Last September 7 (2015), we went back to Balani for the second part of the Start Your Business Training with the Mangyan, specifically the Tawbuid Occidental tribe. We finished the first part last June (2015)with their “market research” in which they had to go down the mountain to check with the local market.

The 12 participants that we had in the first part were back and excited to continue with the training. They even brought with them their kids (old enough to read, write, comprehend) to help them in writing down their answers to each activity as most of them are not fast in writing and reading because they weren’t able to go to school to learn how to read and write. It was also good timing that the students were free from school that week. It helped speed up the pace of our training. Out of the 39 exercises we finished from 14th to 31st exercise. Though it meant that we still have to come back for the 3rd time to finish the SYB training, we considered it a great improvement. The participants somehow understood the lessons better now. Most of their businesses are planting and selling rice and crops.

We’ve also seen how our Mangyan trainers have improved since the last training, even with the topics with computation. They even said that they realized the need to balance of keeping up with the usual pace of the training and checking if their fellow Mangyans did understand the lesson. They also said that they get to understand more about the training as they teach it.

Just like the first time we were with them, Tawbuid occidental people were very hospitable, accommodating and generous in giving us not only food to eat (their crops or pig or chicken), but also their services (the deacons of the church were our cook the whole 4 days).

Going to them is a 7-hour travel by van and a 2½ -hour hike – a difficult hike for us who are not really athletic or doesn’t have hiking as hobby, but they (Tawbuid people) made it possible for us. On the day that we had to go home, it was raining and slippery, making it more difficult to go down the mountain, but two of them went ahead of our trail, digging with their shovel to make steps for us. Not to mention the 10 or more Mangyan men who always went up and down the mountain with us to carry our heavy bags. They gladly served us not only because they were grateful for our help but more so because they know that what they are doing are service for the Lord and not for man.

Charis Velasco
MBC Training Coordinator