Reuniting with our roots: Indigenous youth scholars’ year-end recollection in Bendum

Indigenous youth scholars of the Kapawa hu Paglaum program take a break in their recollection in Bendum. The hope is for the youth to be renewed in faith and prepared to meet the demands of being disciples in a changing and challenging world.

Kapawa hu Paglaum community

Indigenous youth scholars of the Kapawa hu Paglaum (Light of Hope) scholarship and formation program of the Fr Leoni Mission Foundation (FLMFI), the Jesuit Indigenous Peoples Ministry in Bukidnon, held their year-end recollection at Balay Laudato Si’ in Bendum from 17 to 19 December.

Amay Pedro (Pedro Walpole SJ, APC Executive Director) guided them to be rooted in their inner selves before engaging with the bigger and tougher realities of the world. As they begin their journeys, the hope is for the Kapawa scholars to reflect and have authentic self-awareness. This recollection of the life-changing realities of 2022 was a valuable experience.

Kapawa hu Paglaum scholars joined the Bendum community in celebrating Simbang Gabi.

One of the significant segments of the recollection was the small group sharing where they rekindled their relationships with the community, celebrating Simbang Gabi (Midnight Mass held from 16 to 24 December) and holding an intimate Christmas program afterwards.

The youth reflected on the past year’s life-changing events and the busy-ness of daily life. To be rooted in their inner selves, Amay Pedro shared that culture and dreams help begin their journeys anew with fidelity and dedication and in awaiting God’s grace for new ways to tackle the challenges and struggles in life.

The year-end recollection ended with a culminating Mass with Amay Pedro and a synthesis by Ms. Sailyn Guarin, FLMFI program coordinator.

It is hoped that the scholars will take these lessons to heart as they continue to strive to achieve their life goals while rooted in their identity and ready to live with their indigenous communities.

The Kapawa hu Paglaum scholarship and formation program is a 10-year organized, collaborative and holistic college program in Bukidnon that accompanies indigenous youth scholars studying in urban centers to remain grounded in their culture and rooted in their indigenous spirituality and faith tradition. The program prepares the youth for future leadership roles in their respective tribes. Kapawa hu Paglaum (which means Light of Hope) is a term that the scholars themselves conceived during their first gathering, acknowledging their own common experiences and dreams. To learn more about the Kapawa hu Paglaum program, please visit their FB page or send an email to

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