UPDATES ON THE GROUND
We are extremely excited to announce the success of our first big water project in Dulyan, Talaingod, Davao Del Norte! In collaboration with NAFCON, Kalikasan, Balsa and Salupongan International, a water system has been built which will provide water to a community of 325 people that previously had no contained system for potable water. The current project will provide a sufficient and sustainable water supply for the entire community and adjacent areas that will greatly improve health conditions for the people there. Congratulations to all for accomplishing this goal!
While many Lumads remain internally displaced in Davao City, an Urban Gardening Project is thriving. In collaboration with Masipig Mindanao, the Lumad evacuees at UCCP Haran in Davao City have been given the opportunity to plant their own crops which we hope will supplement the lack of vegetables in their diet, which has been causing an increasing number of health issues since evacuating their farms and communities in the mountains in September 2015.
Voices: Solidarity Exchange with Responsible Endowments Coalition (REC)
Last month, Salupongan International hosted a Solidarity Exchange program with 9 participants from across the United States through the Responsible Endowments Coalition (REC). REC is a U.S. based non-profit organization that empowers college students in the United States to defend human rights and the environment while making both corporations and universities accountable to global stakeholders to foster social and environmental change.
On behalf of Salupongan International and our partner local host organizations Masipag, Balsa SMR, Compostela Farmers Association and the Salupongan Ta Tanu Igkanugon Community Learning Centers we offer a warm daghang salamat-many thanks for visiting, learning and sharing with all of us. We look forward to strengthening our solidarity globally from the U.S. to our local communities in Mindanao as we walk together on the path of social justice for our people and our mother Earth.
“I’ve never been to Mindanao before and I’ve only heard the stereotypes from mainstream media and from my parents about what Mindanao is like. I’ve been told that Mindanao is a war torn place, it’s violent and basically the opposite narrative of what folks think of when they think of Manila or Luzon in the Philippines and that’s what has basically influenced my perception of Mindanao.
"However, coming here and experiencing the place for itself and meeting some of the people here has changed my whole perception of Mindanao. It’s a vibrant place, full of culture with all the different indigenous groups here in Mindanao.
And I think if it is a violent place it’s not because of the people here, it’s because of the violence that is being put on the people and their lands by the oppression of corporations and militarization. That’s the biggest take away, I’m really honored to have experienced this change in thought, it has been a really great experience and take back what I’ve learned and take back this feeling that I have and share what’s really going on in Mindanao.”
- Sonny Lawrence Alea
Fossil Fuel Divestment Student Network
“A real highlight of my trip to the community was the ability to sit in the classes of the Salupongan school and just seeing the energy of the kids and teachers. It really showed me how everyone here is fighting really hard just to get the basics.
To me Mindanao means to have a true Filipino spirit, it means what a lot of communities looked like throughout the Philippines before the affects of colonization and imperialism. A community of resistance, hope and love.”
- Arianna Montero-Colbert
Davidson for Climate Justice
“There are a lot of lessons, but one lesson for me has been to understand the extent that indigenous peoples in the Philippines have been deemed expendable in many ways. Hearing the stories first hand from the Lumad and the patterns of violence and oppression they have faced in their communities, but more importantly how they have been continually resisting in order to maintain their livelihood, culture and existence.”
- Zakaria Kronemer
Responsible Endowments Coalition National Organizer
“To me Mindanao means hundreds of years of resistance, it means incredible ecological diversity, it means fighting for land and justice through organized communities that are beautiful.”
- Abby Cunniff
New England Students for Climate Justice
Filipina Musician Shares Experience Living With Lumad Community
Lastimosa stayed with a school community for eight days which ended up being militarized and an evacuation center in Davao City. She said the schools SI supports are built on mineral-rich land and abundant with natural resources.
“The people and culture that are the guardians of yutang kabilin, or ancestral domain, are all under attack by the few who profit from the extraction of said resources,” she said. “There will be nothing left of not only the land but also the culture and identity of first nation peoples.”
Thank You for supporting the
Lakbay Lumad USA Tour!
U.S. Speaking Tour of Indigenous Leaders from the Philippines Successfully Supported by Broad Array of Bay Area Communities
Indigenous Lumad, Fighting to Protect their Ancestral Land, Gain International Momentum Against Forced Displacement and State Sponsored Violence
Bay Area, CA --- Co-sponsored by a wide range of cultural, religious and educational groups as well as, peace and human rights organizations, from April 26 to May 1, the U.S. speaking tour delegates of Lakbay Lumad USA: The Continuing Journey of Mindanao’s Indigenous Peoples for Peace with Justice, shared with the Bay Area their stories of resistance against the industrialized resource extraction of their ancestral domain, militarization by the Philippine military and paramilitary forces and egregious human rights violations of indigenous leaders, community members, students and community supporters.
Making stops at De Anza, Berkeley and Stanford campuses, Westmoor High School, several United Methodist Churches and a premiere event of the API Cultural Center- San Francisco, as part of the USAAF 2016: Civil Dis(place)ment festival (pictured above), Lakbay Lumad USA delegates found support in allies spread far across the Bay Area, building internationally solidarity with a variety of concerned groups and individuals. The latter responded with enough donations to build an entire school and fund the humble stipends of (Salupongan Ta’Tanu Igkanugon Community Learning Centers) STTICLC teachers for one year.
ICHRP would like to send out a very grateful daghang salamat sa tanan to all the organizations, sponsors, endorsers and individuals who made the Bay Area leg of the Lakbay Lumad USA speaking tour a great success. Let’s continue the work of advocacy, education, support and solidarity of our Lumad brothers and sisters in the Southern Philippines by raising international awareness of their defense of their ancestral land and resistance to U.S. imperialism.
We invite you to stay up to date on the growing movement for human rights in the Philippines here.
For highlights see the following news coverage from various events of the Lakbay Lumad USA tour:
- Stanford University: Balitang America
- San Francisco to Salupongan Event: Inquirer & Asian Journal
- Interview with delegation of Lumad leaders: APEX Express