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Mindanao Ancestral Forest

Higa-Onon Peoples

Kalasan Tribal Village

Hectares of Forest: 300,000

The Philippines


Kalasan Tribal Village, Minsaliding Rogongon Iligan City Lanao del Norte Philippines. It is 30 kilometers distance from the Iligan City proper. Kalasan Tribal Village found in the 300 hectares intact rainforest of Sagyaan, Bagtokon, Alik, Balatok and Lidop.


The Kalasan Tribal Village is biodiverse ecosystem comprising sacred caves, waterfalls, fresh rivers, wildlife and centennial old rainforest. The village has more than 20 clans living in this area and its surroundings.  Kalasan forest is home to a number of endemic species such as the endangered moonrat and mountain shrew. The Mindanao forest biome supports the second largest number of breeding bird species among the Philippine islands.

The people of the Kalasan forests gather every year to celebrate Kaamulan Festival, a popular cultural festival held in many parts of The Philippines. The Higa Onon observe ritual practices in a traditional forest style. They conduct the festivities during the month of October for 5 nights, during which tribal clans unite to celebrate the creation of the Earth Mother. The event focuses on tribal astronomy, nature-culture connection, sacred healing, as well as community chanting and dancing. 

GWW is supporting the Higa-Onon develop a campaign for peaceful activism and protest during this gathering, in order to help defend the community and bring attention to abuses committed by mining companies and property developers (hotel companies) trying to buy the land from the villagers through bribes and false promises of paid work.


A message from Guardians member Datu Lanelio Sangcoan:


"Kalasan Tribal Village is a biodiverse ecosystem comprising beautiful sacred caves, waterfalls, fresh rivers, wildlife and centennial old trees. Our village has more than 20 clans living in this areas and its surroundings.  We have lived here since time immemorial and we protect our forests... this as our home and the foundation of our life... this is where we can exercise our cultural beliefs. All we need is here... and so we need to protect our forest to connect to nature and to life."

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