Sometimes, I cannot stop the tears flowing from my eyes. But for every tear I shed, a Lumad may have shed hundreds more.
But how do we count tears?
And how do we fathom
the depth of their pain?
Does one cry only twenty drops of tears
for another Lumad unknown?
Does one cry a hundred more
for an educator like Emok Samarca?
Does one cry 200 more for community
leaders Bello Sinzo or Dionel Campos?
And how does one hold back the tears
when many more are being killed?
Do they also cry for the homes they left behind?
Do they cry for the animals they raised
and the land they worked on almost all their lives?
Do they cry for the bones of their loved
ones buried in their ancestral lands?
And do they cry the most for the
children whose lives and survival are connected to the land?
How can we measure
the compassion that we feel?
How do we ration our responses,
our anger and grief?
How can we be silent in the killing
of innocent and unarmed elders or children?
How can we turn a deaf ear to their
lives and dreams so cruelly taken?
Sometimes, we run out of tears
but we must never run out of words.
To rage and to grieve,
to struggle and to curse.
For prophets use speech
to speak of truths and of visions.
To exorcise evils
and to awaken a nation.