you listened carefully and made a promise to take care of your dead body until the end.

You saw the boney dead and assumed that it is just dead. However, you need to feel deeply and look closer that it was not just a carcass but it was a soul that was left with an unfinished business with the tribes. Let me clarify that they did not worship him, but they respected him because he was part of the family. The fact that they build the bones in a fetal position, tied the white cloth, and they even dressed him up as a living being because they believed that he was not yet dead, he was still alive in another world.

In the end, it made me disappointed because I thought that the cave was a safe place to hide those bones. Unfortunately, they were stolen because those bones have a price and that is what people were after. It was sad that it was all about the exchange of money that the thief thought about, without even thinking that the bones they had stolen were pieces of the heart of the families. For pete’s sake, they just want to left alone peacefully, not being sold in the market place. A human should help and respect each other’s belief, not by bringing them down under the net just like the crab’s selfishness in climbing first. I guess, that’s what Mangyan Tribes become more solid with their beliefs, they are challenged by their own ancestors and they will always let this practice live on for their young generation.