Entering Advent, finding “community and worship” outside of “Church”

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Ok so, Advent’s here and as someone who grew up going to church, this was always a fun time of year. Something I counted down too. Time to prepare for Jesus birth, to reflect and continue to get excited for the year to come. In middle school and high school, we’d gather in a church member’s barn the Sunday evening before Christmas with hot cider and blankets to hear the story of Jesus birth “where” he was born.

Then as I’ve grown up, I’ve watched Advent, the season of waiting become more and more about the season of purchases, consumers, and how “big” and theater can we make our churches.

**The following is a personal reflection of where I’m at this advent season, and where I am finding space and time to worship and talk with God. It is no way meant to call out anyone specifically. My prayer is though that it will change you to think and if you connect with it to take action (and reach out and connect). For this world will only grow stronger when we let go of our differences to build true peace and justice for all community bringing heaven to earth.**

This year as Advent approached I wasn’t even totally aware that it was right around the corner. Instead, I’ve watched fear build up in my community, to be replaced with deeper commitments for actions. I’ve sat a numerous conference calls planning how we can respond as the violence and intimidation against our im/migrant communities increases. Read reports and stories from people who call themselves Christian but who then in their next sentence attack the im/migrant, muslim, LGBT, women communities that surround them.

Sat on late night Facebook chats with friends and kasamas back in the Philippines who are preparing for the arrival of indigenous people to the city to bring their struggles, who are struggling for the release of over 400 political prisoners who the government promised to release months ago, while remembering the martyrs who died trying to fight for true just and lasting peace under Dictator Marcos to the present and the Philippine supreme court recognized Dictator Marcos as someone who could be buried as a hero despite the numerous human rights violations committed under his dictatorship. Facebook Live attended seminars for migrant workers from Philippines and Indonesia to get caught up on the numerous changes of law that effect them and how they can continue to organize to support each other and changes these laws. I’ve watched beautiful and moving cultural presentations highlighting their cultural back home and the struggles they face as migrant domestic workers.

Heard first hand testimonies about the struggle for land and water from indigenous people from the Philippines, Palestine, and right here in America. How communities who finally were able to return back home after months of forced evacuations due to militarization of their communities are now suffering from basic illness and still have limited access to medication and health care.

Its hard to say the least, to find centering this advent season in worship services where its about raising our hands to praise God, how big is the Sunday morning “show”, or where its about time to move on and work together not be upset about the current situation.

I have no doubt that Jesus is crying right now, in the way Christians are responding and acting to the suffering of our brothers and sisters. In this advent season I’m finding the hope, love, joy, and peace in this season outside of formal Church spaces, away from folks who are really good actors and more about being real in community.

I’m finding HOPE in the faces of the workers we serve. HOPE in the survivors of human trafficking who are now educating each other and reaching out to their own communities and families. Having moved from fear to strength and welcomed their families to the US, the smiles in the airport of first arrivals, the laughter of remembering what its like to be a parent again, and introducing their families to the community they organize with. These moments give me HOPE.

LOVE is in the communities that welcome me in no questions asked. In my “west coast holiday” family that every year since I arrived as welcomed me into their family celebrations, catching up on life, while breaking bread together. LOVE is the moments when the world feels like its crashing down around you and your kasamas stop what they are doing to check-in about what’s really going on while finding ways to continue to support each other. LOVE is sharing the same life-giving commitment to a just peace for all and doing whatever it takes collectively to get one step closer to that each day.

There’s JOY in the air as we celebrate the holidays together. In the first shared moments from the young child who was just reunited with her father as I chased her through the park she giggled on an on. There’s JOY in the countdowns till she gets to go home and we’re remained of what grounds us in our work. And yes there’s JOY in the late night meetings and early morning coffee taking a few moments to truly check-in before continuing on with the growing list of task. We’re not in this alone. And yes there is also JOY in my name, lol.

So, I’m finding PEACE this advent in knowing there’s a growing community working for a just and lasting peace for everyone, not just the ending of violence but a peace with justice. PEACE in that the struggle of the Filipino people continues onward toward that just and lasting peace. PEACE in that struggle for justice for the Native Americans in Standing Rock and the protection of all water is continuing in growing numbers. PEACE this season, isn’t about the absence of violence but about the community that working toward Peace with justice and knowing that we’re continuing together onward into 2017.

This advent, I’m finding worship in the small moments, the laughter, the coffee, and stolen photos. The intentional moments to reconnect and build relationships is where I’m finding the Holy Spirit is moving in deep and challenging ways. Not in the four walls of a Church but out in the community exactly where Jesus lived and was born.

So I think this Advent I’m learning more about how Jesus calls us to follow in his footsteps out into the edges of the world and to stay and grow in those communities.

**I welcome any reflections or comments to this, in the comment section or feel free to reach out to me personally**

“Reality and Hope” My sermon 11.20.16

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In light of the past few weeks I’m going to do something that is somewhat out of the ordinary for my blog following the slightly out of the ordinary process leading up to this morning. I’m going to share my sharing I preached this morning at the Church In Ocean Park here in California. The pastor reached out Friday night asking ” I really need to bring some reality but also some hope this Sunday. Do you know anyone who can bring both?” Our conversation continued and by the end of it, I had agreed to preach a few days later. Turns out God really had a message on my heart, as this is probably one of the shortest turn arounds I’ve agreed to, but one of the few sharings that has come so naturally and so personally as of late. Below is what I shared this morning:

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Good Morning! Magandang Umaga! Thank you very much for inviting me to share with you today. My name is Joy Prim and I’m orginaly from North Carolina but I found my way to Southern California via Hong Kong, where I served as a Young Adult United Methodsit Missionary with Migrant Domestic Workers from Philippines and Indonesia. Where from 2011-2013, I too was a migrant worker, I don’t identify as an ex-pat as many others from western countries do, instead I to identify as a migrant worker someone who left their country to find work. Having left my home country to move overseas to find work.

I spent my week days working at our walk-in centre and shelter, counseling workers on their rights. This included such things as how to file for unpaid contractual claims against their employers. I did this while encouraging the worker to stand up on her own. I spent Sundays, the most common day off for domestic workers, with Filipino migrant worker organizations along Chater Road. This is a road that runs through the central business district in Hong Kong and is closed to traffic on Sundays. There, outside the stores, along the shoulders of the street and overflowing into the street, thousands of Filipino domestic workers gather to enjoy their only day off each week

Over 95% of the migrant domestic workers in Hong Kong are Women. In early 2013, i moved here to Southern California where I continue to work with Filipino Migrant Workers, youth, and victims of Human Trafficking and their families as part of the staff of the FIlipino Migrant Center, a community based non-profit organization located just down the 405 in Long Beach, but serving the FIlipino community from the Valley to Border, and the beach cities to the Inland Empire.

As I’ve learned more and more about the situation in the Philippines and the Filipino people’s on going struggle for true peace and justice and National Democracy for everyone. I’ve not only developed a deep appreciation for their struggle that’s led by the workers, the peasants, the most oppressed classes of people and a struggle that works to ensure that those who have little have enough, and those who have excess have just enough.

But have learned so much about myself and became more of the women God wants me to be. Shedding the “perfect quiet, southern girl” imagine that I had grown up with now becoming politically concious, a community organizer, and learning more about myself each day. Now five years into discovering and living my calling. Ang aking puso ko ay Pilipino (my heart is Filipino). May inspiration ko ay mga masa. (My inspiration is the masses).

Growing up in the church loving the stranger in our communities, welcoming everyone, and caring for our neighbor was a regular sermon.  Something I thought knew well and practiced reguarly. But it wasn’t until I was the migrant worker overseas did I really learn what God meant. That is do all these things with no expectation for anything in return but because thats what our God did for us. The migrant workers in Hong Kong opened their arms to welcome me no strings attached.  And stayed there alongside me as I shed my shyness to become an active member of the community.

Language barriers weren’t going to stop them though they did result in some hilarious attempts of me trying to speak Tagalog, relgious differences didn’t matter instead these were powerful moments of education for each other, what mattered was a passion for justice and the end of the 2nd class of people that Hong Kong had legalized for the migrant domestic workers.

Yes, a legal 2nd class exisit that leaves the migrant community almost invisible to the locals and other ex-pats, full of oppressive laws that are used to pass further oppressive laws. But yet they had formed a deep community that truly welcomed anyone who ventured into it to learn, to be, to connect with the Spirit, to seek assistance, and to work for justice.

Coming back to this US, my passport country, i was blessed to stay within this migrant community. The 2nd class of people isn’t as outrightly ovious here as it was in Hong Kong. It still is very present though I don’t think I really need to tell you all that. Yes now I was the “local” who had full access. But by now my heart and soul had learned what it meant to welcome the stranger.

To stand in the gap created by society and to be in community with those who are different but are united for peace and justice for all people. Where yes we give up some things to allow the growth of the community but in doing so and shedding the excess the others has thrust upon us that we don’t actually need we find ourselves closer, in deeper community, and more where God wants us to be.

A clearer reminder of this came my first day here in SoCal, one of my coworkers picked me up from the airport, and took me to her house where I had been told I would temporaringly be staying until long-term housing could be arranged. For both FMC and me it was important for to come out and get involved in the work even if the logisitics weren’t quite all finished. So when we arrived at the apartment, I had assumed I would be sleeping on the couch, logically i was only there temporaringly.

But instead my coworker welcomed me into her bedroom, apogloized that we would have to still share a closet, and quietly moved the rest of her stuff out of the room. She was the one who who would be sleeping on the couch. That night I cried at the deep gesture of hospitality and went back and forth for weeks feeling bad that I had just pushed her out of her room but not knowing how to start that conversation.

As I waited for my housing to be finalized, that short term stay of no more than four weeks became six weeks, became nine weeks. And as we neared the end of that third month, I sat down with my coworker (and roommate) to check in about how my first few months here in SoCal were. And as we talked I shared my feelings about “taking” her room.

With a smile she pointed out the ovious fact that I wouldn’t fit on the couch and we continued to get to know each other. Hours later that conversation would finish with heart felt decisions no longer moving out, instead deciding that I had become part of the community and therefore there was no need for other housing. So we continued to share the closet and the space in the room as we built community. But I couldn’t help time and time again to wonder, if she was really an angel for what a clearer way to welcome the stranger.

Now fast forward 3.5 years, and that coworker is now one of my closest friends here in SoCal and we’ve shared many more deep conversations and quite alot of both happy and sad tears. We’ve traveled the world together a couple times and have developed a deep friendship rooted in our love for the people and welcoming the migrant. She is a clear example of how my community is there to hold me accountable when I commit to doing something, to offer helpful critisim and feedback on how I can improve, and someone who I can turn to when it feels like the world is being turned up side down. Living her life as a humble example she continues to keep me grounded in why I got into this work and on the hard days why we must continue to serve the people, the migrant workers here in the US and the direct connections back to the Philippines in the struggle for peace and justice.

Serving as the Filipino Migrant Center Direct Services Coordinator, I’ve worked with over 35 victims of human trafficking. 20 of whom escaped their traffickers over three years before they found us. Living in the undocumented shadows knowing what happened to them was wrong but not knowing what to call it or that they had any legal opitons. Instead hearing the threats of deportation, and the dislike of im/migrant communities and moving deeper into the shadows. Until they either saw us in the media or met another client and decided to try one more time.

As I sat down to write by sharing for this morning, a flood of emotions from the past months came flooding back. Living in my community, I’ve had a unique view of this election. Now with real fear rising in the community, my friends, survivors of trafficking and their families are in the forefront of my mind.

This week, I’ve been talking with many of our workers, survivors of trafficking and their families. Their fear is real. They are parents who havn’t been able to see their children in over 6 years, who now are scared that their children are not gonna be allowed into this country despite having survived human trafficking and been approved for their T-Visas (immigration relief given to victims of human trafficking and their immediate relatives).  Their voice scared but she stands strong. Readying themselves with the knowledge of the law. To calm their fears into knowledge that they can share with others.

The conversation continued, how do we educate the community about their rights, provide a safe place for their children to develop friendships and understand whats going on in the world around them, and prepare for the unknown of what was to come. As someone who actually had any say-so in the elections. I was struck as the workers shared that they had no time to be sad, disappointed or upset about the outcome.

Instead, they were moved through their fear to action: to check-in with each other, to begin to organize, to strengthen their community to not be stuck in fear or sadness but to be able to move ahead. Their mindset stuck with me. Migrants who are set to be impacted the most their response was turning to their community, collective action not sadness or paralyzing fear.

It is this same spirit of collective community that gathered at the airport early Monday morning. Together we were welcoming two families to the United States after over seven years of seperation. The fathers victims of human trafficking, specifically labor trafficking, are two of the survivors we’ve been working with at the Filipino Migrant Center.

Now some of our worker leaders they continue to share their story and inspire other workers to come out of the shadows not just to seek help but to also speak out about their realities. Through the morning they paced, chatting, sharing memories of their departure from Manila. Their families having not flown much they wondered, were they nervous, scared, was their any issues with immigration.

We waited watching group of people after group of people come by nothing. Then their families came around the corner into view. And their were screams and smiles, and the treasured “Daddy is that you” as the families made it to the exits. The next 10 minutes were full of hugs and tears. As couples reunited able to embrace each other for the first time. Children who were barely old enough to remember them now walking, talking, and full of stories couldn’t get over how their fathers looked in real life. Was it the same as they remembered, had skype conversations done anyone justice.

As we the organizers took photos and stayed back, we turned to each other with smiles and looks of understanding these reunions were always emotional. But there was extra emotions about these. After the previous week, to be able to stand here, welcoming families to this country full of smiles and laughs. Was not only needed but a real reminder that there is hope and together we will overcome and achieve our dream at FMC.

You see we dream of the day when families will not be torn apart by urgent need for survival. We dream and will actively work for a society where there is equal opportunity to live a decent and humane life. It’s a simple dream but one we know we have a ways to go both here in the US and in the Philippines.

We see our work here with Filipino migrants directly connected back to the situation in the Philippines. Where more than 6,000 people leave the country every day to find work due to the extreme poverty and lack of jobs in the country. So we also are engaged in Human Rights work back in the Philippines as well. And as I’ve processed this week and worked to reground myself in why I continue to do this work, thats not easy. I found my way back to a poem I wrote this past summer while I was on our annual Interfaith Medical and Soldarity Mission to the Philippines. As a thank you to the kasamas (comrades) who hosted us. These kasamas who have sacrificed so much to organize and live as one with the people.

A quiet step, shoulder tap, chance to meet in person
The prep behind the scenes
Not one for the spotlight, but for the love of the people
Ensuring all are fed, the people are taken care of
Always ready for an ED
Breaking down the struggles of the Filipino people for all who pass by
Learning from the workers, the peasants, the poor
Behind the scenes, not one in front
Humbly serving the people
Showing respect for all in the struggle
Conversations challenging mindsets
Redefining simple living
Admitting privledges that exisit that can sometimes can seem normal
Quietly ensuring that others feel supported, connected to the struggle
The simple choice of words late at night
Brings you back across the Pacific
Reminding you, we’re fighting the same struggle
The workshop, community visit, cultural caravan, church visit or peace forum
Working toward the same goal
The kasamas with a quiet reminder we’re in this together
So we should get to know each other
Not loosing sight of the masa
But to allow us to all better serve them
Whether in the cities
Or out into the countryside
Where the peasants struggle for land is primary
Indigenous People who understand land is life
Refuse to be quieted instead are doing whatever it takes to protect the land
Learning to work collectively to benefit the whole community
Living life by example
Teaching through words and actions
A new song, a laugh and telling the real history
Challenging me to continue
to remold
To learn
To let go of my fears
To live my life in Jesus footsteps
To find my place in the struggle

I share this today that our work is far from done and there is much more to go. But our struggles are connected and the only way we will win is by coming together in Solidarity with each other. 

We’re deeply concerned both for our kasamas on the ground and the steady increase of migrant workers and human trafficking survivors who continue to come forward. The families who just arrived have real needs to be taken care of including as simple as finding clothing as the weather is getting cooler and learning that they aren’t alone in this country. We remain steadfast in our commitment both to always welcome the migrant and serve them the best we can here in the US and as human rights defenders drawing attention to the situation back in the Philippines.

The struggle is far from over. In closing let me share a quote I believe is ever more relevant now here in the US than ever.  “If you have come here to help me, you are wasting your time. But if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together.”


Marmaing Salamat!

NanNoWriMo third times the charm

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Since winning NaNoWriMo in 2011, I’ve wanted to try again. And have tried, since moving to SoCal twice now. But both times, political work and schedules got the best of us. Things like super typhoons just took all our time in responding to the needs of the people. So now, we’re trying it again. This year with accountability and kasamas from around the country (or at least two states😉 ), this year its not just about trying to write 50,000 words like I did back in 2011 but instead its about the accountability to write.

Back from my month long trip home to the Philippines and Hong Kong, I haven’t done much writing and that’s something I want to change. There are still unfinished poems and reflections I started that need to get done. And parts of other poems and reflections starting in my head, that need to get out. So this month is about being intentional to take the time to write, to reflect, and to share more of my experiences. And we’ll see if it turns out to be closer to 50,000 words or if its about the process of writing as the month progresses. But for now, before I go register on the website to officially join the craziness and see what’s going on in the local area. Here’s a reflection that I’m gonna be sharing tomorrow with First UMC of San Gabriel at their Dinner church in relationship to my previous blog post about my time in Manila.

Somewhere over the Pacific Ocean and the Philippines. Incredibly thankful for my time with NCCP, getting to build more with kasamas. Can’t seem to shake this feeling of pure (re)grounding and being jolted out of more of my petty b tentencies and into the people. Especially around my ample belongings and remembering those who have so little and yet ensuring and finding ways to share. Its time to start letting go and really reshaping into collective simple living more and more.  I can’t help but think back to the time in the bible when Jesus sent out the disciples two by two. Telling them to take nothing with them but their tunic they wear, their tsinelas for their feet, and a walking stick. In the book of Mark chapter 6 verses 7-10 it states:

” He called the twelve and began to send them out two by two, and gave them authority over the unclean spirits. He ordered them to take nothing for their journey except a staff; no bread, no bag, no money in their belts; but to wear sandals and not to put on two tunics.  He said to them, “Wherever you enter a house, stay there until you leave the place.”

The verses were on my mind as I thought back to the organizers we had met who were organizing the youth, the urban poor, the students. Those who had left lives of comfort and or peace to live with the people, the poor, the farmers, the workers, to come along side the people on the front lines of their struggle. Using college degrees, and education not to advance their own lives but to give back to the people. To advance their country toward true justice for everyone.

These modern day disciples, were going out collectively in a small groups all around the country from the cities to the country side. Sometimes not sure where their next meal would come from but with trust in the people and their collective to survive. They are organizers. To take care of them. A trust to build relationships, to struggle together, to advance the rights of the people toward a true just and lasting peace and the rights of all the people. Just like Jesus called the disciples to do.

Cast out demons = call out landlords, corrupt politicians and those who take advantage of the people & the land, heal people = ensure everyone has access to basic health care, care for creation = protect the land from multi national mining companies

Manila Reflections

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The piece I started working on during the first leg of the August International Interfaith and Medical Mission. Its a reflection on my time spent in Manila and the internal challenge i was already feeling before we left for Mindanao and the kasamas who i met and who hosted the team. I recently finished it now being back for a few months, and have debated sharing it. But as I’m trying to share more of my writing, and October is almost over without a blog posting. Decided in the end to post.

To the organizers, kasamas, and friends i met in Manila, Maraming Salamat!

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A quiet step, head turn, chance to meet in person
The prep behind the scenes
Not one for the spotlight, but for the love of the people

Ensuring all are fed, the people are taken care of
Always ready for an ED
Breaking down the struggles of the Filipino people for all who pass by
Learning from the workers, the peasants, the poor

Behind the scenes, not one in front
Humbly serving the people
Showing respect for all in the struggle

Conversations challenging mindsets
Redefining simple living
Admitting privledges that exisit that can sometimes can seem normal
Quietly ensuring that others feel supported, connected to the struggle
The simple choice of words late at night
Brings you back across the Pacific
Reminding you, we’re fighting the same struggle

The workshop, community visit, cultural caravan, church visit or peace forum
Working toward the same goal
The kasamas with a quiet reminder we’re in this together
So we should get to know each other
Not loosing sight of the masa
But to allow us to all better serve them

Whether in the cities
Or out into the countryside
Where the peasants struggle for land is primary
National Minorities who understand land is life
Refuse to be quieted instead are doing whatever it takes to protect the land
Learning to work collectively to benefit the whole community
Living life by example
Teaching through words and actions
A new song, a laugh and telling the real history

Challenging me to continue
to remold
To learn
To let go of my shyness
To live my life in Jesus footsteps
To find my place in the struggle

Picture of our Manila leg August team during our last evening before heading to Mindanao

Where is 2016 gone?

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Jetlag has stopped lingering and disappeared finally.
Now its just the heat that zapping my energy

The boxes have arrived
It only took them nearly 2 months

And the pauses in the processing
Have gone, now internalizing the lessons from all

Remembering the all to familiar feelings
Of reverse culture shock and embracing them

There are task to do, sharing to prepare, and meetings to attend to. There is traffic to deal with thats no where as bad as Manila, quiet reminders of simple living, and challenges to take us further. There are one-on-ones scheduled, check-ins as part of the day to day, and a moment to just be thankful for kasamas.

In the coming weeks, the Peace Talks resume and education needs to happen so more can know whats going on. Report backs are coming from all the missions sharing about our experiences. There are churches to share with, relationships to flourish, and solidarity in action.

Lifes not slowing down, instead with each blink 2016 is flying by.
Taking advantage of the time at hand before its gone.

So as September comes to an end, and October is just over the “hump” of this week. Thankful for relationships growing deeper, and check-ins that come naturally. Here’s to closing 2016 full steam ahead for a true and lasting peace in the Philippines.

She Cries

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She Cries

Tear by tear releasing emotions she had almost forgot she had.
Recounting the moment when the guns went off.
Digging deep she overcomes the hunger pains
Stay focused on the reality, one day again it will rain
Deep breath, she dug deep moving in finding her inner strength
Knowing that she had to find, her family. Get her community to safety
If something happened, what was the briefing??
In the moment everyone just fleeing
For now, she’s got to check-in on her community
Whose missing? Is everyone where they were supposed to be?
Weeks later as she recounts that day, finally the tears fall

And she Cries

“I’m Bracing for it”

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The comment came so almost normally as we headed back the Conference center for lunch in the official start of the ICHRP  General Assembly. Some of us had gone to express our Solidarity with the Lumad and people’s organizations who were protesting the killing of one of their leaders just days earlier in Davao City. The last speaker a local organizer had joined us in the jeepney as he was coming back to join us for the conference and events. Others shared how he had come into his current position and he chimed in giving more context and information. As he finished “I’m bracing for it” finished his thoughts. Bracing for the possibility of his governments harassment or worse for him doing peace with justice work and in speaking out for human rights.

As the scene replayed in my head over the following weeks, and especially now that I’ve returned. The following I wrote over my last few days in Mindanao with the students of CTCSMI as I sat late and night and in the afternoon rest time trying to beat the heat.

Just Peace

“I’m Bracing for it”
He shared quickly following
“But I know I have to do it, para sa masa.”

Not new to Human Rights work
But the regional he’d only been for a few months
His next question catching me by surprise “Why do you do it?”

Through the streets of Davao
in the light of the jeepney I shared stories of OFW’s surviving
of learning their rights and becoming SURVIVORS not victims of trafficking

Of sitting & Listening as Lumad leaders brought real time up dates
Through tears, and smiles from on the ground back home
and the laughter of creating hashtag reminders #fastenseeatbelt #walanagseatbelt and the moment LAKAD! became a challenge to step up our organizing.

Now the question echoes each day
The response growing, a simple answer
How do meet the people, and not doing it?

One the journey down the beach
When he broke the silence
“Do they have trees like this in your place Ate?”

We shared stories about life, family, as youth
Moments of Struggles of organizing
Finding victories accomplished along the way

A mutual understanding must stay
Serving the people, is the calling
His young age, willingness to share, to serve, for family

That’s why, for a better future para sa mga bata
Why I organize for peacee and justice
For a Just Peace

The nanay who lit the candles
Through the flickering light
Sharing how the Dole Plantation has impacted her life

Having built her house
4 grandchildren later, she no longer farms
But does what she can for all to survive

Each night, her house full of laughter
Safe space, a roof, a room for high schoolers
Who can’t afford to go home daily, if they want to stay in school

Her compassion, welcoming spirit, sharing all she had
That’s why, why I organize for peace and justice
For a Just Peace

The Indigenous Lumad and Moro youth
Opening their lives, sharing experiences
Not afraid to share the challenges

But with a confidence in their voice
Knowing their education is their right
Refusing to quit, to give up, to take no as answer

It’s a struggle not just for their future
But their families, tribes, and communities
For all their lives through protecting their ancestral lands

Their strength their willing never quiet
Inspiring us around the world
Teaching us true meanings of Solidarity

From tribes around Mindanao they come
Learning about each other, each step of the way
Overcoming differences, to work toward a united future

The laughter sounding through the corn field
Like the flickering light of fireflies at night
Grounding us, reminding that the future is bright

Their stories, teachings of real Solidarity
That is why, why I organize for peace and justice
For a just peace

No matter what they news reports say
Its the first hands accounts, the friendship
Real experiences to challenge us

That us forward each day
The question of only 4 weeks ago
Has so many answers ngayon

I organize para sa mga masa
For my heart found a place, our freedoms linked
In deep solidarity, i continue to organize

Organize for Just Peace
Until both justice and peace
Are the reality in Philippines and people everywhere