Umiray is formerly named “Malamig” and later named after the famous Umiray River, the longest river in the municipality which serves as the boundary of Aurora and Quezon Province.
Barangay Umiray is located 24 kilometers south of Dingalan Proper. It has an area of 10,970 hectares, the biggest barangay in the municipality in term of area. The place is characterized by hill top mountainous and only 20% of the land area is flat to rolling. Umiray has 16 sitios.
Total Population as of 2014 census:
- 3,951 total population
- 953 total household
Number of sitios in Brgy. Umiray: 16
- School Site
- 1 Barangay Health Station
- 1 Midwife
- 10 traditional Bone Setters
- 10 Herbalist/ Faith Healer
- 8 Traditional Midwife (Hilot)
- 13 Barangay Health Workers
- 1 Registered Nurse
People groups present:
- Eastern Tagalog
- Bicolanos and
- Umiray Dumagat
- Manila to Cabanatuan- (4 hours)via Five Star Bus , Genesis Bus
- Cabanatuan to Umiray- (4 hours) via Dingalan Trans Express, Hired Vans
- Ferry to Singawan – (45 mins) via Boat ride, or 1.5-2 hour hike
- Roman Catholic
- Iglesia Ni Cristo
- Born Again Christians
- Back to Christ
- Rosa Mystica
- Jehovah’s Witness
The Dumagat People
The Dumagat people are of the Agta Negrito groups found in Luzon. In the past, these people lived in coastal areas of Aurora and Quezon provinces and were lords in their own domain. However, because of the coming of Filipino homesteaders into the Agta area they were pushed into the mountains, and dispersed in small groups.
Dumagats are semi-nomadic. They move from place to place in search of better habitation. Recently, they have learned to live in permanent settlements. They are reported to be found scattered in different locations. They are also divided into six dialects.
The Umiray are one of the subgroups of the Dumagat.
Dumagat families are generally simple nuclear family. They live in extended family grouping. If conflicts arise among themselves, they just move away. In the past, men wore a cloth of g-string and the women wore wrap around skirts. Now, they wear used, machine sewed lowland clothes.
Economically, they are very poor. Their livelihood ranges from hunting and gathering to having gardens and raising coconuts. These days, hunting and gathering are greatly reduced due to depletion of forest resources caused by logging operations. Many of them now work as unskilled laborers for lowland farmers near their location. Most Dumagats are tied into a patron-client relationship with one or more lowlander families. In this relationship, the Dumagats gather rattan and trade it with the lowlander or they work for the lowlander. In turn, the lowlander gives them rice, tobacco, money, or other items. In many cases, Dumagats are abused, oppressed and are always on the losing end. Most of them are unable to determine the fair equivalent of goods being exchanged or services rendered. They depend on their relationship for their daily ration of food.
Within their culture, much of the behavior is governed by rules between types of kinsmen. The family itself is the organization that undertakes all roles. Their social control system is unstructured. If conflicts arise, they just move away some old people.
What Are Their Beliefs?
The Dumagats are animist. Practices and beliefs differ from person to person. Dumagat animism has less control over the people’s daily lives. In addition, they have adopted some of the beliefs of their Christian neighbors. Now, they hold to a universal belief in a single God, maybe a result of Christian influence. Cultish groups are also working in the area.
There has been a lot of mission work done in each of these Dumagat language groups.
The Start of MAP Ministry in Sitio Singawan
After the Typhoon Winnie, in 2004, MAP responded to the need of a great number of victims through medical mission. After a year, MAP was asked to go back to Barangay Umiray to conduct a health care training, as part of the rehabilitation effort of the barangay. Barangay Health Worker Training was done for three years. Afterwards, 15 BHWs were endorsed to Barangay Umiray. However, when the ministry was about to end, MAP BOT member, Attorney Parco, who has a heart for the Dumagat Tribe, requested the MAP nurses to reach out the farthest Sitio of Umiray, which is Sitio Singawan, where most of the Dumagat are located. During the Operation Samaria in 2009, Sitio Singawan was one the area where some of the delegates were assigned. Afterwards, a series of ocular survey was done.
In August 2010, the first MAP nurses, Dahlia and Ira, immersed with the community. They lived with the Alpajora Family and did a lot of effort to reach out the Dumagat. The community is composed of both Tagalog and Dumagat people. Since Sitio Singawan is the farthest and most neglected Sitio, a clinic was built in 2011 to provide primary health care services. Thus, bringing these people to Christ. The next batch of nurses, Em and Cris, started to be more intentional in integrating Spiritual care to Health. It was in their time that BALARO and Gelawag (Dumagat term for ‘found’) Camp were held. These camps gave way to begin a regular program like BALARO, Gelawag Youth Fellowship, Kape’t kapitbahay and more.
Through God’s faithfulness, the sitio clinic was reconstructed on February 2016. Four months later, a community diagnosis was presented and a Memorandum of Partnership was made. For over four years, LGU has been our partner in reaching out to the people of Sitio Singawan.
It has been the heart of Medical Ambassadors Philippines to see transformed communities through God’s love and Holistic care. We strongly believe that people in the community has the capabilities and resources to be a self-reliant community. This year, as requested by the community, a training on Health Committee Formation and Sitio Health Workers Training will be started. We praise God for this opportunity to mobilize both the Tagalog and the Dumagat people to reach their own people group.
- Primary Health Care Services – we provide basic medical assistance among the community people and at the same time teach them the basic health interventions or home remedies. Also, it is a God-given opportunity to share Christ, if not, a chance to pray for them.
- BALARO (Bibliya At LARO/Bible and Games, Kids’ Ministry) – integrated activities where children learn from bible stories and games. Recently, a revision was made. BALARO series includes a variety of art work, tutorial, Bible Storytelling, Music (Sing, Dance, and Guitar) Lesson, and Sports.
- Kape’t Kapitbahay (Coffee and Neighbors, Music Fellowship) – an informal evangelistic activity where people from neighborhood visits the center during night time (rest from farm activities) to learn music, sing songs, play board games or just having fellowship over a cup of coffee.
- Discipleship Training – a church partnership effort, where four people from Jesus Christ Christian Church (Singawan Church), as entrusted by their pastor to undergo a series of training to grow in their faith. We are using Disenyo Para sa Pagdidisipulo (DPP, Navigators Phils) as our tool. As agreed upon, we meet once a week for each chapter. Trainees learned through testimony sharing and answering DPP questions. Also, they are encouraged to do opening and closing prayer. We see these trainees to do Home Bible Studies, as a way of reaching out to the families in the community.
- Adult Literacy – designed for the Dumagat people to learn how to read and write. And for them to learn reading the Bible as well.
- Church Joint Fellowship – an opportunity to partner with local churches and encourage them in their spiritual growth through testimony-sharing and special number (kagalakan mag handog awit at magpatotoo). In our community, there are two Christian churches, one is in Singawan and the other is in Pinamaypayan. We alternately attend Sunday Worship Service in the said churches. Recently, we added Dugyan Christian Church as they requested us to visit them for Bible-sharing and fellowship.
- Home Bible Studies – Each nurse is assigned to 2-3 families. This is done once per week. For now, we find the need to follow up the families who attend JCCC services. These families will later on be endorsed to the discipleship trainees. We started on the attributes of God and the importance of prayer as it is our goal to see these families praying and sharing God’s Word among their family members. One of our references is the book ‘Mga Gabay sa pag-aaral ng Biblia’.
- Child-to-Child Health Scout Training – An effort to partner with DepEd, in sharing Basic health information to children and at the same time an education of values formation to school-aged children (4th-6th grades). We use the Child to Child Health Manual. Child to Child is an international child-rights agency located at the Institute of Education, University of London.