Sierra Madre loses young tribal chieftain | Inquirer News

Sierra Madre loses young tribal chieftain

By: - Correspondent / @dtmallarijrINQ
09:50 PM February 13, 2013


Members of the Agta-Dumagat community in Sierra Madre lost a young tribal chief who had led them to many fights to save the mountain range’s environment and protect their ancestral home.

Nap Buendicho, 35, more popularly called “Gov. Nap,” died on Wednesday at Claro M. Recto Hospital in Infanta town in Quezon after suffering from high blood pressure, said Ramcy Astoveza, a tribal leader and director of the Infanta-based Tribal Development Center.


“The whole tribe is in deep mourning. The leadership of Gov. Nap is a great loss to all of us,” Astoveza said over the phone Thursday last week.


Buendicho’s remains were brought back to his house in Barangay Anuling in General Nakar town for burial. He left behind his wife Estela and seven children.

Buendicho was chosen as the tribal community’s governor for southern Luzon in 2008 and led their struggle to protect the Sierra Madre from continued environmental destruction. He never stopped appealing to government security forces and communist rebels to leave the Sierra Madre out of their war.

In an interview after filing his application as an independent candidate for councilor of General Nakar in this May’s election, Buendicho said his entry into electoral politics was motivated by his desire to help protect the Sierra Madre from illegal logging and mining.

He lamented that during the campaign season, all candidates had been projecting themselves as protectors of the environment. “But once elected, it’s back to business as usual for most of them—protect the environment destroyers in exchange for material consideration,” he once told the Inquirer.

Buendicho hosted the 1st National Negrito Cultural Revival Festival and Development Forum held in October last year in General Nakar. The forum gathered leaders of Negrito tribes, like the Agta-Dumagat-Remontado from Quezon and Rizal; Agta from Isabela; Aeta from Tarlac, Zambales and Pampanga; Agta from Camarines Sur, Guimaras and Antique; Ati from Aklan; and Batak from Palawan.

The Agta-Dumagat is the largest among the indigenous peoples in the Sierra Madre.


Astoveza said a tribal council composed of Agta, Dumagat and Aeta leaders in southern Quezon would convene to choose Buendicho’s successor. “Whoever will be selected will receive blessing from the tribal leaders in a ceremony,” he said.

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

TAGS: Nap Buendicho, Sierra Madre, Tribal Chief

© Copyright 1997-2024 | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.