Dumagat Tribe of San Ysiro
Dumagat Tribe of San Ysiro
San Ysiro, can be reached through almost two hours bumpy ride from the city proper of Antipolo but during rainy season you can reach the place barefoot through streams, rivers and rice fields or if you are brave enough, you can take a single motorcycle ride.
But when you reach the top of the mountain, a breathtaking creation of God will welcome you.
We started our work with the Dumagat in 2010 through Ms. Herminia Ibarra (Ate Hermie), a mobile teacher in San Ysiro and a Dangal ng Filipino Awardee. She shared with the Porta Coeli’s President Sr. Mary Anne Sevilla, osc the dream of Ka Erning (dumagat chieftain) of having a Dumagat college graduate.
Porta Coeli is trying to fulfill Ka Erning’s dream by extending to them assistance through our scholarship program. The Dumagats who have strived hard to finish their secondary education are now continuing their studies and earning their college degree right where they are.
At present, we have 26 dumagat scholars. Our effort of building the confidence and self esteem of the dumagats and our poor students in the mountain through giving them the opportunity of college education have been rewarded by the progress and changes in our students. They have become leaders in their tribe and have been recognized by some organizations.
Two of our scholars are already working as secretaries to their “Samahan ng Magsasaka” Reggie dela Pena and Rovelyn Vertudez. Crisostomo Ibarra, our student and community organizer has been helping the Dumagat Tribe thru various projects with the help of other NGOs and the local government. One of his projects is installing solar system in Brgy. Libis, San Ysiro and for this, he received a recognition from no less than the President of the Philippines, President Benigno Aquino III.
The Soroptomist International has recognized the contribution of Rowena Navaira a remontado(half dumagat) volunteer day care teacher. She was recognized for her effort in continuing her studies in spite of the many trials and her poor condition in the mountain. The award was given in Hawaii, USA.
Our work in the mountain will not be possible if not of the kindness of Sr. Flora Llanes who opened her nipa house to Porta Coeli. We made her house as our center for the Dumagats in San Ysiro, Antipolo City.
PESO, attached agency of the local government of Antipolo is also helping us through giving summer jobs to our Dumagat students. Public Information office and I Love Antipolo organization thru Ms. Sol and Co. are also one with us in our advocacy.
We hope that we can give more support programs to our Dumagat brethren. Dumagat is a vanishing tribe. Through education, we hope that we can help them rediscover their culture, value and protect the natural resources around them.