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Support the Lumad children and students

Newsletter December 2023

We would like to start off the newsletter with an update on the Filipino children’s book “De legende van de waterdraak”. The Legend of the water dragon, is a middle grade (ages 9-12) book, written by authors Isolde Boers and Ilena Saturay, and illustrated by Ilena Saturay.

The book was published last year November to raise awareness about the struggles the Lumad face in their daily lives and to raise funds for the children’s organizations the Foundation is supporting.

The book is inspired by the Filipino children’s book Sayaw ng Pantaron, and based on the life of the late Lumad leader Bai Bibyaon, the two authors wrote a story that tells about the Lumad struggle; the struggle for self-determination and education that revolves around the legend of the waterdragon and based on true stories through the adventures of two girls, Lenny and Liway.

The book became available in the Dutch language in November 2022. Now, a year later, we are happy to present the book in the English language!

All proceeds from the sales of the English version will be transferred to our partner Save Our Schools Network for paying the rent, food, transportation and school supplies for the Lumad students who remain to seek sanctuary in the University of the Philippines in Quezon City, due to militarization in their home communities.

E-mail info@dutchventurepublishing.nl to order books in bulk and get discount.

Liway lives in the Philippines on the island of Mindanao. Her grandmother is one of the main leaders of the Lumad, a group of indigenous tribes. She fights to preserve her tribe’s territory. Liway adores her grandmother, but also sees that she has many concerns.

Lenny lives more than ten thousand kilometers away, in the United Kingdom. Lenny and Liway meet for the first time when Lenny is on the island with her parents during summer break to support Liway’s school.
Lenny’s grandmother passed away not long ago, and Lenny really enjoys talking to Liway’s grandmother.

But one day something happens that no one was expecting, least of all Lenny….

Lastly, we want to give the highest tribute to the first and only female chieftain in the history of the Manobo people, Bai Bibyaon Ligkayan Bigkay. Bai Bibyaon passed away last November 20 at the age of 90 years. She was a woman Lumad leader, ancestral domain defender and Lumad education rights warrior, as she has contributed a lot to and carried out the Manobo children and people’s right to education.

“Until her passing, Bai Bibyaon opted to stay in the capital together with the volunteers of the Save Our Schools (SOS) to maintain her advocacy work not only for the Manobos of Mindanao but also for the entire indigenous people struggling for their right to self-determination and the Filipino peoples struggle for national democracy.

Bai Bibyaon is a true hero, even in her death bed, her last words were “When I leave here, I will become a guiding light for you all. Don’t give up, but continue the struggle.”

Rest in power, Bai Bibyaon!