Love Day with the Indigenous People of DSB

NEGROS. IBP-Negros Occidental officers with tribe chieftain, Richard "Boy" Ampil. (Contributed photo)
NEGROS. IBP-Negros Occidental officers with tribe chieftain, Richard "Boy" Ampil. (Contributed photo)

LOVE is not what you say. Love is what you do.

It was a love-filled February day in the mountains as close to 200 indigenous people of Don Salvador Benedicto were treated to an afternoon of fun, laughter and gifts by the Integrated Bar of the Philippines-Negros Occidental Chapter.

The Love Day celebration reached out to the indigenous people living in Barangay Silang, Don Salvador Benedicto.

This area is part of an ancestral domain and home of about 600 indigenous beautiful, resilient, and hardworking people of the Ata Bukidnon Tribe.

Love Day was the opening salvo of the projects of IBP for this term for the Ata-Bukidnon.

IBP president Atty. Josephine Maria Natalaray in her welcome remarks during the Love Day celebration cited that IBP's love affair with the Atas-Bukidnon tribe started years back.

She recalled that during the term of former IBP president Atty. Arnel Lapore, they participated in "Dalagan Para sa Dungang Manggad," a fundraiser to help build artesian wells for the tribe.

“Last year, during the term of Atty. Edmundo Manlapao Jr., IBP adopted an area where we had a tree planting activity. As you see, the Ata-Bukidnon tribe has always a place in IBP-Negros Occidental's hearts,” Natalaray added.

The Love Day celebration with the Ata-Bukidnon tribe started with an invocation and it was heartwarming to see children deep in prayer.

Young and old alike enjoyed the entertainment provided by the magician named Wilson. Giggles and laughter filled the community center while Willie was performing his magic tricks and puppet show. Children were in awe of the rabbit that came out of the sleeve of the magician and could not resist touching it to see if it was real.

They jumped to touch the bubbles made of soap and water but came out in different shapes and sizes and this was the first time to have these magic tricks performed in front of them.

An impromptu dance contest was held and the children even an adult participated in TikTok dance challenge.

Cash prizes were awarded to 10 winners, while snacks were served in-between the magic tricks.

Everyone went home with bags literally filled to the brim with food, hygiene kits provided by ARB Call Facilities and pre-loved clothes donated by IBP members.

Tribe chieftain Richard "Boy" Impil thanked the IBP-Negros Occidental Chapter for sharing their love and giving so much joy to his tribesmen. He said that they will never forget this afternoon when every one of them smiled, laughed and forgot their worries.

The Kusinata, a well-known restaurant and a social enterprise, owned by spouses, Gerry Grey and Mary Lucille Dadivas Grey, is one of those who initiated the move to help the Atas.

About 22 Atas are employed as cooks, dishwashers, and servers in the restaurant. The Kusinata also assisted the IBP and partners in making this Love Day possible.

Present during the Love Day celebration were the IBP officers led by their president Josephine Maria Natalaray, Vice President Gerry Llena, secretary Jamie Geolingo, Public Relations Officer Woodro Guanzon, and members of the IBP Board, Dorsey Caratao, Nea Quiatchon, and Juliana Carbon and the staff, Cecil Leonero and Joy Maguate. Also present were NQa staff Margilyn and Mary Angela Achurra.

Partnering in the project is the ARB Call Facilities, a world class contact center with strategic locations around the globe offering Business Process Outsourcing. Its foundation, ARB Cares, was represented by Albert Ulan-Ulan Jr., Global Human Capital director; Jaivie Tabarno, the HR supervisor; Robert Terry Consul, Employment Engagement Lead; Mahdel Gayares, HR Business partner-Site Lead; and Monique Carillo, HR Business Partner.

ARB Cares is ARB Call Facilities Inc.'s corporate social responsibility program that focuses on aiding the community in having a beneficial impact on society by giving a constructive influence. In addition, social and environmental concerns are part of our vision and goal to assist mitigate climate change and protect Mother Earth.

The Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) is an organization of all lawyers in the Philippines. The local chapter, Negros Occidental, is composed of more than 1,000 lawyers in the province.


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