This site has evolved from a personal blog to an advocacy-related site. I interviewed various advocates and featured advocacy-related news and stories in region 12 and other parts of the country. I hope that the stories that I featured on this site will inspire you as readers.
Renny Boy Takyawan’s community development work created an organic word-of-mouth reach to the people in Malungon, Sarangani Province. He does not brag about it. Instead, he let his advocacies speak for itself. Despite all of his efforts, some people still do not have an idea who Renny Boy Takyawan is.
Here are other things you might not yet know about Renny Boy Takyawan.
1. A Community Volunteer
Rene started to dream of a sustainable community when he was in his high school years. One of the factors why he became a volunteer was the environment of his community in Barangay Upper Lumabat. It had limited opportunities due to its geographical location. Most of the young people in this barangay had no access to better education.
Rene and his friends dreamed of a brighter future. They decided to be role models for their community. They pursued their education and advocated its importance. Rene and his group initiated different community projects and activities to help his barangay. This experience opened lots of opportunities for Rene and his group. Their volunteer work expanded outside of Malungon.
He became the Malungon Chapter President and Regional Coordinator of Tuklas Katutubo; he worked with humanitarian organizations like Plan International and Save the Children; and became a member of Municipal Development Council and Local Youth Development Council in the Municipality of Malungon.
Although he does not like the spotlight, Rene’s community efforts have been recognized in some of the country’s award giving bodies. For example, he is one of the finalists in the Search for Outstanding Volunteer, by the Philippine National Volunteer Service Coordinating Agency, under the National Economic and Development Agency (NEDA).
Rene continues to be a volunteer for the people and the community.
2. A Youth Champion
There is no doubt that Rene is a promising young IP leader. In his 20s, he exposed himself to different communities in the Philippines. Tuklas Katutubo (national organization of Indigenous Peoples and advocates in the Philippines) plays an important role in shaping his innate talents and selfless character.
Rene’s Tuklas Katutubo-Upper Lumabat Chapter was one of the recipients of the 16th Ten Accomplished Youth Organizations (TAYO) Award in the country for its work in education and technology.
In 2019, Rene got the Bayaning Kabataan award in the 15th Gawad Geny Lopez Jr. Bayaning Pilipino Awards. He was instrumental in making his fellow tribe members in Saranggani gain access to education by building classrooms in their community.
Rene also collaborates with different youth groups not only in Malungon but also in the whole Philippines. Rene’s volunteer work inspired many young people in Sarangani and other parts of the country.
3. Defender of Indigenous Peoples Rights
As a Tagakaulo, Rene is conscious about their rights and welfare. Being part of Tuklas Katutubo, he helps advocate for IP rights in the Philippines from ancestral domain, livelihood opportunities, IP education, IP governance to IP tourism. For example, Tuklas Katutubo and other Indigenous Peoples' organizations, as well as IP advocates are lobbying to have a National IP Day as "special non-working holiday" (amending the R.A. 10689 or National Indigenous Peoples Day).
Rene also supports indigenous political system, in which it empowers tribal chieftains and IPMRs, to help the cause of the Indigenous People. Rene is also considered an IP leader in his community.
4. Community Organizer
Rene believes that the community itself can resolve their own problems. He said that the solutions to their problems are within their community. As a community organizer, he always reiterates the importance of empowering the community. He believes that the best practices in one community can be replicated to other communities.
Rene took up Bachelor of Science in Community Development at the Santa Cruz Mission School, Inc., in Barangay Poblacion, Lake Sebu, South Cotabato. His undergraduate degree led him to many community work that exposed him to different people and social problems, as well as its best solutions.
5. A believer of farmers’ empowerment
Rene believes that we should boost the morale of our farmers. Through empowering our local farmers, they can engage into good agricultural practices, latest farming technology and can dictate the right price for their agricultural products. He also encourages farmers to organize groups to avail both public and private grants and loans for their agricultural development. The farmers can decide on their own and have better choices without depending so much on “middlemen”.
6. A collaborator
Rene cannot do the things he achieved now without the help of his collaborators. He works not only with Tuklas Katutubo but also other community members, advocates, groups and organizations who have the same passion and advocacies. Rene always recognizes their efforts and makes sure to promote them in his own ways.
7. A believer of the power of education
Rene’s experience growing up in Upper Lumabat proved that education is important in a person’s life. Without education, a person has limited opportunities and can hinder his/her development. For example, in his barangay, some young people are engaged in early marriage due to lack of opportunities. He witnessed how this practice creates a negative impact not only to the young couple but also in the community itself.
With the help of his collaborators and partners, Rene initiated different education programs to help address this problem. For example, Rene and TK Malungon team, built schools in some of the far-flung communities in Malungon. He believes that through education we can change or uplift a community little by little.
Rene does not dwell on complaining or blaming someone to resolve a problem. He focuses on the best solutions and takes proactive action on them. For instance, he set himself as a good example that education helped change his life. Through setting himself as a model to his community members, he subtly convinces them that pursuing an education is the best choice. His mantra “we walk the talk” keeps him focused on his mission to help other people.
Rene’s accomplishments speak for itself. Many young people got inspired with his community work and advocacies.