The book Nalandangan: Talaandig Mothers’ Peace Efforts for a Culture of Peace is a document of values gathered from a group of Talaandig Mothers’ peace efforts in Bukidnon, north of Mindanao.
In my personal search for peace I was led to a community of artists and musicians, midwives, healers and conflict settlers who introduced me to a broader meaning of the word peace. My education and religious formation introduced me to psychological and emotional wellbeing that may lead me to acquire peace. The search did not end in religious formation however. I was introduced to the word Nalandangan, in the mountains of Sungko Lantapan Bukidnon by a group of mothers called Inay Malinandang.
Landang (peaceful) is the root word of kalinandang (peace); and Inay Malinandang are mothers who are actively working for a culture of peace among the ethnolinguistic groups in Bukidnon called the Talaandig.
Our stories, illustrated by soil paintings and dances opened with rituals that invoked the spirit keepers of peace and the Talaandig indigenous knowledge. The leader, Bai Nanapnay Liza Saway illustrated that kalinandang (peace) means balance; it is the balanced roles of men and women, young people and the elderly in a community. Bai Nangunladay Lourdes Llesis describes kalinandang as security in food, health and education; while Bai Balagnau, Adelfa Saway Kinuyog highlighted the use of one’s language, culture and identity.
The meanings of peace from this journey with the Inay Malinandang of Talaandig opened new ways of being as Religious of the Sacred Heart in the Philippines today. In education, this book offers seven modules on peace education from indigenous perspectives. It serves to remind us as well that peace for oneself flows out of efforts we give to achieve peace in our communities.