Is there hope for this country? Of course, but you won’t find it in our “leaders” or in our politicians.
Instead, you will find it in ordinary people like the Higaonon farmers of Sumilao, Bukidnon who walked (and are walking) from Mindanao to Manila.
Why are they doing this? Are they crazy? Of course not. They are doing this historic walk to ask the government to give them titles to their land. Under the agrarian reform law, this land should have been awarded to them years ago.
Why wasn’t it awarded to them? Because agrarian reform in the Philippines is a joke; this is a country where farmers continue to be landless and where lazy landowners continue to live their lives playing golf and polo. You know, living off the fat of the land.
So where’s the hope in this? One, the fact that the farmers are not just sitting down and complaining about their fate. And two, the fact that they have adopted a creative non-violent method of expressing their demands. Let’s watch them walk in the videos below.
In Mindanao: Here’s a video of the group during the early days of their march:
In the Visayas: The farmers cross the San Juanico bridge which connects the islands of Samar and Leyte. It is heartening to note in this video that there were some local support groups who marched with the Sumilao farmers.
Neither strong rains nor muddy roads will stop the farmers in their quest.
In Luzon: Here, the Sumilao farmers enter the province of Camarines Sur.
The farmers will be in Manila today or tomorrow. Will government officials listen and give the farmers what is due them?
Note: This was originally published here but I messed it up when I was working with the WordPress template. Instead of just deleting it, I decided to move it here.