The Hearts and Brains Inc. (HABI) conducted a medical mission, durian tree planting, child feeding program, child friendly activity (CFA), livelihood education, clothes (ukay-ukay) distribution and putting up of E-health center to the Tboli tribe of Sitio Sufu Brgy. Maan Tboli, South Cotabato. The three day activity held last April 10-12 was conceptualized by the Bayaning Pilipino Awardee Dr. Roel Cagape and the HABI Volunteer Group in partnership of the 27th Infantry Battalion.
Sitio Sufu is located in the mountainous areas of Tboli South Cotabato. Sufu means bamboo in Tboli dialect. Bamboo is abundant in the area that is why it was named after it. Sitio Sufu has a very relaxing environment. It has cool and fresh air. From far view you can see GenSan. You can fully appreciate its beauty when it is dark because the lights from the city are like stars in the sky. The place is also good for contemplation – to know more about yourself, the other people and the world.
Exposing myself to this kind community makes me understand more of their lifestyle. Despite their simple living they are happy and very welcoming to the visitors. When we conducted our medical mission, I observe that they are thirsty for social services. As what Doc Cagape said, even though some do not have illnesses they still seek for doctor’s advice and want to have prescribed drugs. And also during our clothes (ukay-ukay) distribution, many wanted to have more share of clothes even though they already have one.
It is sad and frustrating to witness this kind of scenarios. It is sad and frustrating in the sense that the basic services of the government cannot access this kind of communities situated in remote areas. The irony of the story is that the campaign posters of the local and national candidates are posted in some of the houses in the area. What a shame to see it during (campaign) election period.
On the other hand, it gives you a sense of hope because some non-government organizations (NGOs) are finding ways to fill this gap. NGOs lke HABI are helping and empowering fellow men for a better life.
Community work, if it is genuine, is good for the soul. It awakens your consciousness to the things that are unnoticed in the society. If you are in the mountain, especially in this kind of communities, it feels like you’re in the other world. Unlike in the city, staying in this community makes you think and question the status quo. It also makes you think of the possible solutions to its deficiencies.
Leave a comment below and let me know what you think.
Note: Other related stories of Sitio Sufu visit will be posted in this blog