When it comes to decisions related to the watershed and the environment, indigenous peoples are very important stewards and have a lot of knowledge that should be resourced.
The MWSS acknowledges the Dumagats’ strong connection to nature, coexistence with the forest, and traditional knowledge in watershed management. Concerns about the Angat Dam’s declining water level prompted the MWSS to seek the tribal Dumagats’ traditional knowledge in summoning rainfall across the watershed. With pure intent and great respect, a rain dance ritual was arranged to be performed by the Dumagats’ on 7 February 2022 at the Angat dam site.
Around 30 Dumagats took part in the rain dance ritual. They used their own instruments to create rhythmic beats to summon the spirits and chanted prayer songs in order to gain their favor for rain to fall in the Angat watershed.
The historical relationship between the Dumagats of Bulacan, the MWSS, Maynilad, and Manila Water has always been collaborative and harmonious, all driven by water resource management concerns. To emphasize the significance of the Dumagat offering, present during the ritual were:
MWSS Administrator Leonor C. Cleofas, Maynilad COO Randy Estrellado, MWCI CEO Abelardo Basillo and other officials and employees of MWSS and its Concessionaires.
Angat reservoir is a shared, interconnected resource that supply our drinking water, help grow our food, provide energy that support communities and economy. Managing the reservoir and the watershed effectively, holistically is the only way for us to ensure that communities and economies they support remain healthy.
MWSS calls on the public to practice responsible use of water to reverse Angat dam’s fast decline.