Jacob Maentz

Jacob Maentz (b. 1979) is an American travel and documentary photographer currently based in Cebu City, Philippines. His passion lie…

Philippine indigenous cultures

About Project Katutubong Pilipino

Project Katutubong Pilipino is a long-term documentary project with the aim of showcasing the beauty and depth of Philippine indigenous cultures and highlighting the many environmental and social issues these groups are currently facing.

With 110 recognized indigenous groups in the Philippines there is a depth of cultures that makes this island nation extremely rich in human history, traditions, language, knowledge and ethnicity. These diverse groups of people populated and spread throughout the archipelago over a span of 30,000 years creating thriving societies and distinct lifestyles. Troughout time and despite centuries of colonization and western influence, many of these indigenous groups managed to hold onto their culture and ways of life, often through very turmoil conditions. Today, modernization is moving at an extremely fast pace, both socially and economically, which is accelerating change and influencing significantly the remaining indigenous groups of the archipelago. Change is inevitable but its been happening without the conscious understanding of what is being lost and in most cases comes from external pressure, not from within the communities themselves. Because of this, Filipino indigenous groups are facing numerous social and land rights issues, and in general are being highly marginalized and neglected by society.