My Journey Through Abra Part I

2 07 2009
First Meal at Chow King with Richard

First Meal at Chow King with Richard

Yea.. i know, I broke my no coke rule and what a way to start out my simple living right?

Second Meal at the Peasants Picket Line

Second Meal at the Peasants Picket Line

Day 2, warm chopped bananas, meat from a can uncooked and inapoy (rice). Yes, it was hard for me to eat the meat and banana

BAYAN ST Interview on the governments lack of concern regarding the geunine land reforms

BAYAN ST Interview on the governments lack of concern regarding the geunine land reforms

Unexpectedly, i was recorded for this 5 minute interview reppin’ bayan-usa on why those in the united states are against carp and for garb and why our gov is sending aid to the AFP. What a second day in the P.I. ANd yes, its been along time since seeing my friends from bayan-st and kasama-tk.

Peasant Picketline in front of the House of Representative held for 2 months

Peasant Picketline in front of the House of Representative held for 2 months

I stayed and interviewed the peasants from different organizations and regions.

Adobo to go... 3rd meal at the bus terminal heading to baguio

Adobo to go... 3rd meal at the bus terminal heading to baguio

I know its only the 5rd pic and its lame that its been food. I was told by friends to document what i eat as well. Anyhow, i do have other pics you can view in person.

On the Road to Baguio with Ben, the American Born in Taiwan with the American Born Chinese

On the Road to Baguio with Ben, the American Born in Taiwan with the American Born Chinese

Our Destination is the Cordillera People’s Alliance Office.

En Route to Sallapadan passing a Carabao

En Route to Sallapadan passing a Carabao

We went toUSA for Cordi DaY. uD-UDiao, Sallapadan, Abra. Peasant’s livelihood depends on the healthiness of the carabao – for tilling the land since the country is a backward nation. Peoples’ organizations and partylists have been advocating for land and technology for the people.

En Route to Sallapadan passing the Public Toilets

En Route to Sallapadan passing the Public Toilets

S/He toilets… just thought they were cool. aND THANK GOODNESS….They are only public toilets and not private ones.

Youth from Abra and Baguio help with the Cordi Day Registration

Youth from Abra and Baguio help with the Cordi Day Registration

My adopted Family and host

My adopted Family and host

Justice for Albert Terredano

Justice for Albert Terredano

Albert was a peasant leader who was assassinated in 05′ by the warlords. After his assassination, many leaders lie-low fearing that they will be the next target. This resulted in 2000 masses who were not being led. Slowly the organizations are getting stronger again.

Vernie of CWORK speaking of the ills of the imperialist led crisis around the world and what the people should do to stand up

Vernie of CWEARC (Cordillera womens education action research center) speaking of the ills of the imperialist led crisis around the world and what the people should do to stand up

Cordi Day Dance: Tell why the dancing seem to never stop?

Cordi Day Dance: Tell why the dancing seem to never stop?

Cordi Day Awit ng Pag-asa

Cordi Day Awit ng Pag-asa

Cordi Day Licuan Delegates

Cordi Day Licuan Delegates

P.I. Lyle at Cordi Day

P.I. Lyle at Cordi Day

Cordi Day- The Calm Before the Storm

Cordi Day- The Calm Before the Storm

Cordi Day - The Storm

Cordi Day - The Storm

Kultural Performance at Cordi Day

Kultural Performance at Cordi Day

The youth shows how the indigenous spirit to fight for their rights remains well alive today despite militarization and temptations to sell out his people to profit for himself.

Wood Needed to cook for 800 delegates

Wood Needed to cook for 800 delegates

Cordi Day Cooking for 800 Delegates.. yeah?.. you try cooking rice for that many people

Cordi Day Cooking for 800 Delegates.. yeah?.. you try cooking rice for that many people

Cordi Day Hugas.. someone has to do the dirty job

Cordi Day Hugas.. someone has to do the dirty job

Is this what Arm Struggle is all about?  If so... I guess since I lost this round, I should remember its protracted

Is this what Arm Struggle is all about? If so... I guess since I lost this round, I should remember its protracted

More Piture updates to come the internet wants to cooperate =)

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Land is Life

21 04 2009

Land is life.  If you take it away, is it not the same as dying? Then why not die for your land?

(pictures to come soon)

Before shopping for laundry soap and chinelas, I had the taxi drop me off in front fo the House of Representatives in Manila.  In front of the gate, on both sides, Members of BAYAN-ST (New Patriotic Alliance in Southern Tagalog, Amihan (National federation of Peasant Women), KMP (Peasant movement in the Philippines, and  Kasama TK (The Southern Tagalog regional peasant organization of KMP)  had set up a protest camp.

The protest camp was built relatively quick on April 13th.  Within 15 minutes both sides of the camp was built like a treehouse-slim tall logs held the structure up as strips of garbage bags were used to tie the logs that held the structure up with the tarps that acted as the roof.

As I arrived to the Camp, I was greeted with smiles from youth to elders.  Their hands were rough from working the Palay fields (rice fields).  Their clothes were very simple, some with holes and some faded.  They spoke of why they set up camp and what they hope to accomplish.

I had the opportunity to interview different peasant leaders, many of them were women.  Nanay Carmen shared her life with me through gestures of her body, limited and broken english, but mostly in tagalog and kapampagan. From the beginning her eyes water.  I can see my reflection gazing into her eyes.  She is the daughter of small peasants.  After finishing elementary school she was forced to watch the carabaos on her family farm although she prefered to continue her education.

Nanay Carmen also shared with me the struggles that peasants face. Their livelihood taken away as they face poverty while those who exploit them profit off the peasants’ labor.  Nanay Carmen helps peasant women organize to fight for their right to livelihood.  Most of the peasant women who struggle come to her for help. Her story is not unique-many share her story-the majority of the Filipino people are landless, some gave up hope and others’ fight back like Ninay.  She is fierce and passionate that one day her people will be free from oppression.

I was intending to only stay for 1 hour in the camp-just to say Hello and catch-up however my stay ended up to be 9 hours.  The peasants wanted to ask me questions but they do not know how… We tried to communicate with simple language but there was frustrations from both sides.. Read the rest of this entry »