MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews/03 August) – The Apu Palamguwan Cultural Education Center or APC launched a book on the Bukidnon Pulangiyen tribe titled “Learning Sustainable Life” in three cities recently.
Author Peter Walpole, a Jesuit priest, led launching events at the Asian Center of Management in Makati City on July 23, at the Jesuit Retreat House in Malaybalay City on July 29, and at Xavier University in Cagayan de Oro City on July 30.
Walpole, who lives with the Pulangiyens in Bendum, a remote upland village in Malaybalay City, said at the launching here that “culture and community are the starting points of education.”
Education is a desired and basic need for upland communities. However, schools that teach a curriculum and a language of concepts often alien to the land context can further alienate people,” he writes in the introduction to the book.
The publication summarizes the APC’s engagement with the Pulangiyen community in Bendum, the introduction continues.
The 45-page book is subtitled “Bukidnon Pulangiyen Community Experience of Integrating Mother Tongue Education for Sustainable Development”.
Walpole introduced the 15 topics covered in the book, divided basically into two major groupings: culture and environment.
The book tackles under culture the topics on the Pulangiyen of Bukidnon, the education program in partnership with the Pulangiyen, trends from the margins of Philippine education, and four other subjects.
Under environment, the topics are “developing a model,” culture and identity, resources and security, “from fear to peace,” land use change, adaptation, ecological services, and global social relations.
The author is also the executive director of APC, put up in 2004 and gained Department of Education recognition in the same year.
The first formal indigenous people-based education center, the school was registered as a non-profit educational institution with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Through discussions with the tribal council and their committee on education, APC’s vision, mission, philosophy and goals were crafted.
Walpole said, quoting from the introduction in the book, that their approach to education is considered a community-based approach to sustainable livelihood.
“MLE (multi-lingual education), when applied as the community’s education program needs to integrate not only the language but also explicitly the community’s culture, knowledge, landscape, and resource management practices, thereby strengthening its capacity for adaptation that sustains the local environment,” he said.
APC’s goals include providing basic cultural education that serves as the foundation for the life-long learning of Lumad children and youth.
It also aims to guide the students through various learning experiences in the context of their community life thus facilitating their holistic development as individuals capable of managing the community’s resources, sustaining their livelihood, governing the community as an indigenous people, and engaging with broader society, the APC website says.
A number of Pulangiyen community members attended the Malaybalay launching along with representatives from the academe, civil society, private sector, and the government. (Walter I. Balane/MindaNews)