A spiritual bonding between the Kalinga people and the Bagobo-Tagabawa people happened when Aiza visited and had inter-tribal dialogue with them.

During those moments, the Cordilleras and Mount Apo embraced each other.

Bai Jerlina Owok of the Bagobo-Tagabawa Tribe welcomes Aiza Wanay, a young Kalinga woman being trained as a peacebuilding leader in Davao City. The Bagobo-Tagabawa community in Binaton embraces Wanay as an adopted tribal daughter.

Last Friday, 24 August, PeaceBuilders Community, Inc. (PBCI) and our social enterprise, Coffee For Peace (CFP), sent Aiza Wanay as our official representative to the Sinub’badan Festival of Binaton. The festivities gathered all the Bagobo-Tagabawa tribal communities of Mount Apo and surrounding areas.

Wanay is the Administrator of our Peace and Reconciliation Support Systems. She’s a native of Banao Tribe in Kalinga, Cordillera Region.

“I was tasked to give an inspiration message for the youth in their tribe,” Wanay reports. “I told them how I was raised by my tribal elders guided by our cultural core values — Caniyao, Ngilin and Fain — that deepened my connection and love for my culture.”

As a public response to the Bagobo-Tagabawa’s embrace to her as an adopted daughter, Aiza Wanay shares a Kalinga native belt to Bai Jerlina Owok, Tribal Representative to the Barangay Binaton Council, Digos City, Davao del Sur.

Wanay shared her experiences as one belonging to the Indigenous People (IP) who studied in a city and how she earned the respect of non-IP people in the city.

As the official representative of PBCI-CFP in this festival, Wanay talked about our advocacies. “I shared how we work with our partner communities in transferring the coffee technology,” she explains, “and how we strengthen the foundation of the ‘Being’ of the farmers through values formation.”

Aiza Wanay is a proud Kalinga woman from the tribe of Banao. She is our current leadership intern at the PeaceBuilders School of Leadership. She is a Registered Nurse with specific expertise on health advocacy. Along her professional journey, she gained skills on systems administration, event coordination, as well as community-based learning facilitation. She is also a dedicated environmental activist.

Her dream is to continue her passion to help her people in the area of community-based health care and inclusive development initiatives — such as coffee farming, processing, and marketing. While learning peace and reconciliation with PBCI and CFP, she is also dreaming to rejuvenate the coffee plantations in their tribal lands in Kalinga, starting with the properties her family owns.

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