Lake Sebu, South Cotabato: T’boli School of Indigenous Knowledge And Traditions
In Tagalog, “sikat” refers to the shining sun, its rays, the first light of dawn – the beginning of a new day. It is a symbol for hope, and hope lay on the hands of the children. In their hearts and minds rest the fate of our country. They are the future, and future begins today in their second home called school.
Opening the doors of community-owned T’boli School of Indigenous Knowledge And Traditions, or SIKAT, gave underprivileged T’boli kids of Lake Sebu an opportunity for good education. SIKAT follows the basic curriculum in elementary which are similarly offered in other schools in the country. But unlike most, the institution’s unique approach, deeply-rooted to its core values, creates an avenue for hands-on heritage preservation through indigenous education. Here, culture and tradition are more than just lessons – it is a way of life. And, honestly, I’ve never seen students and teachers so dedicated to the school’s advocacy.
Unfortunately, utmost dedication alone can’t run a school – it can’t buy food, books, and school supplies, neither develop facilities nor pay salaries. SIKAT relies on selling handicrafts and a few sponsors who provide financial assistance in order to keep the school running. With over a hundred students and only a handful teachers, it’s not just sufficient. SIKAT struggles against this harsh reality.
Let us give these kids the opportunity they deserve. Let us empower their unparalleled efforts in learning and their sincerest dedication to preserve heritage – a piece of our identity being Filipinos. We can help give them a brighter future. For our future, and the future of this country is in their hands.
Let us help.
1. To know more about T’boli School of Indigenous Knowledge & Traditions, please review their website.
2. Find out how the sponsorship program works and who to contact.
3. T’boli SIKAT is located at Lembanig, Poblacion, Lake Cebu South Cotabato 9512. You may visit and get to know the students here. Beside the school is the house of Maria Todi, who has a homestay program for the town’s visitors. Call or text prior to your stay 0906 634 53 67 or you could walk-in
4. Check out Lake Sebu School of Living Traditions on Facebook
5. More about Lake Sebu series.
7. More destinations in South Cotabato
8. Like Biyaherong Barat on Facebook.
9. Follow @BiyaherongBarat on Twitter
10. Be safe and happy travels.
11. No one asked me to write about this nor funded me to be in Lake Sebu. I just think that these kids deserve support from us. Their advocacy needs attention. The way they value culture and the struggle to keep it alive is really unparalleled. Maybe, you’ll understand what I mean if you meet them. Anyway, if you have the capability to help, please don’t hesitate to reach out.