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Xavier Science Foundation Empowers Powerless IPs

Kim’s Dream Orlan Ravanera

From Depth of the Earth Will Rise Homes for the IPs

The six-day training on Brick-Making has amazingly capacitated the chieftains of the Indigenous Peoples in Tikalaan, Talakag, Bukidnon and the Ilocano settlers in Amai Manabilang, Lanao del Sur to manufacture bricks or earth-blocks for them to build structures, i.e., residential, training centers or even gymnasiums. Why is this so? Well, glaringly, the Indigenous Peoples particularly in Bukidnon and Lanao provinces are now living in extreme poverty as their ancestral domains have been transformed into massive plantations by foreign corporations. Every time they would stand-up for their land and water rights, repressions and “red-tagging” are being resorted to as some 101 chieftains have already been killed since 2016. 

No less than Mr. Peter Goodman, an American journalist who visited Bukidnon a year ago, published in Washington Post and New York times, these painful realities, manifesting the truism that corporate globalization has conquered Mindanao where the choicest of land especially in Butong, Quezon and everywhere else have been transformed into massive plantations by powerful corporations in cohorts with influential oligarchs. Thus, some one thousand families of the Manobo-Pulangiyon Tribe have been living under shattered tents for the past 7 years along the hi-way because their ancestral domain of some 1,111 hectares has been transformed into massive plantation by the powerful Kiantig Development Corporation owned and managed by the incumbent Mayor of Quezon, Bukidnon. Pity the poor IPs. SILA PO AY TAO HINDI BASURA. While advocating for social justice, we must now provide them with their basic needs, i.e., food and shelter. Providing them food means empowering them to go into sustenance agriculture where nature is treated like a “home” where their needs are provided for. How about shelter?

Recently, they have met an amazing pro-people and pro-environment Pastor named Mr. Emmanuel “Boy” Alkuino whose technical expertise is on brick-making and the spectacular usage of bamboo to replace the use of plastics. With the outpourings of knowledge and expertise in the 6-day training in Valencia, Bukidnon, the trainees can now manufacture manually bricks or earth- blocks which are far better than hallow-blocks. The brick-making techniques include manufacturing earth-blocks that can be used for flooring, walls and even for roofing and of different colors depending on the color of clay.  

During the training period, they brought volumes of clay from their ancestral domain which oozes with clay of different colors, i.e., white, red, violet, green, yellow, and blue.

The empowering path to liberate our poor IPs from homelessness and extreme poverty has now loomed in Bukidnon as a counter-measure against despair and hopelessness. No way could that happened without the help and kindness of Xavier Science Foundation headed by no less than Mr. Roel Ravanera, the Chief Executive Officer. To you, my dear brother, our firm salute, and warm embrace. 

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