Mam-eh Aeta Festival

really excited when I received the invitation from Jane to assists her in this wonderful event. Jane is a veteran community organizer and has been with the Aeta tribes for more than a decade. always call her “godmother”, even without her permission hehehe, because she is one of the very, very few people whom I consult my hang-ups and uncertainty in the two-third part of my life. the remains are just dark manifestations, jigsaw pieces I alone will bear. Jane taught me patience, a virtue until now I'm still struggling a bit. thanks ninang!

moving on…

more than 300 participants from different Aeta, Agta and Dumagat tribes in Central Luzon, Southern Tagalog and Bicol Region participated in this historic event. Mam-eh means “sharing” in the Aeta language and the whole festival is about sharing of their culture, practices, food, experiences and struggles.

I and the other “unat” guests were treated by the Aetas with warm smiles and joy as they happily share to us their cultural dances

songs and music

and skills on how to survive in the jungle – setting up animal traps, archery, how to identify and cook edible wild crops, etc.

Since I’m very adventurous when it comes to food, I love all the weird crops and meals that were offered to us

like the amukaw, a very sweet, wild banana. however, this banana is almost 90% seeds so chewing this fruit is a big no-no. according to the katutubo, they extract the juice of amukaw to make sweet refreshments

the puso ng amukaw. for cooking nilaga. saging lang ang may ganyang puso!

labi and agakat, wild rootcrops that can only be found in the forests. katutubo told us that labi (the smaller rootcrop) is also a very powerful aphrodisiac. I ate a whole piece that night. hmmm, maybe that's why...

kalot. looks like an oatmeal. also a meat of a wild root crop. but beware, this food is poisonous if not cook or prepared properly. thank Bathala because the one who prepared the kalot during the festival really knows how to prepare it, or else it could have been our last supper hehehe

Bicol specials- rilyenong talangka, pinangat, laing and ginataang suso, yumyum.

and lots of baboy ramo meat (nilaga, sinabawan). sorry pumba.

and op course, the favorite lambanog. sharing this native wine with old and new friends while enjoying a very wonderful event.

next year ulit! :-)

Mam-eh Festival


Barangay Sta Juliana, Capas, Talac

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