By Kelly Lobitos | Perth, Western Australia
Indeed, ain’t no mountain is high enough.
Presented to the Office of the Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte, the documentary “Bukid Sa Pangandoy (Mountain of Dreams)” by Kelly Lobitos sought aid for Sitio Peroy, a secluded and disadvantaged community in Talaingod, Davao del Norte, Philippines. Until recently, their story remained unseen and unheard.
The documentary intricately captures Sitio Peroy’s pursuit of basic needs like food, healthcare, and education—a dream distant and elusive for its residents.
Young children in Sitio Peroy bravely navigate a five-hour daily trek, treading through dangerous paths just to reach the nearest school. The film also illustrates the heartbreaking choices many are compelled to make. The absence of accessible educational opportunities often leads children to abandon their dreams, forcing some to resort to early marriages and even armed conflict.
Now, owing to the transformative power of storytelling and the collective efforts of government agencies, the recent news of Sitio Peroy’s makeshift school beginning construction stands as a testament to the transformative impact of storytelling.
Currently, four (4) Local School Board (LSB) and Alternative Learning System (ALS) teachers have begun classes in temporary tents while awaiting the completion of the construction.
Witness the remarkable journey of Sitio Peroy by watching the full documentary here.