Our Ama, Lakan Sumulong, led the Inclusive Development Team of Coffee for Peace (CFP) to celebrate with the Indigenous Peoples and the Bangsamoro in affirming their kinship at the Talaandig Ancestral Territory at the foot of Mt. Kitanglad. The Settlers have been actively participating in this celebration for the past 9 years.

With the invitation of Datu Migketay Saway, Lakan Sumulong participated in an inter-faith prayer to submit to the Creator the whole day of celebration.

INTERFAITH PRAYERS. Datu Migketay Saway and the tribal leadership invited our Ama to participate in a joint prayer — Indigenous Spirituality, Islam, and Christian. There were about 300 people from all over Mindanao who came. Together, we worshipped the Creator of all human beings. In this inter-faith activity, we come humbly with some common perspectives:

  • that the Creator is our common Provider-Sustainer;
  • that in this world we live in, there is an interplay of spiritual and physical dynamics; and,
  • that in this physical-spiritual world, we all aspire for love, joy, justice, and peace.

We affirm these truths along with our IP and Moro sisters and brothers. These are God’s truth for all truth is God’s truth.

ECONOMIC-ECOLOGICAL TRANSFORMATION. After celebrating our shared spirituality, it was time to share what’s in our hearts and minds and what we can do together in the coming months.

For our Ina, Joji “Lakambini” Pantoja, this affirmation of kinship has economic and ecological implication. “It is important that our economic sustainability can be demonstrated in a transparent way as a showcase of the richness of Indigenous Knowledge Systems and Practices (IKSP),” Ina said. “Who we are,” she adds, “determines what we do. And what we do, determines what we will have.” Ina appreciates the mass production of ‘lutia’ (colocasia esculenta), an indigenous basic food among the tribes in Bukidnon, led by Bai Lisa Saway, the wife of Datu ‘Vic’ Migketay Saway. Datu Vic and Bai Lisa has been teaching us that the IP’s right to self-determination starts with food security.

Our Ina, Joji ‘Lakambini’ Pantoja, exchanges ideas on sustainable economic-ecological strategies with Datu Migketay, while Sihaya Ansibod, PBCI Director of Field Operations, listens.

We’re so blessed to be embraced in this multicultural community.