We Started Independence Day Celebrations With Dama Ko Lahi Ko

We Started Independence Day Celebrations With Dama Ko Lahi Ko

Dama Ko Lahi Ko celebrates its third year



There’s a lot to celebrate and be reminded of when June rolls around. It’s a month we at Wonder like to call the month of Pride & Independence—because it celebrates Pride Month, and the day we as a country celebrate our independence. It seems pretty straightforward, but the concept behind it weighs heavily. So while the Pride celebrations go underway, we also made it a point to take part in Dama Ko Lahi Ko to celebrate the other big event of June. 


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Dama Ko Lahi Ko is an annual and volunteer-driven event that pushes all Filipinos to celebrate our culture through the five senses. It started in 2021 and was founded by the Filipino Culture Creative, and makes a simple yet meaningful case: Filipino culture is unique, and deserves its spot on the global stage. 




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A post shared by I T O K I S H (@itokish)


The sense of touch was explored by none other than Ito Kish, an award-winning furniture designer who proudly shares, “Filipino will always be my design language.” He took attendees through his own history of growing up in San Pablo, Laguna, and how childhood—and growing up with his simple lola—was the catalyst for his sense for design. 




Who could have spoken better about the unique way Filipinos tell visual stories than Artu Nepomuceno, who shot Apo Whang-od for a local cover that made waves across countries? “[People would] thank me for bringing a piece of home to the world,” he shares. “And now this photo exists in homes everywhere.”




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Bayang Barrios’ talk started with—of course—music. She stomped her feet in rhythm to the melody making its way out of her lips. As she got her grove, event attendees heard about Bayang’s upbringing, and how she’s learned to embrace her Manobo roots, culture and music. Celebrating these things and being a figure that helps keep it alive has helped not only her but her family. She says firmly: “Kung hindi natin mamahalin ang kulturang atin, tayo po ay magkakawatak-watak (If we don’t love our own culture, we are the ones who will be destroyed).”


Taste and smell


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A post shared by Jenny Yrasuegui (@jenyrasuegui)


Restaurateur Jenny Yrasuegui made a case for taste and smell with the one thing all Filipinos can get behind: food. But while dishes are served in every home in every corner of the Philippines, she also put importance in the one thing that elevates every dining experience, whether here or abroad: heart. She explains that heart is the one thing that stays consistent no matter where Filipinos are, no matter what they’re serving and no matter what they’re doing.


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“What can help us advance as a nation can come from who are,” co-founders Leigh Reyes and Len Cabili emphasize. “We can all be part of it by living our culture collectively, consciously and consistently.”


Check out more on Dama Ko Lahi Ko here or on socials.



Art Alexandra Lara

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