Don’t YOU get it yet? People don’t care about the Lumads!

Social media “activists” can hashtagscream #StopKillingLumads all they want ’til their touchscreens crack. You get a “trending” hashtag at best and a few cheers and high-fives around that “achievement”. But, at the end of the day, you get jack squat results. Mainstream media won’t give them the time of day, politicians won’t mention them in their speeches, and, yes, showbiz celebrities won’t touch the topic with a ten-foot pole lest a damper be put on the “positive” vibes of their noon-time variety shows.


What people do care about are Syrians pouring all over Western Europe. Never mind the in-your-face reality that whilst the photo of a drowned Arab boy is successfully being used as a rallying artefact in this unfolding drama, there are millions — millions — of dark-skinned African kids who are virtually dead even as they work the diamond mines and are conscripted by pirates, terrorists, and warlords to fight as child-soldiers in the various armed conflicts raging all over the African continent.

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Why is it that some people’s kids get all the media mileage while others — like the Lumads of Mindanao — get zilch?

The answers to that question, unfortunately, fall within one of those vast let’s-not-go-there topical regions that men in suits and women in heels shy away from during banter over lattes or cocktails.

But this is GRP and we will go there.

Stop and think about the über-trending topic of the Philippines’ traffic mess for a moment. Metro Manila’s traffic mess makes mega-trending headline news everyday. And yet it never gets solved! No politician has ever suffered any consequence of significance as a result of worsening Metro Manila traffic. Nobody. No consequences, no call to action, no results. It’s simple, really.

The point is, if a problem that causes Kris Aquino to miss an appointment every now and then does not get solved, what chance does the plight of an obscure indigenous tribe living in the forests of Mindanao have standing out above the noise of Facebook selfies, foodporn, and cat memes?

Syrian refugees, however, seem to be a different matter. They have the power to emotionally-blackmail all of Western Europe into “opening their doors” to their plight and, following that, overrunning the entire continent. They are now a point of debate between bleeding heart “progessives” and jaded conservatives who are sick of the political correctness that turned Europe’s ghettoes into a microcosm of the ancient global clash of cultures that goes back to the time of Saladin and Richard the Lionheart.

But are they really that special?

Sure, perhaps Steve Jobs was the son of Syrian immigrants. But here’s the simple question that this factoid raises: So What? Morgan Freeman is descended from African people. How come nobody is launching Twitter hashtags about African slave labour in those diamond mindes and calling for a boycott on Fifth Avenue jewellers? Any one of those blood diamond miners could be the next Morgan Freeman, right?

Obviously there is something about Syrian refugees that makes them more “special” in the eyes of the media compared to Lumads and diamond miners. What makes one special and the other doomed to fatal obscurity?

There should be a Nobel Prize reserved for the person who finds that elusive button that, when clicked on, turns on the feature of “specialness” for a given community of victims.

22 Replies to “Don’t YOU get it yet? People don’t care about the Lumads!”

  1. I agree with you but your article sorta gives a vibe of stop focusing on Syria kids westerners we also have a problem here. While I agree that Syria get’s most of the attention. Keep in mind that this arabian focused pity party wasn’t there a few years ago. In fact it was the opposite. People use to in fact fear these guys because of all media screwing it to look like all they want is to blow you up without context. You didn’t even get to see the enviroment they lived in. as they constantly try to survive in a The country where religious extremist go over their houses looking for any excuse to abuse their power to get what they want.So even though I think it’s overkill that the media tries to guilt the westeners by saying “Look at these guys, Your government was a jerk and now look what your granpa did to these syrian kids”. Trying to fix a problem that’s there and putting light on it isn’t a bad thing. We can’t cure all diseases at once but we can try doing it one at a time. Now as for the Lumads in mindanao. I do have to say I never heard of them until now. It’s really is me being ignorant again. I think it’s time Philippine people need to focus on problems in the philippines instead on what the westerners are going through. I myself realized I need to be a bit more concious about my enviroment and learn about not only the outside world but also about the people that live right next door to me. So thanks for this article. It made me aware of the problem I didn’t even know was here.

    1. Nah, much more simple. European contries, like Spain, Britain, France, Nederland, Belgium took advantage of arabs and africans, asians for hundreds of years. Now they feel guilty and try to look nice. Also, they have no more kids, society is old, depressed, they really need some fresh blood. Of course choosing african muslims is a bad choice but thats why germans wants syrians: they are christians.

      1. Thanks..But I don’t think convertion is what Germans really are thinking when it concerns syrians. A lot of them have been indoctrinated in Islam so I don’t think it will even have an effect unless it’s forced. But I’m not really an expert so this is just an opinion really. I really think westerners should stop helping these guys out of guilt really and just help them become independent but I have no idea how they are gonna do that.

  2. Let me be very honest with you, Benign0, but who or what are Lumads?

    Now if that are people from a certain country or area that would crawl up the shores of Europe somewhere in their 1000s, I am sure they will get the (media) attention.

    But as long as it doesnt happen in my own back yard, we – the Dutch – have a saying that goes like this “it is verweggistan” (translation: it is far-away-stan, You see the similarty with the pronunciation to Afghanistan?) or we say “het is de ver-van-mijn-bed-show” (it is the very far away of my bed show).

    At this moment (as we speak), 120,000 (and counting) refugess already are flooding Europe.

    Personally, I think the EU-politicians are selling out Europe. And what bothers me even more is the fact that those refugees even claim demands. While a more humble approach would be more in place. If most European countries had right wing governments, the refugees would have been send back immediately on those shitty boats.

    1. Exactly. The challenge really for anyone (including victims) is to make yourself relevant to people who are in a position to help you. I know that sounds a bit stone cold but that is how the world works. Nobody does shit for nothin’. As to those who claim to do stuff purely out of the goodness of their hearts or because of the supposed “nobleness” of whatever “cause”? No thanks. I don’t trust people who claim to be “good”. I only trust people who work within the framework of what is real and consistent with real human nature.

      1. Benign0,
        a lot of people in the West, “play” like a good/merciful samaritan, almost fully altruistic. They do that out of pity but forget to look what will come in the near and far away future.
        A male refugee that arrivés in – say – my country – wants his wife and 5 kids to come and join him in the next few months. Where does it end?
        And in reference to that famous pic of that 5 year old boy. Not only sex sells but showing hungry and almost dying kids also sell. Especially kids begging for food and water.
        Its plain emotional blackmail what the international media shows us.

      1. Legalaline,
        Now pls just imagine I am gay and living in a country that doesnt accept gay people. Now where would I go to? I would first do extensive research where I would be welcome (foreign country) but I will also look for a country that has a similar culture and that I can speak the language of. In short, a country where I can fit in, adopt and adapt.

        Those refugess didnt do that at all. They just assume we will love them hands down. We build up our country from scratch, I dont want that effort to get ruined by some stupid religious (Muslim) retarded guys who fuck away bec their religion tells them to do so. You get my point? You are welcome here if you just adapt, adopt and blend in and behave like a Dutch. And pls have a serious contribution to the Dutch economy. Otherwise, pls stay away!!! Thank you.

        1. Well said.
          I am also an immigrant and i have lots and lots of reasons to be thankful to the country that is my home now: the Philippines. But as you said, i contribute.

        2. Legalaline,
          Most Dutch people would rather see you (people like you) return to your original country.

        3. Because of course refugees the world over have the luxury of time and money and other resources with which to plan migrating.

          As no doubt you’ve seen throughout your life, they usually don’t have all those — they just flee for their lives. While it’s too bad that the urbane sophisticated nations of Western Europe, especially those who peoples fancy themselves monoethnic and monocultural, and especially those with colonial pasts, have to take the brunt of those migrations, you really have no choice but to take them in. What is a Dutchman anyway? To pin it down with exactitude would make it a caricature at best, a fossil at worst — so you go with “forever changeable” and live with the consequences of having a mind that minds the sepia.

        4. Pallacertus,
          Excuse me. Do you have any idea how much money the refugees have to pay the human traffickers to cross the Mediterranen Sea?
          Have you seens the refugees up close? They own the latest models of an iPhone.

          Look, whenever I go on vacation abroad, I always prepare myself and do research about the destination. My vacation lasts maybe 4 weeks. But those guys leave their country for good (well probably most of them).

          We are overloaded and flooded with images (TV footages) of people drowning. Do I care? No, I dont. Prepare yourself. Make sure you can swim and your chances of surviving – while crossing that sea – will increase by factor 10. (BTW: I am still flabbergasted to hear and read Filippinos drown during/after a typhoon. If they only knew how to swim, it will for sure lead to at least 1 survivor. Bahala na).

          The fact they all want to go to Germany says enough. They are just in it for the money. So should I feel sorry for them when a few 100 people drown? No, sorry I cant.

          You (or better said: they) want my respect? Then make sure you earn it. But no they dont.

    2. Lumads
      Meaning “born of the earth”, Lumad is the term coined by indigenous peoples and their advocates in the late 1970s, according to the 1993 book “Ethnocide: Is it real?” published by the Media Mindanao News Service. It basically signifies the Lumads as the original inhabitants of Mindanao.

      further reading:

  3. You approach the problem from a bad angle. Comparing the pain that people feel is impossible and stupid. Obviously your fellow filipinos in the south suffer the same as immigrants in Eu.
    The main difference is that Europeans care about the migrants, they realize that it is one of the biggest challenge of the century.
    Filipinos just don’t give a shit about Lumads.Very sad.

  4. In one case out of a hundred a point is excessively discussed because it is obscure; in the ninety-nine remaining it is obscure because it is excessively discussed.

  5. Religion + Politics = Chaos. The equation is simple. Our civilization is advancing; but the religious and political mindsets of people are the same as in the 7th century.

    The Lumads are Filipinos ; they have the same needs and aspirations, as every Filipino. Only, most may have not advanced in their way of life to the 21st century.

    Our Constitution does not give any preferential treatment of people, on the basis of their religious beliefs, or no beliefs in religion, at all(Agnostics, Atheists, Secularists, etc)… take note…

    So, Filipino Politicians do not want this issue to surface. They are busy appeasing the MILF/ISIS/AL Queda…they overlook , other people in Mindanao.

  6. The issue about Syria and its refugee’s are being sensationalized! US/NATO want to capitalize on it so they can bomb the Assad government out of Power so the country can be run by their proxies ISIS!
    The issue about the Lumads is very dear to me, as my wife is a Lumad-Manobo from Agusan Del Sur! They dont have this problem because the AFP and Tribal Militia wiped out the NPA in their province already! Thus the NPA panicking in Davao, Surigao and Cotabato! Other Lumad tribes are being manipulated and mislead by the NPA to leave their homes and flood the cities to cause a humanitarian/ refugee crisis! To divert the issue to stop the offensive by the AFP and Tribal Militias of cleansing Mindanao of the NPA rebels!

    1. “Other Lumad tribes are being manipulated and mislead by the NPA to leave their homes and flood the cities to cause a humanitarian/ refugee crisis! To divert the issue to stop the offensive by the AFP and Tribal Militias of cleansing Mindanao of the NPA rebels!”

      Then again the government made a move without informing or protecting the affected population otherwise why are they easily misled? NPA get to them before the government? What are they, sacrificial lambs again like 44SAF?

  7. This is truly a “Marcos is our hero/savior” website. Just because Lumad killings historically could be traced back to Marcos era, this website is determined to trivialize that incident.

    1. We’re not saying Marcos is a hero but we need to refute this false narrative that somehow Marcos was the ‘origin’ of all corruption in the Philippines. Corruption and dysfunction go way back even before the Spanish came here.

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