On behalf of the Program on Alternative Development, University of the Philippines Center for Integrative and Development Studies (UP CIDS AltDev), I wish to extend our hearty solidarity and warm greetings to the Lumad Bakwit School on the occasion of its graduation and moving up ceremony on 17 July 2021. The Lumad Bakwit School based at the University of the Philippines Diliman has been a valuable partner of UP CIDS AltDev as part of a Southeast Asian project of surfacing and documenting alternative practices of communities and sectors that exemplify non-mainstream cases of how marginalized and disadvantaged peoples are able to craft their own development programs and strategies that challenges elite-centered and dominant perspectives and models. The Lumad Bakwit School has had to overcome the threats and perils from an unresponsive and callous government that is unable to comprehend the richness and wisdom inherent within a culture and society that existed long before the Filipino nation came into being. As an alternative learning platform that combine indigenous knowledge and practices with the more conventional modes, the Lumad Bakwit School has shown the way forward for a more inclusive, transformative, and creative manner of knowledge gathering and sharing as a way of addressing the root causes of Philippine society’s social, political, cultural and economic problems.
Eduardo C. Tadem, Ph.D.
Program on Alternative Development, UP Center for Integrative and Development Studies