"The Wisdom Keepers of Mt. Kitanglad"

Cultural experts, including female leaders or exceptional tribe women called "bae," signed copies of the book, "The Wisdom Keepers of Mt. Kitanglad" during the launch on March 9, 2018. (Photo credit: USAID/B+WISER)

The Kitanglad Integrated NGOs (KIN), supported by USAID's Biodiversity and Watersheds Improved for Strong Economy and Ecosystem Resilience (B+WISER) project and the DENR Forest Management Bureau (FMB), released the book, “The Wisdom Keepers of Mt. Kitanglad," which documents and showcases the ecological and cultural treasures of the area. Launched on March 9 at the Bukidnon State University in Malaybalay, Bukidnon, the book is a cultural profile of Mt. Kitanglad, which includes local tales, profiles of tribal leaders and ancestors, rituals, signs, and sacred plants and animals, as well as tribal norms and cultural policies. It delves into the spiritual, ecological, political, economic, and social aspects of tribal life. These accounts were gathered through expeditions to the mountain, interviews with locals, focus group discussions, and reflective dialogues with tribes. Cultural experts of the three tribes – Talaandig, Bukidnon, and Higaonon – were also recognized at the event for imparting their deep and extensive knowledge about their culture and beliefs. USAID/B+WISER has been collaborating with Kitanglad tribes since 2013 to ensure the protection of Mt. Kitanglad Range Natural Park, an ASEAN Heritage Park.

Over 200 representatives from the different tribes of Mt. Kitanglad attended the book launch. (Photo credit: USAID/B+WISER)