Starry Night; Warm Sunshine

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If  you are looking for great adventures,

Search beyond the boundaries and the comforts of the city

Carry within you the struggles of the marginalized and the poor

And in a united goal , watch with them a lengthy starry night.

 

I knew you had to always look through the window

Because the chills of dawn caused your bladder’s impending explosion.

Remember, endurance’s a prerequisite to long journeys along the road

But in a few hours more,the embrace of warm sunshine will be above you.

 

The sandy, sizzling environment of Mabalacat, Pampanga

Surrounded by long fences and monstrous signs of corporate entities

Wanting to build golf fields and the planned Clark Green City,

The starry night is, but in loneliness, will soon dash away.

 

Two mountains standing apart, connected with hanging bridges

Spark great fear of falling onto the hard rocks brought by lahar

But to reach the community one must brave the height

Because the mission’s fulfillment gives a warm sunshine.

bridge 

The Aeta children welcomed the strangers with a facial beam

Without the thought that they might be oppressors

Or the right hand men of the capitalists or of the landlords

And in their beautiful eyes a starry night might glow.

 

Happily they sang the modern songs they hardly understood

Singing Frozen’s ‘Let It Go’ in a repeating stereo tone

Or idolizing Lyca Gairanod and all other ‘The Voice Kids’  renditions

Their melody touches like warm sunshine beneath the ears.

 

Most of them lined up inside the small, hollow-blocked room

Waiting for the doctor’s stethoscope to be placed above their chests

The babies cried, but the schoolers observed in an open-mouthed wonder

And just like the blinks of the starry night, they wished to hear their hearts too!

 

The adults spoke about their stories and histories

As they offered root crops and nutritious meals to the hungry

As they spared their bedrooms and pillows to the sleepy strangers

I knew the warm sunshine blessed their souls with hospitality and prudence.

 

Our Aeta brothers and sisters suffered from oppression

Through false representations of those empowered by the ‘seats’.

They have always wished for self-determination,

But instead experienced some unwanted alienation.

 

In development they were not against,

But only hoped for the promised sustainability

Where the neoliberal agenda shall not prevail

Over the indigenous people’s interest and of the masses.

 

During starry nights I shall remember the Aeta children of Marcos Village

And as stars glitter I shall always see the hope in their shy smiles

Their mountainous settlement shall remain their paradise

So that their warm sunshine won’t turn in a cold instant.


This poem was published at Sulo’s March 2015 Issue. “Starry Night; Warm Sunshine” is the metaphor used to describe the current lives and struggles of the indigenous peoples in the Philippines.

Sulo is the official newsletter of KATRIBU National.


 

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