This terrain is a common walking path for the multiple tribes of Mangyans in the Mts. Iglit-Baco National Park. These indigenous people are often quoted, "Kung wala ang tamaraw, mawawala ang mga Mangyan. Kung wala ang mga Mangyan, mawawala ang mga tamaraw."
The lives of the Mangyans and the tamaraws had been coexistent time immemorial. Hunting was sustainable in the old days until a bovine pest dwindled the number of tamaraws from 10,000 to over a hundred in the 1960's. Efforts to conserve the remaining tamaraws which is the last of their species worldwide has brought the number to 523 in the last April's count, the highest recorded since 1960's.
There's a lot more to be done. The only captive tamaraw, Kalibhasa, is already at the ripe age of 19 (tamaraws have a life span of 25 years in the wild) and if Kali dies, the Mangyans caring for him may lose their jobs. Funding for research and maintenance of the Tamaraw Conservation Program, much more for the compensation of the 30 rangers looking after the tamaraws in a 25,000 hectares of wild terrains full of leeches and cliffs are highly needed. This is call to action for everyone that may we share a bit of what we have for the future of the tamaraws and the Mangyans. The cost of a cup of coffee can go a long way to help.