Slideshow: In Upper Suyan Village, children suffer the worst from poverty, militarization

DLUMAY, Sarangani — Back in 2007, a survey revealed that the literacy rate among the six sub-villages of Upper Suyan was a mere three percent. Children had a hard time going to school because the nearest formal school, which is located in the village proper of Upper Suyan, is about two to three hours away by foot. The Blaan people endured the situation for a long time until the Center for Lumad Advocacy and Services (Clans) and the Sibol ng Agham at Teknolohiya (Sibol) came along and empowered them through a literacy program and a micro-hydro powerplant.

In 2010, however, the 73rd Infantry Batallion of the Philippine Army arrived in the Upper Suyan village, specifically in Dlumay sub-village, and started interrogating the teachers of the Blaan Literacy School and Learning Center and leaders of the community. This forced the BLSLC teachers to leave Dlumay.

In an attempt to record human rights violations in the community, Clans and all its partnered organizations organized a peace and solidarity mission. One of the highlights of the result is how the children have been affected not just by the long-standing poverty but also with militarization. (Text and photos by Janess Ann J. Ellao /

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  1. why did the 73rdIB interogates the teachers? baka naman my nakita yung mga army na mali? sa pagkakaalam ko eh partners ang sundalo at teachers sa mga rural areas sa pagtuturo at pagmumulat sa mga tao sa kamangmangan. bakit ang mga teachers sa literarcy program sa adlomay is so galit sa mga sundalo? my tinatago ba sila? tinuturo ba sa mga bata yung tamang curicculum?bakit sa tinagal tagal ng clans at Sibol sa lugar eh wala paring pagbabago sa lugar? ni maisan o palayan o gulayan wala kang makikita? my literacy program pero lahat halos ng tao sa lugar eh di marunong bumasa at sumulat? anong ginawa nila? yung project na micro-hydro power plant eh bakit nung august 12, 2011 lang natapos? kung hindi pumasok ang army eh hanggang ngayon di pa sana natapos yang proyektong yan? bakit ba galit na galit kayo sa army dahil ba naexpose yung patuloy nyong pag exploit sa tao sa adlomay? magkano ba na budget ang inyong nailabas gamit ang adlomay? it so painful on my part as member of b’laan tribe being used and exploited. hope clans will stop making noise kasi naiipit kaming mga b’laan…….

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