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UST Simbahayan Community Development Office Assistant Director Asst. Prof. Froilan A. Alipao, MCD presented a paper entitled ‘Health and Development: An Integrated, Participatory and Dialogical Engagement of Bamban Aetas and University of Santo Tomas Toward Kasighawan (Well-Being) Communities’ during the UGAT 38th Annual Conference held at the Ateneo de Manila University – Philippines from October 20 to 22, 2016.

For 15 years of development engagement of Bamban Aetas and the University toward well-being communities, it was found that principles and strategies of integrated, participatory, and dialogical are highly considered in all its undertakings, processes, programs, and projects. The complex realities of Bamban Aeta communities, where micro and macro structures are interacting and interplaying which affect their life systems; need to be understood, analyzed and addressed thru the engagement of stakeholders like UST and Aetas themselves.

There were different development engagements and initiatives conducted and implemented to be able to address the identified realities, problems, and concerns. Health and development are not separate issues and concerns, as identified in the needs and resources assessment. Health is a relevant and sensitive concern for the Aetas, and with the expertise and compassion of UST, health and development initiatives were initiated and developed. These can be proven through the project proposals, implemented projects of many stakeholders, project terminal reports, stories of engagement of different representatives and stakeholders, evaluation, and planning sessions.

Health and development were basic and key themes of development engagements of many UST and Bamban Aeta stakeholders. A good number had already been accomplished but they are still looking beyond these initiatives as they traverse toward Kasighawan.

Alipao is a faculty member of the Department of Sociology of the Faculty of Arts and Letters.