Bulalayaw Team

Carolyn S. Gamiao

Carolyn was born in the northern coastal town of Isabela to Ilocano parents, and grew up in Baguio. She was a social development and development management specialist who was deeply involved in poverty and environmental work in the Third World. She stopped doing work with multilateral institutions in 2014 due to extreme exposure to grief over observed impacts to the climate crisis, indigenous peoples and other vulnerable groups. The chosen (often imposed) path by many countries to pursue globalization and extractive development at all costs made her realize the utter impossibility of addressing impacts in any meaningful way. Witnessing the scale of irreversible damage to rainforests and the escalation of violence and chaos proved that infusion of foreign aid and development loans on peripheral issues could not make a dent in solving social and environmental problems. Since she left that life and acquired this land that we now call  Bulalayaw, she has chosen to transfer her many skills to the creation of an art and healing space.

In the US, she undertook additional diploma courses on Climate Change Adaptation, Impact Assessment as well as Human Services which covered studies on emergency response and such problems as substance abuse, the elderly, homelessness, suicide, etc. She attended workshops at CalEarth to learn practical skills like building earth domes and rocket stoves. These skill sets combined with other studies and work experience form a basis for plans to facilitate establishment of sustainable earth dome communities to address specific community needs such as affordable housing for the elderly, etc.  

Bulalayaw was established to create a retreat from chaos and a place to regroup for engagement with a world in crisis. The word “bulalayaw” means “rainbow” in Carolyn’s native Ilocano language. She is building space to apply the principles of spirituality, wisdom teachings and indigenous knowledge systems and practices and appropriate technology to the practical problems of the day. She went ahead to learn Quantum Healing Hypnotherapy by Dolores Cannon, a program that facilitates access to inner awareness as a basis for self-healing or transformation by the client. She is looking forward to offering this service to retreat goers at Bulalayaw Ridge.


Mila Anguluan

Mila is a practicing expressive arts therapist, currently serving Native American students at the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She is an Itawit native from Tuao, Cagayan, Northern Philippines, who was sustained by the mountains, river and streams that embraced her valley home. Mila was equally nurtured by the values of her elders who were wisdom keepers, culture-bearers and kapwa-teachers of the community. Kapwa is the Filipino core value of identifying Self with the Other, which mirrors the indigenous belief in interconnectedness and interdependency as the basis for sustaining life. She earned a doctorate in expressive arts therapies at Lesley University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, focusing her research on kapwa-based cultural identity. She served as a social worker for more than 10 years in Los Angeles, California, specializing in intergenerational exchange between Filipino-American elders and youth, to foster healing from intergenerational trauma. Mila believes in the power of the expressive arts to heal, and uses various arts media, especially the mask-making process, as a reflective device to gain deep insights into Soul, the Inner Self.


Tomas Robison

Tomas lives as a friendly hermit in real life, a polymath and regular person no different from many other people. He was born and raised in modern California. As an inquisitive and adventurous type, Tomas was often the first person going out into a new place looking for adventure and happiness (like big mountains and cliffs). With 30+ years as a professional rock climber, he and his business partner built Vertical Relief Climbing Center which opened its doors in 1996 in Flagstaff AZ.  Rock climbing and “extreme adventure sports” have many risk-filled decisions to make on every level of participating while going outside of one’s comfort zone.  Called flow states, Tomas has been practicing the art of flow and creativity for most of his adult life and sees it as one’s birthright to play in life.  Tomas has been a professional guide, from climbing, hiking, backpacking, mountain biking, jeep driving, and river rafting.  He basically lived to play and if there was opportunity to bring people back to nature, he wanted to be there.

He is often the stranger in a new space arriving with a few tools, his own shelter, toilet and kitchen and settles in to create magick in life. His life was characterized by many high points and many low points, taking risks and accepting failures. He was called to become a death doula and camp educator because of several near death experiences and severe depression affected his life. After spending a year in solitary refuge, taking his bodhisattva vows in the beautiful canyons of Southern Utah he had to move somewhere more populated and practice his service.  He arrived in Santa Fe in December of 2018 and started cleanup of the property.

His passion is spending time in the out of doors living in the present moment with an open heart and wanting to share ways that others can bring nature into their lives.  Slowing down and bringing in a constant creative process in living, he strives to stay quiet. He works with his hands with small projects and builds community through including people into his way of life.  He is a steward of land and would like to share that knowledge.

Visit his personal site at: plateaucamp.life


Mamerto Lagitan Tindongan

Mamerto Lagitan Tindongan is an eighth-generation Mumbaki (traditional “shaman”), wood carver and teacher from the Ifugao tribe (famous for their rice terraces) in the Cordillera region in the northern Philippines. He received his shamanic rights from his father (who was also a mumbaki shaman) in 2011, after growing up with the tradition since childhood. He also trained in western shamanism under an American Indian mentor. He was also initiated in the Earth Keeper Q’uero Peruvian tradition, as Laika, in 2005. And Paqo, 4th level Andean Priest, in 2007.

Educated in the Western way as an Aeronautical Engineer and with 2 MAs from Ohio University, his passion, however, is as an artist and teacher. Mamerto is a popular traveling mentor on indigenous wisdom and self-healing among the Filipino community in North America. As a teacher of indigenous knowledge and skills, he also has other valuable expertise to impart such as house construction without nails, stone wall and terrace building, functional art (e.g. making wooden spoons to replace plastic utensils, etc.) and the use of wood work in therapy. He has successfully used this in suicide prevention. He is looking forward to sharing indigenous building, stone wall systems, atlatl, tai chi, and other healing practices with visitors.

Mamerto moved from Ohio to Santa Fe in 2019, bringing the Ifugao hut (which was originally constructed in Ohio), dragon canoes, and many sculptures. An advocate of living easy on the land, he has set up a firewood kitchen, a compost toilet and a chapay, a stone floor meeting place near the Ifugao hut. He intends to build more pyramid huts at Bulalayaw Ridge while showing interested students how to do so. He retains residency in the Philippines during part of the year where he has a similar base in the world-famous Ifugao rice terraces for his work among his local and visiting communities. 

Visit his personal site at: ifugaoclc.org


Joannah Tindongan

Joannah is the daughter of Mamerto Tindongan. She was born in the Philippines, was raised in rural Appalachian Ohio (Shawnee, Hopewell & Adena territory) with her three younger siblings, and now lives in Mexico with her partner, Bobby. She is, like many others, working to learn and uphold the traditions of her multi-ethnic heritage and reconnect with her ancestors after growing up in the western world. She has a background in community organizing, interfaith social justice, and criminal justice reform, and is refocusing her energy in international indigenous revival, and supporting her sisters and brothers in their efforts to raise native voices and get back to basic, non-commercial living. She loves to read, bike, occasionally produce music and art, and outdoor sports. In keeping with her Appalachian upbringing, she believes in living with the land, and washing your clothes by hand.


Bobby Crawford Tercero

Bobby was born and raised in Mexico and grew up taking care of animals in a small rural town on Cochimí land. He’s been a naturalist guide in Baja for ten years and is passionate about the ocean, mountains and wildlife. He’s also worked in kitchens and construction for many years, and is working to prioritize living simply. He loves fishing, dirt biking, surfing and being in the ocean. He is excited to learn and reconnect with his ancestors, and to share his passion for cooking and traditional Mexican recipes as the cook for this season’s retreats.