Feeding Activity and Food Bags Distribution in Sitio Duhat, Barangay Santo Niño
September 29, 2019
Many tribes of indigenous peoples of Sablayan, the ‘Mangyans’ have moved or have been forcibly relocated to hinterlands and lowland areas around the municipality due to ancestral land deprivation, loss of livelihood, numerous cases of military and rebel conflicts upland, outside culture influences and effects of climate change to natural resources on which they depend on. One of the indigenous communities is in a small, elevated and relatively isolated area in Barangay Santo Niño called Sitio Duhatan, around 15 minutes away from the town proper.
Despite the varying degrees of influence of outside culture, they were able to preserve their culture and traditions which can be seen in their communal views about land they occupy, rituals, livelihood, arts and lifestyle.This community has around 50 families. Like other Mangyan tribes, their main livelihood is ”pag-uuling ‘ or charcoal-making ; and agriculture, with rice and ‘kamote‘ or sweet potato main staples being grown.
However, due to their proximity to town, environmental ordinances and land limitations, they cannot practice their traditional way of farming known as ‘ kaingin’ or swidden system and difficulties finding wood for charcoal-making. Taken all these circumstances into account, they do not normally have a reliable source of income and food. Hence, they remain at a much higher risk of food insecurity and malnutrition and other diseases particularly those households with vulnerable members such as children, member with disability, severely sick and old people.
To extend some help to these families, we have conducted a small feeding program and food bags distribution. Through the continued support of our donors, dedicated volunteers and RFMB (Regional mobile Force Battalion) personnel, we were able to feed 54 children and handed food bags with rice and canned goods. It is not much, but we hope that this could somehow ease financial burden of buying food for the next days, particularly when the weather is harsh and food source is limited; and that our visit brought hope, fun and community spirit to the families.
Below are some of the snapshots taken from the activity.