Friday, July 17, 2009

Community celebrates Kanduli Festival for peace

MALAPATAN, Sarangani (July 17, 2009) – On its 60th Foundation Anniversary today, barangay Sapu Masla celebrated unity among its indigenous Blaan and Muslim residents.

Barangay council member Edwin Tumandan called on his Blaan tribe to shun banditry in the mountains. Instead, he urged them to join the government in propelling progress for their community.

“Though we are late in time, we have to wake up and go away from our evils ways. Let’s join hands towards development,” Tumandan said.

Tumandan said dialogues are effective ways of addressing the needs of the tribal community.

Blaans are highlanders. Traditionally, they do farming and hunt wild animals for food.

The barangay also celebrated its 4th Kanduli Festival. Kanduli is a Maguindanao term for thanksgiving. It is the Muslim’s traditional practice of asking more blessing through a gathering to partake food.

Nur Aminulla from Sulu, a retired principal of the Mama Nawa Elementary School here, had been teaching at the school from 1972 to 2006 and he brought up a family here.

“The Kanduli Festival is our way of promoting peace in our community,” Aminulla said.

For government officials, the community needs more assistance in education to help alleviate their standard of living.

Through the provincial government, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) will provide 10 computer sets for the school. Many of Malapatan’s remote barangays have been recipients of USAID’s Growth with Equity in Mindanao (GEM) projects.

Governor Migs Dominguez said the provincial government will provide 250 additional teachers all over the province to address the need for more teachers among its far-flung schools like Mama Nawa.

“The way to peace is the Golden Rule that is to love our neighbors as we love ourselves,” Vice Governor Steve Chiongbian Solon told residents.

Sapu Masla had been a place of banditry and a battleground between government forces and outlaws some decades ago.

Four years ago, a suspect for a rape case here showed up to Moro Islamic Liberation Front Kumander Buhar who turned over the suspect to the Philippine National Police and local officials. (Russtum G. Pelima/SARANGANI INFORMATION OFFICE)

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