by Boi (boh-eh) Beting

 

We always tilt on the losing end

 

Where death is just a step behind

 

We dare to take every challenge

 

When knocked by the power of change

 

We ask for nothing but life.

 

We dare to speak at very crucial times

 

When tribes are offered as sacrificial lambs

 

Yes, at the altar of Development and Peace

 

They say for unity and mutual benefit

 

There we lost our being, our land and breath.

 

We live for the love of our lowly people

 

We come to share their agonies and mourns

 

We bring their lamentations and their songs

 

In forum, in hearings and great halls

 

Hoping to find open ears and doors.

 

But here and there our sorrows grow

 

Sometimes even the Holy and the wise

 

Chose to be mute, deaf and blind

 

And the powerful and the mighty,

 

Oh how they love to grab our lands.

 

We know our battles are lope sided

 

And we always tilt on the losing end

 

But we do not have to fall on our knees

 

To claim justice, our dignity and peace

 

We just have to regain our strength.

 

We who dare must lick our wounds

 

Turn to Magbabaya1 to lift our thorns

 

We may have tilt on the losing side

 

But on his grace we can depend

 

We who dare are his seeds on earth

 

We who dare must keep moving on

 

Amidst strong surge and storms

 

Our domains we need to protect

 

And to Monama (God) we raise our case

 

He will lead us to our dream and rest.

 

Written at the height of our legal struggle in advocating for Indigenous Peoples rights in the bangsamoro basic law. Dedicated to the living movers and to the fallen. Posted by Mindanao Peoples’ Peace Movement (MPPM)

 

Boi (boi-eh) Beting

Boi (boi-eh) Beting

“Boi” means a womxn tribal leader in one of the tribes living at the foot of Mt. Apo, the highest peak in the Philippines. Boi B was uprooted from her roots at the age of seven and since then onwards, she lives a lifelong struggle to live and adapt with the mainstream community through which she earned an education and has been heavily involved in human rights related works. Contact: Guelph-based migrant worker support group Fuerza/Puwersa at fuerza.puwersa@gmail.com for mailing address.