Brighter Brains

humanism, women’s equality, sustainability, and education

Home > Articles > “Mangyans”  Hunger Worsens amid Christmas Celebrations

“Mangyans”  Hunger Worsens amid Christmas Celebrations

Posted: Sun, December 27, 2015 | By: Philippines

Poverty and hunger continue to rise most especially after typhoon Nona despite government promises.

Angelo, aged 4 is one of our preschool student in San Lorenzo Ruiz Learning Center, Baco, Oriental Mindoro, Philippines. On Christmas Eve, most Filipino families gather for the noche buena, a tradition of feasting that started in the 1500s when the Philippines was a Spanish colony. For the “Mangyans” particularly the Alangan Tribe all dwelling in San Ignacio Banilad, however, there is no noche buena. None of the many volunteer-run feeding programs in Oriental Mindoro, offer Noche Buena for the poorest of the poor. Thus, Angelo pleaded for a special meal: a RICE for New Year!

Theirs is a hand to mouth existence. His parents has 1,000 square meter piece of banana plantation in the farthest part of the mountain in San Ignacio Banilad, Baco, where they got daily meals. However, typhoon Nona washed away all of his family’s bananas in the place.

While the rich enjoys a lot of food on top of the table at Christmas eve, most of our Mangyan brothers remained hungry and craving for food in the midst of Christmas festivities on this
predominantly catholic country.

Hunger in the Philippines

- A survey done in September this year showed that hunger incidence in the Philippines has worsened to 15.7 percent or an estimated 3.5 million families experiencing “involuntary hunger”
at least once in the past three months from 12.7 percent or 2.8 million families in June.

About 14.1 percent of the respondents in the survey conducted by the Social Weather Stations said they experienced “moderate hunger” (hungry only once or a few times), up by 3.3-percentage points from the 10.8 percent recorded in June.

Some 1.6 percent said they suffered “severe hunger” (often or always hungry). The government has vowed to address poverty and hunger. Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said
the government continues to implement social intervention or poverty alleviation programs. However, despite of the so many billions of pesos released for this very popular poverty alleviation of poor Filipinos under the government’s Disbursement Acceleration Program, still we cannot deny the truth that the majority of us Filipinos remained jobless, poor and hungry!

Rosalina Melendres-Valenton

Director: Alangan Mangyan School Baco Oriental Mindoro, Philippines, 5201

Landline: School (043) 286-7184/ Mobile: 09293365221

To help the Mangyans you can donate to Brighter Brains Institute and we will forward the money. Donate button on the Home page.


Please email comments to