Happy World Teacher's Day!
On October 5, 1994 the United Nation's Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) marked this day as "World Teacher's Day". The aim of this day is to mobilize support for teachers and to ensure that the needs of future generations will continue to be met by teachers.
Salupongan International would like to deeply thank all of the teachers and educators around the world who dedicate their lives to serving and empowering their students to create positive change and work towards social justice in our local and global communities.
Daghang salamat, many thanks to the selfless efforts of love and dedication of our community partner teachers, faculty and administration. We commend you for trekking rivers, valleys and mountains, while at times facing harassment and intimidation by paramilitary, military and extractive industrial (mining and logging) forces. Yet in the face of all of these struggles, you all continue with determination to serve and provide the basic right of education for our Lumad, Moro and peasant brothers and sisters throughout Mindanao's remote and neglected communities.
We salute all of you!
Dugang Kadasig! More Power!
Salupongan Elementary Teacher Ma'am Joanne of Talaingod and Salupongan High School Teacher Ma'am Elarnie of Compostela Valley celebrating World Teacher's Day at the 12th Annual Bwalawan Festival.
Misfi Academy Elementary Teacher and Association of Community Educators (ACE) Vice President Sir Ricky taking a break with some of his students at the evacuation sanctuary/temporary school site at UCCP Haran in Davao City.
12th Annual Salupongan Schools Founding Anniversary
September 29 to October 5, 2016
SI congratulates Salupongan Ta Tanu Igkanugon Community Learning Centers (STTICLC) on its 12th Founding Anniversary Bwalawan Festival held this year in Purok 4B, Mangayon, Compostela, Compostela Valley Province!
The theme of the festival was entitlted:
"Salupongan I-asdang ang Kutungod sa Edukasyon! Lumadnon Eskwelehan Palambuon ug Depensahan Alang sa Kaliwatan!"
"Salupongan (unity) Uphold the Right to Education! Strengthen and Defend Our Indigenous Schools for the Next Generation!"
12 years of strength and inspiration in developing generations of Lumad (indigenous) scholars that are helping protect their ancestral domain, self-determination and serving their communities' interests and needs.
Over three hundred students, teachers and parents from various Salupongan Schools across Southern Mindanao came together to celebrate their beloved school's 12th founding anniversary. They participated in friendly competition and contests including Balagtasan poetry, Lumad games, Lumad songs and dances, Lumad delicacies, intramural sports, arts, culture and a spelling bee.
The atmosphere was positive and celebratory throughout the entire festival, however the community and participants were well aware of the presence of around 30 military troops camped out on a hill near the entrance of the community. The sad reality of militarization and the looming encroachment of the large scale mining corporation Agusan Petroleum is still ever present in many Lumad communities and Salupongan schools in the surrounding areas of Mangayon, Compostela Valley Province.
Salupongan International stands in unity and solidarity with the teachers, students and families of the Salupongan schools and communities in calling for the immediate pull out of military troops from their communities and schools, disbandment of paramilitary forces and the end of large scale mining, logging and plantations in their respective ancestral domains.
Invest in Education, Not Militarization!
Education is a right!
Voices: Lydia Navarro
Nanay Lydia giving school supplies to the Salupongan students during the 12th Annual Bwalawan Festival. Special thank you to the Community of the Ursuline Sisters for also donating schools supplies!
“The take away for me is that I realized that many of us can take things for granted, especially education. We think that it’s there for everyone. I thought I was the educated person, I went to college and everything, but now seeing this I realized I really lacked education on this situation. We always learn and I am really humbled to learn about the struggle of the Lumad people, the indigenous people.
I’m so proud of these dedicated teachers. They can go somewhere else to teach like in the city where there is comfort, but instead they sacrifice and even at times put their lives in danger just to make sure the children get their education. I’m so proud of what they do.
I really applaud the parents of the students. The children are so warm, disciplined and respectful, you can see it comes from their heart. I really want to continue to support the education of these children so that they will understand the laws and their rights. They’re Filipinos, they’re human beings and every human being has a right to an education.”
Updates from the Ground:
Surigao Bakwit Return
by Teresita (International Volunteer and Advocate for ALCADEV)
In Surigao del Sur, the Lumads have left the Tandag City bakwit (evacuation of internally displaced persons) due to their tireless advocacy and outreach, but their struggle against large scale mining perseveres. The Manobo’s grand homecoming, organized by MAPASU, on September 2, 2016 was embarked upon following commemorative ceremonies of the horrendous Lianga Massacre of September 1, 2015 during which they were forcibly evacuated by the paramilitary bandits of Magahat Bagani.
While we celebrate their return to ancestral land and the pullout of the 75th Infantry Battalion, we know that they return to devastated homes, ransacked schools, acres of plundered farms. All of their livestock, tools, seeds, supplies, and personal items have been lost or stolen allegedly by the military and paramilitary forces. School documents and supplies have been burned and damaged.
Despite the military’s efforts to demoralize the Lumads, they are resilient. Updates sent from ALCADEV staff inform us that the school is continuing its mission. The students and teachers are cleaning, clearing weeds, and beginning to replant. They have “cooperation from local government, the untiring support from the churches, middle forces, peasant, women's, youth organization and others.”
Material support is vital and urgent in the rebuilding of Lumad communities and schools. Through www.ProtectLumadEducation.org you can send monetary donations that will be used to rebuild infrastructure, provide food while they replant farms, purchase tools, and meet basic hygienic needs for students. All proceeds are sent directly to ALCADEV staff who have full agency in the spending and distribution process.
*For questions regarding the PLE site, please contact Teresita at
Updates from the Ground:
Give a Just Peace A Chance
"To our Muslim brothers, the Moro country, and the members of the CPP-NPA-NDF (Communist Party of The Philippines-New People's Army-National Democratic Front), let me say this. All of us want peace, not the peace of the dead, but the peace of the living."
-President Rodrigo Roa Duterte
Quote from State of the Nation Address 2016
September 23, 2016 - Peace Forum held at Holy Cross College in Davao City with National Democratic Front Peace Panel Representatives and local academics and peace advocates.
For those who may not be familiar with Philippine history and politics there has been a long running civil war in the Philippines for almost 50 years now between the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army-National Democratic Front and the Government of the Philippines.
As well historical armed conflicts between Muslim rebel forces such as the Moro National Liberation Front and Moro Islamic Liberation Front and the Government of the Philippines.
The root causes of these armed conflicts are based on systemic economic, political, social and cultural issues.
At present the National Democratic Front (NDF) and the Government of the Philippines (GPH) are presently engaged in Peace Talks which are being held in Oslo, Norway. Currently, both sides are working diligently on trying to find mutual resolutions to the root causes of the armed conflict such as poverty and landlessness.
Salupongan International along with millions of other Filipinos and peace advocates locally and globally support the Peace Talks between the NDF and GPH. We hope that the root causes of the armed conflict are resolved and the Philippines and its people may finally see a just and lasting peace in the near future.
We hope that the Peace Talks find resolutions to move forward the immediate pull out of military and paramilitary forces in Lumad communities and schools and also follow through on the Department of Environment and Natural Resources call to "Stop Large Scale Mining". This will ensure positive steps toward genuine peace and security for civilians who have been unjustly targeted, harassed, intimated, criminalized and whose rights have often been violated in rural Lumad, Moro and peasant communities.
SI encourages our friends, families and networks to actively engage in Peace Forums and educate our local and global communities on the root causes of the armed conflict and discuss ways on how to collectively solve them.