Our Brother's Keeper

By: Mitch Irag

As humans it is imperative that we give back a portion of what we have to the community. Then I learned that though many were living abundant lives, a few of those were just not that keen to the plights of those who don't have much. That we live in a ruthless society whose judgments of color and race divided us for generations.

I also learned that the struggle to keep people as one is a rather difficult road to take, but while we continue to traverse despite the bumpy roads, there were those who never failed to lift each other.

This is manifested on the recently concluded "KADAYAWAN 2016" where several IP from the Ata tribe gathered at the Tribo Mindanawan grounds to showcase their way of life. It is interesting to note that in this modern day and age they remained rooted to their heritage and continued to live simple lives up in the mountains, away from the chaotic routines of urban dwellings.

I've seen the apprehensions in their eyes especially the kids and although they look scared, I've also seen the undeniable curiosity beaming each time they're asked to describe their city experience. I don't get to see this kind of life everyday so I was overwhelm at the thought of meeting these kind and peace-loving people who thrive on their day to day activities. That though they have nothing and had to often fight for their birth rights, they are still the same classic Filipinos we meet in the streets every day. Smiling. Accommodating.

Not minding the daily pains of an empty stomach and bare feet to welcome strangers with wide arms. That amidst the frantic throng of people going and leaving their solemn space, they are still the same delicate group who wishes nothing but goodwill to everyone even to those who don’t speak and dress like them.

Hence I am thankful for this opportunity to give myself a chance to find balance in a life lived within the confines of the corporate walls and personal struggles. I am grateful that there were more concerned and idealistic individuals and organizations than I do, who were brave enough to fight with minimal means because of the children and the belief that they stood for.

Someone said in one of the cultural orientations with iEmergence that we have two obligations whilst we live. That of ourselves and our fellow being. That we must do our share in whatever small ways we have and we can, to at least foster a genuine sense of brotherhood with our own.

Mitch has been working at an outsourcing company based in Davao City for quite a while now. In her spare time, she often volunteers at iEmergence to help with fundraising and advocacy. Mitch's enthusiasm in engaging the Indigenous people is evident in the various activities she has helped organized. In social media, she is one of the first few who will readily say yes to our call for support and would immediately share the good news to her networks.