In today’s modern times, this traditional method of growing aquaculture species is still very much alive and thriving among the Maeng Tribe in Tubo, Abra, a distant area in the North Philippines, which is home to around 6,000 people who are bound by their instinctive desire and love to conserve and protect their natural resources. Surrounded by endless mountains and rivers, the Maeng Tribe has kept their culture and traditions intact, and their people peace-loving and united.One indigenous practice that has survived through time is the Lapat system. Lapat, which literally means “to prohibit” or “to regulate”, is a century old system of regulating the use of natural resources and its biodiversity. The system has three underlying principles: 1) stewardship, 2) communal ownership and collective responsibility, and 3) sustainability. The system is enforced by the Dap-ay, a system of governance of the Maeng Tribe for managing and directing the socio-economic, cultural, political and spiritual life of the people of the community. They are mainly consisted of elders in the community.
HARMONIZING NEW AND OLD PRACTICES
Merging indigenous practice with a relatively new concept is never an “eitheror” issue. Previous experience showed that harmonizin