front of the Dik Trom Center, Haarlemmermeer Mayor Theo
Waterings and his councilors receive a warm welcome from the
Bajaus, who gave them a miniature of a boat as a token.
Bajaus get new
VILLEGAS / RAFI intern
January 26, 2013
CEBU CITY – Late
November last year, Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (RAFI), through its
Bajau Integrated Area Development Project (BIAD-P), together with
Vereniging Haarlemermeer Cebu (VHC) officially turned over two quad
houses and one multipurpose building to the Bajau community in Sitio
Puntod, Alaska Mambaling, Cebu City.
“As a tribe, we are really
grateful for the multipurpose center (MPC),” Felicito Asamsa,
chieftain of the Bajaus in Mambaling, said.
The multipurpose building
was named the Dik Trom Center after a historical symbol in
“Among balay kaniadto,
lawanit. Karon ganahan mi kay bugnaw ug lig-on. (Our house before was
made of lawanit. We like it now because it is cool inside and the
house is strong.)”, Alfida Chavez, one of the quad house owners,
Theo Waterings, Mayor of
Haarlemmermeer also gave a token, an image of Dik Trom, to the tribe
and asked the chieftain to place it in their new MPC.
The housing project targets
to build 35 quad houses until 2014 for the 140 Bajau families.
The houses are designed by
the students of the College of Fine Arts and Architecture (CAFA) of
the University of San Carlos (USC) through the research made by the
Department of Anthropology, Sociology, and History of USC, to ensure
that the housing is culturally accepted and further promotes sense of
ownership among Bajaus.
“RAFI through BIAD-P
continues to work with the Bajau Community”, said Dominica Chua, RAFI
chief operating officer.
Aside from Chua, Anthony
Dignadice, executive director of RAFI Education Unit; Jocelyn Gerra,
executive director of RAFI Culture & Heritage; and Cebu City Mayor
Michael Rama graced the turnover ceremony.
The event closed with the
Bajau kids performing a song and giving out roses to representatives
from RAFI and the Foundation's partners from VHC.
BIAD-P is under the
Integrated Development focus area of RAFI, helping communities address
issues of poverty. RAFI’s other focus areas include Micro-finance &
Entrepreneurship, Culture & Heritage, Leadership & Citizenship, and