"Sons of the Current in struggle"
"Civilized men cherish their ancient heritage. They are ever aware of the living past, whether ir be manifested by archaeological forms or by human survivors of ages since gone, for nothing significantly human truly dies."
These are the words former First Lady Imelda Marcos said in one of her speeches about Filipino culture, especially those of indigenous peoples and national minorities. In her speech she desires that Filipino culture ought to be preserved in pursuit of forging a new society, as well as a duty of every Filipino to protect national minorities against the impact of culture shock. Quite idealistic though so to speak that while trying to be in par with the contemporary is at the same time recognizing greatly the contributions of the ancient, and hence ought to be preserved, cherished and if possible, relieved.
However, despite the message given, of cherish and aware, heritage isn't all about preserving old buildings nor revivng the past, but also realizing the aspirations fof the past in pursuit of building a better future. And in order to have renaissance is through revolution, a struggle to liberate both community and self so as to realize the supposed goals, aspirations end interrupted if not negated by those emphasising interest. Culture, like people, had gone exploited actually, and its impact is obviously much degrading knowing that while being shown to outsiders, emphasising just profits and given an unfair share to them regardless of their contribitions.
And if the state really cherish heritage, how come there are old buildings being demolished such as in Manila? Trees being uprooted so are the communities in the hills for logging and mining? The system failed to cherish heritage actually for they wanted a two-faced development to thrive.
In Cordillera, the culture of the Cordillerans, be it the Kalinga, Ifugao, Bontoc, had been well known but at the same time its communities being exploited by mining interests. Those communities are well-springs of culture, and at the same time sources of precious minerals. Once, Marcos had attempted to build dams like Chico in then Kalinga-Apayao. However, the said proposal would affect communities as well as Rice Terraces that had been preserved, cherished, and well-known by inhabitants for genrations, and would even worse if mining and logging interests intensify their actions all in the name of "development".
That ironically, encouraged by those whom said about "embracement of minorities to lend substance to national unity" and that includes preserving culture and communities. Elders like Macliing Dulag had consistently oppose the system's moves, unmasking their hypocrisy and strengthening people's resistance against the current of repression. The system had failed, or even acting stupid to understand their stance on why they resist their moves "in the name of development" that actually putting a correct term for "exploitation."
And at the same time parroting words such as preserving culture, and even patriotism itself, that actually reduced into a mere vaudeville of bread and circuses, of boxing marches and beauty contests people crying for the name "Philippines" to won, yet failing to defend its country from further exploitation both the community and the self with its consciousness that consists of escapism and just material consciousness. And One, two, or three would say "move on" that actually means "forget history and the memory of man's origins."
Obviously, the struggle for liberation has gone protracted rather than stopped with its realizations. Protracted in a sense that those whom gained consciousness has to resist the currents and to encourage people to enlight in pursuit of a greater cause such as for freedom, land, justice, and life. And heroes, both recognized and nameless did their share in that unfinished struggle no matter how shitty it was and is in the eyes of the decadent order.
The poem, which was made by Abu Yusuf and published in Moro Kurier in its April-June 1986 issue, seemed quite relating nowadays with the long suffering people, be it the Moros, the Cordillerans, Lumads, oppressed masses from Metropolitan Manila up to the provinces had stop contenting in the cycle of repression and instead taking the bitter cup of sacrifice so as to liberate both themselves and the homeland against the system as the oppressor.
However, there are those whom at first stuggling but eventually tired and instead capitulating to the illusions. Modern day Judases giving up a friend for thirty pieces of silver so to speak, they had given up the hardship, the ideals, if not fearing death and pain all for the illusion of "good life" presented by the order.
The latter would present entirely the illusions partially realized such as infrastructures made to impress investors, an economy that benefits the compradores and the privileged few, prices in which the system fails to set controls and price ceilings knowing that it hampen the traders and its laissez faire, a culture that despite providing a showcase of nationalism yet in fact commodifies and exaggerates, negates true intentions behind symbols and aspirations.
This writer would think that the poem made by Abu Yusuf isn't all about Moros, the Mujahideen, and their struggle for self determination, but also the entire Philippines itself, irrespective of ethnicity, religion, but sharing the same hardship and struggle for National and Social liberation. All giving up their mind, sinew, blood, and soul all for the revolution.
And that struggle is more than just a painting being conceived like Luna or the books being written such as those of Rizal.
In kami Anak sug tuyuh nagparrang
Nagtabarru' ha maksud pasal kamahardikaan
Sumud kupah punud wai hanggawan
Bang mayan dih masipug bangsa sumayang.
Anak sug Pilihan dig nagkasat
Dih magpiksil sin baran nisan nakarak
Piya laud-gulangan asal binsanah
Sah dauhatun in maksud bat masampurnah,
Dig kami magkalupag sin kahalan
In bangsa mabinsanah ha kajaliman
Bunuh ha Para wajib pamimintangan
Saplag ha in katan sin kadayyusan.
Andoh kailo piyaganak in Anak sug
Wajib ba katan in mamaugbug
Halluh kami ha satroh dih masanud
Saplag da ha katan bata maluhnud
In kamu duen hayan ayaw mahaman
Tantu tuod in satreh kiyasaitanan
Manghinang umiba-an iban mangdupaing
Amoyanan in sabab hagkan in Anak sug nagparang!
We, the sons of the current are in ardent struggle
Sacrificed in the cause for freedom
Fearless shall we join in the fertile soil of eternal rest
If only for peace and dignity of the race.
Anaksug, the unwavering paragon
Selfless even in the face of destruction
From the coast to the hinterlands, we have always been oppressed
Thus the waging of the cause for liberation
We can never allow our history to go to naught
Our people have suffered so much
The battle of Pata is a grim reminder
Oh, children of the seas
You were born with the obligation to defend
But take heed, beware against the tounges of the surrenderees
They are scattered in our midst to drown our cause
For you Warriors! Remain vigilant!
Verily, the hypocrites are evil doing!
They coerce and ever deceptive
Precisely the reason why the Anaksug are in struggle!