August 2013: After two hours of navigating the scenic, winding road away from Davao City towards the mountainous villages southeast of the city; we arrived at Barangay Salumay, a sleepy community inhabited by some of the indigenous peoples of the region.
Having caught our breath from a brief stop, we then turned away from the main road and started negotiating a tire track that apparently has not seen much traffic in recent years. The local leaders, excited about our visit, bulldozed the difficult sections of the track the previous day but a heavy rain the night before only managed to turn the track into an obstacle course of knee-deep quagmire. For almost an hour, I pushed the 4×4 truck I was driving through the alternating mud and rocks over the hills and alongside deep ravines until we arrived at a small community of Matigsalugs. Sitio Contract.
The Matigsalugs are…
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