Subanens sing ‘eco-songs’ for Franciscans

Subanens sing ‘eco-songs’ for Franciscans

An indigenous group to the Zamboanga peninsula area treated 19 Franciscans with tribal music and dances after the Holy Trinity Mass, June 11, 2017. FR. NEIL BADILLO, OFM

JOSEFINA, Zamboanga del Sur – An indigenous group to the Zamboanga peninsula area, the Subanens, entertained 19 friars of the Province of San Pedro Bautista and Custody of St. Anthony of Padua Southern Philippines with traditional songs, instrumental music, and tribal dances in this town after the Holy Trinity Mass on June 11.

Starting with an opening prayer chanted by a ‘timuay’, the traditional title for the tribal leader, a short program was held. Through the performances, the Subanen people challenged the friars to care for the earth. In 2015, it can be recalled that Pope Francis wrote “‘Laudato Si’, Care for Our Common Home”, an encyclical calling on all Christians and non-Christians to ecological conversion.

“Their songs echo messages of respect, love and gratitude to Mother Nature,” said
Fr. Neil Badillo OFM, secretary for Formation and Studies.

A call for unity

Women of the said tribe also called for unity among themselves so they would be able to achieve their desired goals, particularly in projects they will undertake. They also expressed appreciation for the Franciscans’ unwavering support to them and hope that the friars would not give up on their mission in their area.

This indigenous community of Subanen has been an important partner for the formation and pastoral work of the Franciscans, which was started by the San Pedro Province and continued today by the St. Anthony Custody.

The friars in this town in collaboration with the Diocese of Pagadian help the Subanen strengthen their sense of community and organization, improve their capacity to acquire different skills, and encourage their participation in livelihood projects.

In solidarity with the marginalized

Badillo said: “In return, their simple lives remind us of our fundamental Franciscan calling to be in solidarity with the poor and the marginalized at all times not only in words but in actions.”

The accompaniment program, which commenced with a one-day immersion among the Marawi evacuees on June 3, and culminated on June 13, was initiated as a support system for the friars who have stayed in the Order for five years since their solemn profession. CBCPNews