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Mamanwa tribe yearn inclusion in government’s 4Ps

By NINFA B. QUIRANTE (PIA Samar)
March 23, 2010

CATBALOGAN CITY  –  Some 20 Mamanwa households in Barangay Babaclayon, San Jose de Buan are yearning for inclusion in PGMA’s Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps).

Indigenous Mamanwa tribe
Some of the Mamanwa tribesmen in San Jose de Buan join the throngs of welcomers to PGMA who came on March 19, 2010 to turn-over Kalayaan Barangay Projects.

Lorna Obiena, 42, said she is lucky to be included but pleads that others like them be also included.

Talking in Waray-waray the rain-drenched Mamanwa begged this writer to relay her pleadings to the agency concerned.

“Amo la iton amon trabaho, mag uma hin humay, kamote, mais, gawani ngan saging.” (All we can do is farm, grow upland rice, camote, corn and other root crops.)

“There is hardly any money left for our children’s school needs,” she added in the dialect.

The money coming from 4Ps have helped them and Lorna wanted her other neighbours to also enjoy 4PS.

The Mamanwas are believed to have come from Las Navas, Northern Samar but Alfredo Obiena, Lorna’s husband told PIA that they were living in Barangay Gusa (farther east to the mountains) then.

When their children reached school age, they relocated to Barangay Babaclayon.

“Waray kami makaeskoyla, diri kami ma aram magbasa, amo nga karuyag namom, iba naman an amon mga anak” (We are unschooled, can’t read nor write, we want our children to be educated, not like us). Alfredo said adding he and his tribesmen walked for an hour to see the President.

PGMA was here on March 19 for a visit and turn-over of Kalayaan Barangay projects.

The Mamanwas look like the Aeta as they have sun-kissed complexions, with curly hair.

Of the 26 Mamanwa families only six have been lucky to be given 4Ps cash grants.

In a talk with DSWD Regional Director Leticia Corrilo, she said the others may not have been surveyed. She promised to look for a special program for the Indigenous tribe of the Mamanwa.

As the PIA staff moved to its homeward journey, with the convoy of PMS and PSG, the lot saw the dwellings of the Mamanwa on top of a hill called Babaclayon, with bamboo slats as walls and cogon grass as roofings.

The writer offered a simple prayer, for Lorna’s wish to come true.