Mobile Forest School kick-off

Mobile Forest School

Strengthening Traditional Culture, Knowledge and Skills

Sta. Juliana, Capas, Tarlac

20 November – 2 December 2022

We proudly announce a successful ending of 2022: the Mobile Forest School project by ILED member SPNKK has started in the Philippines! The Mobile Forest School provides alternative and culturally appropriate secondary education for Negrito youth to strengthen their resilience to environmental and cultural impact on their traditional hunter-gather knowledge systems and skills. The school is an initiative on the request of the Negrito indigenous communities associated with SPNKK .  

A promising young and assertive group of 10 girls and 10 boys from different corners of the archipelago, participated in the first session of the Revival of Traditional Culture, Knowledge and Skills programme from 20 November to 2 December in 2022. The programme held various workshops, including on youth leadership development, first aid and traditional music learning. The day mood had a good energy flow as the kick-off was also positively welcomed and encouraged by many partners such as the Mayor of Capas, the provincial NCIP and DepEd, as well as, several Junior High School principals. Key facilitators, in addition to the SPNKK core team, included Aeta healers/birth assistants and representatives of the Assisi Foundation (leadership and social enterprise development), UP Dilliman (music) and the Philippine Air Force (basics of first aid).   

One of the highlights was the visit, at the end of the course, to the Biyay Gallery on the Negrito culture and way of life, at the National Museum of the Philippines in Manila, where a nice ‘traditional knowledge checking exercise’ was facilitated by NM staff.   

An exciting activity for the students, earlier on, was the two-day ‘community immersion’ fieldtrip through the Aeta ancestral domain around the Mt. Pinatubo volcano. During this trip the students listened to (hi-)stories about forest lands, gathered food – such as sustainably harvested wild yams and learned multiple fishing techniques. There was a sharing of some ‘fish tales’ and demonstrations of traditional survival skills and practices. Besides learning ‘from the field’, the students were also introduced to general information of the Indigenous People’s Rights Act and discussed their own situations experienced by their communities.  

At the end, when discussing ‘priority items for homework in between sessions’, the question ‘’What about culture?’’ gave the response: ‘’yeahhh, top’’!!   


Next up: a 2nd learning session in Nuava Valencia, Guimaras province, in February.

Stay tuned!  



Photo 1-3: Ethnomusicology workshop


Photo 4-6: fieldtrip


Photo 7: Introduction on Indigenous People’s Right Act

Photo 8: Visiting the Biyay Gallery on the Negrito culture and way of life at the National Museum of the Philippines in Manila.

Photo credits: SPNKK, Caroline Evangelico