“Ang hindi magmahal sa sariling wika daig pa ang hayop at malansang isda.” Anyone who does not love their own language is worse than an animal (wild beast) and a smelly fish. – Dr. Jose Rizal Philippine National Hero. The rest of the members of my host community, also constantly echoed this timeless quote cited to me by my Bagobo host Datu Renante. To take pride in one’s native language appear to help my hosts instill a sense of identity and courage amidst a world that seem to want them to disappear.
RACISM / DISCRIMINATION
Maricel Talabaon, the young Datu’s wife, cries as she explains how much sacrifice and pain they had to endure in order to establish a home for their “orphaned” Bagobo children. The displaced children are without their parents due to prolonged conflict between military troops against rebel forces operating in their territories. The extractive industry that operates both in the highlands and lowlands has created a displaced people driven away from their ancestral lands resulting in extreme poverty and lack of resources. In order for the children to have a chance at surviving and to gain opportunities, parents sent their children to the Talabon’s in Astorga.