“I don’t know how to read; I don’t know how to write; but this I tell you: I was brought up in a tribe where people knows how to respect beyond diversity and care for the integrity of creation.” –Lumad Massacre Survivor
- Lumad. Lumad is an umbrella term for all the natives that are living in a certain place. The plight that goes with the hashtag #stoplumadkillings covers all the ethnic groups found in the mountains of Mindanao who are brutally massacred by military and paramilitaries.
- Mountains. Most of the areas where the Lumads live are very rich when it comes to soil and everything underneath it. The soil is rich in minerals that would allow different kinds of plants to grow – such as rice and corn. Underneath this very rich soil is a magnanimous deposit of gold and other minerals such as manganese, iron, nickel, and many more – the very reason why a lot of mining industries would want to own their lands.
- Encampment. As of this moment, the Lumads are in the plains where they seek shelter in parishes and gymnasiums of Surigao and some other provinces of Mindanao since their communities up in the mountains are occupied by militaries – AFPs. Most of the Lumads – teachers, chieftains (Datu) and civilians – who have spearheaded the fight for justice are already dead and more have been killed as you are reading this entry.
- Abuse. In the culture of these Lumad, women are treated with high regards. Men are not allowed to touch them, most especially their body parts, and according to their tradition, those who do are doomed to marry the women whom they failed to follow the procedures. However, with the presence of militaries in the mountains, cases of abuse, maltreatment, and rape has been happening in increasing number.
- Fight. There are actually three things that the Lumads are fighting for that’s why they are currently having the Lakbayan: a. Pullout the military who are in the mountains so that they can go back to the mountains; b. Disarm the paramilitaries; and c. Dismiss the charges that are filed against those who spearheaded the plight of Lumads.
The land of the the Lumads are their lives. It is the place where they get their food, shelter and most of their resources. If we get it from them, I believe you already know what would happen to them.