With high hopes and dreams, the Pangandoy Extension Program of the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) concluded its 3-day Project 1 activity titled ‘Development of Culture-Sensitive Instructional Materials for Bagobo-Tagabawa.’ The project involved the faculty members from the Tagabawa Christian School, Immanuel School of Davao, and University of Southeastern Philippines (USeP) College of Arts and Sciences (CAS), particularly from the Language and Literature, Mathematics and Statistics, and General Education Departments. Given their dedication, they succeeded in developing culture-sensitive instructional materials for the indigenous learners in Sta. Cruz, Davao del Sur.
In a groundbreaking development, the University, through the CAS, is positioned to establish a new era of a global extension program with Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM), Malaysia. This transformative collaboration is set to unfold with the support of Dr. Nasirin Abdillah, promising a new chapter of international partnership in extension and/or community engagements. As Dr. Abdillah assured the team by delivering an insightful discourse on ‘Culture-Sensitive Instructional Materials’ during the day-1 training workshop, he added a valuable dimension to the collective effort aimed at enhancing educational practices for indigenous cultural communities/indigenous peoples (ICCs/IPs).
On the culminating day of the event, they commenced with an astonishing performance by the English group, singing a beautiful Bagobo-Tagabawa song. Following this, Bae Maricel Awyan Talabon, Mr. Kier Bryan P. Cobera, Dr. Mary Jane A. Cooke, and Dr. Geoffrey Marfa elucidated the lesson plan they created based on the folk story ‘Pararaki,’ which revolves around the values of humility and friendship. They shed light on important Bagobo-Tagabawa vocabulary to help learners recognize its equivalents in English. Phonetically inclined concerns were also addressed to assist teachers in implementing the lesson. Assoc. Prof. Sajed S. Ingilan provided positive feedback on the group’s output, emphasizing the well-roundedness of the lesson and its organized flow of discussion.
The Mathematics group, led by Ms. Eljien Atong Lumbayo, Mr. Rhejie T. Torres, Assoc. Prof. Fe Largo, Assoc. Prof. Remegia Ganot, and Assoc. Prof. Percival B. Cabang, expounded on the significance of Math in the daily lives of every human being. They emphasized the role of teachers in contextualizing it for students to develop a love for the subject. In teaching math to young IP learners, they crafted a lesson plan focusing on shapes, using illustrations based on Bagobo-Tagabawa IP.
The Filipino group, led by Mr. Aljon Atong Lumbayo, Mr. Roy L. Dinolan, Asst. Prof. Junil Altes, and Assoc. Prof. Luden L. Baterina, focused on comprehending the folk story ‘Pararaki.’ They developed exciting activities that would inspire the indigeneity of young Bagobo-Tagabawa learners, emphasizing the importance of the history of indigenous cultural communities/indigenous peoples (ICCs/IPs) in teaching to preserve their culture and arts.
Dr. Catherine M. Roble, one of the speakers at the event, shared her overall impression on all the lesson plans presented, highlighting the importance of making the lessons easy to understand for young IP learners.Matanem Renante D. Talabon expressed gratitude in his message; ‘dakal dayo ko na agbayan ka madigar dalan to USeP na makadunggo kandan to kanak panamdam na makatabang kato kanak mga sumoddo’ (we are thankful for the significant contributions of USeP and the s peakers who encourage us to do our best to help the younger generation.).
Mr. Francis N. Reginio, CAS Extension Head, emphasized the importance of the indigenous ways of knowing and learning. Indigenous education often centers around nurturing relationships with learners, the community, and the environment. The idea is that all educators, regardless of their cultural background, can benefit from incorporating these principles into their teaching practices. This approach encourages connection and learning in community and place-based contexts.
As everyone was about to return to their stations, a burning desire to help the Bagobo-Tagabawa IP remains in their hearts and minds.
Amidst these endeavors, funding support from the Futures Thinking and Strategic Foresight Program, supported by the USeP Transformative Foresight Group, with Dr. Daisy T. Besing providing guidance as the FT Program Manager, emerges as a crucial tool for better understanding and navigating an uncertain future in various indigenous communities.
Cultural mapping is pivotal in connecting the past, present, and future. Building on their prior mapping, communities engaged in a walking workshop, deliberating on what they wished to preserve (re-rooting). They also identified areas for change and explored innovative pathways for realizing meaningful transformations (re-building).
The Project 1 team, led by Dr. Roble, comprises extensionists representing diverse subject areas who serve as resource persons. This team includes individuals such as Associate Professors Sajed S. Ingilan, Luden L. Baterina, Percival V. Cabang, Fe F. Largo, and Remegia L. Ganot, as well as Assistant Professors Joy R. Risonar, Angelo Lenard E. Yu, and Jenifer R. Tuban along with the contribution of Ms. Jessa Joy Odog, a dedicated member of the Institute of Languages and Creative Arts (ILCA) and students from the Master of Arts in Applied Linguistics program, Mr. Antonino S. Oblianda and Ms. Cindy V. Quezon.
USeP sincerely appreciates the Immanuel School of Davao’s invaluable participation in the recent extension undertaking. Special thanks to Mr. Kier Bryan P. Corbeta, Mr. Justine Seprado, Mr. Rhegie T. Torres, and Mr. Roy L. Dinolan for significantly enriching the program’s collaborative efforts.
Finally, special recognition was accorded to the Tagabawa Christian School. In this regard, profound thanks were expressed to those who demonstrated commendable dedication and meaningful engagement throughout this endeavor. Heartfelt appreciation was extended to Ms. Eljen A. Lumbayo, Ma. Gina Bella Bondoc-Eli, Mr. Aljon A. Lumbayo, Ms. Kritell Faye M. Laidan, and Mr. Jhun Kharl Pilapil, whose active involvement has significantly contributed to the success of this extension activity.