The Lumad evacuees at UCCP Haran along with local poets, musicians, and singers gathered together for a poetry night which took place last Tuesday at 6pm.
Some of the visitors that joined in the activity included students and faculty members from schools such as the Ateneo de Davao University, University of the Philippines-Mindanao, University of Mindanao, University of Southeastern Philippines and University of the Immaculate Conception.
Representatives from different rights and protection advocate groups such as Panalipdan-Southern Mindanao and Gwatsi, among others, also participated.
For the duration of the program, all those who were present expressed their thoughts, emotions and dreams in the form of songs, poems, music, and dance.
Lumads performed their own original pieces. The young Lumad children performed poetic pieces that expressed what they want to be when they grow up. The teenagers performed songs and poems expressing their desire to be free of oppression. The adults also performed pieces that spoke about the wrongs they experienced and their wish to be given justice.
“When I see the Lumad children perform their poetry pieces with dream looks in their eyes, I bleed. Because the uncertainty of their future is depriving them from dreaming big,” shared Angel Jean Domingo, a student from Ateneo and a member of the Society of Ateneo Literature and English Majors (SALEM).
The local artists who visited the site also performed original work. The poems that were delivered by the visitors were dedicated to the Lumads. They spoke about how they deserve justice and that they should not let the oppression they faced stop them from moving onwards.
When asked why a poetry night was held in the first place, Kim Gargar of the Panalipdan-Southern Mindanao told Atenews: “Through poetry maka-express sila ng solidarity, maka-express din ng mga feelings ang mga Lumad sa kanilang sitwasyon ngayon.”