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