"Notes after Sitio Sandugo"
From late morning till night, everyone from all walks of life has made an almost swampy corner livelier as the indigenous folks around the archipelago converged for a week long celebration of resistance and struggle in a place named "Sitio Sandugo."
Initially named "Kampuhan", the site, Named after an organisation consists of Cordilleran, Moro, Lumad, and other various indigenous folks victimised by militarisation and development aggression, these folks marched towards Metro Manila not just to express their grievances that failed to be heeded by the government itself, if not still left vulnerable by "developmental" aggressors in its various forms.
Carrying their cherished tradition and at the same time adapted to modern ways, these indigenous folks showed their culture to the lowlander and at the same time having the desire to have education, that in case of the Lumads, having alternative schools for their kin to learn the rudiments of today's education and at the same time to preserve their ways of life in spite of countless repressions. Actually it may sound "left" that these indigenous folks also asserted the same desires as the lowlanders for their right for land and social justice; and as an observer this writer agrees knowing that these folks lived in lands arable, and these arable lands are meant to be preserved, cherished, and given justice so-called "developers" and the system failed to provide so.
Worse, these indigenous folks are targets of these latter entities in all its various names and forms of aggression simply because of their belief if not their will to resist. Come to think of the deaths of Macliing Dulag, Emerito Samarca, Dionel Campos, Juvello Sinzo, or a foreign priest Pops Tentorio, these personages recognises the struggle for land, respect for nature, and social justice.
Anyway, as the music plays on, followed by speeches, and forms of cultural resistance, these indigenous folks, like its lowlander supporters played a role not just to dismantle an antiquated yet indignified social order but to create a society meant to be just, free, and prosperous.