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The T’Boli Children in My Class

Our barangay named Lamsogod in T’boli language means a place between two rivers the Sapali and the Allah River. Old folks say that Lamsogod was occupied by T’bolis but when Christians began to occupy the place, they moved to the nearby mountains. They sold their lands in exchange for some canned goods, dried fish, old clothings, a little amount. They are happy in the mountain for we can hear the beating of their gongs at night. Sometimes they come down to our barangay to buy salt, which they call kahi, dried fish and their favorite attire, the komo and the banggala. They also buy lipsticks and eyebrow pencils to beautify themselves. They bring down the products from mountain like bananas, camote, gabi, bamboo shots, woods and firewood to sell. They buy necessities for their school children like paper, pencil, notebook, etc. But the products of the mountain can not sustain their daily needs. They are often hungry.

T’bolis send their children to school. They are very proud to see their children study. But T’boli children in my class are often late and absent because they lack clothing. They have only one to two sets of clothing. If it is a rainy season they are absent for the whole week. Sometimes they are present in the morning and absent in the afternoon because they have not “baon” for lunch. Sometimes they have not eaten their breakfast. Since they are malnourished, they are sickly. They suffer from stomachache, headache, diarhhea, body weaknesses and skin diseases. Often they don’t have any pencil and paper. That’s why many T’boli children drop out of school by the middle of the year. Parents who want their children to be promoted to the next grade try their best to earn a living. They harvest corn and dig garbage holes at Christian backyards.

T'boli Children

When we hold school programs and barangay fiestas T’boli children dance for the visitors. Their dances reflect their customs and traditions especially on courtship and marriage. If given a chance to attain higher education T’boli children can improve their lives.

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