Our History http://www.suladsasia.org/our-story/
ULADS began in the late 1960’s with a dream of Mr. Apo Napoleon Saguan, a supervisor at MVC. He dreamed meeting a Manobo Chief in the market. The following day Apo went to the nearby city, Valencia and when he went to the market, lo and behold, he met the Manobo Chief in his dream, named Datu Tibalaw. The Chief as well was given a dream that we would meet a man in the market. The moment the Chief saw Apo he exclaimed, I saw you in my dream! They then had a dialogue in their local dialect and the Chief related to Apo the need for teachers to teach his people. Upon arriving MVC, Apo related their meeting with Datu Tibalaw to James Zacchary, who was then a teacher at Mountain View College. Apo relayed the need for teachers who were then living in the nearby Mountain ranges across Mountain View College. Two students (Peter Donton and Dave Saguan) were then sent to survey the villages and they found out a very primitive, war-like tribe. They were hunters and gatherers and moved from place to place within their territory in search of food. Entrance into the territory of another clan or family could bring retaliation, and many times including bloodshed. For months, Peter and Dave made frequent visits to the villages. During one of their visits, a Manobo came up to kill them and so they ran for their lives in different directions. Two weeks later, they meet again at Mountain View College. So in 1969, the Student Missionary (SM) program was conceived. It was a Community based extension program under Mountain View College where students from Mountain View College would take a year off to live and serve these people. It was learned that the Manobos were suspicious of “lowlanders” and did not readily accept strangers in the mountains. Yet over time, the student missionaries won the confidence of the datus or chiefs and the student missionaries were welcomed into the villages and culture of the Manobo. Their work: Included teaching the people farming methods, village sanitation, public health, and (civic problems assist in civic problems, helping their sitio and barangay leaders, teach them hygiene, teach them to be good citizens of our country the Philippines, and above all teach the value of having an almighty God to worship.) literacy. A method used in teaching was the singing of religious songs and studying of the Bible stories for reading. The first datu to accept the “beliefs” as brought by the missionaries was Datu Tibalawan in the village of Dampaan located at Conception, Valencia City. The first formal mission school was formed in his village by Abraham Carpena and Samuel Napigkit. Eight mission schools were eventually established which spawned churches and schools in each of the villages. Bulalang was developed as a secondary school for the Manobos and included an airstrip, dormitories, cafeteria, classrooms, and a sanitary water supply. All schools were non-formal and received no recognition from the government.
Cyberflashes, April 13, 2018