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  Back to HOME PAGE back to HOME PAGE ....................... The word "Miarayon" is a combination of the Spanish "mia razon" (my reason) and the Filipino "Mayroon" (there is).
Unit 213 Valle Verde Terraces, Meralco Ave. cor. Gen.Segundo st., 1600 Pasig City, Philippines
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Cartwheel Foundation Inc. has been working hand in hand with the community of Miarayon since 1998. This is Cartwheel's first project area. The Miarayon community located in Talakag, Bukidnon, in the Philippine island of Mindanao is inhabited primarily by indigenous people of Tala-Andig (meaning "oppressed") origin. They are referred to as native Lumads.

Lumad childrenThese folks live on ancestral, untitled land, which is the main and oftentimes the sole source of their dailyt sustenance. Part of Cartwheel's initiatives in the area is to assist in the acquisition of land titles for the Lumad's properties, to avoid capitalist exploitation. Their other needs include access to quality education, medical and health care, and knowledge on proper nutrition, sanitation and environment conservation.

This exciting journey of working with the community to become more educated and economically stable has contributed immensely to our knowledge of our heritage, roots, environment, and of our own selves. What you find below is some information on warm, gentle natives who have remained solid reminders to many of us, about what is truly Filipino.

They are the native or indigenous peoples of Mindanao and the Cordilleras. They are neither Muslim nor Christian, evidence of their resistance to foreign domination or influence. According to the Lumad Development Center Inc., there are about seventeen Lumad groups in 19 provinces across the country. They comprise 12 to 13 million or 18% of the Philippine population and can be divided into 110 ethno-linguistic groups. Considered as "vulnerable groups", they live in hinterlands, forests, lowlands and coastal areas.


In Mindanao, the Lumads comprise 18 ethno-linguistic groups. In the 1970 census, their combined population in Mindanao and Sulu had been reduced to five percent. Mindanao has 14 of the country's 20 poorest provinces; hence the low literacy rates in the region. This poverty has attracted assistance or "development programs" mostly in the form of resettlement of displace lumads. But this displacement was sometimes caused by the Lumad's loss of their ancestral lands to logging concessions, mining industry, plantations, agri-business, military operations, political and economic marginalisation and the like-aggravating the hardships and misery that began during the Spanish occupations.

Lumad woman in costumeSince titling of lands was started by the Spanish government, the Lumads began losing their ancestral domain.

The Lumads believe that land is given by God for them to till and to share its bounties. There is no individual ownership and their being residents of the place entitles them to it. This customary law, however, does not apply to a "modern, civilized world". As a result, most Lumads moved deeper into the mountains and forests, they were turned into "impoverished squatters in their own land".

Next came the resettlement programs of the American government in the early 1900s until 1948 and the homestead program after World War II. Mindanao became the migration site for the landless people of Luzon and Visayas. Again, the illiterate Lumads did not have land titles to keep their lands. They lost what they had tilled and moved farther, or stayed for an uncertain future.

The Lumads of Bukidnon reacted to his migration by staying or migrating into the mountains and forests. Those who remained were influenced by the migration and started adopting food-production techniques, whereas those who left and had little exposure to or contact with modern culture or civilization were able to preserve their tradition. In the 1950s, through scholarships, resettlement and financial aid, integration efforts were instituted by the government. Integration has brought about three types of Lumads: fully integrated, partially integrated, and unintegrated.