How I wanted to sing a song aloud, so very loud
But my voice shriek because my tongue is anchored.
How I wanted to chant to the aria of my people
But my lips are tightly zipped.
How I wanted to dance the dance of my forebears
But my feet are twisted and chained.
How I wanted to clap to the sound of gongs of the Lumads
But my hands are on my back and fettered.
How I wanted to gyrate to the rituals of the Babaylans
But my whole body is firmly bounded into a dollar post.
I tried to look around but I could not see.
It is so dark, very dark!
Ah, my eyes, my eyes… they blindfold me and
I trembled as fears engulf me in totality.
Am I dead? I’m a living dead!
Am I nothing now? Nothing!
I sent messages to my brain.
No response. Oh, no!
Please, take me out from this oblivion,
O God! I plead.
Let me live, my Creator!
I want to be alive!
Please, keep my breathing…
Ahh… I still hear the moans, the cries, the shouts of the people
Their songs, their dances, their rallies are still familiar to me.
I can see young and old, men, women and children,
Struggling, committed new faces
Into my vision
As I continue to discern into my dreams.
Surely I would live and withstand whatever life brings.
Do not fear my people,
Go on with your chants and song and salutation
Hold on to your dream, faith, hope, and aspiration
Continue journeying together
Sharing lives as brothers and sisters
Linking arms in unity and affirmation
The God of history never cease breathing life
Into your beings as a nation.
Then… my anchored tongue speaks…
And my sealed lips begin to smile…
My chained feet move to dance
My fettered hands clench into fists,
My aching body gyrates
To the rituals of the Babaylans of the Cordilleras.
I see flicker of lights
Seeping through the hole of my blind as I watch multitudes
Breaking the golden chain and with passion
Chop the dollar post
Into tiny pieces… the dollar post and
The golden chain gradually turn into dust.
My people listen:
… the song of the masses, their rituals and dances
… their hopes and aspirations, and your struggles
… the soil you stand, the land you claim your dwelling
… the chirping of the birds, the rustles of the leaves in the woods
… the sparkling seas, the singing of whales in the ocean
The sound of life is whispering: singing, moving, calling…
Come my children, it is me: Your Mother. Your Father. Your Parent.
Together with you my people
Our struggle will triumph and the dawn will surely come.
And the sun will shine forever in this God given land. AMEN.