IN EXPRESSING opinion, it is always done in prose. This time for a change, let me do it in poetry as the outpourings of words do not just come from the mind but direct from the heart. This gives more credence to that adage in the Little Prince that “it is only through the heart that one can see clearly, what is essential is invisible to the eye.”
That supreme force in the Universe called love beacons all of us in the cooperative movement to exemplify the spirit of oneness irrespective of color, creed or class as we are all in fact, the sons and daughters of Mindanao.
It now behooves upon us to shed-off our apathy, unlike that frog that was boiled-up to death because it cannot detect temperature changes. You know that experiment in Biology 101? It runs something like this.
You take a frog and put it in a pot of cold water. Put the pot on a stove and turn it on to start boiling. As the water in the pot gradually heats up, you tell the frog to jump, to save itself, but the frog, if it can talk, will just ask, “What is it that you are talking about? Nothing is wrong, I’m okay.” So, it will just sit there until it is boiled up to death.
In the past, we are just like that frog in many ways. We lost our forest and mega-diversity, we acted as if nothing was wrong. We lost our seas and rivers and all of our ecological integrity, we just didn’t mind. As poverty worsens and oppressive systems and structures are turning-on the heat, we seem not to care to democratize wealth and power.
Today, we cannot afford to lose even that most essential value in life, peace and unity, otherwise, we will lose everything. We now take heed of the many sufferings visited upon our people and we now declare that enough is enough, even through this simple poem:
Oh Mindanao, where ecological wealth abounds!
So rich in fisheries, agriculture, forests and mines,
Where beauties do not end at the shorelines,
But in the Mindanawons’ courageous hearts and minds.
There, in the land of the brave and the free,
Amidst nature bounties lies hunger and poverty;
Why a few with so much to enjoy?
Yet the many with too little or nothing at all!
Each shapes the Mindanao we hold dear,
Behooving upon us to shed-off apathy and fear.
Now listen to the cries of the multitude,
Hear what they agonize in their solitude:
“Oh, give me food, be it burnt or stale,
It kills the fire in my stomach,
In exchange, take whatever you like,
I could surrender my freedom or life for food,
With little food, I can start the day before sunrise.
I can shake out the knotted hair of the stormy sea.
Love, sadness, thought, I set at nothing.
I will give all for food.”
Empowerment of the poor & the oppressed the solution,
Let us dismantle structures of social exclusion,
To put the people in the mainstream of progress,
Let us wage coop revolution for social justice & peace.
SHALOM, let us embrace one another in the spirit of oneness,
A million coop voices to illuminate darkness,
For we are all waves of one sea and leaves of one tree,
We now must unite, otherwise we all fall in demise.