Caritas Philippines launches book honoring indigenous people

Book covers why tribal communities oppose mining and mono-cropping industries
Caritas Philippines launches book honoring indigenous people

A Mangyan tribesman carries his son on his way to the farm on Mindoro Island. (Photo courtesy of Caritas Philippines)


Philippines
October 13, 2017
Caritas Philippines, the social action arm of the country's Catholic bishops' conference, has launched a book to honor indigenous people and what they do to protect the environment.

Father Edwin Gariguez, head of Caritas Philippines and the book's author, said that for indigenous peoples "the whole creation is deeply imbued with spiritual reality."

"They live their lives always in reverence to the unseen powers enveloping the earth," said the priest, adding that tribal people "maintain their inherent sacred relationship to the land."

The book titled "Ecological Spirituality and the Mangyan-Alangan of Mindoro" highlights how tribal people in the central Philippine province of Mindoro "live their lives in reverence to the unseen powers enveloping the earth."

Father Gariguez said the spirituality of indigenous peoples is "necessary in defining our development and ecological agenda." He said everybody should learn to rediscover "our capacity for entering into the larger community of life."

Marius Agua, head of environmental activist group Alamin, said the book can help people understand why tribal communities oppose mining and mono-cropping industries.

He said the "concept of development" of tribal communities is different from the "concept of development aggression" that involves destructive extraction of minerals.

Father Gariguez said the book is an "attempt to listen" to the indigenous peoples and "to learn from them how to recapture" the sacred relationship with the earth.

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