The place that is Mindanao…
Mindanao is the second largest island in the archipelagic Philippines, more than a third of the country’s land area (10.2 million hectares).
Uniquely, Mindanao is largely populated by people of the country’s three dominant faiths; the MORO people (Muslim) with its 13 ethno-linguistic groups, the LUMAD (indigenous/animists) with its 18 major tribes and the majority CHRISTIAN settlers.
Mindanao is blessed with many rich natural resources that greatly contribute to the national economy: nearly half of the nation’s gold reserves, more than 65% of its nickel reserves, almost all of its rubber supplies, more than half of the nation’s logs, and a substantial share of the nation’s agricultural and fishing exports (banana, coconut, pineapple, mangoes, cutflowers, tuna, etc.)
In fact, more than 500 multinational corporations are currently operating in the island. Yet, the vast majority of the people in Mindanao still experience impoverishment and economic deprivation. The latest data has put more than 60% of Mindanaoans below the poverty threshold. So neglected is Mindanao that less than 15% of the national budget is allocated for Mindanao. More deeply affected are the MORO and LUMAD people by the ever-growing land expansion of the agribusiness sector and the never-ending all-out war of the government to “crush the rebellion”. Today, Mindanao remains a bleeding ground where arrests, torture, disappearances, massive displacement and other forms of inhumanity are everyday reality.
Despite all these, Mindanao is still a land of promise. And the promise is its people, people who hope to attain justice, peace and prosperity in the land of plenty. Indeed, a new creation is set to emerge in Mindanao. This commitment to bring about hope has served as a virtual inspiration in the continuous formation and strengthening of programs and organizations to uplift the lives of Mindanaoans.
If you are interested to immerse in Mindanao, you may click this link for the significant places to visit:
SEE Mindanao brochure