Ang saya saya.
Last Saturday, we officially launched BUKLOD BAKOD in Calatagan, Batangas. Students and seminarians from La Salle and Ateneo joined hands with farmers from Barangays Baha and Talibayog in Calatagan to construct a fence around the perimeters of the property belonging to the farmers so as to protect it from the mining corporation bent on entering the land.
The week before, the corporation tried to bring in their equipment into the farmers’ territory. The first time, they tried to smuggle in their trucks while a medical mission was ongoing. The second time, they tried to do it under the cover of night. On both times, the farmers were able to stop them by coming out in throngs to guard the checkpoints.
We initially thought that they would try to stop our Buklod Bakod so day prior to the event, we conducted paralegal trainings in case of arrest, discussions on possible contingency measures. No such thing happened, buti nalang. Saturday felt like one big fiesta wherein the Ateneans, the La Sallians, the UP people (ehrmm, sige na nga, a.k.a Jae, Jonas, Jane, Me-Anne and Regie🙂 ), the CARP extension advocates and the farmers came together as one family in defense of agricultural land. At dahil sobrang dami at sobrang sarap ng pagkain na hinanda ng magsasaka, fiesta atmosphere talaga.
Nung natapos na lahat at pauwi na, narealize ko wala pala akong kahit isang pakong napukpok. Sinabi ko ito kay Jonas, in sadness and consternation. (In my defense, kasalanan ko bang madaming mga feeling macho na ayaw magpahiram ng martilyo? huhuhu.)
Ang sabi niya: “Di bale, nung inakala mong muntik nang mahulog ang billboard na pinapaskil natin, tumili ka naman.” Letch.
I have two other blog entries on Calatagan. This one (which I particularly like, and is in fact one of my favorite blog entries), and this one, which is about the case. A news report on Buklod Bakod may be found here.