Basic Facts About Bendum
Bendum is situated within the town of Malaybalay, some 55 kilometers or 2 hours by private vehicle. It is located in the northeastern most part of Malaybalay City, Bukidnon.
It is a small, remote upland community of over 300 inhabitants mostly of indigenous Pulangiyen descent. Emerging from a period of commercial logging and militarization, the community initially had poor access to basic services – no electricity, unsafe water and poorly maintained roads. Though the community had gone through a major transition after commercial logging had ceased in the province, their unique relationship with their environment and their important contribution to sustaining the ecological services of water, air quality, reduced soil and nutrient loss, flood control and biodiversity are not appreciated by much of lowland society. Now that national government has a mechanism to respect their presence through the recognition of their ancestral lands, they are laying their claim to their ancestral domain and struggling to take responsibility for its sustained development while addressing economic and political challenges within broader society. Also located in Bendum is the Apu Palamguwan Cultural Education Center (APC) – the first government-recognized, independent indigenous people’s elementary school in the Philippines.
A micro hydroelectric power plant supplies the power needs of the Center in Bendum. Power may be intermittent for the moment, so it is advisable for the group staying at the Center to bring their own torch/flashlights.