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NO CHEMICALS. Remegio P. Matalubos explains how they produce organic fertilizer with water hyacinth as the main ingredient. MindaNews photo by Bong S. Sarmiento

Water hyacinth venture of ‘reformers’ brings livelihood, peace

PIGCAWAYAN, NORTH COTABATO (MindaNews/12 June)—True to their faith, a couple in this rustic first-class town has proven their worth as the “reformers.” They live ordinary...

Siargao’s queen of tides

GENERAL LUNA, Surigao del Norte (MindaNews/29 May) -- After topping the Roxy International Women Surfing Competition where she bested surfers from Australia, Germany, England,...
Paragliding in Saragani province. Photo courtesy of Cocoy Sexcion / SARANGANI INFORMATION OFFICE

FEATURE: Conquering heights (and fear of it)

MAASIM, Sarangani (MindaNews/21 May) – It is one acrophobic’s worst nightmare but also a child’s ultimate fantasy fulfillment. How many of us once dreamed we are the caped action heroes who crushed the evil and outlaws and once saved a damsel from falling from the Empire State building, or wherever, like Superman?
Durian handmade paper album with sunflower design made from durian husk. Photo Courtesy of Katakus

Money from waste: Women earn from durian husk

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/17 May) – Waste doesn’t have to be wasted away. This an NGO for the development of women has proved with a...

The Boys of Summer: Philippine style

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/14 May) – They used to soak themselves in cold and icy springs or salty beaches until they quiver to the...
PURE THRILL. A young surfer displays his skills in Tinago Reef in Ayoke Island near Cantilan town, Surigao del Sur last April 30, 2012. MindaNews photo by Erwin Mascarinas

Not just OK in Ayoke

AYOKE ISLAND, Cantilan, Surigao del Sur (MindaNews/02 May) -- Before heading to this island, I tried to search anything about it on the Internet...

Summers in Lolo’s farm

MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews/24 April) – As a child and early teener, I spent many summers in Lolo's farm, which is roughly five kilometers away...
sauces made of organically-grown herbs and vegetables. Ninno was Fr. Uras' nickname as a young boy back in Italy. The missionary runs a cafe in Buda, Davao City that sells food products for the benefit of Lumad children. Mindanews Photo by Keith BacongcoMar 16, 2012 16budauras01.JPG 0 viewsFr. Franco Uras, SDB, talks about his cafe that sells food products for the benefit of Lumad children, in Buda, Davao City. Mindanews photo by Keith Bacongco

Italian priest cooks for Lumad children

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/16 March) – Ninety kilometers from the heart of the city, beside the slopes of Barangay Buda, sits an artisan gourmet café. But...
Gloria Bolando, along with the other women in Sitio Ibuan, Lanuza, Surigao del Sur, helps in maintaining the communal herbal garden which is right beside her farm. They planted it with several herbal plants, including duyaw or turmeric (in picture) which they use to heal arthritic pains, skin diseases and digestive acidity. MindaNews Photo by Ruby Thursday

The woman farmers of Ibuan and Hawilian

LANUZA, Surigao del Sur (MindaNews/07 March) – Who says farming is plainly a man’s work, and women should not do it simply because they...

Move forward and hope that we all learn from the lessons of Sendong

ILIGAN CITY (MindaNews/21 January) – For the past month, I failed to open my emails and the social network sites. Sendong took all my...
Orlando Villareal, of Buenavista, Agusan del Norte, a boat maker since 15. MindaNews Photo by H.Marcos C. Mordeno

The boat maker of Calanggaman

BUENAVISTA, Agusan del Norte (MindaNews/13 January) --  At least thirty outrigger boats line the entire stretch of the shore of Calanggaman, probably this town’s...
Bibo, the 34-year Habal-habal driver, keeps his balance on this bike as he drives through a narrow passage when a dump truck was stuck on its way up near Sitio Diat 2, Barangay Napnapan, Pantukan, Compostela Valley on January 6. The dump truck, which was carrying food supplies for the rescue volunteers, could no longer climb due to steep and slippery road. Keith Bacongco

Covering Pantukan, the second time around

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/12 January) – Ruby and I were supposed to finish editing the photos we took on the aftermath of Tropical Storm Sendong...

Very tired but very fulfilled… 22 days after Sendong

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MindaNews/10 January) – I cannot remember when was the last time I felt so tired that I had to exert too much effort to stand up from bed. I woke up later than usual, violating my New Year’s resolution of waking up before sunrise. I realized that the combined heat of the sun and the weight of the boxes we carried yesterday was just too much that I lay flat on the bed that night and had a very hard time convincing myself not to violate my promise to myself.

8-year old Abegail: “It was OK for me to drown as long as...

NAAWAN, Misamis Oriental (MindaNews/05 January) - It is difficult to imagine that this frail little girl of 8 years would survive the blind fury...

Spending Christmas with the bakwits

ILIGAN CITY (MindaNews/27 December) – “Which do you want to do first, open your gifts or give gifts to the flood victims?”  Dr. Linlin...
Twenty-two military trucks from the Eastern Mindanao Command and three dumptrucks from the City Government of Davao transport relief goods to flood-stricken Cagayan de Oro City and Iligan City on Friday, December 23. The two cities were hardest hit by a flashflood triggered by Typhoon Sendong on December 17. MindaNews Photo by Ruby Thursday More

The Red Ball Express: 10th ID version

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/23 December) – Playing too much computer games makes some sense, sometimes. When I got a message from Maj. Jacob Obligado, chief of...
Reynor Doluna Sr., 53, shows the picture of his missing son Reynor Jr., who was carried away by rampaging flood waters in the Tumalaong River in Baungon, Bukidnon when typhoon Sendong wrought havoc in Northern Mindanao. MindaNews photo by Walter I. Balane

Kin of missing victims in Baungon torn between searching and grieving

LIBORAN, Baungon, Bukidnon (MindaNews/22 Dec) – Farmer Reynor Doluna, 53, could still not accept that his namesake son is gone. Five days after it...

My Story… Their Story… Our Shared Story

I woke up with a sense of panic when I heard the sudden impact of rampaging flood waters entering our room. I was even more shocked when I saw that it was coming from the airconditioner which was one foot feet from the floor. It was about 12:30 a.m. Immediately I woke up my wife Belle and grabbed my son, Kuya Danni, from his bed. I then ran to the room of my daughters, Ate Gabbi and Sammi, who were still asleep. The water inside the house was already knee-deep but it was rising so fast that all the things on the floor started floating and falling. The kids were shouting and I told them to keep silent.

Unsinkable Pinay in the floods of Iligan City

ILIGAN CITY (MindaNews/20 December) – We doctors have a knee jerk reaction to disasters: medical mission. So, I joined the Iligan Medical Society and...

We’ll miss you, Bapa Butch

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – We fondly call him as “Bapa Butch.” Many NGO workers across Southwestern Mindanao would mourn his passing. He died...
"FULL BODY EXPOSURE". Lolong, the world's largest crocodile in captivity, at 20 feet and 3 inches long. Viewing fee on regular days is P20 for adults and P15 for children but double that price on "special day" when the water in Lolong's pen is at its minimal, and visitors can see Lolong's "full body exposure" at the Bunawan Eco-park in Barangay Consuelo, Bunawan, Agusan del Sur. MindaNews photo by Toto Lozano

Lolong: the second most famous Mindanawon (after Manny Pacquiao)

CONSUELO, Bunawan, Agusan del  Sur  (MindaNews/15 November)  -- At the entrance to the  eco-park where the 20.3 feet long Lolong, the world’s largest crocodile,...
Students at the peak of Mt. Apo in the Kidapawan side pose for a souvenir shot in this file photo taken April 2009. MindaNews photo by Bobby Timonera

OctoTrek: Sembreak at 10 degrees Celsius up Mt. Apo

KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews/30 Sept) – While many mountaineers and nature lovers prefer to take an adventure trek up the country’s highest peak during summer,...
Rolled Tinagtag which comes in a plastic packaging are sold at restaurants and bus terminals in North Cotabato Province. Maguindanaons often send it to their relatives abroad. Mindanews Photo by Ruby Thursday More

North Cotabato: Flavors of the road

While landmarks could be most common travel guide, the native delicacies sold in terminals and even along the highways could also tell you where...

Hooded bad guys from Hell

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/14 July) – And so it happened: my mom’s nightmare – me getting in trouble in the wee hours. At about 3:30 a.m....
Bukidnon Datu Dumapal inspects a newly acquired electric coffee grinder. Coffee, a traditional crop, has become a source of income for many Lumad farmers. MindaNews photo by H. Marcos C. Mordeno

Traditional farming practices of the Bukidnon tribe

This article looks like just a collection of the practical aspects of Bukidnon life. There is a deeper significance, however, to be observed in many of these practices. These, too, are part of their culture, connected to it through construction of meanings that incorporate them into the greater whole. These traditional practices make use of the resources that spring from the land. Practicing them allows the cultural meanings attached to them to deepen the tribe’s connection to their ancestral domain.
HITCHHIKERS. Teachers wait for vehicles to give them a free ride on their way home from Davao City’s far-flung barangays, like those in Marilog District in the mountains. These teachers hope to hitchhike everyday to save on transportation expenses, which could cost them P100 roundtrip. MindaNews Photo by Ruby Thursday More

The hitchhiking teachers of Marilog District

MARILOG DISTRICT, Davao City (MindaNews/6 June) – Who says backpackers are the only good hitchhikers? Count the teachers assigned in this district who may have mastered the art of hitchhiking after all these years. Public school teacher Marilyn Camarillo wakes up at 4 a.m. everyday to prepare her packed lunch, which she would bring to school. Camarillo, who lives in barangay Maa, has to take a jeepney going to Ulas junction as early as 6 a.m. because she needs to catch the 7:30 a.m. flag ceremony at the Sto. Niño Elementary School at Barangay Datu Salumay in this district.

A Summer with Gawad Kalinga

ILIGAN CITY (MindaNews/01 June) -- For the average teenager, life revolves around Facebook, parties, and relationships. The biggest problem he’s faced might have been about winning over that girl in Psychology class, or perhaps about convincing his parents to give him an extra P500. He might have stepped out of Jollibee, stomach full, arms heavy with pasalubong, to be swarmed by street kids reaching for his food.

The evolution of mindanews.com

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/25 May) – Ten years ago, this four-letter abbreviation called HTML was alien to me. It stands for hypertext markup language, which...
PANTUKAN, Compostela Valley - A habal-habal negotiates the road to Sitio Panganason-B in Barangay Kingking, Pantukan town in Compostela Valley province, site of the April 22 mine disaster that left 14 persons dead and nine others missing. MindaNews photo by Ruby Thursday More.

In Pantukan, both the living and the dead ride the habal-habal

PANTUKAN, Compostela Valley (MindaNews/03 May) -- In some towns of Mindanao, the sight of motorcycles is a sure sign that some of its remote...

Bislig forests: besieged, beleaguered but there is hope

BISLIG, Surigao del Sur (MindaNews/23 April) – Ever since we joined the Wild Bird Club over five years ago, we have always been advised to visit Bislig forests before they finally disappear from the face of the earth and soon. There were gory tales of trees capriciously cut down by settlers and loggers, of kids as old as 10 wielding chainsaws, of murders and killings of those who got in the way of these malefactors.

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.

Kaamulan street dance tilt showcases harmony among Lumads, settlers

MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews/05 March) – Sounds of wooden and bamboo drums and gongs pervaded the air even before daybreak today with the sound of Pinikpikan’s Kaamulan in the background.

Surit-surit and other stories: Mindanao on the eve of EDSA

MALAYBALAY CITY -- As the bus approached a village in Salay, a town in the eastern side of Misamis Oriental, it slowed down to a stop beside a military checkpoint that leaned against a craggy slope. A soldier clambered aboard and shouted, “Tanang lalaki naug” (All males go down). He then inspected the passengers’ baggage presumably in search of firearms. Below the other soldiers frisked the males and randomly asked for cedula (residence certificate) and other identification documents.

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...

Rebs savor weeklong lull in war

PAQUIBATO DISTRICT, Davao City (MindaNews/22 February) – It’s a sunny day and Ka Ruben, a New People’s Army guerrilla, turned the dial of his portable radio to scan for FM stations. He stopped turning the dial upon hearing “Carrie,” a hit song of Swedish band Europe, and started to sharpen his bolo beside his hammock underneath the young ipil-ipil trees.

The spirits, flora, fauna thrive in Mount Kitanglad

MOUNT KITANGLAD, BUKIDNON - A peso coin drenched in chicken blood is the welcome offered to visitors to this mountain, which soars 2,899 meters over the city of Malaybalay, and the towns of Lantapan, Libona, Impasug-ong, Sumilao, Manolo Fortich, Baungon and Talakag. "This will serve as your identification," says Bae Inatlawan as she hands over the bloody coin, "so that the spirits will allow you to enter."

Leisure and lessons in the western seas

An hour more before midday, but the Pacific sun was already prickly hot, maybe because Mindanao had entered the peak of its chronic climatic...

Feeling the 'Pasko Fiesta sa Dabaw' Air at People's Park

Davaoenos can't help but appreciate what the city turns to during Christmas. Malls come up with unique themes to go with the spirit. Restaurants offer Christmas discounts on their meals to give foodies an excuse to indulge this time of the year. Establishments such as hotels and offices shine with Christmas lights and decors. And of course, stores are filled with what could be possible gifts - for others or for the shoppers themselves. These treats (and more) make Christmas in Davao wonderful.

Bukidnon-Agusan Sur highway: progress for some, death for others

CLAVERIA, Misamis Oriental (MindaNews/16 Nov) -- The tale is same throughout the remaining tropical forest. Bulldozers and other earth-moving equipment are tearing down the...

Talaandigs celebrate life; dance to the beat of the drums

The tribe's art is everywhere in the Talaandig village in Songco. It is in their music, paintings, inside their houses and even on their doors. Children learn to beat the drums as soon as their hands can reach thecowhide canvases and Talaandig grandmothers see to it that this tradition is passed on by teaching the children how to dance to the beat of the drums.

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.

Bakwits learn the craft of mat weaving early

DATU SALIBO, Maguindanao (MindaNews/8 Sept) – At  eight years old,  Sandra Tahir, whose family once evacuated because of clashes between Moro rebels and the...

Women’s group making money from water hyacinths in the Liguasan Marsh

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/20 Aug) – While water hyacinths are being blamed for clogging and flooding some areas near the Liguasan Marsh, a women’s group...

CARPER a year after: Bukidnon farmers still struggling to own lands

Roel Panuga is so excited that he wished the red bus he was riding to Barangay Kuya, Maramag town, has a pair of wings and can fly. The 36-year-old leader of the Danggawan Landless Farmers Association had just come from a meeting in nearby Malaybalay City and wanted to tell his fellow farmers the good news. At the meeting, officials of the Department of Agrarian Reform told Panuga that they have rejected the final legal impediment over the 100-hectare Ocaya ranch owned by the late Bukidnon Governor Timoteo Ocaya in Barangay Kuya, Maramag town.

This habal-habal driver is also a farmer

Berdan Medes, a “habal-habal” (motorcycle for hire) driver put a cap on his head and tied a raincoat to the rear of his vehicle as he prepared to take passengers rain or shine to any of Valencia’s 20 interior barangays where close to 200 habal habal drivers like him are “king of the road.”

The flower vendor under an old umbrella

A housewife was once enticed by a neighbor who could sell “Baby’s Breath” flowers grown on her backyard. She was amazed at the earnings that can be had by tending a small flower garden.

Bahrain PM oks Bukidnon teacher’s request; sends computers to students

MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews/19 June) --  She wanted her students at the Bukidnon National High School (BNHS) to experience using multi-media tools in their language...

The bolo merchants of Kibalabag

MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews/18 June) - Merlita and her daughter Joylet Luis have children to rear back home. But in most days of the week,...

Yes, Flores de Mayo lives on

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/17 May) -- Young children sprinkle petals on the isle while walking all the way to the altar not to litter but to honor Mama Mary.

It is the month of flowers once again and children are in the chapels for the traditional Flores de Mayo (Flowers of May), a month-long Catholic festival introduced by the Spaniards as a tribute to the Virgin Mary.

Marawi celebrates 28th year as chartered city

MARAWI CITY (MindaNews/17 April) - Sultans, swords , streamers. Where East meets West, visiting Marawi City in central Mindanao is like having a blast in the past. Women walk the streets in their colorful malongs. Kids singing hiphop converge in karaoke bars.