Reaching Out To Our Native Aetas ("Ita")

February 26, 2018

It's always been my dream to change for the better as many lives as possible especially of the poor. Indigen Foundation not only aims to better the lives of our affiliates through our Indigen cryptocurrency, but most importantly to improve the lives of many Indigenous people.


So part of our mission and vision is to reach out to the poorest among the poor indigenous people, not just in the Philippines, but in other countries too where poverty is most rampant among the native people.

In order to pursue our vision, we came up with an affiliate program where portion of our affiliates' purchases are set aside for our various charity projects. And as our kick-starter, we visited a very remote village in the northern part of the Philippines, where our native Ita or Aetas are concentrated and help from our government is very little.



The Road Ahead


The road ahead seemed like the definition of forever. The sun was scorching and the dusts were unsettling. Even the birds have disappeared from these desolate lands.


We didn't consider paying for a more comfortable vehicle for hire, but decided to use the local's transport so we can give them additional income aside from our donations. With the only mode of transportation they have, and with no proper roads and efficient means of transporting their goods to and from the remote villages, the word progress seems synonymous to impossible.

By the way, the monster truck shown on the above photos is a remnant of World War II from the Americans when Gen. Douglas MacArthur came to the Philippines.


Along the way, we came across this 20-year old mother carrying her baby and walking on a semi-desert plain due to lack of public transportation in this very remote area. Happiness to them is so simple that they may not even know the meaning of comfort. These native people are not being provided for completely of their basic needs such as transportation, electricity and water. I hope our government will do something about it.


The travel was not easy but it was compensated with breathtaking scenery which makes you think that the glaring smile on the face of the sun was just a welcoming gesture. So the trip was both backbreaking and exhausting but exhilarating and exciting at the same time. The landscape was just amazing.



The Final Destination


After 2-3 hours in the middle of nowhere, we reached a small village called Belbel in the municipality of Botolan of Zambales province. It is the farthest village of Botolan if you are coming from its gateway which is the town proper. The village is composed of approximately 150 families. With us were the Barangay Captain and the chieftain of the tribe. Since it was only a one-day program, we didn't waste time when we get there and started our gift-giving activities immediately. We handed out school supplies and footwear for the children and some donated clothing for the adults.


However, giving them gifts and donations is not enough to sustain their needs since outside help is very seldom in reaching their place. Their only livelihood is fruits and vegetable farming, but bringing their produce to the city is too laborious a task with their remoteness and lack of efficient transportation. 


With no electricity and proper supply of water, their only source is a spring water nearby. According to the village captain, they have already a water tank, but running a pump is impossible without electricity. They said they needed a battery to run the pump, but in my opinion, this will not be effective because to recharge a battery could take a few days since they will have to transport it to the town center, recharge and bring it back. So a spare battery will be needed.


I personally hope I could raise enough funds to buy a generator for them instead. A gasoline-powered generator will be more efficient since they can easily transport the needed gas from the town center.


Seeing the happy faces among the children and the natives were more than enough to take away the tiredness and our body aches from the grueling trip. 


My gratitude goes to each and everyone of you my dear Indigen affiliates. Without you, this project will not be made possible. Your support to Indigen goes a long, long way (literally) not just in terms of changing your personal lives once IDG makes it to the crypto marketplace, but also in terms of changing the lives of our poor indigenous people. This is just the beginning. And the great thing about Indigen is that it is the first crypto which combines business, charity and adventure all in one. So see you in our next outreach program very soon.



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