Sr. Beverly Romualdo, MIC, signs a copy of her book titled “Kaagapay – Musings & Trajectories: a journey with Alangan Mangyan Tribe” during its launch on October 8, 2022. NIKKO BALBEDINA

By Nikko Balbedina

October 11, 2022

Davao City

A new coffee table book telling the story of how a nun journeyed with the Alangan tribe of the Mangyan indigenous population in Occidental Mindoro was launched on Oct. 8.

Titled “Kaagapay” (co-journeyer), the book was formally launched at the Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate Conception (MIC) congregation’s retreat center in Davao City.

The launching was part of the activities for the Indigenous Peoples’ Sunday, celebrated on Oct. 9 this year.

In her book, Sr. Beverly Romualdo, MIC, shared her mission story with the Alangan Mangyan community and how they received their certificate of ancestral domain title (CADT).

Sister Bevs, as she is popularly known, stressed during the book launch the importance of the Church’s role in the lives of the IPs.

“There really should be a relationship,” Romualdo said, “The relationship between the Church and the indigenous peoples is very important.”

“The Mangyan Tribe really trusts the Catholic Church because they believe that the nuns and priests will not fool or cheat them,” she said.

According to her, one of the biggest challenges that the Alangan tribe continues to face is the lack of literacy and education.

“The elders did not know how to write and read. We really encouraged them to read and to go to school,” Romualdez said.

“The times are different, if you do not know how to read and write, you will be cheated or fooled,” she added.

Through the help of the Church and various non-government organizations, the government awarded a CADT to the Alangan Mangyan tribe in November 2012.

The title granted them the dominion of over 98,462 hectares of their ancestral land in Occidental Mindoro’s Santa Cruz town.

In a testimonial for the book, Alangan leader Loben Garding said they were overjoyed when they finally received their CADT.

“We held each other’s hands whenever we would lose hope,” Garding said. “This way we felt we were bound to each other. We are one family fighting for one vision.”

The book is currently available for purchase at the MIC retreat center in Davao City. It will soon be made available in Metro Manila through the San Beda College and Immaculate Conception College in Greenhills.


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