In the past, every Jesuit Bukidnon Mission high school director or parish priest had to figure out by himself how to send to college deserving indigenous (Lumad, in the local dialect) high school graduates from their schools and parishes. They usually sought financial support from friends and family but which required time and energy and took them away from pressing needs of the mission. Furthermore, the Lumad scholars are often left on their own to cope with college life and adjust to urban living in the cities of Malaybalay, Cagayan de Oro, Davao or Cebu. Their psychological, social or emotional strength and maturity could make or break them. A few had dropped out, married early or ended up working as laborers. Some graduated but stayed in the city or settled elsewhere leaving their tribes behind.
We propose an organized, collaborative, and holistic college scholarship and formation program – that which pools resources from like-minded individuals and charitable organizations and prepare the Lumad youth for future leadership roles in their respective tribes. With seed funding from the Philippine Jesuit Foundation (New York City), the Bukidnon Mission Jesuits in 2017 have established a college scholarship and formation program called Kapawa hu Paglaum (Light of Hope), under its legal entity, Fr. Leoni Mission Foundation, Inc.
100 IN 10 – A TEN YEAR PROGRAM
The goal of this ten-year program is to journey and empower at least 100 young indigenous peoples who will eventually become their tribes’ leaders by providing them quality education and holistic formation. Starting school year 2021-2022, the program expects to reach a maximum capacity of 50 scholars coming from the seven tribes of Bukidnon. Within the ten-year program, 100 indigenous youth would have completed their university degrees with the support of sponsors and benefactors.
Top row (left to right):
a) Jession Diwangan - graduated Cum Laude from Xavier University, Electronics and Communications Engineering in 2019. The first Umajamnen licensed engineer, he is a product of Calacapan Literacy School, Canangaan Elementary School, and Fr. Leoni Memorial School, parish of Cabanglasan.
b) Joe Art Linoay - graduated in 2019 as an Automotive Servicing Technician from Mindanao Arts and Technological Institute
c) Ivie Mansa - a 2019 graduate with Diploma in Midwifery from Mindanao Arts and Technological Institute
d) Marvin Salanay - graduated in 2019 with a degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management and Tourism from Mindanao Arts and Technological Institute
e) Windell Kevin Sulda - 2019 graduate in Hotel and Restaurant Management and Tourism from Mindanao Arts and Technological Institute
Bottom row (left to right):
a) Angelo Balanban - a licensed Professional Teacher; graduated in 2019 with a degree in Elementary Education from Bukidnon State University. He is an Umajamnen from the Nuestra Sra. Guadalupe Parish of Cabanglasan.
b) Daben Dumonyagan - a 2020 graduate, Automotive Service Technician course from Mindanao Arts and Technological Institute.
b) Shanray Dum-ogan - a 2020 graduate, Automotive Service Technician course from Mindanao Arts and Technological Institute. He is an Umajamnen from Cabanglasan.
c) Angie "Kenken" Lastino - a 2020 graduate, Automotive Servicing Technician course from Mindanao Arts & Technological Institute (MATI). He has been accepted to the Ilawan Volunteer Service Program, a one-year leadership and volunteer program. He is an Umajamnen from Cabanglasan.
d) Bro. Romnick Mulonia - graduated in 2019 with an AB degree in Philosophy from Rogationist Seminary College in Cebu City. He is from the Higaonon tribe in Zamboanguita, Malaybalay,
The Fr. Leoni Mission Foundation Inc., the legal entity of Jesuit Bukidnon IP Ministry, currently led by Fr. Ambrosio Flores, SJ, has journeyed with our Bukidnon IP brothers and sisters for 144 years since the Jesuits first visited in Sumilao, 40 years ago since the mission started in Cabanglasan, and 24 years as a foundation.
Last May 3-6, 2021, the FLMFI team convened the community leaders of four (4) focus mission communities from Cabanglasan, Miarayon, Pangantucan and Zamboanguita for a 4-day leadership training participated by IP Elders, Women (Bae), IP Youth, and Kapawa hu Paglaum college scholars. The activity was intended to reassess our mission and capacitate our leaders for continuous striving for self-determination.
Despite the fast-moving changes that have been greatly affecting our Indigenous Peoples and the challenges brought by the pandemic, the 4-day Leadership Training was a success through God’s affirmation by the heart, brain, and hands from all those who came together to offer their selfless love and service to their respective tribes and personal whys.
144 years ago, we asked, “Aha na kita sa atoang misyon?” Deeply moved by the faces of hope from our IP Leaders and companions, the journey continues in 2021 – continuing the mission started by our Lord, “Padayon nga nagsalig ang mga paring Heswita ug mga nagahigugmang Dumagat sa katakus sa mga lumad ug moabot ang panahon nga mobarog sila sa ilang kaugalingon ug katungod ug ipasigarbo ang tribu ug kinaiyahan.”
Para sa kadakilaan Niya, para sa mga Lumad, alang sa mga Lumad, ang FLMFI ay lubos na nagpapasalamat sa lahat nang tumugon sa tawag!
The mission of our Indigenous Peoples Ministry is to work with the indigenous communities and empower them to achieve self-governance, preserve their cultural Integrity and promote human dignity. The community organization work will require the appointment of coordinators from each of our parish communities and followed up with Pakighinabi with each indigenous people (or Lumad) group. Cultural regeneration will be achieved in part through partnership with Apu Palamguwan Cultural Education Center (APC) for a summer Youth Program. We are also plan to develop a Senior High School Program for Indigenous Arts in Miarayon.
We continue our active involvement with IP associations in Malaybalay, in CaBuSTaM (Cagayan de Oro, Butuan, Surigao, Tandag, & Malaybalay), and the Diocesan Social Apostolate. In addition, we are exploring a possible partnership with Kitanlad Indigenous Communities. In partnership with Xavier University, Political Education of IP Leaders in Cabanglasan will be provided. We have established a Help Desk for IP to extend assistance in legal and community matters. Lumad students who are interested to study law can also work in the IP Office as apprentices. We also assist Xavier Science Foundation in its IP projects in Mt. Kintanlad and Mt. Kalatungan.
We seek to develop the agricultural lands within our schools and parishes into demonstration farms, starting with the land of Pangantucan Community High School. A successful social enterprise and demonstration farm can provide scholarship for the poor students. Exposing students to the feasibility and practicality of agriculture can animate them to consider agriculture as a possible discipline for college. The established farm can also be a means to assist local, small-time farmers in updating their farming skills using modern agricultural methodologies and technologies especially that the regional and provincial offices and training centers are quite far from the municipality.
The Jesuit Bukidnon Mission through the IP Ministry serves communities along the river valleys and highlands of the Kalatungan, Kitanglad and Pantaron mountains. Also known as Lumad, in the regional dialect, the tribes are mostly Talaandig, Higaonon, Manobo, Umajamnon, Matigsalug, and Pulangiyen.