CAGAYAN DE ORO

The Talaingod mountain people

ABOUT two to three hours away from Tagum City, Davao del Norte are the rolling hills of green where a group of proud Manobos live.

They are the Talaingod Manobo and their place is named after them.

Around 2 to 3 p.m. while on our way to Tagum City, Davao del Norte to compete in the 2019 Batang Pinoy Chess Championship Mindanao Leg, we conquered the vast and treacherous paths on our sporting journey some weeks ago.

With my ever supportive father Emmanuel and chess coach and SunStar Cagayan de Oro sports editor Lynde Salgados, we dared the roads less-traveled in a small car.

Instead of the normal route from Cagayan de Oro to Davao City via Buda Highway, we followed another direction, the Talakag-Kibangay-San Fernando-Talaingod-Tagum route.

It was not easy going there. You may encounter landslides and very sharp edges and curves. Though it was very scary, it thrilled me.

In every turn, you won’t expect the view in front of you. The trees, the lakes and the mountains.

During the trip, there was no signal and no malls nor stores in sight.

Little did we know, we were circling over a 65,000-hectare land inhabited by about 20,000 indigenous people (IP). Wooden houses and trees almost covered the entire area.

After six dreadful hours, we stumbled upon the Talaingod Manobo tribe.

Most of them waved at us while we were taking pictures of them.

They probably live a simple life, just like farming and weaving baskets.

I thought children have lost the interest in playing outside with their friends, but I was wrong.

Children in those places were running around the streets bringing twigs with the wind touching their hair as they ran along.

The roads were lonely, it was so lonely that you can actually count the number of vehicles you encounter on the two-lane road.

Accordingly, Talaingod means “God's chosen people.”

I think it is an honor to see a native from a certain tribe in person because people most especially those living in the urban area tend to forget the IPs and underestimate them for their race.

These people have adapted to the modern way of life but they still decided to embrace the simple life.

The Talaingod Manobo tribe is Davao del Norte's mountain people.

They deserve to be praised and respected for they are our roots. (Lorebina Carrasco II, Grade 8 student of Corpus Christi School)


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