Community Centers and Tribal Halls: Evolving into Local Peace Centers
Uploaded 3 June 2006
community center in Lagonglong.
As it continues to empower communities
towards equity, development and peace, Balay Mindanaw also facilitates the
setting up of community centers and tribal halls in the areas where community
organizers live and work. This has been a commitment of Balay Mindanaw to uphold
cultural solidarity and regeneration as well as to promote community
participation, consensus building and conflict resolution.
In partnership with the Barangay Councils
and Higaonon Tribal Councils, four community centers have already been
established in the main areas of Balay Mindanaw: Barangays Ane-i and Minalwang
in Claveria, Barangay Tabok in Lagonglong and Barangay Lawa-an in Gingoog City.
Three tribal halls were also instituted as home of the lumad in the far flung
barangays: Barangay Sangalan and Kalagunoy of Gingoog City and Barangay
Madaguing of Claveria.
community center in Claveria.
These tribal halls in Kalagunoy and
Madaguing are newly established balay tulugan (February and May 2006,
respectively), inspired by the ground-breaking Sangalan Tribal Hall in 2003
which has now become a landmark though nestled in the hinterland barangay of
Gingoog City. The Higaonon tribe continues to have a significant presence in
these barangays, as well as in neighboring areas.
These community centers and tribal halls
have become the venues of learning, planning, other capability-building
activities and training, organizing and even networking. Conscious of the
mission of helping build peace in the community, the centers have become
gathering areas for peace builders, for training on peace building, for
resolving conflicts in the community, for maintaining peaceful and harmonious
relationships among members of the community. Thus the tag “local peace
Tribal Hall or Tulugan: A space of
resolving tribal conflicts and initiating peace
Tulugan sa Madaguing.
In Barangay Sangalan alone, the
peace-building role of this tribal hall or tulugan (established in 2003)
has been reacknowledged by the Higaonon tribe and their Dumagat (lowlander)
counterparts. The Sangalan Tribal Hall still holds its purpose as a place where
conflicts are resolved (husay), a venue for tribal meetings and planning,
weddings, a place of worship for the lumad, and a venue for gathering lumad and
non-lumad children as well.
A documentation workshop for this
indigenous tribe was conducted to help them record -- in words and in pictures
-- their activities. Organized in 2005, this workshop was facilitated by Balay
Mindanaw’s area-base team in Gingoog, Balay Mindanaw Peace Center and the
Resource Center for Empowerment & Development. These documents have served
as remembrances of their culture and parts of their history in the uplands of
Gingoog, Agusan and Bukidnon, which have gradually begun to diminish through the
|Impadiding Community Center.
Along with this aim of rekindling the
role of the tribal hall as local peace center, an Orientation on Peace Building
was conducted last September 28-29, 2005 at the Tribal Hall of Sangalan, Gingoog
City. At least 30 community leaders attended the activity representing the
Barangay Local Government Unit, People’s Organization and Tribal leaders. This
was pushed through after a series of meetings with the barangay and lumad
leaders and after a couple of documentation workshops with lumad volunteers.
An initial plan on peace building was
also formulated. The strengthening of the indigenous disputes resolution system
of the IP communities was one of the major plans. Major internal conflicts of
the community were also identified and subjected to conflict resolution and/or
management by the tribal leaders and elders. A continuing learning (including
documentation) of the lumad culture by the second generation and the next were
supported and agreed upon by the elders of the tribe.