THE seven-hundred participants of Manilakbayan ng Mindanao ended their month-long journey at Liwasang Bonifacio in Manila where they held series of protests to bring to the seat of power Mindanao's issues.
Datu Jomorito Goaynon, Manilakbayan spokesperson, said in an interview that they did not get clear answers from the government with regard to the prevailing problem of the island.
The pulling-out of military troops, disbandment of paramilitary groups, illegal mining in lumads' land, extrajudicial killings, and lumad (indigenous people) killings were among the issues that the Manilakbayan brought to the central government.
But Goaynon said the journey is still successful since they are overwhelmed by the support of the church and people who sympathized with their purpose.
"Didto gayud ni-bisita sa ato si Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle ug nagpakita ug suporta sa among mga lumad ug nakighiusa sa among panawagan," Goaynon said.
He said they were saddened since with the government prioritizing the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) than the plight of lumads.
"Dako ilang nagasto para lang sa pag-istorya-storya apan kung hisgutanang lumad na gane, wala gyud intawon kini’y lugar ug luna alang kang PNoy," Goaynon added.
For his part, Roger Plana, spokesperson of Kalumbay Lumad Organization, narrated how the lumads had a hard time adjusting with the weather in Manila.
"Lisud gayud kaayo sa klima, usahay magkulang ug pagkaon, wala pa gyud tay ensakto na katulganan kay kampuhan ra man ang nahitabo," Plana told Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro.
But despite the difficulties, he said, they still considered it a success with the overflowing support of groups of people visiting their camps.
He said they were visited by celebrities who are at the same time advocating for the welfare of the lumads.
Plana cited Aiza Seguerra who did not only offer songs but also conducted lectures and shared her time with the lumads.
"Amo gayud na gikalipay ang suporta sa mga tao, sa simbahan sa Katoliko na nagpakita ug kadasig alang sa mga lumad," Plana said.
He said they will go home with a smile yet with the burning desire to continue the fight for the Indigenous Peoples' rights.
The 110 Northern Mindanao participants did a Padangag ritual Wednesday noon at the Press Freedom Park at the Provincial Capitol Grounds.
The said ritual officially ended the journey of the lumads with the Manilakbayan, while thanked the gods for the successful “kampuhan.”