The Ties that Bind (Part 2) : An introspective reflection on my time with the farmers so far

Read Ties That Bind (Part 1)

I have come to understand what the truest meaning of empathy is from my time with these amazing people.

My heart goes out to those in Cotabato I do pray for the souls and families of the lost and injured. I really hope there can be a peaceful solution to this that requires no further loss of life.

But now that I have had a little time to rest catch up on my college classes (Yes, I also do full college classes along with the advocacy, movie, teaching etc etc), I have stepped back and I have really taken in what I have achieved hybrid wasn’t even an idea on paper last July when I got my nc-2 for it to come this far and change me this much in a relatively small span is just astonishing.

The Subanons have forever changed me I have seen their plight and am strongly committed to helping them sustain their food supplies and take care of their environment.

The journey started in the town where I have set up the children’s garden in the bamboo flats. We were trekking to the Subanen tribal lands and again I was the first white person to make the trek there.

We began a trek across the mountain terrain 6 kilometers mostly up hill on the way there along the way I was told that this place too has been ravaged by El Niño and climate change as well.

I had gotten a number of kilometers into the trip. I saw the lands that were stripped for farming usage. They’d been cleared and many areas were desolate of tree life and the pictures made me very sad so I chose not to post them here.

I stopped and saw the church and a medium sized tub with a spring as the water source for a settlement of 28 families roughly 5-8 per family. That is a very rough way to have to live, subsisting off of coconuts. This is why I am telling people to be more grateful for what they have.

This is a matter of climate and bad timing with El Niño so we must take proper reforesting measures to address this. I will make every effort to do any and all I can to help these people in their transition to sustainable living. El Niño does not have to mean the end of farming it means we have to be resourceful and adapt.

I stayed for a game of basketball with the kids which was amazingly fun and was surely a great diplomatic gesture versus just lecturing people. I really believe in reaching out to them and being a bit more personable. Some of the kids I work with need to be mentored and have their confidence built to be a farmer.

As I was leaving, they gave me a papaya which to me was extremely touching as I knew there was very little fruit on that mountain due to the drought other than coconuts.

I really came to a realization up there this is what I am here for. It has to be.

I have resolved to help teach them how they can make their land work for them. I will run myself to the end of my abilities to see this through. This is a fixable problem but people tend to forget nature does not need us we need it.

And for those that care about ‪#‎hybridthemovie‬ a trailer is in the works and it shouldn’t be much longer.

Peace and love,