The Jesuit Bukidnon Mission District
Celebrating the 25th Founding Anniversary of Father Leoni Mission Foundation, Inc.
Celebrating the 25th Founding Anniversary of Father Leoni Mission Foundation, Inc.
In a momentous gathering, the Jesuit Companions on Indigenous Ministry (JCIM) came together from May 8–12, 2023, at the beautiful Jesuit Retreat House in Malaybalay City. After a four-year hiatus, this highly anticipated event marked the reunion of various Jesuit Indigenous Peoples (IP) Ministries from across the Asia Pacific region.
This is our flagship project that aims to produce 100 indigenous professionals by 2028 (our 10th year since the establishment in 2018). So far, our college scholarship program for indigenous youth has produced 18 professionals already. These graduates are now gainfully employed in their hometowns as teachers, health workers, tourism officer, etc. while actively assisting the program in various capacities. We currently have 54 scholars studying in various colleges and universities in Cagayan de Oro, Bukidnon, and Davao. We may even exceed the 100 professionals come 2028. Hence, we will have 72 graduates by 2026. We will be ushering in at least 28 new scholars in the next two years in order to reach our goal of at least 100 indigenous professionals by 2028. These hopeful projections would not have been possible if not for your faithful donations in the last 5 years.
On October 15-16, 2022, the Kapawa Hu Paglaum scholars with the Assisi Grantees, gathered to celebrate Indigenous People’s month with the theme "The Role of Indigenous Women in the Preservation and Transmission of Traditional Knowledge", which aims to re-emphasize, highlight and recognize the important roles of Indigenous women. A ritualist from the Umajamnen Tribe of Cabanglasan, Datu Samuel spearheaded the ritual which has always been part of our rich traditional heritage. It is a reminder that whatever we do we must always ask for guidance of the “Mu ulin ulin’ and pay deep respect to the spirits dwelling and existing around us. May this celebration open their interests to strive hard to be caretakers and leaders as they follow the footsteps of our IP Elders after understanding the core values of seven tribes of Bukidnon.
One of the fruits of the Kahimunan, the annual weeklong formation for IP Scholars is the establishment of the Cabanglasan Indigenous Peoples Youth Organization (CIPYO). During the weeklong gathering, scholars are provided with leadership, spiritual, cultural, organizational, and social activities that will prepare them for their future roles. One of the highlights of the event is the project that each tribe will propose to implement during the next school year. CIPYO is the product of such program. The core members and prime movers of the organization are Kapawa scholars. It is now recognized as a legal entity. More recently, it has been awarded some seed fund to further their reforestation project in Sitio Tagbacan.
We now focus on three strategies: The IP Leadership Enhancement and Development (IP LEaD) focuses on youth formation and education from high school until the IPs become young professionals. The 100-in-10 falls into this strategy and covers out-of-school IPs, too. The IP Socio-Economic Enrichment and Development (IP SEED) provides capacity building, mentoring, and seed capital for IP communities and cooperatives. Finally, the IP Regeneration of Environment, Arts, Culture, and Health (IP REACH) will focus on uplifting the tribes we are journeying with and to help them deal with issues like the environment, ancestral domain, indigenous culture deterioration, and the empowerment of the tribal chieftains and elders.
We are proud to announce the formation of Kapawa Social Enterprise to produce, market and sell coffee, adlay, art and crafts sourced from our mission communities. We have adopted "4S" as our goals - by the fifth year: a) support the studies of at least 10 scholars; b) source, roast and sell Kapawa Co. brand coffee; c) achieve sustainability with each community having its own retail shop and production facility; d) provide stability to our communities through employment and economic activity.
We aim to empower our IP communities through collaboration and inclusivity; establish self-sufficient and sustainable community retail shops; replicate our initial successes to target communities; educate our communities through actual business experience and practical self-learning; and challenge our performance through the adoption of best practices.
With much gratitude, we acknowledge the donation of fifty (50) Lenovo ThinkPads from Chevron Philippines, Inc. in partnership with the American Chamber Foundation, Inc. (AmCham) last December 2021. Intended to benefit the indigenous students under our IP Ministry, these were received through the Fr. Leoni Mission Foundation, Inc. We also thank Business Process Outsourcing International, Inc. (BPOI) for providing the needed operating system and Microsoft Office software for the computers.
Due to the transportation constraints brought about by the pandemic, the laptops were received in Bukidnon early March 2022. Of the 50 units, 40 units will be distributed among our high school dormitories and college dormitory. The remaining 10 units have been allocated to our Tagbanua Ministry under the auspices of the Loyola College of Culion in Palawan.
Our multi-purpose chapels, 30 in Cabanglasan, 15 in Miarayon and 20 in Zamboanguita, reach out far across communities in the Bukidnon hinterlands. They also function as literacy and catechism centers providing early education to children not served by the provincial elementary schools. Many chapels are temporary structures waiting to be upgraded. The old chapels need to be repaired as they are weather beaten or have simply deteriorated. Some community devotees have attempted to rebuild their chapels on their own but ran short of funds because of the economic downturn. In general, the budget for new chapel construction, renovations or structure expansion run about P75K for materials and labor (recently adjusted for inflation). We thank our donors - parishioners of the Mary the Queen Parish in San Juan, MM, friends of the mission from the Ateneo de Naga, Univ. de Sta. Isabel (Naga) and Ateneo de Manila.
The Kapawa hu Paglaum community of college scholars recently gathered at the JRH in Malaybalay as one family for Kahimunan 2022. The smiles on their faces represent their resiliency and unity. They radiate hope and optimism as they strive to become future leaders of their diverse tribes.
Pangantucan Community HS recently held its Junior HS completion and Senior HS graduation ceremonies. The graduates share photos taken during recognition day, graduation day and thanksgiving masses with their proud and dear parents, families, and friends. Full gratitude to PCHS, they look forward to a bright future!
Congratulations to our Binhi Te Peglaum Scholars academic achievers for the 3rd quarter of Fr. Leoni Memorial School 2022-2023. Your hard work, effort, and perseverance are appreciated. May this milestone inspire you and be grounded in your identity as you continuously strive for academic excellence.
St. Isidore High School of Zamboanguita, Malaybalay, had a Triple Celebration Day (Family Day, 33rd Foundation Anniversay Day, and St. Isidore Labrador Fiesta), last May 15, 2023. The student body made memories with activities through out the day in 5 parts, including a parade, fun and games, and mass.
The parishioners of St. Therese of Miarayon observed the solemnity of the Holy Week through their own Via Crucis. This unique procession took the ardent attendees through the villages, roads and hills of Miarayon up to the summit of the Shrine of the Peace - an arduous 5 km and 2 hour trek.
Harvests from the upland farms have been poor due to the pandemic and economic downturn. Thus, incomes of mostly indigenous families have been affected and their children are going hungry. We prepare meals for 50 kids, but there are days when we come up short as 100-150 would show up. Other villages also need help.
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