Journeying with the Indigenous people in Datal Anggas, Saranggani Province
There is a new Claretian mission frontier in the Philippines with the Indigenous People (IP). It is located in the south eastern Mindanao in Datal Anggas, Sarangani Province. I went there last September 3-8, 2014 with the main objective to visit and experience the new Claretian IP mission. It was really a different experience for me as I traverse the road that sophisticated people won’t dare to travel. Indeed in terms of Claretian mission in the Philippines it is unique, challenging yet inspiring. The mission started with a commitment of the Claretian Philippine Province to accompany Indigenous people last 2010 in the 12th Provincial Chapter. After that, the succeeding years of Claretian missionary life was putting flesh to this written commitment. And eventually it brings forth the Claretian community in Datal Anggas Mission Station.
At present, there are two zealous Claretian missionaries that are assigned there. They are the young Claretian Missionaries, Rev. Fr. Juluis “Julz” Boado, CMF and Rev. Fr. Arvin “Arvs” Bellen, CMF. They are both staying in the modest mission station that can be considered as, “bahay kubo” because it is a small wooden house and surrounded by different vegetables planted by the missionaries themselves.
In terms of location, it is 46 kilometers from the San Isidro Parish in the town of Alabel Sarangani province, wherein Claretian missionaries usually use to stay before traversing the mountainous road going to the mission center in Datal Anggas.
Definitely, the mission is journeying with the indigenous people B’laan tribe and Kaulo tribe. It is living with them and accompanying them in the process of their integral development. At present the missionaries are assisting the people with their spiritual life by presiding Eucharist on different communities, supporting the existing cooperative called Datal Anggas Small Independent Group Cooperative (DASIG) and supporting some IP students in their formal education. At present there are six “6” IP students under the care of the Claretian Missionaries. And I am glad to say that the missionaries were able to successfully stablish good rapport with the IP communities there. I may say that we have a bright future there in the coming years.
After a week visit, the only thing in my mind is my esteem to the Claretian missionaries assigned there. I admire their Claretian zeal and commitment. I see to them the Claretian expression of the 21st century, journeying with the marginalized people and going to places wherein people will not dare to go.
To Fr. Julius and Fr. Arvin I salute you! Long live and keep the fire burning!
for more updates see: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Claretian-Missionaries-Sarangani/1420939028127048