JAMES BALAO PROFILE
James Moy Balao is a founding member of the Cordillera Peoples'
Alliance (CPA). He was among the members of the Cordillera Consultative
Committee who facilitated the establishment of the CPA in June 1984,
and serviced the Alliance's needs in research and documentation,
education and information dissemination, organizing and support-building
during its formative years. He made invaluable contributions to
elucidating the problem of national oppression, and the rights of
indigenous peoples to ancestral land and to self-determination.
James holds a Bachelor's degree from the University
of the Philippines, Baguio, where he double-majored in Psychology
and Economics, and served as editor-in chief of the campus paper,
Outcrop. Even before graduating in 1983, he had already started
working full-time in research and education on Cordillera issues,
as part of the implementing staff of the Cordillera Schools Group's
Cordillera Studies Program. In 1986, he served on the staff of anthropologist
Ponciano Bennagen, a member of the Constitutional Commission, assisting
in the work of securing provisions for the rights of indigenous
peoples in the 1987 Constitution. James is a member of the Episcopal
Church of the Philippines (Anglican) and finished his elementary
studies at Easter School in Baguio City, now Easter Colleges Inc.
When James returned from Manila, he became the first
Head of the CPA's Education Commission. Except for a brief period
of political detention in Banaue, Ifugao in 1988, he has since been
assisting the various rural formations of the CPA with their research
and education needs. From 1994 to 1997, he worked with the Ifugao
Research and Development Center, and focused his studies on the
situation of the Ifugao peasantry. He helped establish the Ifugao
Peasant Leaders' Forum.
A native of Benguet and an indigenous person belonging
to the Kankanaey-Ibaloi tribes, James is currently the President
of the Oclupan Clan Association. Among his numerous responsibilities
is the documentation and registration of the clan's properties.
James is the eldest son of Arthur and Jane Balao of Atok and La
Trinidad, Benguet. He was born on April 19, 1961. #