The culture of sharing is key for a sustainable community.
In the past year, we have witnessed how a pandemic has afflicted the people's lives especially the ordinary people, such as factory workers, farmers, fishermen, farm workers, jeepney drivers, and many other wage workers in the city and in the provinces dependent on a meager income.
While many of us suffering from poverty, violence, and oppression in the midst of the pandemic, it seems Covid19 becomes a “Peace and Order” issue in the country, because the government focused on sending police and military in the communities where most of the people needs and priorities in those days were food and medical services.
It is sad to think, that in this way our government has addressed this crisis that we are still facing and experience to this date. It is unfortunate that there are still more people, especially those who are said to be on the borders of our society, who are experiencing "involuntary hunger" which is one of the highest forms of violence.
It is also sad to see and hear some of the other people’s comments to their fellowmen, such as "just follow the law and stay at home" which we do not think we may have a big difference in our ability and status in life.
If you have a decent and large house, complete with food and supplies, with wifi, tv, aircon, with business and savings, and other luxuries in life, then it is probably very easy to say "stay at home"
But have we ever asked ourselves, 'Is their home can really be considered as a home?' What about some families where 1 or 2 meters of their living room is also their bedroom and kitchen? Based on my experience and what I have witnessed last year, many of my neighbors in Buting, Pasig City lost their jobs, we only received assistance once from the local government, and as far as I can remember, it content two kilos of rice and seven canned goods. Now, can you blame a Father or a Mother if they have to go out to make money or look for food? Is it their fault that they became poor? Or it is their fault that they did not save money that’s why they end up in hunger?
Others may be right on this allegation especially if you feel that you are a very hardworking and a good citizen, but have we ever thought that they cannot save or accumulate because the small income of a normal worker is not enough for a daily needs of a couple with a child. It is sad to think that some of us have become judgmental from the point of view for this kind of privilege.
Can't we see that the roots of poverty and violence is because there are people controlling the national funds, natural resources, the price of basic commodities in the market, and because of the unlivable wages? Why there are minimum rate and provincial rate, where there is no difference in the consumption of rice in Metro Manila and in Provinces? The prices of basic commodities are almost the same and sometimes the price is even higher in some provinces.
Having said that, the condition of what we called “key industries” such as water, electricity, main roads, telecommunications, hospitals, which are the basic needs of people, become private and businesses of some oligarchs in the country.
Wages are unlivable, fees are still high for our basic needs that's why normal minimum wage workers stuck in poverty. But if you want to plant to create your own food, there is no land to cultivate. And if there is, they are slowly disappearing, converting farmland and paddy lands to golf courses, malls, and subdivisions, where always affected by the typhoons caused by the “Global warming and Ecological Crisis” due to the constant mining, quarrying, logging to our remaining forests and mountains. It continues to be plowed and raped by huge corporations and our own government agencies such as DENR and NCIP seems to become sales agents or negotiators especially in the Ancestral Lands of our indigenous people. They are the one who's responsible for giving corporations a permission to operate and destroy our natural resources. As you can see, it is really legal to destroy and rape our natural world and the home of our ancestor's which is indigenous people under this system?
So even if we change the president, the problem and crisis that we are facing right now will not end. From our lenses, we believe that it is not an answer to replace the president and to take the political power and build a new state. They might have different faces, but they are in the same coin and have the same sound when they fall. Instead, we are more comfortable and we believe that what we need to do is to remove any "Hierarchical Structure" in the community and society, which is always the root of control, where the constant tendency of this structure is to dominate its fellowmen and other organisms.
We believe that having a community with an autonomy that is based on horizontal relationships, self-determination, respect for others, respect for other organisms, respect for other cultures, respect for nature, and mutual cooperation is one of the most nutritious ingredients for a peaceful and sustainable community.
This coming February 13th we are inviting you to join us in our activities where it promotes and practices the idea of mutual aid or mutual cooperation. We will hold a free market, food sharing, free workshops, film showing, music and art performance, and a solidarity call for Negros Natural Park.
Bahaginan sa Silang
“Sa gabay ng ating mga Ninuno”
Written by: Ja
Produced by: Pirate Studio