Fr. Jurambelle John Sacil, OMI, IP Ministry (Timanan) with IP Entingayen Festival participant.
IP ENTINGAYEN FESTIVAL HELD IN TIMANAN
Similar to other Indigenous Peoples worldwide, the Teduray-Lambangian peoples of Timanan, South Upi, Maguindanao are materially poor but have rich traditional systems, such as knowledge of medicinal plants and local crops. As a tribute to the IPs in Timanan, the Our Lady of Salvation Parish under the leadership of Fr. Dennis Gui, OMI, parish priest and Fr. Jurambelle John Sacil, OMI, Assistant Director for IP Ministry (Timanan) sought to engage the community in a cultural festival suitably named as Entingayen.
Entingayen in Teduray language roughly means everything God has created in air, in land, and in water; the abundant creation of God including community treasures and domains such as household, farm implements, dance, chants, musical instruments, ways of preparing food, hunting, and farm products.
The first IP festival, Entingayen was held at Lumao High School, Sitio Guila-guila, Barangay Kuya, South Upi. The occasion was made possible with the full support of the Principal, Pilar Cogonon and teachers with the Vice-Mayor of Timanan, Councilors, Fr. Howard Tatel, OMI and IP Leaders gracing the event.
A cultural program was presented by the Teduray-Lambangian IPs which featured melinguyat (traditional wedding), agong exhibition, traditional dances (selewan kefiyo, kefasayaw) musical instruments competition and a very entertaining duologue (a debate like oral exchange between two persons). The afternoon was happily spent with parlor games. Thus, the theme for the festival, “Bridging the IPs for Peace and Progress” embodied the Oblate missionary thrust of dialoguing with peoples of different cultures, faiths and religions.
Through the festival, awareness and appreciation for the IP culture was promoted along with the advocacy of preserving IP culture. More than this, we are strongly reminded of the generous creation of God and our obligation of gratefully conserving the environment. (moss)
IP Dormitories Build Up Through Oblates and Benefactors
In 2014, the Our Lady of Salvation Parish, Timanan, South Upi, Maguindanao started the “Indigenous People Support Project” to assist IP communities. A casual conversation between an educator, Pilar Cogonon, principal of Lumao National High School and Fr. Dennis Gui, OMI, parish priest, led to the realization of a student housing project, the De Mazenod Dorm. It houses IP students who need to cross rivers on foot to reach the school and whose families have very scarce resources. The students are provided free meals, free lodging, and free school uniforms. Vegetables planted in nearby land help augment the food requirements of the dormitory residents.
The project gained the support of the community and benefactors that today, the De Mazenod Dorm in Barangay Kuya with 40 residents is equipped with an annexed structure and another IP dormitory, Notre Dame Dorm in Barangay Pandan housing 18 students has been constructed in response to the request of Mrs. Elizabeth Estorninos, Principal of Pandan National High School. The first dormitory was sponsored by the Rotary Club of Manila, the extension building was built through the Rotary Club of Cotabato City-South under the leadership of Gab Calungsod, Club President. While the Notre Dame Dorm is being supported by St. James-Church of the Poor Apostolate (SJ-COPA) Foundation.
The Notre Dame Dorm was blessed on August 1, 2015, in commemoration of the birth anniversary of the Oblate Founder, St. Eugene de Mazenod. Fr. Gui perceives the provision of the IP Dormitories for high school students Catholics and non-Catholics alike, will help reduce if not eliminate drop outs among the IP students who live in very remote and far-flung villages. It will also diminish health risks among students who have to traverse mountains and rivers.
Fr. Jurambelle John Sacil, OMI remarked, “These projects bring out the best generosity and concern of people who aspire for a better world.” Heartfelt appreciation is hereby expressed to the aforementioned Rotary Clubs, Bobby Ang of the Divine Mercy Apostolate, Rosary Heights Parish, Cotabato City, friends from St. James the Great Parish, Alabang, Principals Pilar Cogonon and Elizabeth Estorninos, teachers of Lumao and Pandan National High Schools who take charge of the management and supervision of the dormitories, neighbours, parents, parishioners and many others who support the dream for the IPs sustainable development. Assistance for the parish program is most welcome for the campaign continues to enable the IPs to gain access to sustainable development.