Silence

By Boi (boh-eh) Beting


Here lies a silence
that crept into my flesh
It seeks deeper union
with my exiled heart
From head to foot
It conquered my being
with no signs of leaving
But I won’t be beaten
be swayed or be enslaved
by the gift of comforts and chimes
or its sweet lullabies
or its gift of emptiness
Silence in a consciousness
unwritten, almost unspoken
in this part of the West
thus here my body hides
but my spirit soars or strives
My body and spirit breaks
into vast distance and time
as I watch the winter skies
as My Spirit returned to villages
hearing Indigenous cries
Everyday my heart departs
Embrace you all in my past
though engulfed with silence
to the fight I pay with full reverence
for a just peace in our land


“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.In her mid-thirties she returned to her own tribal communities,started the cultural regeneration movement and through legal process, lead her people for their right and protection of their ancestral domain claim.After that she served as volunteer worker for other tribes in other localities, in order to be with them

in their fight for land and Indigenous rights, and facilitate food and social services to Indigenous peoples affected by armed conflicts or civil war. Their struggle today for land and self-determination is just a continuation of the centuries of struggle of their ancestors in Southern Philippines.

After 30 years of working for and working with Indigenous Peoples (IP) communities, human rights advocates and peace advocates, Boi B has again been uprooted under the current political turmoil. She intends that the next generation of community IP leaders will replace and continue our work to protect the land, preserve their identity, and sustain peaceful communities. This next generation of leaders, she believes, can negotiate their way effectively if, like her, they will also educate themselves with mainstream education. Both knowledge of the traditional and mainstream will help these new leaders sustain the tribe’s struggle for existence. Thus, Boi B calls for support to send young adult Indigenous community leaders to university so that they will be more equipped with skills and knowledge to serve their communities. Let’s help her do that.

You can make donations to Boi B:

  •  Please write cheques to “Support For Migrant Workers” Contact: Guelph-based migrant worker support group Fuerza/Puwersa at Fuerza.Puwersa@gmail.com for mailing address.
  • Buy any Luyos MaryCarl track on bandcamp and all funds will go towards Boi B’s

We Who Dare

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” 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.