JAMES BALAO PROFILE
October 5, 2008
James is the eldest son of Arthur and Jane Balao of Atok and La Trinidad, Benguet. He was born on the April 19, 1961. Photo above shows James upon graduation from the University of the Philippines Baguio in 1983. 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.(Photo courtesy Balao Family)
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. #