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Strangers in Our Own Land

“Mama! Mama! I’m scared! We have to move out now! The water is rising!” nervously shouted my preschool daughter. I hugged her tightly. The frightening darkness and sounds of lightning and thunder raced with the angry rushing waters brought by Typhoon Frank.

Researches revealed that mining operations, illegal logging and land conversions by big local and foreign capitalists are the main causes of flashfloods and landslides. Twenty typhoons hit the Philippines every year. Millions were displaced, hundred were buried alive and billions worth of properties were damaged.

Yet, government continues offering our land to foreign investors with no environmental restrictions. In 2005, the government approved three million hectares for foreign agro-corporations, which includes 60,000 hectares to Pacific Bio-Fields Corp. of Japan.

“Mama, don’t worry. When I grow up, I will find a safe place for us. I will plant trees so there is no flood anymore. Did you hear me Mama?”

“Yes, you will grow up like Mom and Dad. Together, we will work for a government that will give lands to the landless and home for the homeless Filipinos, a government that will protect our lands from hostile strangers. I promise, we will never be strangers in our own land neither helpless victims of disasters forever.”

“Okay Mama,” she whispered. Breathing deeply, I couldn’t hold back my tears inside the crowded evacuation center . I kissed my daughter’s hair as she sleeps on my shoulder waiting for the sunrise.

Comments

JaniceW's picture

So moving

Malayapinas, you move me to tears with the way you weave your personal stories into the issues that face the Filipino people. I have this image in my head of you and your daughter huddled very small in a corner of a building surrounded by destruction, decay and the damage borne from the carelessness of foreign corporations. I hear your daughter's voice break through the darkness like a beacon of light for generations to come. You have provided such powerful role models for her and I know that one day, another generation of your family will touch the lives of many for the better. With best wishes,
Janice

malayapinas's picture

Gracious Thanks

Dear Janice and Jade

I can't hold back my tears . Once again.you too move me with your voices. Everyday you give me full of affirmative emotions, giving me more confidence sharing in writing my stories. Excitement and inspiration is building me up - in my journey for woman's journalism. I promise my daughter yesterday that this short story is for her and she read this many times before my posting. She's excited to see this in my journal , I will show to her your messages. My journal is also my gift to her and to my son. This will be my lifetime memories for them . A life time living diary. I hope someday I can make a book from this. A gift for women of all times and a gift to my self.

My gracious thanks,
malaya

jadefrank's picture

So sad, yet so hopeful

Hi Malayapinas,

I was so happy to see that you submitted your story of Land. This is a beautiful story of your relationship with your daughter, of the uncertainty of the land and the future due to man's disregard for its protection, and a story of hope that we can create change and leave our children with a brighter hope for the future of our planet and the future of humanity. Thank you for sharing this very personal story.

Love,
Jade

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