Jesus is a proud member of the indigenous people’s Panay Bukidnon community. From a poor faming family, he is the first family member to achieve professional qualifications, and he’s now the leader of, and teacher in, a school in the Philippines in a community where over 90 percent of students belong to Indigenous Peoples groups. Through his advocacy work he has promoted education to indigenous communities, encouraging greater participation and far higher rates of enrolment in higher education. He is also active in promoting the rights and welfare of indigenous peoples. He now uses his own story of hope and perseverance to inspire others to overcome hardship and reach their dreams.
Jesus’s approach to teaching is known as culture-based education (CBE), which he models in his school throughout the curriculum. It is his dream that education throughout his country will become truly inclusive and culture-sensitive. With this approach, students become engaged in their education, learning through traditional dances, songs, epics, local games and crafts that give context to their studies. Test scores have revealed that at least 87 percent of his pupils achieved their age-expected grades through culture-based teaching.
He has received many national and international awards for teaching, and also for his writing and his promotion and support for indigenous culture.