The almost-completed tribal hall.




TALAINGOD, Davao del Norte -For the people of Barangay Palma Gil, a tribal hall is a very important structure as this will become a venue for peace.

To be finished in May after its construction was started on March 8, the structure will serve as a venue to settle cases in a village with 44 sitios, which has about 7,000 residents.

It must be noted, too, that each of the smaller villages has at least one village leader or datu who will facilitate the settlement of cases that will be brought to their attention.

Marife Lugatiman, Kalahi-CIDSS volunteer, said the village could not have chosen a better project.

Lugatiman said that her barangay has usually become a venue of not only plain disagreements but also conflicts that result in several deaths.

This happened when the datus fail to settle a case among the aggrieved parties. “Kung dili gyud ma-settle ang ilang problema mao nang mangayaw sila (If the problem could not be settled, then they would stage a pangayaw),” she said.

Kung magpangayaw na, wala sila’y gi-ila. Ma-bisaya man o lumad. Bisan kinsa, ma-bata man ka o babae basta masugatan, basta maatlan nga mao na nang adlaw ilang pangayaw, mopatay gyud na sila (They do not spare anybody, whether bisaya or lumad, children or women. As long as you cross their path on that specified date, they will kill you),” she said, pointing out that this is part of their culture.

To the initiated, “pangayaw” is a war of vengeance. The family of the aggrieved party hunts down the enemy and whoever gets along the way will not be spared too.

Recently, Romely Marie Dahonog, another Kalahi-CIDSS volunteer, said there was supposed to be a “pangayaw,” but it was eventually settled.

She said that because of this, the village people saw the need for a tribal hall.

Dahonog said the construction of the hall will serve as venue for debates in settling cases. “Ning hangyo ang mga datu nga diri na lang kay wa man silay tigumanan (The datus requested for a tribal hall since they do not have a place where they could meet),” she said, pointing out that this will eventually help leaders prevent bloodshed during conflicts.

She recalled that in 1996, there were so many people who died when a family launched a “pangayaw”, using arrows laden with poison in running after their enemies.

The two volunteers were thankful that Kalahi-CIDSS as a DSWD-led project decided to listen to the call of the villagers.

Kalahi-CIDSS or Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services is a community-driven development (CDD) project of the Philippine Government that aims to empower communities through their enhanced participation in local governance and poverty alleviation projects.

PAMANA or PAyapa at MAsaganang PamayaNAn is a KALAHI-CIDSS modality that aims to improve access of conflict-affected barangays (CABs) to quality basic social services and responsive, transparent and accountable local governments. DSWD