The Apu Palamguwan Cultural Education Center (APC) is a community-based, Jesuit-supported institution serving Sitio Bendum and connecting with 21 other indigenous communities in the valley. Sitio Bendum is part of Barangay Busdi at the edge of Malaybalay City, in the Upper Pulangi watershed and part of the Pantaron Range along the border of Bukidnon and Agusan del Sur.
APC was legally established in 2004 and in the same year gained recognition from the Department of Education. APC is registered as a non-profit organization with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Through discussions with the tribal council and their committee on education, APC’s vision, mission, philosophy and goals were crafted. The work started in 1992 under Environmental Science for Social Change and continues as a Jesuit Institute committed to right relations to the land.
APC envisions indigenous communities who are empowered to learn and live as indigenous, exercising self-determination over the management of their domain, and asserting their cultural integrity in society so that external influences are directed in support of their way of life.
APC seeks to provide an integrated and holistic education for the indigenous children and youth along the Pantaron Range. We aim to promote and deepen cultural understanding while providing indigenous children with the knowledge and skills they need to confidently relate with mainstream Philippine society, advance in the formal education ladder, and engage with the technological advancement of the global community while gaining greater objectivity of our culture.
- To provide basic cultural education that serves as the foundation for the life-long learning of Pulangiyen children and youth
- To guide the students through various learning experiences in the context of their community life thus facilitating their holistic development as individuals capable of managing the community’s resources, sustaining their livelihood, governing the community as an indigenous people, and engaging with broader society.
In addition to scholarships to help children learn in school, APC supports the Forest, Farm, and Leadership in the Margins (FFLM) program, a youth work experience to provide alternative opportunities for vulnerable youth in the broader area who lost their jobs due to the pandemic. FFLM is a government-recognized Farm School and Training Center that offers two-month training courses in organic farming, masonry and carpentry, forest and water management, and bamboo processing, and hopefully, enterprise development of citronella oil. The farm supplies the dalēpaan with most of the vegetables needed. These programs are held at APC’s Balay Laudato Si’ that provides skills training and formation for the youth while building their forest, farm, and leadership skills to contribute to their management of the ancestral domain.