The apostolate for the Agta tribe people in the mount Iriga area was started by our foundries sister Felicitas B. de Lima and sister La Salette Baysa in 1976 after many of them were ejected from their ancestral lands by landowners who have the legal titles over the land they have occupied and tilled for a long time.

Moved by pity to the displaced tribal folks and rancor for the elitist greed the and government's inaction Daughters of Saint Augustine sisters have launched various programs and projects designed to improve the quality of life of Agta tribes.

Experience has taught that it was not easy to obtain the cooperation of the Agtas at first since they have a distinct culture which is very much apart from those of the lowlanders. They live in their own worlds governed by ethnic rules and gave a negative view on working with lowlanders.

With patience sincere intentions and prodding Daughters of Saint Augustine sisters were however able to convince the Agtas to participate actively in shaping their lives and future.

The first steps were made in a field of literacy education among the adults, youth and children. Daughter of Saint Augustine sisters organized classes along with the Nonformal Education to provide basic literacy to the Agtas.

Learning to read, write and doing simple mathematics has helped them enhancing their knowledge in selling their produce in the markets since their primary source of livelihood ids farming.

Seminars and trainings on appropriate technology were likewise implemented to equip the Agtas with technical heads of the family who does not cultivate their own lands were also employed as farmers and farm help to allow them to earn a living to support their families.

Second sep in straightening and continuing missionary activity among Agtas of Iriga mountain was establishment of Maryhill Tribal Settlement.

With support Maryknoll fathers we could purchase48.8 hectares which would now become the Maryknoll Tribal Settlement in barangay San Pedro, Iriga City.

This settlement is a package of development interventions designed to directly improve the living and educational conditions of the indigenous cultural community of Agta (locally referred as Itums).

Later in 2008 with the continuous clamor of the settlement's people and because of remoteness of the place sisters decided to put there an annex of Fatima integrated Farm school where local tribal children can study and receive educational certificates.

Nowadays the Maryhill settlement is a home for 35 tribals who under the patronage of Daughters of Saint Augustine volunteered to leave their primitive way of life and form a community. About 99 percent of the population of the settlement are Roman Catholics.

  history I spirituality I charism I ministry I staff I news I photos I videos I contact us  
(c) 2010 congregation of Daughters of Saint Augustine
4413 Philippines, Camarines Sur, Iriga City, San Agustin, Villa Felicima Coral st. "Fatima Center for Human Development"
Tel.: (0063 54) 299 22 89; (0063 54) 655 01 30 Fax: (0063 54) 655 0747
e-mail: center_fatima@yahoo.com
Hosted by uCoz