“STOP Lumad killings!” was the cry of over 70 Lumad representatives as they passed through the Arch of the Centuries to commence the second year of the “Bakwit School” or evacuee school program in the University.

UST Simbahayan Director Mark Anthony Abenir said this year’s Bakwit School activities would include “enhancement classes”  and “interactive sessions.”

Faculty members and student organizations may share their knowledge with the Lumad and vice-versa, he said.

Vice Rector for Religious Affairs Fr. Pablo Tiong, O.P. welcomed the Lumad community to the University during the “Salubungan” on Monday.

Binubuksan namin ang UST sa inyo upang kahit papaano, kami ay makikiisa sa inyong pakikibaka. Nakikiisa kami sa inyo upang maabot na ninyo ang inyong minimithing sapat na edukasiyon,” Tiong said in his welcome remarks.

Manilyn Gantangan, a Grade 10 student from the Salugpongan Ta Tanu Igkanugon Community Learning Center, stood alongside her classmates in a call for freedom in Mindanao before launching into a cultural solidarity dance where Lumad and Thomasians joined in.

Also present were Elen Belardo from the Rural Missionaries of the Philippines and Fr. Oliver Castor from the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer, who expressed gratitude to the University for welcoming the Lumad.

The Salubungan kicked off the seven-day stay of the Lumad in the University from Sept. 10-17.


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