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We have thirteen days left into the campaign to raise funds for my new film, Through the Deep Shadows. Please help us make this film happen. The circumstances surrounding the disappearance of Frank Gould is as relevant today as it was in 1974. In fact, the number of enforced disappearances and extrajudicial killings under the Aquino administration climbed to 16 and 142. More than just numbers, the statistics signify numerous lives and rights being trampled upon.

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Camiguin Hotel: Villa Paraiso Resort and Apartelle

So on a recent trip to Camiguin Island, my family and I stayed in a different resort in Camiguin this time (we’ve already stayed at Tia’s Beach Resort, Golden Sunset Camiguin etc) After a little bit of research and getting recommendations from friends, I booked a family suite at Villa …

KFI staff discuss Gender and Islam

A QUESTION OF GENDER. Male KFI staff react with giggles and stern look at Ms. Ante's input and provocative statements.

A QUESTION OF GENDER. Male KFI staff react with giggles and stern look at Ms. Ante’s input and provocative statements.

What is the difference between gender and sex? How does Islam define the role of women?

These questions and issues were the subject of lively discussion among the staff of Kadtuntaya Foundation, Inc. (KFI) during its regular staff meeting held at Community Training and Resource Center (CTRC) in Cotabato City on April 1, 2013.

Akrima Ante, coordinator of KFI’s Women and Children program, and who acted as the main resource person in the said forum-discussion, explained that while sex is biological, gender is socially-constructed and thus depends on how certain societies or cultural groups define it.                                                                                                                                                  

Islam is a religion of justice, tolerance and mercy,” she stressed. Being so, she added, it “restored women’s rights and dignity.”                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

The right of women to find job outside of the house is sanctioned under Islam she said, “as long as the work place is safe, the job preserves their dignity and nature, and it is not against the teachings of Islam.”


In the open forum that ensued, some male staff raised the fear that promoting women’s rights under a liberal and western concept may get the ire of conservative imams or clergy.


But we are affected by political and economic context, over which we have no control,” argued Khomeini Mantawil, a male staff of CORDAID-assisted children’s project. He cited as an example the widespread poverty in Moro areas, government laws discriminating women, and the demand for women workers – including Moro women– to work abroad.


Ante added that women hardly have control anymore over economic realities and pressures, and that the safety of overseas workers, as is open reported in the media, is not even guaranteed.


Meanwhile, the changing role played by women in agriculture was pointed out by Jimmy Dalgan, officer of Catholic Relief Services (CRS)-assisted FARM project. Dalgan explained that while farming is traditionally the turf of men, women are now playing an important role in harvest and post-harvest activities.


The need to promote gender-sensitivity by integrating it in KFI’s programs and project design was also pointed out by a number of staff, but with caution.


While we are seriously looking into the issue of gender equality, we also have to be careful in dealing with cultural and religious sensibilities,” warned Florderick Sanico, officer of Peace and Governance in Mindanao project.


Gender consciousness and cultural sensitivity are integral part of KFI’s vision statement.


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UNYPAD Bukidnon Chapter holds Skills Enhancement Training-workshop

July 10, 2013: Some 50 individuals  from the Bangsamoro Development Agency (BDA), women sector, barangay council, and tribal leaders’ group attended a two-day skills enhancement training-workshop on Islamic Leadership and Management, and Community Organizing conducted by the newly organized UNYPAD Bukidnon Provincial Chapter held at Iranun Village, Poblacion 2, Kalilangan, Bukidnon province on June 29-30

Camiguin Island travel guide: How to get there

One of my favorite tourist destinations in the Philippines is Camiguin Island a.k.a. The Island Born of Fire. Located in Northern Mindanao, Camiguin is the second smallest province in the Philippines. Apart from its historic sites, beautiful coastline and environmental tourism areas, visitors just love the crystal clear water. Who …

DRRM project cites major accomplishments

Participants of a seminar on Climate Change conducted in Barangay Bakat, Rajah Buayan municipality. Photo: Lo Ivan Castillon

Participants of a seminar on Climate Change conducted in Barangay Bakat, Rajah Buayan municipality. Photo: Lo Ivan Castillon

The Disaster Risk Reduction Management (DRRM) project implemented by the Kadtuntaya Foundation, Inc. in four towns of Maguindanao has cited major gains and lessons learned in its latest 2013 report.

Assisted by Germany-based Diakonie Katastrophenhilfe, the 3-year project (August 2011-August 2013) dubbed “Reducing Risks, Promoting Peace” combines disaster preparedness, recovery support and empowerment of disaster-       affected communities as a project strategy.                                                                               

Partner communities and organizations are the 58 barangays in the municipalities of Mamasapano, Datu Salibo, Shariff Saydona and Rajah Buayan and the Office of the Civil Defense, respectively.                                                           

Among the major accomplishments cited in the report are the capability-building for both the partner communities and KFI staff on DRRM, the reactivation of Municipal DRRM Council (MDRRMC) in each town covered by the project, successful lobbying for the promulgation of policies supporting the implementation of DRRM in the municipalities’ respective contingency plans, installation of community-based communication and information system for quick disaster response, and the tapping of MDRRMC members to be part of Quick response Team in each municipality.     

Moreover, the project has harnessed local leaders to successfully mediate in land- and rido-related conflicts in the communities such as in a family feud between two families in Datu Salibo and Mamasapano.          

Conflict Management and orientation seminars on climate change are part of the trainings conducted by the project.          

One of the lessons learned as cited in the report is the “importance of how to effectively deal with the root and primary causes of disasters” which, in Maguindanao context, refers to “perennial flooding, landslides and the never ending cycle of violence.”

With reports from Lo Ivan Castillon

CSO Statement: URGENCY FOR PEACE IN MINDANAO: SIGN AND IMPLEMENT A COMPREHENSIVE AGREEMENT NOW! For the negotiators: bring home a breakthrough for the Bangsamoro!

We, representatives of civil society organizations, reaffirming our commitment to and imbibing the hope for peace in Mindanao, gathered to reflect on the urgent issues affecting the negotiations between government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), and to discern what can be done in earnest to keep alive the hopes for lasting peace.

We note that more than eight months have passed since the country witnessed the euphoria of the signing of the landmark Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro (FAB) that lays down the principles and roadmap to resolve the decades of rebellion in Mindanao.

Barangay and SK Elections 2013 – important dates, requirements

The Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections 2013 are drawing near. Have you registered as a voter yet? Or are you interested to run in the 2013 Barangay and SK elections? Here are the important Barangay and SK Elections 2013 Philippines dates to remember, voter registration requirements and transfer of voter …

Kasalang Filipino 2013 Davao City leg

Getting married soon? If your wedding will be held in Davao City and nearby areas, you might want to check out the 2013 Kasalang Filipino – 8th Philippine Wedding and Tourism Fair Road Show on July 19 to 21, 2013, 10 AM to 9 PM at the Activity Center of …