The Road to Mindanao (March to April 2017 Bulletin)

The Road to Mindanao (March to April 2017 Bulletin)

Released by the Philippine Province Commission on Ministries & Jesuit Communications
March - April 2017


Last April 5, 2017 marked the very first graduation rites of the Tboli Sbù Senior High School (TSSHS), which opened on May 19, 2015. Vinci Bueza of Ateneo de Davao University (ADDU) gives us some information on this landmark education program for Indigenous Peoples:  “The community elders insisted that Tboli Sbù be in the school’s name to emphasize their identity as Tbolis of Lake Sebu since there are other Tboli communities in the municipality of Tboli.  In cooperation with the Department of Ecuation, the TSSHS began with a pilot test of the Grade 11 curriculum designed for the Tboli students.  Designed as a Technical-Vocational Track, the two course specialisations are Livelihood Management and Eco-Tourism. Livelihood Management students are taught the skills of Tnalak weaving, loom weaving and embroidery, brass casting, woodcarving and sustainable crop production with classes on entrepreneurship and management. Eco-Tourism students are taught environmental conservation vis-a-vis sustainable tourism management and practices.

The school is built on the community’s cooperation, collaboration and participation as they find it an effective way of maintaining their cultural identity and exercising their self-determination.  Aside from technical skills, TSSHS is also committed to inculcating the six core values identified by the community elders: reverence for the Holy, pride for culture, respect for the Elders, love for peace, hospitality and passion for learning.  Central to the whole process of developing this culture-based programme is the engagement of the community culture-bearers known as Indigenous Knowledge, Systems and Practices holders. These culture bearers are tapped to engage with and hand-down their cultural knowledge to the young Tboli students.

The TSSHS is not about the Department of Education, nor is it about ADDU.  It is about the Tboli communities of Lake Sebu asserting their cultural identity. Like their distinctive Tnalak, they are a people with very strong convictions and aspirations to bring their beautiful culture to the world.”


It has been a busy past two months for Province IP ministry, with Fr. Jom Manzano reporting the following:  “April 11-12, 2017 marked a major milestone for the IPs in the municipality of Cabanglasan, Bukidnon. The Local Government Unit of Cabanglasan, in a tripartite collaboration with the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP), the Philippine Province IP Ministry, and other Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), conducted a two-day orientation seminar on the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act (IPRA). This momentous event was attended by the barangay captains, barangay IP Mandatory Representatives (IPMRs), traditional elders and tribal chieftain of the Indigenous Cultural Communities (ICCs) within the territorial jurisdiction of the Municipality of Cabanglasan.  The municipal mayor Hon. Renante Inocando and vice mayor Hon. Lolita Obsioma graced the event with their presence.  The municipal IPMR Datu Geneveve Perino, Province IP Ministry Coordinator Fr. Jomari Manzano SJ, and Apo Governance and Indigenous Leadership Academy (AGILA) Director Ms. Norma Gonoz also attended.

NCIP Commissioner, Mr. Dominador Gomez acted both as resource speaker and facilitator of the discussions, with NCIP Chairperson Atty. Leonor T. Oralde-Quintayo also joining the latter part of the event. Relevant inputs on cultural sensitivity, territories and domain delineation, registration of land titles, and FPIC (Free Prior Informed Consent) guidelines were provided by a team of experts sponsored by the NCIP Region X Office.  The attending datu and bae of each gaup were once again reminded of their four bundles of IP rights, duties and obligations as defined under the IPRA Law, namely, Rights to Ancestral Domains and Lands, Rights to Self-Governance and Empowerment, Rights to Social Justice and Human Rights and Rights to Cultural Integrity.

One month prior to this event, there was a Province IP Ministry Caucus that was held in Malaybalay City within the Bukidnon Mission District (BMD).  The BMD Jesuits, the Indigenous Peoples Apostolate (IPA) of the Diocese, and other religious orders were in attendance to discuss their concerns and endeavors in their work with the IPs in the region. The Most Rev. Bishop of Malaybalay Diocese, Bp. Jose Araneta Cabantan and Jesuit Provincial Superior Fr. Antonio Moreno SJ were among the participants. The NCIP Chairperson Quintayo together with Atty. Antonio La Viña served as the two main discussants at the said caucus. Many participants found relief in realizing that they are not alone in their vocation and life mission of helping the IPs sustain their culture and traditions, while educating them to keep up with the changing times.”


In the past several months, the Province Chinese-Filipino Apostolate has participated in orientations on the Province Roadmap, on both occasions facilitated by Commission on Ministries Chair Fr. Robert Rivera SJ.  Last February 17, 2017 the administrators, faculty, and non-teaching staff and personnel of Ateneo de Iloilo gathered for an orientation on the Province Roadmap.  Similarly, on April 12, 2017, amidst busy preparations for Holy Week, the pastoral council and the Jesuits (Fr. Vids Gornez, Fr. Felipe Bacalso, and Fr. Jun Embile) of Sacred Heart Parish, Cebu took time out to listen to inputs on the Province Roadmap.  Both gatherings were opportunities for those attending to understand better the rationale behind this thrust of the Province, and to explore ways by which their respective apostolates can contribute to its implementation.  The schools (Xavier School, Ateneo de Iloilo, Ateneo de Cebu) and parishes (Mary the Queen, Santa Maria, Sacred Heart) of the Chinese-Filipino Apostolate have been very generous in supporting the various works of the Bukidnon Mission District.

NOTE:  This bulletin is meant to keep our Philippine Province Jesuits and partners in mission updated regarding developments in the implementation of the Province Roadmap.  Please email any news contributions from your respective apostolates to