Long before the proliferation of the digital era and commercialization, the Ati tribe dominated the island of Panay as its original inhabitants. This tribal group exudes a unique culture with practices ranging from familial kinship, animism, and the use of herbal medicines (Ethnic Groups of the Philippines, n.d.). The intimate sense of ancient tradition present in this ethnic community enables it to preserve
The Atis have also been known to posses a desire to contribute to their community through attaining both meaningful education and employment. However, the issue of homelessness in urban areas pose a great threat to their health, productivity, and overall well-being. A lack of permanent shelter may ultimately leave Atis severely fatigued or ill. Moreover, the geographical location of the Ati’s rural homes in remote areas usually hinder their access to basic necessities. Daily practices such as travelling considerable distances to attain clean water or waking up at 3:00 AM to travel to school prove this and the growing need of sustainable homes for the Ati community.
Thus, the Base Bahay Foundation, JCI Iloilo Ilang Ilang, Ati Tribes Mission, the local government of Iloilo, and Western Institute of Technology (WIT) have collaborated to found the “Home Sweet Home” project. This is an initiative that aims to provide homes made out of Base Bahay’s Cement Bamboo Frame Technology to 24 families of the Ati Tribe in Iloilo City. The homes serve as a monumental transformation from the single community structure in which 200 members of the Ati tribe were compelled to live in. Basic services (such as water and electricity) have also been provided and the homes are conveniently located with schools nearby. All 24 houses were turned over to the beneficiaries last February 3, 2017.