By Br. Joel de Jesus,OFMCap (Whistling in the Wind)
Last March 6-15, 2015, our three Postnovices 2 set out with Br. Ferdinand Caparas,OFMCap, a member of the Capuchin Medical Mission Team, in order to attend the annual Tukawan Summer Camp of the Mangyan Tribes in Mindoro Occidental.
Every Summer, the elders of the Manyans belonging to different tribes like the Buhid, Tao-Buhid, Iraya etc., together with the teaching staff of the PAMANA KA Tribal School in Danlog, Mindoro Occidental, would set out to a spot in the wilderness in order to teach the younger generation of the tribes how to live with the land.
For the Mangyans, the land is LIFE and so the need to inculcate this reality to the younger generation through annual trips to the wilderness where they teach them how to live with the land and transmit to their young minds the beautiful culture of their tribes.
Our Capuchin Brothers have been working in collaboration with the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary (FMM) sisters for some years now to help improve the life situation of the Mangyans especially in the area of health. For two years now, the Capuchins have also been taking part in the Tukawan Summer Camp which helps them understand more the culture and mores of the Mangyans.
The collaborations of the Capuchins with the Mangyans and the FMM sisters have been mutually advantageous.
On the part of the Capuchins, the brothers have gained a lot of lessons from their experiences with the Mangyans in the periphery of our society. The lessons we have learned inspire us to continue to reach out to the periphery, to be in solidarity with the marginalized and to re-live the Gospel life of our Lord Jesus Christ and his apostles following the spirit of our founder St. Francis.
Capuchin Brothers: Praying the Divine Office amidst the trees of the jungle.
The Capuchin brothers are distributed to the different tribal groups and take part in all the tribal activities (e.g. making shelter, searching for bee-hives, harvesting the root crop: nami, fishing in the river, basket-weaving etc.)
Capuchin Brothers sharing a quiet moment with the local folks
Posing under a hut specifically designed for storing grains and other food.