Twenty-six Grade 6 students of Apu Palamguwan Cultural Education Center (APC) graduated on 22 March 2018 in Bendum, Bukidnon. APC Executive Director Pedro Walpole addressed the students and community, a translation of which follows:
During this school year our APC community has continued to grow in Upper Pulangi. I am very grateful to the Tribal Council who continues to be a point of welcome, of relations-building, and traditional knowledge for all the students coming from Bendum and neighbouring communities. I thank all of you in the community for sustaining the peace and the clear focus on learning in APC. In this way we continue to give real meaning to culture-based education.
I thank the Board of APC for their generosity of service and seeking decisions in the best interests of the children today. Our sponsors and One World Children’s Fund, Reconciliation with Creation Network of Asia Pacific, and the global Educate Magis Network have all greatly contributed to sustaining the learning in the school and relations with the broader world of justice and reconciliation. We share in the Jesuit tradition of forming youth of culture, commitment, competence, compassion and conscience.
So many people have supported us though the year, including the Jesuit Province and the Jesuit Community in Bukidnon, we thank them from our hearts. Not least is the Department of Education in helping establish a greater understanding of the role of Indigenous Schools and Multi Lingual Education for people nationwide. Our partnership with the Jesuit Basic Education Commission continues to grow.
Most of all I thank you, the parents of these graduates, as you stand with them today and with the school in seeking new horizons in life and in service of others.
We rejoice today in the graduation of these children and their six to eight years of learning at APC from Kinder to Grade 6, and we trust they will continue on to high school and Hulas learning. We are grateful for the support of the four connecting local schools and particularly the construction of the new classrooms in Nabag-o. We celebrate today also the further establishment of the high school campus and facilities for over a hundred students. These include the new classrooms, the organic farm and assisted natural regeneration of the gaup (ancestral domain).
Our team of teachers and staff is growing in number and competence. I am deeply grateful to the team and congratulate them in the tremendous work of service done in dealing with all the challenges. We are only able to face these challenges when we remain a community of practice committed to the children and youth of Upper Pulangi and a deeper reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples and care for our Common Home.
This shared spirituality of care and of hope allows for humble opportunities of change in our own lives and in Mindanao. It demands also a compassion and sensitivity to personal growth and culture as well as being responsible in addressing the challenges in broader society.
APC congratulates its Grade 6 batch 2018 graduates: