ERLOWISM: From Clay Beads to Mud Houses

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SUNGKO, Lantapan, Bukidnon (19 July 2020) The initiative to start a Mud House Village was deeply inspired by the profound concern for the environment and to protect the trees in the forest by a local artist from Bukidnon.

Rodelio “Waway” Linsahay Saway, is a byword among contemporary artists and indigenous communities in Mindanao. A teacher at the Talaandig’s School of Living Traditions in the highlands of Sungko, Lantapan, Bukidnon, Waway lives on his tribe’s music and art.

Son of Talaandig supreme chieftain Datu Kinulintang— Waway went to college in the prestigious Xavier University in Cagayan de Oro and took up Agriculture. Soon, his artistic inclinations would bring him out of the academe and into the university of life.

In the early 90s Waway joined a band of Bohemian musicians and craftsmen wrapped in stone and bead ornaments. The group travelled to places playing “world music,” which, to Waway, sounded like the music of his own indigenous community. Realizing that people around him appreciated indigenous art more than he did, Waway decided to go home to re-discover his tribe. And so, after a brief sojourn with the travelling troupe, Waway packed his bags and instruments and trekked back to his mountain community.

As MasterZone’s CEO and President, I am collaborating with Waway, my schoolmate in Xavier University, College of Agriculture. I am also promoting the Ecultourism Village Development Program and One-Family-One-Product Program. We were joined by a volunteer, Yael Atillo, and the full support and positive response of the community led by the chieftain at Landang Village, Tagbak, Talakag, Bukidnon, Datu Delboy “Sabunutan” Parente. The team, having firmly committed to fight environmental destruction and CoViD 19 Pandemic, initiated the ground-breaking, implementation and building of a Mud House Village in the area.

During the visits in the area, we noted that residents and some “informal settlers” in the adjacent community were incredibly supportive of the effort. It was even observed that women and children were already excited to possess a mud house to call their own.

At present, the team is working on the lone model house. We hope to share this to those who wish to support the initiative - protecting and preserving our forest and trees and supporting our IP communities.  We hope that they may be empowered to become devoted partners in achieving this goal

The cost to build a mud house estimated to be around Php 15,000 to Php 20,000.

What does this project commit to do? 

The project seeks to help every family establish Decent Contemporary Housing and Sustainable Disposable Income Product to meet their basic needs for daily survival. This will also help address the immediate needs of the community for shelter, rice, potable water, medicines, toiletries, value regeneration, and hygiene, among others.

This also intends to develop a Community Forest Watch to involve and hire the residents in forest protection.

This will also help ensure environmental sustainability by introducing alternative non-timber livelihood projects and Mud Houses;

This is also pushing for aggressive Information and Education Campaign for all stakeholders on the issues and challenges involving forest protection, El Nińo, ecological balance, co-existence and responsible consumption.

Finally, the project also helps mitigate the effects of COVID-19 Pandemic by providing decent and productive income generating activities such as Practical Cooking, Crafts Making, Art Workshops and Soil Painting in the community level.

How you can support the project?

You may support the project with any of the following options:

  1. Help fund the construction of one (1) or more Mud Houses
  2. Sponsor the materials needed for the construction (i.e. steel bars, cements, bamboo poles, food for the laborers, etc.)
  3. Sponsor the food for the series of community orientation, rituals, and construction proper
  4. Purchase Artworks and Crafts of the residents
  5. Organize Support Groups
  6. Help us find Sponsors
  7. Pray for us.


(Aside from being a surrealist painter, the author is CEO and president of MasterZone. For inquiries, follow MasterZone FB Group, or contact 0906-601-1796 or erlow2006@yahoo.com . ERLOWISM is his column for BukidnonViews, the opinion section of BukidnonNews.Net. Reach him via editor.bukidnonnews@gmail.com)

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