Carved by Nature

A view of the Tinuy-an Falls in Bislig, Surigao del Sur. MindaNews photo by Bro. Karl Gaspar

A SOJOURNER’S VIEW: A Double Sur Treat

I was just checking out the latest postings on my Facebook wall, when I noticed an interesting article in Huffington Post about the “15 Places To Go Before They Get… »

A SOJOURNER’S VIEW: Across the Sea, Mindanao reaches out to Leyte

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/23 April) — For the 210 households who are currently living in the village of Sta. Cruz, a picturesque coastal village in Tanauan, Leyte, Davao del Norte was… »

A SOJOURNER’S VIEW: To be instruments of peace

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 26 March) – On Thursday, 27 March, one prays to the God of many names that a gentle wind blows across the thousand islands of our ancestral… »

A SOJOURNER’S VIEW: The precious gift of reading a book

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 6 Feb) – Is reading a book these days – which I have always thought was a rare precious gift – an endangered species in our… »

A SOJOURNER’S VIEW: No toys for Christmas

TACLOBAN CITY (MindaNews / 21 Dec) – Early morning of 20 December, I woke up very early at 3:25 at dawn. I wanted to go back to sleep, but couldn’t. There have… »

A SOJOURNER’S VIEW: In the mata (eye) of the beholder

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 2 Dec) – Dimataling. It is one of the interior towns of the Baganian Peninsula of Zamboanga del Sur. Located along the coastal area between Zamboanga… »

A ringside view of “The Riddles of my Homecoming”

For the longest time, the award-winning Mindanawon filmmaker, Arnel Mardoquio, had been inviting me  to visit him and the members of his team while they were shooting a film.  I… »


Bohol, akong pinangga, akong hinigugma (my love). It is hard to find accurate statistics as to how many Mindanawons could claim Bohol as their place of birth or that of … »

A SOJOURNER’S VIEW: The politics of statistics involving the Lumad

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 10 Oct) – This coming Sunday, 13 October, the Roman Catholic Church throughout the Philippines will be celebrating the Indigenous Peoples Sunday. An activity conducted yearly by… »

SOJOURNER’S VIEW: To be a great-grandfather

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 4 Oct) – On 1 October 2013, I went to visit my mother’s grave at the Davao Memorial Park. She died of colon cancer on this… »

A SOJOURNER’S VIEWS: The birth of a cultural movement in Davao City

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 28 Aug) – Quietly – after the noise of the 2013 KADAYAWAN Festival had died down – a group of artists and cultural workers gathered at… »

A SOJOURNER’S VIEW: On the verge of a great sea-change

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 29 June) – It has been raining in Davao in the past week causing floods in some parts of the city. With memories of Pablo still… »

A SOJOURNER’S VIEW: Abrazos para Papa Francisco

When I woke up on Wednesday morning of 13 March, there were a number of texts waiting to be read in my cell phone. I learned immediately that while I… »

A SOJOURNER’S VIEW: Alber Husin: Go gently into the night, dear friend

DAVAO  CITY (MindaNews/14 February) — As I write this, Alber Husin – a Tausog peace advocate, anthropologist, teacher, partner to Irene and father of two children – is on a… »

A SOJOURNER’S VIEW: Creativity and Sustainability

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/6 February) — If only for its logo – a radiant, multi-colored lotus flower  with a gentle  fire in its womb – the LIWANAG : WORLD FESTIVAL ON… »

COLORS AND MOODS: A Solo Exhibit of Elenita Dumlao

Walking across the space of the Bahaghari Gallery, contemplating on the more than seventy paintings of Elenita Dumlao, one is struck by the millions of dots – mostly whites – spread across the art works. There are the tiniest of dots but the dots expand to images of bubbles, eyes, the sun and the moon.

A SOJOURNER’S VIEW: Ang Paglalakbay ng mga Bituin sa Gabing Madilim” (Stars’ Journey into the Dark Night): A Film Review

There is no doubt that with his latest film – Ang Paglalakbay ng mga Bituin sa Gabing Madilim – the Mindanawon independent filmmaker, Arnel M. Mardoquio, has now become one of the country’s best.

A SOJOURNER’S VIEWS: Davao authors make a splash at the National Book Awards event

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/18 November) –  I was not able to attend  the 31st National Book Awards event held on 17 November 2012 in the afternoon at the Old Senate Session… »

TAMBARA: A film that debunks the myths of modernity and helps us to revisit our past

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/30 June) — I am very glad that the first film I watched on the first day of the First Sineng Pambansa National Film Festival sponsored by the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) is Orvil Bantayan’s TAMBARA. As Davao City is this festival’s host, a film touching tangentially on the indigenous belief system of Davao’s original people – the Bagobo – is a must see!

A SOJOURNER’S VIEW: Like water from one’s hand

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/25 June) — “How is one to know what people are like?  Perhaps no one can ever know; perhaps people are uncapturable, and slip away like water from… »

A SOJOURNER’S VIEW: One more Independence Day

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/12 June)  — Here comes the bride, all dressed in white.  This sentence – usually sung – figures prominently this month as June supposedly has been the preferred… »

A SOJOURNER’S VIEWS: A Tale of Two Events

ILIGAN CITY (MindaNews/03 May) – In 1859 – a hundred and fifty-three three years ago – Charles Dicken’s classic novel, A TALE OF TWO CITIES, enthralled the reading public with… »

A SOJOURNER’S VIEW: From logging to mining

MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews/29 March) – In the afternoon of Monday, 26 March 2012, I was seated at the back row inside the Cathedral of San Isidro Labrador, Malaybalay City waiting… »

A SOJOURNER’S VIEW: The Democratization of Art

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/05 February) — Of the estimated 1,500,000  inhabitants who  now reside in the various buildings, houses,  shacks and streets  of Davao City, I wonder what percentage of this… »

A SOJOURNER’S VIEW: A tragic tale of a city and a river

Rivers run through Iligan City, which is why its name is Iligan. The city’s linguistic origin is from the word ilig, which according to the Iliganons means to flow. There are… »

A SOJOURNER’S VIEW: A friendship with Pops across 34 years

CEBU CITY (MindaNews/18 October) — The first text came just before 10 a.m. on the 17th of October, 2011  with these words – Fr. fausto tentorio, italian priest basd in… »

A SOJOURNER’S VIEW: A brief summer sojourn in Ireland

DUBLIN, Ireland (MindaNews/4 August) – For a few summers now, the Columban Ecological Institute, headed by Fr. Sean McDonagh and based in their office at Dalgan Park, has conducted a… »

FILM REVIEW: Crossfire

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/12 June) — Arnel Mardoquio, one of Mindanao’s rising indie filmmakers, strikes gold once again with his latest film – Crossfire! Perhaps Mardoquio is one of the very few Filipino filmmakers whose films have all been nominated for the Urian Best Picture award by the Manunuri ng Pelikulang Pilipino, the most distinguished award-giving body for films in the country today. Mardoquio’s first three films – Hunghong sa Yuta, Hospital Boat and Sheika – all competed for Urian’s Best Picture

A SOJOURNER’S VIEWS: In the shadow of the Temple of Mammon

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/05 June) — In June of 1963,  around a hundred of us freshmen began our undergraduate  studies at what was then the Ateneo de Davao College (it would… »

A SOJOURNER’S VIEWS: A nascent Mindanawon film industry

ILIGAN CITY (23 May) — The average Filipinos on the street – referred to by the renowned Filipino filmmaker Lamberto V. Avellana during the first golden age of Filipino movies… »

REVIEW: The Seductive Power of Buzzwords

(Review of “The Politics of Anti-Politics: What does the buzzword ‘community-driven development’ do? The case of Mindanao Peace and Development” by Nikki Philline C. de la Rosa, published in Mindanao… »

ARTS AND CULTURE: The endangered indigenous healer

There is always something very appealing about an art work which is a labor of love! This is especially so, if it happens to be the artist’s first major production. One can tell that such artists invest their soul into their first creative production. Consequently, the appreciative viewer responds favorably to the artists’ assertion of a soul seeking to express deep longings and aspirations even as they take the risk to be vilified and damned for over-estimating their gifts.

THAT WE MAY REMEMBER Free again but…

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/23 February) — I was released from prison in March 1985 after 22 months of detention. But long before I regained my freedom, I had made a decision… »

Mindanao's romance with Christmas lights

ILIGAN CITY (MindaNews/24 December) — I have been traveling these past weeks and I am amazed at how, across Mindanao, Christmas lights have created magical places, filling children with wonder… »

PANAW LANTAW: Nabahaw na ba ang Semana sa Kalinaw sa Mindanao? by Karl M. Gaspar CSsR

Usa ka semana na ang niagi sukad nahuman ang Semana sa Kalinaw sa Mindanao. Sa mga pundok nga aktibo sa pagpahigayon og mga kalihokan aning maong Week of Peace, karong… »

A SOJOURNER'S VIEW: Madayaw Sur Surigao?

TANDAG, Surigao del Sur (December 8) — Are things really madayaw (good) in Surigao del Sur these days? Across the province, one sees all kinds of tarpaulin signs that include the word MADAYAW that one is tempted to conclude that everything is fine with the people in that province which is located in the eastern coastal area of Mindanao.

Mardoquio's film, Sheika, competes in Asiatica Film Mediale Festival in Rome

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/13 November) – Sheika, a film written and directed by Davao-born Arnel Mardoquio is competing at the  11th Asiatica Film Mediale Festival in Rome, Italy this week. The… »

The story behind the Indigenous Peoples' Sunday by Karl M. Gaspar, CSsR

In terms of numerology, the three tens placed side by side look quite impressive. 10 October 2010. That is what these three tens are all about: the second Sunday of October this year. For the Catholic Church in the Philippines, this is the celebration of the Indigenous Peoples or IP Sunday. On this day, priests are expected to give homilies and invited IPs provide commentaries on the sad plight of the IPs as well as encourage Christian lowlanders to express their solidarity with the IPs’ struggle for self-determination.

A SOJOURNER'S VIEW: Sheika: A Film Review. By Karl M. Gaspar, CSsR

“The pen is mightier than the sword!” We are all familiar with this adage which goes back to 1939 when the playwright Edward Bulwer-Lytton incorporated these words in his play, Richilieu. Today the words are a bit archaic given the changes in communications and weapons technology. Perhaps it can be updated to: “The camera is mightier than the nuclear torpedo!”

A SOJOURNER'S VIEW: Tampakan or Tamakan? By Karl M. Gaspar

ILIGAN CITY  (MindaNews/17 June) — As 30 June 2010 approaches – a red-letter day promising relief from the ravages suffered by the Filipino people under the most unpopular administration in… »

A SOJOURNER'S VIEW: The Dream for Balance and Harmony. By Karl M. Gaspar CSsR

SEOUL, Korea (MindaNews/23 May) — If one views the flag of the Republic of Korea which is called the taegeukgi, one is immediately drawn to the yin and yang design in two colors… »


NEW YORK (MindaNews/26 September) — It is a good time to be in New York.  Since I arrived here last week, the weather has been really nice: neither too hot nor too cold.  It's like being in Baguio during sunny days this time of the year, too.  The late summer flowers in the parks are still in bloom and the trees stand tall with thick foliage.

ON SABBATICAL: A pilgrimage to Mt. Banahaw (5)

Last of five parts
QUEZON (MindaNews/03 Sept) — When I asked them how many they were in this samahan, he said that they speak in terms of balangays (clusters of families) and as of the moment, they have 71 balangays spread across the country with most of them being in Luzon. Most of those in Kinabuhian are members of their samahan; others live in various parts of the country.

ON SABBATICAL: A pilgrimage to Mt. Banaha

4th of five parts
QUEZON (MindaNews/02 Sept) — As Mt. Banahaw is considered a place for healing, the local herbs are aplenty and are sold in the various small stores spread all over Sta. Lucia. One could see barks of trees, leaves, limestones being displayed and sold for their medicinal value. Some of these find their way to Quiapo and other outlets for herbal medicine and the like. 

ON SABBATICAL: A pilgrimage to Mt. Banahaw (3)

3rd of five parts
QUEZON (MindaNews/01 Sept) — For students of Spirituality – as an academic discipline – interested in indigenous mystical practices of our ancestors, here in the samahan one is afforded a glimpse into what could be one model or lived experience of mysticism that goes a long way back to our pre-colonial era. While listening to Nanay Isabel, I was conscious of a deep desire: that there would be serious Filipino scholars who would pursue this type of research as it would be most helpful in rediscovering our very deep sense of the divine as well as the roots of our own indigenous spirituality.

ON SABBATICAL: A pilgrimage to Mt. Banahaw (2)

2nd of five parts
QUEZON (MindaNews/31 August) — There are also landmarks placed in strategic areas by the National Historical Commission. One informs the nationalist pilgrim that the hero Macario Sakay and his men retreated to this part of Mt. Banahaw during the height of their anti-colonial struggles. The confluence of these signs and symbols – political, cultural, religious – provides the unique character of Mt. Banahaw as it affirms the sojourner's citizenship, cultural identity and religiosity.

ON SABBATICAL: A pilgrimage to Mt. Banahaw

1st of five parts
QUEZON (MindaNews/30 Aug) — I had always wanted to go on a pilgrimage to Mt. Banahaw, perhaps the country's premiere indigenously Filipino pilgrimage site. However, the visit to the holy mountain remained elusive through the past more than five decades of my life. This desire intensified in the past decade during and after my UP studies and especially as I became more and more interested in knowing more about Filipino indigenous spirituality.

ON SABBATICAL: A representation brouhaha: the continuing saga of the Tasaday

QUEZON CITY (MindaNews/20 August) — Thirty years since "a group of people," in the words of the American news reporter John Nance, "walked less than 20 miles from their home in a Philippine rain-forest and traveled through 50,000 years of cultural and technological time", the debate on whether the Tasaday were truly from the Stone Age or not continues to rage in the country's anthropological circle.

ON SABBATICAL: Robben Island

ROBBEN ISLAND, South Africa (MindaNews) — I first heard about Robben Island years ago, when I was a political prisoner in the Davao Metrodiscom stockade in downtown Davao City.
The world's most famous political prisoner, Nelson Mandela, who was to spend almost 30 years in prison before being released in the early 1990s, was incarcerated there.

About MindaNews

Mindanao News and Information Cooperative Center (MNICC) is a cooperative composed of independent, professional journalists who believe and practice people empowerment through media. We also believe that Mindanao is not all bad news and that our responsibility as journalists and information providers is to ensure a mixed balance of reports beyond the usual fare published in national newspapers or aired on radio and TV.