by: Rev. Ernie Catanghal
April 17, 2017 (Monday)
The day that we have been long praying for, the day the northeast wind have totally subsided and the sea is calm safe for transporting the rice mill machine and engine that we are donating to the Iraya Mangyan tribe of Kalansan in Paluan, Occidental Mindoro. Kuya Bong Suarez and I left on a borrowed truck from a friend to transport the “blessings” from Manila to the Port of Calatagan, Batangas where the tribesmen’s two boats are waiting for us. After the cargos has been safely unloaded from the truck kuya Bong left me and headed back to Manila to fetch the rest of the DFCM team for the following day’s journey to the tribe.
April 18 (Tuesday)
Hey! It’s my birthday! And there’s no better way to celebrate the day that the Lord has made than to help our beloved tribe make everyone’s dream come true. Just barely after the sunrise our mission team are all in the port with me with some more boxes of blessings for the people. Immediately we loaded everything on the boats and headed straight to the island of Mindoro where the Iraya Mangyans of Kalansan are eagerly waiting.
From a distance we can see the people building up waiving their hands in great anticipation for us and the arrival of their rice mill. It seemed like it was the usual warm welcome from the tribe but this time their sweet smiles were mixed with tears of so much joy as they joined hands together in unloading the cargos from the boat.
As soon as we were able to bring the rice mill set on land the tribesmen unboxed them and started working on set-up process, foundation forming, engine break-in until the test run.
Before we called it a day we called for a tribal leaders meeting to take up different matters of the community and to plan for the upcoming big event, the dedication service of the new Multi-Purpose Center and the new Rice Mill.
April 19 (Wednesday)
The day started with our mission staff (Ate Ahlie and Ate Grace), ladies from the tribe (Teresa, Rona, Vilma, Olay, Leni, Malise and others) and the whole KKP Scholars (Neneng, Liway, Ange, Bibeth, Beverly, Rhea Mae, Cecil, Icel, Maeng, Rael, Mati and Utoy) preparing for the feeding program. In this visit we were able to provide solid meals for everyone for three full days.
Part of the day’s activities is the registration for KAKAMPI membership which was participated by two communities, Kalansan and Agbalite. The response of the people was overwhelming that we ran out of forms to provide for all the applicants, we will continue this registration on the next mission trip as we bring more forms in the multipurpose center.
April 20 (Thursday)
THE TRIBAL DEDICATION SERVICE for the RICE MILL and MULTI-PURPOSE CENTER
4:00pm in the edge of the rice field
The moment we all have been preparing for and waiting for, the time when we as one tribe and family lift up to the Lord in thanksgiving the biggest blessing in their lives. We all gathered on the unfinished elevated drying floor where our new barn is constructed. One by one we came, filled with excitement and gratitude in our hearts.
The ceremony started with prayers and songs, messages of thanksgiving from the youth, the elders, the tribal leaders and the pastors were shared to inspire everyone. Then it was followed by the oath taking ceremony of the elected and appointed KAKAMPI Officials. After I shared a message taken from the book of Matthew chapter 5 in the Bible which the candle and salt ceremony was inspired. This moment was the most solemn part as everyone held lighted candles and pinches of salt in their hands as we all sing Tagalog Hymns to the Lord and offered the dedication prayer. Then Ate Ahlie, Ate Grace joined me in the ceremonial cutting of ribbons as the KKP Scholars, KAKAMPI Officals, Tribal Leaders and the communities of Kalansan and Agbalite watched and applauded the moment.
The ceremony was concluded with giving away Bawat Butil Program shirts and bags of rice. We also have prepared food and refreshments for everyone plus apples ass highly requested by the children of Kalansan.
April 21 (Friday)
This is the last day for the DFCM Team but not for me. And before they head back home our team maximized the time with the tribe as we enjoyed games with the kids one last time and the highlight of the game lineup is the “apple eating contest” where our kids had their very first experience playing this game. We also had some interviews with more aspiring applicants for KAKAMPI membership and few more round-ups in the tribe.
After packing-up our team headed to the shore where their service boat is waiting to take them back to Calatagan Batangas. The kids found it hard to say goodbye for now as much as the adults too. There may be tears in our eyes but we are sure these are of great joy. As the kids wave their hands to the team slowly sailing away all we can say is “THANK YOU LORD FOR ANOTHER VICTORY!”
TRIVIA AND PHOTOS:
KALANSAN (“salansan” in Tagalog) – is Iraya Mangyan’s word for “pile” because this community on the foot of Mt. Calavite is established over pile of rocks. We can notice that well from the shore where there is almost all flat rocks and pebbles and a very scarce amount of sand. Also, right around the limited area for rice fields are boulders of solid rocks where soil is not very much established.
DID YOU KNOW that the people of Kalansan, Agbalite and other neighboring Iraya Mangyan communities are very industrious?
They work 12 hours a day, 7 days a week, 12 months per year just to provide food for their families which is just enough for 3 months. But with BAWAT BUTIL PROGRAM, our livelihood projects for the tribes we are hoping to multiply their production and in two years time they can feed their families 12 months per year, HUNGER BUSTED!
Below are photos of our “FIRSTFRUITS” in rice milling.
One Less Hungry Tribe in the World…
Our DFCM Team…
(left to right: Kuya Bong Suarez, Kuya JR Pinga, Ate Ahlie Catanghal, Ate Grace Suarez, Kuya Anthony Misarez and Pastor Ernie Catanghal)
(not able to join this mission trip: Ate Jheng and Ate Marlyn)
(in photo: Bernabe Cabcaan of Kalansan Tribe)
To God Be The Glory!
Drops of Faith Christian Missions