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This profile was last updated on 9/21/14  and contains information from public web pages.

Mr. Benjamin Abadiano

Wrong Benjamin Abadiano?


Assisi Development Foundation

Employment History

  • Founder and President
    Pamulaan Center
  • Executive Director
    Tabang Mindanaw
  • Project Coordinator
    Tabang Mindanaw

Board Memberships and Affiliations


  • Xavier University
33 Total References
Web References
PDAP Officers and Staff, 21 Sept 2014 [cached]
Mr. Benjamin Abadiano Trustee Assisi Development Foundation, Inc. (ADFI)
Cartwheel, 14 Mar 2014 [cached]
Benjamin D. Abadiano Cartwheel
Benjamin D. Abadiano
Vice President
Benjamin Abadiano is presently the President of Assisi Development Foundation. A Ramon Magsaysay Awardee for Emergent Leadership (2004), he has had over twenty years of experience in social development work, including 6 years in peace building initiatives. He established an Integrated Development Program for the indigenous communities in Mindoro and Mindanao and developed alternative and culture-based educational programs (elementary, secondary, and tertiary) for indigenous peoples all over the .
Mr. Abadiano is the founder of two unique schools committed to bringing education that is culturally appropriate and relevant to indigenous youth: TUGDAAN Center for Human and Environmental Development in Mindoro in 1988 and PAMULAAN Center for Indigenous Peoples Education in Davao in 2006. Apart from his dedication to indigenous peoples' education and training, he has also been involved in rehabilitation and peace advocacy for war affected communities, assisting 72 tri-people communities in Mindanao in establishing "Peace Sanctuaries". He also founded the ILAWAN Center for Peace and Sustainable Development. His other awards include the Fr. William Masterson, S.J. Award for Peace and Development (2005), Outstanding Literacy Program for the Indigenous Peoples and Outstanding Literacy Worker by DECS (1992). Publications he has helmed include "Panaw sa Kalinaw", "Kalamayan" (Mangyan-Tagalog Dictionary), "Bistoy Te" (Manual for Indigenous Peoples Education Program).
Mr. Ben Abadiano, Founder ..., 15 July 2014 [cached]
Mr. Ben Abadiano, Founder and President of Pamulaan Center, facilitates a group dynamics activity in their campus amphitheater
Cartwheel, 14 Mar 2014 [cached]
Benjamin D. Abadiano
THE DAILY TRIBUNE On the Web!, 30 Sept 2004 [cached]
At first glance, Benjamin Abadiano could easily pass for a busy white collar worker in one of the country's business districts.Wearing a simple white shirt paired with the usual plain dark pants and black shoes, Ben, as he is called by colleagues at work, is much more than what his physical features project.
Ben happens to be this year's recipient of the prestigious Ramon Magsaysay Award for Emergent Leadership for his contribution to the socio-economic and educational development of the indigenous Mangyans in Mindoro Oriental.
"The first time I learned about the award, hindi ko pinansin (I ignored it).It was only when a Magsaysay Awards staff called me that I soon realized I had won the award," relates Ben.
Born in 1963, Benjamin Abadiano was an orphan boy, who was raised by Catholic grandparents who wanted to give him a better life."I was born in Manila, but I was raised by my loving grandparents in Mindanao," he relates."My grandparents were strict, but they loved me so much, some of my siblings and relatives envied me."
He was trained and guided by his grandparents, who taught him everything they knew about hard work and achieving success.
To pursue a higher education, Ben left home to study at the Xavier University in Mindanao."At that time, my faith was in limbo.I questioned and challenged God all the time."One time, he was alone praying inside the school chapel when he started challenging God for a miracle.
Following that experience, Ben got his faith back in one piece and asked for God's complete forgiveness.Confronted with the prospect of entering the mission to become a priest, Ben decided to first take up Anthropology, an academic course where he would soon find his niche with ethnic tribes.
Grassroots work
As an Anthropology studies major, Ben was constantly exposed to provincial and rural life.
To cut the story short, Ben found himself again involved in a native tribe's simple way of life.He decided to stay and work as a volunteer.
Despite the lack in training in curriculum development or even in teaching, Ben said, "With God's help, I was able to draft a curriculum from scratch.Instead of building a concrete school, I decided to take the education right inside the Mangyan tribe because I believed that was the best way to do it."
Such became the foundation of the Tugduan (Seedbed) Center for Human and Environmental Development.Abadiano originally launched the Center with only 12 students and a small hut, which he shared with them day and night."I was not only a solicitor, I was also the principal and teacher...all in one," a smiling Abadiano adds.
In the nine years Abadiano spent with the Mangyans, he was able to develop a small school into a functioning learning center complete with classrooms and meeting halls, a library, a science laboratory, a pre-school and a Mangyan cultural resource center.
"In time, I sought the Department of Education's help.They questioned my skills and credentials, saying I had no business running a school.This did not stop me from pursuing the education program I had established for the Mangyans," Ben says."Their negative perception changed as soon as they saw the progress I had made with the school.They decided to help me instead."
With new improvements came new students as well."I recruited new teachers and solicited more funds until such a time the school became sustainable."Ben left the Mangyan in 1997 to pursue formal studies in preparation for the priesthood with the Jesuits in Ateneo de Manila.
Award and incentives
When the Ramon Magsaysay Award committee awarded him the prestigious Magsaysay Award for Emergent Leadership, Benjamin Abadiano was neither prepared nor excited about it.What was important to him was knowing that through his personal efforts, he was able to contribute to the development of the Mangyan minority in Mindoro Oriental.
I asked Ben how he intended to take advantage of these incentives."I want to continue helping people from the grassroots.Doing that is fulfilling and that makes me a happy person," he concludes.
As far as development work is concerned, Ben is back in Mindanao, this time working with the Assisi Development Foundation to lead efforts in aid of victims of war atrocities in Mindanao.He is currently the executive director of Tabang Mindanaw, a rehabilitation program integrating social welfare, governance and livelihood with strong emphasis on peace building.
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