A Catholic nun has launched last week a coffee table book on her mission with the Alangan tribe in the province of Occidental Mindoro.
Titled “Kaagapay” (co-journeyer), the book was formally launched at the Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate Conception (MIC) congregation’s retreat center in Davao City on October 8.
The book launch was part of a series of activities for Indigenous Peoples’ Sunday on October 9.
Sister Beverly Romualdo, MIC, shared her mission story with the Alangan Mangyan community in Mindoro and how they received their certificate of ancestral domain title from the government.
“Sister Bevs,” as she is popularly known, stressed the role of the Church in the lives of indigenous peoples.
“There really should be a relationship,” she said, adding it is “very important.”
“The Mangyan tribe really trusts the Catholic Church because they believe that the nuns and priests will not fool or cheat them,” she said.
The nun said one of the biggest challenges that the Alangan tribe faces is the lack of literacy and education.
“The elders do not know how to write and read. We really encouraged them to read and to go to school,” said Sister Bevs.
“The times are different, if you do not know how to read and write, you will be cheated or fooled,” she said in a report on CBCP News.
Through the help of the Church and various non-government organizations, the government awarded land titled to the Alangan Mangyan tribe in November 2012.
The title granted them the dominion of over 98,462 hectares of their ancestral land in Occidental Mindoro’s Santa Cruz town.
In a testimonial for the book, Alangan leader Loben Garding said they were overjoyed when they finally received the title.
“We held each other’s hands whenever we would lose hope,” said Garding. “This way we felt we were bound to each other. We are one family fighting for one vision.”
The book is available at the MIC Retreat Center in Davao City and will soon be available in Metro Manila through the San Beda College and Immaculate Conception College in Greenhills. – from a CBCP News report
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