The Lumads: Another Victim Of Filipino Apathy

Let us spare a moment of silence for the Lumads, one of the indigenous people of Mindanao who are desperately seeking sanctuary after they were allegedly threatened by a number of paramilitary groups who seem to be affiliated with the Philippine Army. As of the moment, they have taken shelter in a number of evacuation centers after fleeing their villages in fear. Frightened and homeless, these people seek only to go back to their villages and resume their peaceful lives. Unfortunately, with the way things are going at the moment, it may seem a long time yet before our Lumad brothers and sisters will find the peace and safety they are now seeking.


In 2009, I was utterly shocked by the Maguindanao massacre that led to the death of so many innocent people and was more than a little disappointed when it seemed that justice was more than a little slow in addressing the issue. In 2013, there was Yolanda, perhaps the most powerful storm in our time and how she left so many homeless, widowed, orphaned and childless and was again disappointed when public officials like Mar Roxas only tried to cover up the issue instead of solving it. Then, early this year, there was the SAF 44 who died at the hands of terrorists which current president Noynoy Aquino III almost even refuses to acknowledge to this very day. But this time, I feel more than just disappointment. To allow this kind of injustice is more than just an oversight. The Lumads are losing their homes and, if we allow this to continue, they may even lose their lives as well. To deliberately turn a blind eye to our own people in need makes us as guilty of their troubles as those who are bullying them.

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Benign0 here has said his piece on the issue, now it’s time I gave you mine.

Look guys, I don’t know who you are, but if you’re a Filipino, then I need to remind you that the Lumads are Filipinos too. While they might not be celebrities, associated with celebrities or have ever produced any celebrities, let us remember that they are also part of our country and deserve to be heard by the rest of us. They might not be as wealthy, influential or as popular as the Iglesia ni Cristo, but aren’t the Lumads children of God just like the rest of us and therefore have a right to be protected and have their way of life preserved. Even if they don’t possess the same level of education as more privileged Filipinos, shouldn’t the Lumads be given the same amount of attention as any other Filipino citizen who is in need.

Ladies and gentlemen, when the Rohingya boat people came to us for shelter, the government and media were more than happy to show off how “humanitarian” they were. But now here are the Lumads, fellow Filipinos who have lost their homes due to the threat of violence. Do I hear anyone addressing their plight? Is the media even acknowledging the issue, at least with the same fervor as they showed how “concerned” we were for the Rohingya boat people? Does anyone even feel a shred of sympathy for these displaced natives?

Or are we all just too transfixed to people twerking on ABS-CBN, Aldub on GMA or maybe President Aquino looking for a potential wife?

19 Replies to “The Lumads: Another Victim Of Filipino Apathy”

  1. It’s a disease. Nobody thinks or feels or cares any more; nobody gets excited or believes in anything except their own comfortable little God damn mediocrity.

  2. Yes indeed this story need more attention! My wife is a Lumad-Manobo from Agusan Del Sur! They dont have this issue of IP’s being displaced in their province? You know why? Because the AFP and militia men wiped out the NPA in the province! Yes this is the real issue here! Other Lumad tribes are being manipulated by the NPA’s to flood the cities to cause a refugee/ humanitarian crisis to divert the real issue!

  3. Its a very symphathatic article but I wonder what Mr. Grimwald is doing himself about it. Is Mr. Grimwld sending money to those people; is he booking a flight and help those people. More questions than answers.

    I can write a million of such articles myself. Its actually a very cheap shot to write such articles without mentioning what the writer does or did himself about it.

    1. I appreciate what Mr Grimwald did, writing about it to create awareness.. have we forgotten that the pen is mightier than the sword?.. ever mention whatever thing we have done is tantamount to putting ourselves on a pedestal..for what? to gain praise?applause? to let your right hand knew of the good things done by your left hand is a BOOO!!!

      1. Orang Legaspi,
        writing is easy but setting a good example and telling the audience what the writer did him/herself speaks louder than just simple words. He is now on the fence. Thats the easy but he is not fighting the actual battle.

        It takes one, to know one

        1. Mr Robert Haighton,

          it’s not for us to judge the good deeds of others..i believe Mr Grimwld did what he believe he can do best, and that is, I repeat, to create awareness-who are we to question such act?…and before we ever ask for more, have we asked ourselves our contribution? anyway, that’s your own opinion and I must remind myself i’m in no position to question.. thanks and have a good day!

        2. Orang Legaspi,
          I come from a country where all deeds (good and bad) are judged and questioned.

          The least he could have done is tell the audience what he did (nd give some proof and evidence of it) and in the mean time give the audience things they can do (transfer money to a certain bank account, transfer money to a certain charity agency, protest, go to the area and help the people there). But none of that.

          So here I will write a GRP-article about the use and abuse of OFW for only raising awareness. Will that solve the problem by writing about it and creating awareness? Thanks for the awareness. Now its back to normal and I will have a cup of tea and watch “Eat Baluga”.

          I am in a position to question bec I live in a free country with freedom of speech. If we all sit on our big fat asses then nothing happens. So pls Orang, dont question at all !!!

    2. I appreciate what Mr Grimwld did, writing about it to create awareness. Have we forgotten that the pen is mightier than the sword?

      As to what he have done to help the Lumads, I guess it’s not our business to know, and if ever he has done any, the more I appreciate him for not ever mentioning… for letting others know of the good things you’ve done is tantamount to putting yourself to a pedestal. For what? to gain praise?applause? to let your right hand know of the good things your left hand did is a BOOO!!

    3. Its nice you are very critical about the piece. It is also good to just see the piece for what it is. Trying to argue over something that wasn’t brought up to begin with doesn’t help the issue. Not with your attempt at instigation nor the writer who just to make aware of the plight of “all Filipinos”. Maybe the article was just about drawing genuine sympathy. Nothing more and nothing less. Feel free to exercise your freedom of speech but don’t feel surprised when another individual from the a country with similar policies for expression of speech questions your use personal use of logic.

    4. Hi Robert,

      Mr Grimwald is helping by doing his job. He is a journalist and he is writing an article about Lumads. This is already much more than the average people does.
      Also he is paying taxes and probably assuming that the government will not steal it but use it for doing it duties as a government. Enforcing order and peace.
      (yeah i know i am naive)
      Point is, you can’t expect a journalist to solve the problems of the world, you can only expect them to raise their voice.

      1. Legal alien,
        I dont think Mr. Grimwald is getting paid for writing GRP articles. Hence it is not a job. At best it can be a hobby. So lets call him a Blogger.
        I really have no clue what’s Mr. Grimwald profession is or what he does to make a living. So all I can say is that he most likely pays VAT for all the products he buys. I hope he pays income tax because that means he has a piad job.
        I think we all know that the PH government is squandering all tax payers money (VAT + income tax plus custom duties, license feesmaybe other taxes).

        I dont expect Mr. Grimwald to solve all problems. But for sure he can give a good example (what is he himself doing about the problems he writes about?) and give cues and clues how a reader can contribute (without spoon feeding the readers).

        I just wish Mr. Grimwald was able to write articles that are eloquent, looked at from an in-depth and multiple angles. So that all I need to comment is: “No comment, I totally agree”. And he should write far less articles. More in lign with Benign0, Ilda and Kate.
        And he should also stop writing about issues/topics that were started originally by others/somebody else. It looks quite chaotic to me. Well, that latter is more in lign with what I see when I am in the Philippines.

        Now, will he even consider my critics here? No way, Jose. He will just continue in the same way. Business as usual.

  4. I’ve been following the issue of the Lumads and indeed, it’s heartbreaking.. but what makes it more worrisome is the coldness of the government (and the media) on the issue, and the seemingly indifference of people on the plight of their own people.. their condition is harrowing yet the truth that no one seems to care makes it more difficult for them to bear their pain..

    1. The government already tried to rescue them from the UCCP church in Davao away from their “facilitators/ organizers” eg. Bayan Muna etc…and send them to evacuation centers by the DSWD. Some went but unfortunately others are brainwashed and manipulated by the NPA. With some media twisting the facts and a so-called “UN envoy” just echoing the NPA narrative of the incident. What is more scary is some Lumads wants to leave the UCCP compound but are being held against their own will by the NPA!

  5. Aquino does not care about people being murdered. He is not concerned on Filipino safety and well being. Aquino is only concerned of his Hacienda Luisita…this is how selfish this man is….

    Instead, he appeases murderers like the: MILF/ISIS/AL QUEDA in Mindanao. Why are the Lumads being murdered? Who are doing this killings? And why?

  6. Hello again, everybody. I’ve introduced myself as from Mindanao. Let me now share some things about the lumads.

    The lumads are the oldest ethnic group of Mindanao. There are more lumads than muslims and their existence predates the coming of Islam. There are over 13 different tribes of lumads, the largest being the Manobos, who live in northern Mindanao. The massacre we are talking about here involves the Manobos.

    The root of the lumad problem has been the landgrabbing perpetrated by people interested in the lands the lumads live in. The landgrabbers have been using paramilitary groups, the NPA and -disturbingly- the MILF.

    The lumad-muslim conflict is the oldest part of this problem. It predates the coming of the Spanish. Before the Spanish came, the lumads and visayans were already the majority population of Mindanao, but were subjugated by the muslims. The lumads, who owned most of the land back then (the visayans lived mostly along the coast,) were subject to ethnic cleansing disguised as tribute.

    Sultan Kudarat demanded an annual tribute of 100 male and 100 female slaves from the various tribes each year; these people were sold to Arab slave traders in Malacca. Kudarat’s policy made the mulsims a hated and despised ruling minority. When the Spaniards came, the lumads willingly cooperated with them. The rebellion against the muslims began in Cagayan de Oro, when Datu Salangsang refused to give up any more of his people to the muslims.

    From Cagayan de Oro, the rebellion spread until the muslims were driven back to what is now the ARMM.

    Today, traces of this animosity can still be seen. One of the things I learned growing up here is that muslims and lumads don’t mix. They hate each other. You put a lumad next to a muslim and things get ugly.

    I have a friend who is a Hiligaynon lumad. When the events at Mamasapano took place, he -a normally quiet person- exploded in a fit of rage. When the killing of Manobo lumads made the headlines, he has become strangely silent. He’s a Hiligaynon lumad; they have a temperament similar to igorots. If they’re offended and vocal about it, they’re more to be feared when they suddenly turn silent.

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