• By: Arjay Barrios, LRC Paralegal

A “Bae” from Mindanao


Bae Rose Undag is a lumad and hails from Cagayan De Oro. She is an indigenous woman activist from the Higaonon Tribe communities from Mindanao. She helps to address the claims of some indigenous peoples on their ancestral domains and is also an active women’s rights advocate.

Being a rights advocate and specially a “Bae” (leader) of their community are huge tasks, but for her, these are social responsibilities that need to be addressed. And due to her activism and community work, she experienced various challenges and life threatening situations. In an article entitled Bae Rose Undag-Lumandong which describes an incident that happened decades ago, it stated “Given her engagement with political issues, as a student, and now as part of an indigenous peoples organization, it was not a surprise when Rose was first picked up by the military and detained. At that time, Rose was married to Tony Lumandong, an indigenous leader himself; and her son was only 5 months old. Tony was detained along with Rose. She was interrogated at gunpoint by the military about her political activities as well as the identities of her companions. It was a traumatic experience for Rose, and made doubly difficult by her concern for her child. Because of organized pressure from human rights groups, they were both released”.

Despite of her encounters with such circumstances, it didn’t stop Bae Rose in working with and serving fellow indigenous peoples and upholding their rights. Bae Rose has proven that women leaders have the power to make noise and eventually change the system.

Reference: urgentactionfund.org- In Our Bones – Bae Rose Undag-Lumandong


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