Monday, October 18, 2010

Mindanao natives call spirits to fight illegal logging

SURIGAO DEL SUR, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Oct. 18, 2010) - The Mamanwa and Manobo tribes in Surigao del Sur province in Mindanao have joined efforts to stop a logging company from cutting trees in their ancestral domain.

The natives also protested and petitioned the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and even performed rituals to “awaken” the spirits of their ancestors and God to help them in their struggle against this so-called encroachment on the land that was handed down from generations past.

Datu Bidao, the Manobo tribe’s chieftain and babaylan (spiritual leader/high priest) recently performed the pangapog, a ritual asking the spirits of their ancestors and Magbabaya (God) to curse the VTC and people who are helping the logging operations in their ancestral lands.

“We petitioned God and the spirits of our ancestors to let the trees they cut fall on them and let their machines fall into the ravine,” he said.

Bidao strongly believes that Magbabaya and their ancestors will intervene on their behalf. (Bong D. Fabe)

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