Fil-Ams integrate in Manobo communities

Members of a Filipino-American youth organization arrived in the Philippines for a three-week solidarity mission in disaster-stricken communities including the community of Talaingod, Davao del Norte.

The Kapit-Bisig Kabataan Network (KBKN) sent 24 volunteers starting July 21 and had a team of volunteers integrating in Sitio Dulyan and Pagsangan in Talaingod from August 5 to 7.

One of the missioners, Jeremy Alvarado de Nieva, a school teacher in California, told online news group Davao Today about their experience in Talaingod, where they witnessed the Manobo schoolchildren being “passionate to get education despite threats in their community.”

The schoolchildren’s communities in Talaingod have been disturbed since last year by military occupations and recruitment drives to paramilitary groups such as Alamara. Some 700 Manobo individuals and children have evacuated to Davao City out of fear of the armed troops.

De Nieva noted this case of militarization as well as other insufficient government services and plunder of ancestral lands trough large-scale mining are “pressing issues (which) demands immediate action from the government.” (read more of De Nieva’s interview and activity here)

De Nieva said their group the KBKN will carry these issues to the rest of the Fil-Am and other communities in the US to support the plight of the indigenous schoolchildren.

(photos courtesy of Salugpongan International)