Eastern Mindanao (2012-2013)

Below are picture I took during two assessment missions in 2012 and 2013 in the eastern region of Mindanao, more specifically in the provinces of Compostela Valley, Agusan del Sur and North Cotabato. The region is inhabited by indigenous communities (or ‘Lumads‘) who tend to live in remote, mountainous areas, and are often caught in the conflict between the government and the New People’s Army (NPA), the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines.

The Lumads are regularly displaced by armed clashes but also by the militarisation of their communities by the army. Frequently reported violations of a Lumad’s human rights and of international humanitarian law (IHL) contribute to a climate of fear and insecurity and lead to regular displacements. Although most of these displacements are only temporary, with people seeking refuge in the nearest safe village, repeated displacements contribute to undermining the resilience of these communities.

For more information on this, please download the report “Living in the shadows – Displaced Lumads locked in a cycle of poverty (2013)“. I wrote this report while working for the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC), after a mission to Eastern Mindanao in 2012 and field research conducted by Balay, a Philippine NGO.


Montevista municipality, Compostela Valley (June 2012)


North Cotabato (June 2012)


Trento municipality, Agusan Del Sur (June 2013)