The Mission of the Trust

The mission of the Fedilisan-Tanulong Educational Trust (Trust) is to advance the educational level of two Igorot cultural minority groups, the Fedilisan and Tanulong communities in Northern Sagada, Mountain Province of  the northern Luzon highlands, Philippines. This mission is to be accomplished primarily through a scholarship program for college education. Secondarily, funds permitting, it will provide targeted assistance to early education in northern Sagada barangays and to the two secondary schools normally attended by Fedilisans and Tanulongs: St. Mary’s School and the Bangaan National High School.

The isolation of the Fedilisan and Tanulong communities over centuries has contributed to their disadvantaged and impoverished state with low educational attainment. Today, education is highly respected and valued by parents and children. Many aspire to continue their education beyond high school, but are thwarted from doing so by their poverty. Many also despair and do not even aspire to complete high school for the same reason, poverty.  As a result, most of the young people begin their adult lives without technical skills or the knowledge needed for jobs to navigate the modern world. Through the Trust’s assistance, it is hoped that there will be an advance in the communities’ education level and consequently in their participation and integration into modern society.

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The Origin of the Trust

The Trust was established by the will of Paul C. Laus, (Paul Cayaya Laus ), a native son of Fedilisan. He attended the Tanulong Mission School in Northern Sagada, renamed later as St. Matthew’s School, and St. Mary’s School in the nearby central town of Sagada. Both schools are educational institutions founded and still maintained by the Episcopal Church.  Ambitious and determined to seek higher education in his youth, he made a brave and bold decision to leave his home territory in 1931 and made his way to the United States. He succeeded in graduating from Trinity College, Hartford, Connecticut and pursued post graduate work at the General Theological Seminary and Columbia University in New York City. After a varied career spanning his service in the United States Army as a Japanese Language Officer, teacher in American Indian schools and as a social worker, he retired and lived in San Francisco. When he died in April 2006, he had not forgotten his people. He willed that one hundred percent of his estate be used to establish a trust for the educational benefit of good and deserving students of Fedilisan and Tanulong ancestry.

The estate, however, unfortunately laid in legal limbo with the San Francisco Public Administrator’s office for a long time, from 2007 to 2017. Believing in the righteousness, nobleness and transformative potential of the gift of Paul C. Laus to his people, Albert S. Bacdayan, a relative of the donor, first cousin once removed, worked indefatigably for many years to have the will be probated. The trust was finally established on February 27, 2017 in San Francisco, California with Bacdayan the court-appointed Trustee. The estate might otherwise have reverted to the state, depriving the Fedilisan and Tanulong peoples of this gift and rare opportunity for higher education.  The Trust is truly a shining example of sharing and giving back to one’s less fortunate people.

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Administration of the Trust

The Trust is administered by the Trustee, Albert S. Bacdayan, a retired educator who  has both Fedilisan and Tanulong ancestry and, like Paul Laus, was born and raised in the Fedilisan and Tanulong area. He has a BS in Ed. undergraduate degree from the University of the Philippines, an MA from Trinity College, Hartford, CT and PhD. in Anthropology from Cornell University, Ithaca, New York. He was a professor at the University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky, United States. Before embarking on his anthropology training, he  taught  at the Brent School in Baguio and at the Kalinga Academy in Lubuagan, both of which are in the Cordillera region of Northern Luzon,Philippines. 

Support personnel for the Trust includes a program field manager in the Cordillera region. A board of educational, professional and  knowledgeable citizens  of the region and culture will  advise the Trustee on matters pertaining to the implementation of the mission of the Trust and selection. 

               GO to top of page to find more PHOTOS  and details about   SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM  requirements and application procedures.

 

 
 
LEFT Photo: Fedilisan Village viewed from cliff above, at the north end of the Fedilisan-Tanulong Valley 2010 | RIGHT Photo: Paul C. Laus and Albert S. Bacdayan revisiting Trinity College, Hartford, CT, their  alma mater, 1998.

LEFT Photo: Fedilisan Village viewed from cliff above, at the north end of the Fedilisan-Tanulong Valley 2010 | RIGHT Photo: Paul C. Laus and Albert S. Bacdayan revisiting Trinity College, Hartford, CT, their alma mater,1998.