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Monday, July 25, 2011

Miss Iggy in Oriental Mindoro

Mindoro is the seventh-largest island in the Philippines.  Schoolgirl Iggy took a break from the classroom to learn about the culture of Mindoro's indigenous peoples, the Mangyans, directly from the Mangyans themselves.

To get there, she took a RORO ferryboat from the Batangas Port from mainland Luzon to Calapan Port in the island of Mindoro.  She went around the upper (passenger) deck to get a good view of the sea.

Goodbye, Batangas!

In the air-conditioned area, she found an empty seat in need of good company.  It looked very much depressed, so Miss Iggy bought some peanuts to share.

 The trip took two hours.  Miss Iggy spent the time looking at the sea and the islands.

She heard the captain announce that they were nearing the port of Calapan.  It's a good thing that Miss Iggy didn't get seasick!

Welcome to Oriental Mindoro!

These little green men helped pull their boat to port.  They were so strong!

 Goodbye, RORO boat!

After a quick orientation at the Mangyan Heritage Center in Calapan, Miss Iggy headed on over to the Tugdaan Mangyan Center for Learning and Development in Naujan, an hour away.
Tugdaan means "seedbed" in the Alangan Mangyan language.  It is a high school for Mangyan youth, and has as its motto "Education for Self-Reliance and Community Service".  Miss Iggy liked it very much.

 Miss Iggy and the Peace Tree

 Oh, what a pretty flowe spider!!!  According to Miss Iggy's friend Ige, it's a white crab spider (they move sideways like crabs).  This spider uses camouflage to hide from unsuspecting prey, like a bee.

 Knowledge exchange! Here are Alangan Mangyan students learning about the Mag-antsi Aeta language.  Perhaps they were translating "Miss Igorota is a funny traveler!"  into their own languages!

 It's planting time!  The students of Tugdaan have a subject on agriculture--and, aside from "regular" subjects like Science, Math, and English, they also have a subject on Mangyan Culture--but of course!

 Five minutes away from the school is this clear, cool river.

 Miss Iggy wanted to swim, but she forgot to bring a bathing suit!

 So she just made friends instead.

The school also has a food processing facility as part of its sustainable livelihood program.

 This pineapple, like this hibiscus flower,
 will soon be processed into jams, teas, and juices.

It has been said that salabat, or ginger brew, is the singer's best friend.  Hmm...should Miss Iggy try it?

 The jam that industrious hands built--100% organic and made with love for the land!

Miss Iggy learned so much from the Mangyans and their commitment to take care of the land and their culture--the experience made Miss Iggy more proud to be an Igorota!


kayni said...

i love pineapple jam with pandesal :) great tour miss iggy.

fortuitous faery said...

travel tip: always bring a swimsuit anywhere JUST IN CASE! except if you're going to the north pole, that is. :P

the spider crab is incredible! is it an arachnid? or a crustacean? it's spiderman's crusty cousin! :P

it must surely be an endangered species!

lostforwords101 said...

Now that made me miss being w/ the Mangyans.

My aunt was executive director for an NGO called Alternative Mangyan Program For Dev't (AMPFOD) when I was in kindergarten and I spent a lot of my childhood playing w/ Mangyans. They were very nice, they taught me how to make bead accessories.

I wish I can see Ate Rowena, Kuya Pepe Kiliti...among other Mangyans who used to play w/ me when I was 4.

Pinoy Kollektor said...

You have a very keen eye on beauty. I love you photos.... keep on posting.

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