CATHOLIC NEWS OF THE WEEK . Saturday, 11 November 2017

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Honouring indigenous development

MANILA (UCAN): Caritas Philippines launched a book on October 13 honouring the indigenous people of the country and offering a tribute to the work they have done in protecting the beautiful landscape of the Pearl of the Orient Seas that God has gifted to the people.
 
Father Edwin Gariguez, the author of the book and director of Caritas, said that for indigenous peoples “the whole of creation is deeply imbued with spiritual reality.”
 
He added, “They live their lives always in reverence to the unseen powers enveloping the earth (and) maintain their inherent sacred relationship to the land.”
 
The book entitled, Ecological Spirituality and the Mangyan-Alangan of Mindoro, highlights how tribal people in the central Philippine province of Mindoro “live their lives in reverence to the unseen powers enveloping the earth.”
 
Father Gariguez said the spirituality of indigenous peoples is “necessary in defining our development and ecological agenda.”
 
He challenged everybody to learn to rediscover “our capacity for entering into the larger community of life.”
 
Marius Agua, the facilitator of the environmental advocacy group, Alamin, said he believes that the book could be a great help to people in learning to understand why tribal communities oppose mining and mono-cropping industries so vehmently.
 
He explained that the concept of development held by tribal communities is different from the concept of development aggression that involves destructive extraction of minerals.
 
Father Gariguez described his book as an attempt to listen to the indigenous peoples and to learn from them how to recapture a lost, but sacred relationship with the earth.

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