Indigenous People in the Philippines Fulfill their Dreams through Education

Video | 9 August 2016

On International Day of the World's Indigenous People, which this year is dedicated to people's right to education, we tell the story of how members of the Mangyan tribe from the island of Mindoro, Philippines, are overcoming centuries of prejudice against formal education by taking advantage of new schooling opportunities. Some are going on to become teachers who in turn educate those who are still illiterate.

ADB is helping the Philippines improve the capacity, as well as transparency, of local government units to plan and budget. The project is expected to enhance the revenue generation capacity of local government units to help them deliver better basic services to their communities. See the project information


Occidental Mindoro, Philippines. This man has overcome centuries of tribal prejudices against education.

SOT: Jener Murillo
Social Studies teacher
"I wanted to set an example to other members of our tribe. I wanted to become somebody they wanted to emulate."

Jener is one of the first members of the Mangyan tribe to graduate from university. Many Mangyans have long rejected education, considering it a negative influence on their customs.

SOT: Eduardo Gadiano
Sablayan, Occidental Mindoro
"Many of them don't know how to read or write."

SOT: Jener Murillo
Social Studies teacher
"At first, we were not allowed by our elders to go to school. Our parents and our ancestors discouraged us from studying. Then missionaries and teachers came to visit us, and that's when I realized the value of getting an education."

Today, Jener teaches at an elementary school supported by an ADB program. 28 Mangyans have graduated from the school since it was established in 2012.

SOT: Jener Murillo
Social Studies teacher
"I hope that my fellow Mangyans will also finish their education."

Sixth grade student Levelyn Dapito is following in Jener's footsteps. Levelyn exels in class and wants to fulfill her dream.

SOT: Levelyn Dapito
Grade 6 student
"I want to become a teacher so that one day I can teach those who are illiterate."