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Bright Horizons Care Giving & Ravanera Foundation Liberating the Poor & Oppressed IPs

Kim’s Dream Orlan Ravanera
Be That Change You Want to Happen in the World

India’s great liberator, Mahatma Gandhi, once said, “be that change you want to happen in the world.” Through Satyagraha (Love-Force), Gandhi was able to liberate his people from the quagmire of colonial rule from the powerful British Empire not through gunfire but through the force of love.

The Amada-Vicente Ravanera Foundation (AVRF) through its Committee on Advocacy has been harnessing the collective potentials of the Indigenous Peoples in Mindanao through cooperativism to liberate them from the quagmire of poverty and massive oppression. Please be informed that the Indigenous Peoples are not disposable wastes. SILA PO AY TAO HINDI BASURA. All these years, they have been treated as disposable wastes. Here is a summary of the IP narratives: “Since 2016, a total of 98 individuals especially IP leaders have fallen victims to extra judicial killings with around 169 victims of frustrated EJKs, 227 IPs have been illegally arrested, detained and abducted and 27 reported being subjected to torture.” For what? For resisting the continuing illegal land grabing of their ancestral domain. Of those killed included a five-year old boy and a pregnant woman. PATAY NA, KINATAY PA! Such is a way of instilling fear as the indigenous lands have become battle grounds of conflict against powerful forces that aim to grab their lands and resources to advance political and economic interest in support of agenda that is driven by corporate greed. Dispossession and displacement of IP community from their ancestral lands continue unabated despite the recognition of IP rights by the IPRA Law as well as International Human Rights Laws.

The violations of their human rights are continuing without let-up, manifesting the painful truism that the enrichment of the rich by acquiring their lands means the IPs own dispossession. Land, water, forests and natural resource called commons are their economic assets which for thousands of years they have been using in the spirit of sharing and service to one another as the IP culture has given high adherence to the sacredness of nature. Now that the IP rights are being wantonly violated which are well protected by the IPRA Law which created the NCIP to be the IP vanguard, the IPs now are the poorest of the poor and the most oppressed. Their ancestral domain has been converted into massive plantations to serve the consumerist lifestyle of the people in advanced countries while we cannot even have enough staples, i.e. rice and milk, for our people. NCIP, where are you?

Let us revisit some of these painful narratives. In San Vicente, Sumilao, Bukidnon, the Manobo Tribe headed by a lady Datu named Bae Merlita Mayantao stood up to defend their 5,000-ha. ancestral domain which was fenced into a ranch by a powerful corporation. When the tribe protested in 2016, barrage of bullets rained upon them and 3 protesters died and 3 wounded including two of her children. Until now, it was so painful to know that nothing has been done and I was told they are seeing the killers going around freely who are members of a well- known Security Group.

But such is just a tip of the iceberg. If you go to the 4-lane highway in Butong, Quezon, Bukidnon, more than one thousand families of the Manobo- Pulangiyon Tribe are living under shattered tents for more than six years now eating only “kamote” once a day. Why? Because they were ousted from their 1,111 ha. – ancestral domain by a powerful multi-million pineapple plantation company, Kiantig Development Corporation, owned and managed by the incumbent Mayor, Pablo Lorenzo III. It is so painful to see all the children are malnourished and are suffering from different kind of diseases. All of the children have to be tied-up every night while sleeping as 5 children have already been hit by running cars. While the AVRF has been spearheading that they be liberated from poverty and massive oppression, even leading their entry into an adjacent 5-hectare vacant land on April 19,2022 when shooting incidence took place, the Certificate of Ancestral Domain Title has finally been issued but still they are not allowed to enter their domain as a Certiorari has been issued by the Supreme Court.

Now living in hunger and extreme poverty, it was so amazing to see the outpourings of love and care-giving by no less than the Bright Horizons Careging Training Hub headed by Madam Gregoria Calva Salon. As envisioned by the founder of the caregiving herself, “I believe that perpetuating the cycle of aspiration, trust and empathy, our value will lead to meeting the needs of the people regardless of their educational qualification. Importantly, they showed respect and believed that positive attitudes led to their desire to improve living quality.” Indeed, Ms. Salon is correct in underscoring the importance of developing one’s potentials not for instant pursuit of wealth, fame or power but to serve the least of our brethren. The Bright Horizons Caregiving has shown concern for the children as their team distributed new pairs of slippers to the children of less fortunate selected areas here in Mindanao, which they received wholeheartedly. It is aimed to foster child social, intellectual, creative, and physical development.

On June 21,2023, the Bright Horizons Caregiving Hub will conduct an outreach program through medical mission to provide medical treatment to the elderly the sick and malnourished children along the hi-way of Butong, Quezon to assist some 1,000 families living under shattered tents. The outreach program will also include provision of food to street residents and slippers to the children. The medical mission will include diagnosis and treatment including distribution of free medicine and vitamins, courtesy of the AVRF. Indeed, there is no greater grandeur sight on earth than what the Bright Horizons and AVRF to liberate the poor and the oppressed from the quagmire of hunger and poverty and to provide love and care to the malnourished and sick Indigenous Peoples particularly the pitiful innocent children. It is so amazing that in a world buried in unbridled materialism and consumerism that is giving high veneration to the profit motive that has already captured the mindset of all governments, all institutions, all universities and even of religious groups, the Bright Horizons and the AVRF are trail-blazing the outpourings of love and caregiving to the “least of our brethren.” As King Solomon declared in Ecclesiastes, “wealth, fame and power are meaningless, utterly meaningless. What is important is how we have served the least of our brethren.” Indeed, be that change that you want the world to be! To the bright Horizons Care Giving Hub and to the amazing board of the AVRF headed by Dr. Zenaida Ravanera, PhD, for trailblazing the social transformation or change that you want the world to be, here is a simple poem:
A Care Giving, The Wind of Change
The wind of Change, now hovering from the mountains to the cities, From the hills to coastal communities, it is the dawn of a new day, in the land of the free; For the people to the free from hunger and malnutrition That’s the mission of the Bright Horizons, Amidst the darkness of helplessness of the aged, the disabled and the sickly children, we will light the torch of loving care through caregiving. We are one AVRF & Bright Horizons family, highly committed to serve those in need, working to cure , to heal, for their liberation thru AVRF, Through the love of the Bright Horizons. We will capacitate, we will empower, We stand as one dedicated to serve. Now social transformation is in the offing, Gaining headways, taking responsibilities. Let us provide service to lovingly care as our mission And the world will be illuminated with a bright horizon.

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