[learning] from them

Yesterday, I and my classmates in Sociology class conducted a community study in one of the GK [Gawad Kalinga] site in Banga, South Cotabato. It is a small sitio that wanted to draw level with modernization of their tribe. Dominantly, the tribe is composed of T’boli’s who migrated to a more fertile land.

Our study is mainly focused on the culture of people there. It’s part of our curriculum. My classmates surprised me with there planning to have the study one day before they told me about it. I was not prepared of the schedule they have set. Rushed. It was for the reason that our [soon to be] documented study will be displayed in the PAASCU Level III accreditation of the University on September. That was the demand of our instructor to the group I belong. With what they have decided, I checked my schedule and discerned to cancel some of my activities in conflict with the conduct study.

It was an overnight activity, but we did not stay at the site because it feels the place is hostile at night so the group decided to sleep-over in the house of a friend near the poblacion. The next day [that was today], we woke up early [I woke up them, early] to have the interview and documentation done. I have to hurry also because I have another activity after that in the afternoon. I tried to organize everything in having that study so that our time will not get wasted.

I have enjoyed very much the community and the study. It somehow immerses us with the kind of life of the indigenous people in South. I feel their wanting to be educated to lessen the discrimination that they are experiencing. They believe that if they are educated [know the things in the world] or looked like a cultured person they can move on for development and acceptance for society.

But I explained that they don’t need to act and look like a learned or educated person to be accepted and to have greater developmental opportunities. They will still be accepted by the society, by the world for being such. I reminded the chieftain, one of the elders of the tribe to preserve their culture and tradition for that is the only treasure of their ethnicity.

The world will be complete if you have harmony and we live in solidarity with them. To be sensitive is not only the concern; it is to be in one of them. Respect is not only what they want; Love is what they need.

With this, I hope that discrimination, difference, inequality, and perception on them will be positively changed in order to have an integral society.
*Note: I'll post some pictures of our visit in that community soon.

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