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Exhibit paying tribute to Lumad leader opens

by Maujerie Ann Miranda

An art exhibit commemorating Lumad leader Bai Bibyaon Ligkayan Bigkay was launched at the College of Fine Arts, University of the Philippines – Diliman on April 25.

The exhibit titled “Pagpapatuloy: Isabuhay ang Legasiya ni Bai Bibyaon” features various artists’ works in different forms.

A young Lumad activist pays tribute to Bai Bibyaon at the exhibit opening. (MA Miranda/Kodao)

“Through art, the legacy of Bai Bibyaon is remembered, and the struggle for ancestral lands and self-determination is continued,” said Lala Empong, chairperson of Sabokahan, an organization of Lumad women campaigning.

Bai Bibyaon passed away in December 2023. She was believed to be more than 90 years old at the time of her death.

Bai Bibyaon was the first female Manobo leader.

She led the struggle for ancestral lands in Mindanao and self-determination, and against the destruction of the environment in the Pantaron Range.

Her tribe launched a successful Pangayaw (tribal war) in the 1980s against logging company Alcantara and Sons and went on to lead further resistance against corporate mining in their ancestral domain.

She also led evacuations throughout the years in protest of the militarization of their communities.

In 2017, she was named the Gawad Tandang Sora honoree given by the University of the Philippines College of Social Work and Development.   

READ: UP CSWCD names Bai Bibyaon Ligkayan Bigkay 2017 Gawad Tandang Sora honoree

Some of the artworks on display at the Bai Bibyaon exhibit. (MA Miranda/Kodao)

The art exhibit is open until April 27 at the Multipurpose Hall of the said college. #

‘Wala silang pagrespeto sa akin at sa aking katribu’

“Wala silang pagrespeto sa akin at sa aking katribu dahil tingin nila sa akin ay walang kakayahan upang mag-pasya. Naging lider ako ng aking katribu dahil alam nila na ako ay may kakayahan na mamuno upang depensahan ang aming lupain. Nagreresolba ako ng problema sa aming komunidad dahil alam nila na mapapadali ang pag-aayos. Alam kong hindi mapagkakatiwalaan ang mga susundo dahil sila ang dahilan ng aming pagbakwit at sila din ang protektor sa mga kompanyang gustong mandambong sa aming mga lupang ninuno.”Bai Bibyaon Ligkayan Bigkay, Lider Lumad sa Pantaron Mountain Range

Indigenous peoples demand justice for Lumad chieftain Datu Kaylo

By MARYA SALAMAT
Bulatlat.com

MANILA – Manobo tribal chieftain Datu Kaylo, a consistent participant in the indigenous people’s Lakbayan to Manila to air their calls for self-determination, was reportedly killed by elements of the 3rd IB of the AFP Eastern Mindanao Command during its military operations in Kitaotao, Bukidnon last April 7.

“He died due to the intensified militarization, bombing and strafing of the indigenous communities,” said Pasaka-SMR in a statement.

Datu Kaylo was in the area visiting the communities and delving into the current situation of his fellow Manobos who had been forced to evacuate from their communities in Talaingod, a village that has gained prominence for its people’s resistance against logging and mining in the Pantaron Range. As a lumad leader, Datu Kaylo was concerned about the plight of the Manobos who are scattered around various communities after Talaingod was hit by successive operations and bombings there and in Bukidnon, said the Salugpongan Ta Tanu Igkanugon.

In previous Lakbayan, Kaylo helped to translate to Tagalog the statements of female Lumad warrior Bai Bibyaon Bigkay, a Gawad Bayani ng Kalikasan Awardee. Kaylo himself was regarded as a fierce environmental defender. [He helped here: ‘We’re all challenged to defend the environment’ — Bibiaon Bigkay]


Datu Kaylo and Bai Bibiaon (Photo grabbed from PASAKA-SMR FB post Apr 11, 2019)

Kaylo was a Lumad leader of the Salugpongan community organization and a member of the National Council of Leaders of Katribu, the national alliance of indigenous peoples’ organizations. He was also the Deputy Secretary General of the PASAKA Confederation of Lumad in Southern Mindanao. PASAKA SMR is a Confederation of Lumad organizations of nine tribes whose name combines lumad words conveying unity and solidarity.

PASAKA expressed its alarm over the “intensifying war being waged by the military” against their communities. They said this war has worsened with Martial Law in Mindanao. “Many from the Lumad have been forced to evacuate, including the children whose schooling has been curtailed by non-stop attacks of the military,” PASAKA said.

“Our plight in Talaingod is comparable to ants being trampled upon and forced to scatter anywhere, because of Martial Law in Mindanao, where soldiers and the paramilitary Alamara have attacked us to no end,” said the Salugpongan Ta Tanu Igkanugon in a statement.

Salugpongan mourns the death of Kaylo, who, they said, had sacrificed much since his youth for the defense of our ancestral land and the Lumad schools in Talaingod. “He could have contributed more for the Lumad.”

Amid calls for justice for the untimely death of Kaylo, PASAKA reiterated its condemnation of the Duterte government’s schemes that they said seek to drive them away from their homes so the government could push through with plunderous projects in the Pantaron Range. These projects include mining, plantations and dams. #