CHILDREN OF THE STORM: WHY THEY ARE HUNTED


BENWe know Ben. He plays a mean guitar.

We know Apad and his poetry of rage.

We know JR. We know Angelique. And Precy, the widow.

We met them last year, talked with them, ate with them, watched some crazy movie about some talking cat with them (the boys went, duh?).

Read: Children of the Storm look to Pope Francis for help

That time, our peti-burgis minds went into overdrive:

Why did these children, who said they live in the mountains, speak so well? Where did they get to be so fluent in Filipino and even in English?
What made them so articulate as they shifted topics, from oppression, to math and science and the planets and music?

Now we know all about the award-winning lumad alternative schools. The award is mainly for academics, for the good scores their students get on equivalency tests.

But that is just half the story.

Slide1
Apad, left, pines for a father, an environmental activists hunted by soldiers. Angeline is a veteran of evacuations. Their travails have not dented their spirits. Photos by author

In Alcadev and the TRIPPS schools, they eat better than most lumad children in areas where communities are not organised. They wake early to farm. They eat the food they plant; learn to share life chores. They also learn to value the land that gives life to their people.

They farm, they learn to love the land. And they eat better than peers in unorganised communities. (Photo courtesy of Alcadev)
They farm, they learn to love the land. And they eat better than peers in unorganised communities. (Photo courtesy of Alcadev)

They are taught pride in their culture, in their history. They are taught independence and taught that they are equal to everyone else. They are taught about the rights of citizens.

This is what their enemies fear.

Because the downtrodden and the weak are easily shoved aside in the stampede for Mindanao’s lush resources.

Because the powers-that-be cannot stand the sight of lumad who do not grovel.

They are hunted for a simple reason. They are hunted because they act like free humans and not the slaves the powers want them to be.

One thought on “CHILDREN OF THE STORM: WHY THEY ARE HUNTED

  1. The armed para-military groups hunting the organized and empowered lumads are themselves lumad being mobilized by the military, after poisoning their limited minds that to be empowered and work for the upliftment of their lot from abject poverty is the handiwork of the communists and the NPAs. Therefore making them fair target of assassinations and murderous rampage.

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