Teen sisters wake up Ati readers


BalikBayani République | Tony Alabastro

Carrying Child Jesus’s image in church procession in January’s second Sunday celebrates natives’ acceptance of Christianity.

Philippines’ oldest festival, Ati-Atihan, also commemorates Barter of Panay to 10 datus who flee Borneo in 1212 to settle in Aeta land.

Borneans cover their skins in soot to imitate in gratefulness the Ati (Aeta) likeness of dark skinned natives in Aklan province, Panay island.

Two teen sisters born to Kalibo mother and British father, both in private aviation, have been promoting literacy and reading to Luzon, and Visayas communities, and indigenous children in Brunei since 2018.

Team Holmes – Derek and Carmina Mobo-Holmes, and Brunei-born children – bring over 500 books to Ibajay, 34 kilometres from Kalibo, to launch Project Bugtaw.

Bugtaw, Aklanon word meaning to awaken, get up, rise!, aims to give easy access to English books.

“It started with wanting to clean out our bookshelves and the concept grew into something beyond what either of us could imagine,” says Sien-na, 13, in Bandar Seri Begawan.

“We aim to give your old favorite reads a second life and the chance to become somebody’s new favorite,” says London-based Shanna, 18.
They collect from worldwide family and friends and ship donated books from Brunei.

Fifty children from three to 18 join the rainy mini-library launch in Naisud village, Ibajay town, Aklan province December 28, 2018.

Volunteer Team Tumbagahan, Reysa, Arivan and Arsin, are in Ibajay, Aklan helping community and townmates,

High demand produces 100 more books Aleko Trinidad and Tre Arellano donate March 2019.

In Kanawan, a Morong, Bataan remote area, 100 Aeta Magbukun tribe children enjoy donated English books from Brunei, 1,500 kms away, on April 8, 2019.

Team Acuna – Vincent and Sheila and daughters Kim, Aira, Mae and Jem- motorcycle, then trek on foot, carrying books and goodies to school.
They read stories to Aetas to encourage English literacy, play games and have fun.

Team Mobo with BHZ Mobo, Move Aklan Forward Foundation add 300 books for a mini-library for 7-12 year-olds in Tinigaw Elementary School, Kalibo October 4, 2019.

Foundation memorializes late Governor Benjamin H. Mobo’s vision for less privileged Aklanons. Team Mobo Visayas include Rebecca Mobo and Dr Jay and Pia Mobo.

Ms. Welt handcarries to Manila from Brunei 50 books in May 2019. Nathalie and Henry Glodoveza sponsor shipping Swap Shop ’s 227 books and 50 from friends and anonymous donors to Philippines on July 2019.

Ninety nine almost brand new books from Canada, donated by Chris and Denis Bond, arrive in Naisud, Ibajay, Aklan August 2019.

Books donated by Jerudong International School Brunei and La Vida October 2019 are shipped to Aklan, sponsored by JIS Frogpiper and Halca.
On November 30, 2019, Team Acuna travels 100 kms from Manila to Pagsanjan, Laguna carrying books, Bugtaw T-shirts and food to Anibong Elementary School.

School principal and barangay chairman give Team Acuna Certificate of Recognition.

COVID19 temporarily stops Bugtaw Philippines, which shifts to educating Brunei indigenous children from August 2020.

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