The method to live with hunger by Mangyan


ICA Mindoro Team has already done distribution of seeds, fertilizer and agricultural tools in the Mindoro project in Philippines. Now we are distributing seedlings of fruit trees!

The other day, I had a chance to interview one Mangyan old lady, who is 80 years old. In the last moment of the interview, I asked her one question because of my curiosity.

“Why do many Mangyan ladies wear a sash made from a plant on their tummies?”

Her answer made me so shocked….

“When we feel hunger but we cannot find any food, we tighten the sash, because we can forget hunger with tightened tummies by the sash. So the sash is a useful tool to forget hunger”

Mangyan people have lived with hunger in mountain. However, they don’t want to leave their mountain. Therefore, they must think about a method to live with hunger.

I don’t know real hunger.

But Mangyan people live with hunger.

I believe that our support can help them. 


Maki Tsukamoto reporting from Mindoro, the Philippines April 27, 2014



Mindoro Project Aids 1250 Families with Agriculture


The Mindoro Project in Philippines has been operated again for another month. ICA has finished distributing vegetable seeds in 14 sites; in addition, we will distribute fertilizers and seedlings of fruit trees in April.

In this project, we have visited in many Mangyan villages. Most of Mangyan people have few chances to meet and see foreigners, and they usually show wariness to us the first time when we visit, because of their misunderstanding that ICA is a private company to look for the mining on the island. (Mindoro island has very rich mine resources). Therefore, ICA has explained to them that we are a NGO, not a private company; in addition, local staff have communicated with them and stayed in their villages.

ICA operates this emergency aid agriculture replacement and expansion project until May. Several distributed seeds have already germinated in the beneficiaries’ gardens. Vegetables will come to their tables soon. 


Maki Tsukamoto reporting upon return from Mindoro, Philippines April 2, 2014

Soul Food for Filipinos

Now we are in the middle of the project in Mindoro. Today, we had the distributions of “Pack of seeds” in three villages in Occidental Mindoro. Aftermath all distributions, we had suddenly an engine trouble of our car. Therefore, we went to San Jose, which is one of the biggest towns in Occidental Mindoro, to repair our car. In San Jose, we went “Jollibee” which is a fast food restaurant to take lunch and to wait for the repair of the car. “Jollibee” is a fast food restaurant like McDonald; however, it is different from other fast food restaurants. It is because “Jollibee” is a soul food for Filipinos!

“Jollibee” has several kinds of menus like hamburger, spaghetti, fried chicken and so on. Of these, “chickenjoy”, which is a fried chicken and rice, is most popular menu in San Jose. Maybe over 50 % people in San Jose Jollibee order it.


Maki Tsukamoto reporting from Mindoro, Philippines March 20, 2014

Star Apple!

Now Philippine is fruits paradise! I am eating tropical fruits in every breakfast, lunch and dinner. I really have a happy time here in Philippines. Today, I ate a new fruit when I visited in Bulo village in Mindro Occidental to search beneficiaries in the project.

Bulo village is a small village, but it has several kinds of big fruit tree. In this village, I found many peels of something after eating, which look like eggplant. So I asked children in this village, “What is it?”. They said, “it is a peel of a STAR APPLE!”. “Star apple???”. Then one of them climbed up a big tree to pick them for us.  


This looks like “eggplant”. And my tactile impression of it is also “eggplant”. Its inside has white juicy meat. Taste is like sweet muscatel grape!!!!!!! Sooooo tasty! But it has only one problem, which is that this fruit has so sticky sappiness like pine resin.


Anyway, I guarantee that you can also enjoy the fruits paradise in Philippines!  


Maki Tsukamoto reporting from Mindoro, Philippines March 9, 2014


Mangya lady
Mangya lady


Mindoro Island is the seventh biggest island in Philippines. In this island, many Mangyan people live with their own unique culture, which is quite different from the life style in cities. For example, many elder males wear G-string, even now, and both males and females always have hand-made bags and large agriculture knives. In addition, they seldom use cash in their life., because they still keep the tradition which is bartering.

I can say that they are in the poverty group in the Philippines. Most of them have received big damages by the Hayen Typhoon which happened in November 2013. Therefore, ICA has conducted the first phase project from December 2013 to January 2014 under Japan Platform; in addition, we, ICA, have started the second phase from 28th Feb.


In this second phase, we conduct the project which will provide the sustainable food support for Mangyan people.


Please support us so that Mangyan people will be able to return to their life better than before the disaster!


Maki Tsukamoto reporting from Mindoro, the Philippines, March 2, 2014 

Philippine map


ICA is starting the second wave of emergency humanitarian aid for the the victims of typhoon Haiyan in Mindoro island of Philippines from tomorrow. This is sustainable aid as we are delivering 20 types of seeds to 1250 families. The first aid was the delivery of food for 3500 families from 28th Dec. 2012 to 31st Jan. 2013.


Motoko Imagi reporting from Mindoro, the Philippines, March 1, 2014



The full team posed for a few minutes for this photo while rescuing people trapped by the floods in 2009. The banner shows the Japanese sponsoring agency. The water was trapped by tonnes of garbage near the river bank.


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