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Lumad: Understanding the Issue.

Published Agosto 4, 2017 by jptan2012

Although, I have made some political forecast on this blog, this blog has never been political. One of the latest ‘political’ forecast I have written is about the 2016 Philippine presidential elections. Both my forecast regarding the presidential and vice – presidential results both came true. As I have said, those are forecast and although it is about politics, the nature of the post is not political.

Today, however, I’m going to write about something that may be perceived as highly political. I want to write about the plight of the Lumads. If you are a Filipino who have watched or been up to date about the current political situation in the Philippines, you would have heard about the Lumads. In fact, the Lumads has supported President Rodrigo Duterte in the last election. However, recently just before the State of the Nation Address (SONA) one of their leaders has come out and blatantly said that they regret supporting PDuts and that it was a wrong decision fro them to do so. Consistent with the President’s personality, if you criticize him, he will attack you, and so he did and said that he will bomb all the Lumad schools because they are run by NPAs. Since the announcement, the DND Secretary has since announced that no such move will be made.

After the SONA, I have heard of people attacking the Lumads, but upon probing they seem not aware of who the Lumads are and what are their plight. And so I have decided to write about Lumads and their sad plight. Please note that some parts of the post might be perceived as critical or as highly political. The truth is as much as I want to avoid being political there are truths that can’t be avoided and I do have to write about it, these truths, unfortunately, are political in nature.

So here’s a brief on the struggle of the Lumads.

Lumad is a generic term for all Mindanaoan tribes but I think this excluded all Muslim tribes. .

As tribes their ancestral lands have been threatened many times, on different issues, and by different groups.

Their usual struggle are with loggers, big and small scale, mining companies, big and small scale, etc. To put it simply, any group or anybody who threatens their ancestral lands is also a threat to the Lumads. For years they are being driven out of their ancestral lands to the point that they no longer have stability and peace. Different groups now reach out to the tribes – religious groups (Catholic and Protestant), International and Local NGOs. Government agencies are not as aggressive in helping, if not totally not felt.

Education is also a challenge because DepEd does not put up schools in remote communities. They expect the IPs (Indigenous People) to walk kilometers on end, and expect them to blend with non IPs.

Aside from the fact that DepEd’s curriculum is not IP friendly. It does not have special subjects on culture, tradition, and other IP related issues, which are very important to help them maintain their identity and culture.

Being so, different groups, in different areas different groups have opened IP schools, with volunteer teachers being given “allowances” only. Some teachers are really LET passers that doesn’t have the privilege of having backers at the DepEd and are unable to get a job. So instead of working as cashiers, store clerk or house maids, etc, they’d rather teach even if they only go home 1x, 2x a month and receive only allowance.

The curriculum in these schools are more sensitive to IPs. Of course, there’s emphasis on environmental protection like it’s not proper to cut down trees, and one should take care of rivers, seas, and mountains.

There are ares where the oppressors are aggressive. Mining companies that have driven out IPs maintain PAGs or Private Armed Groups which co exist with the local Phil Army. PAGs have high – end ammo, sometimes they are even than what the army carries. Several of my friends has seen some of them carrying AK -47.

In areas of Davao del Norte, Surigao del Sur, mining companies are trying to explore “other” sites, which are ancestral lands of the Lumads. These are also the sites where the oppressors are more aggressive.

Lumads doesn’t have any weapons, unless bolos are counted, but they only use it for their daily life like chopping bamboos.. Lumads are generally peaceful tribes or people. They’re not warriors like the Tausugs. So when threatened, they NEED to look for help. So when they become vulnerable because of a threatening situation, they don’t have much choice but to ACCEPT the help of the NPA. The Lumads also admit that there are a few ‘renegade’ Lumads that are being recruited by the PAGs. Of course, in situations like this, money is involved. These renegade Lumads turn their back on their tribe.

As mentioned Priest and Nuns also help the Lumads. The nuns who sells Turmeric Powder, they usually get it from the Lumad communities.

Of course, each group has it’s own approach. The church usually helps in education, livelihood and spirituality. The NPAs provide protection and security.

At this point I would like to make it clear that there is no way I condole violence and support the ideology of the NPA.

2 years ago, a foreign owned mining company that seems to have ties with a Congressman from Visayasdrove out and burned a community in Surigao which they have been wanting to EXPLORE but the Lumads have tried so hard to protect. Because of this the PAGs killed the executive director and 2 volunteer teachers in Surigao IN FRONT of the whole Lumad community. PAGs with the local Army (of course they denied), gathered the whole community, separated the men, women, children they then slit the throat of the ED, then gun down 2 teachers in full view of the shocked Lumads.

Governor Pimentel (although some say he is also connected with Mining companies) took the thousands of Lumads and housed them for over a year at the provincial sports complex. He challenged the national agencies (NBI, PNP, AFP) to arrest and disarm the PAGs.

The national agencies said, why didn’t the police of the Governor arrest them? But according to the governor the .38 caliber of their police is literally rusty, how can they fight with PAGs with AK47!

Anyway, no apprehension was ever made.

It is sad that lately the Lumads are evacuating the area again because they are being harassed either by PAGs or the Army.

This problem has been existing for quite some time, and it is difficult to put the blame on a single administration. However, it is also clear that mining is one of the main reason of this attrition. But so far, mining continues, despite of the pronouncement that the administration is against it, it does continue to these days. Gina Lopez was supposed to be the hope and savior of the Lumads, but her efforts were put to an end when the Commission on Appointments didn’t approved her, and it is perceived that the president didn’t put pressure on CA to have her approved.

Anyway, so every so often, this is what happens to the Lumads. PAGs will threaten Lumad communities, the church will help, but when violence erupts it really are the NPAs who help them.

The Army is said to hate the IP schools because IP kids become more intelligent and know their right because of the IP schools.

Before I end this post, I would like to state that this is how I understand it, but please feel free to learn more about it by doing your independent research. I would like to stress here, I don’t mean to put what the NPAs are doing in a good light, neither do I support any form of violence, be it from the rebel or from the government. I also don’t support the ideology of the NPAs.

For questions, comments, and suggestions please email sanaakosirickylee@gmail.com

 

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White Tara: An Emanation of Goddess Tara that Grants Fertility, Longevity, and Helps Overcome Life’s Hardships

Published Setyembre 2, 2013 by jptan2012

More than a year ago, I wrote about Goddess Tara who is one of the most revered Goddess in Tibetan Buddhism. Regular readers of this blog would know that she is considered as a The Mother of Swift Liberation because of how fast she acts on our request.

For those who are not familiar with Goddess Tara, I suggest that before continuing to read this post that you check out my earlier post about Goddess Tara. Please just click on the link:

GODDESS TARA, THE MOTHER OF SWIFT LIBERATION

PAYING HOMAGE TO GODDESS TARA

GET WEALTH ABUNDANCE AND FINANCIAL SECURITY THROUGH THE WEALTH GRANTING TARA

Today, I would like to introduce to you to one of the most powerful emanation of Goddess Tara, which is the White Tara.White Tara2

White Tara is a very powerful emanation of Goddess Tara that grants fertility. One of my cousins had a hard time conceiving and when I suggested that she pray to the White Tara she conceived just after 2 months of chanting White Tara’s mantra.

More than being a Goddess of Fertility, White Tara is also a Goddess of Longevity. People who are sick or people who are in physical danger can simply call on White Tara, recite her mantra and they can be assured that help will come.

Lastly, White Tara is a goddess who helps overcome life’s hardships or obstacles. An elderly woman whom I met in Singapore attested this to me; I was looking for some pendants when we got to talk to each other. On my hand at that time was an image of Goddess Tara in jade pendant. She started talking to me asking me whether I’m a devotee of Goddess Tara, I said yes, and she also shared that she is a devotee of Goddess Tara, especially White Tara.

According to BL, she got widowed an early age of 25, and she already had three children then. She used to live in China, when her husband brought her to Singapore, her in-laws didn’t like her so she they ‘abandoned’ her when her husband died. According to her she was so poor that she had to beg for food. Going back to China was not an option because of the Chinese tradition that you don’t really go back to your family once a woman got married, on top of that, like most Chinese woman her age, she was illiterate and won’t be able to write a letter even if she knows where to send the letter. BL at that time we met was approximately 73 years old.

Not having of friends of her own and being abandoned by her husband’s family, she had to work for herself and for her to survive, she begged for food, and according to her the lowest moment of her life was when she had to give up her youngest child. A childless couple adopted her baby.

BL said to make things worst she was unable to get a decent good paying job because she was illiterate. However, an elderly woman took pity of her and got her as a maid. It was this elderly woman who introduced BL to White Tara. According to BL, as soon as she started praying to White Tara, and saying White Tara’s mantra everything just got better.

BL now spends her time busying herself helping single moms through her foundation is funded by her 3 children. She named the foundation after the elderly woman who took her in.

Her children all grew up to have their own business. And while she never officially got her youngest child back, she said it doesn’t matter, because the one who adopted her youngest child became family as well, and in fact they live in the same building, with units right beside each other.

All these blessings according to BL are because of White Tara.

One curious thing though that BL shared with me is that she notice that for her White Tara works best if its carved out of a meteorite. She doesn’t have an explanation as to why because she doesn’t even understand it.

A White Tara pendant from my personal collection. I still don't know why but I agree with BL that a White Tara pendant carved out of a meteorite is more effective or powerful.

A White Tara pendant from my personal collection. I still don’t know why but I agree with BL that a White Tara pendant carved out of a meteorite is more effective or powerful.

Because of her statement, I started my quest for a White Tara image and pendant carved out of a meteor. I now have in my possession 3 White Tara pendant carved out of a meteorite but to this day, I’m still looking for an image of White Tara carved out of a meteorite that I can put on my altar.

 

Get Wealth Abundance and Financial Security Through THE WEALTH GRANTING TARA!!!

Published Disyembre 3, 2012 by jptan2012

One of the posts that I’ve ever written here in this blog that has a lot of traffic is about THE GODDESS TARA. Today, allow me to introduce to you another powerful manifestation of the GODDESS TARA, which is THE WEALTH GRANTING TARA!

If you wish to know more about GODDESS TARA, do read my earlier post entitled – GODDESS TARA, THE MOTHER OF SWIFT LIBERATION.

As the name implies, WEALTH GRANTING TARA is a manifestation of GODDESS TARA that helps grants material needs. Like the root manifestation of GODDESS TARA, WEALTH GRANTING TARA is also green in color. The difference is that the WEALTH GRANTING TARA has four (4) arms and hands. Another manifestation of the WEALTH GRANTING TARA is that of an eight (8) arms and hands, however, for this posts let’s focus on the four-armed and hand manifestation.

She is usually depicted as a TARA that is seated on a lotus, with fine adornments. She is usually seen as wearing a bejeweled headdress, bejeweled necklace, bracelets, and anklets.

In her hands are a mala (which signifies that whoever chants her mantra will be blessed), an Uptula flower (which signifies her power), a holy text (which signifies that she’ll grant material and wealth blessing to those who follow Buddhism and that she grants wisdom for those who are in need of it), and her other right hand shows the wish granting mudra (which signifies her power to grant wishes and blessings).

The best way to tap into the power and blessing of WEALTH GRANTING TARA is for us to chant her mantra. For those who are yet familiar about mantras please read my post entitled – MANTRA: THE INSTRUMENT TO TAP THE POWER OF SYMBOLIC SOUND, SCRIPT, AND THOUGHT.

WEALTH GRANTING TARA is not a very popular but very powerful manifestaion of GODDESS TARA. There are very few images of the WEALTH GRANTING TARA in the market or on the net. So far, one of the best rendition is that of Lillian Too's WEALTH GRANTING TARA, which is available in WOFS or World of Feng Shui.

WEALTH GRANTING TARA is not a very popular but very powerful manifestaion of GODDESS TARA. There are very few images of the WEALTH GRANTING TARA in the market or on the net. So far, one of the best rendition is that of Lillian Too’s WEALTH GRANTING TARA, which is available in WOFS or World of Feng Shui.

WEALTH GRANTING TARA’s mantra is – OM TARE TUTTARE TURE DANAM ME DADA SOHA.

Chant her mantra 108 times a day for you to continuously get her blessings, especially when you are in n need of financial assistance.

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