ECPAT
Young people pay tribute to survivors of child sexual exploitation in spoken poetry

The ECPAT Children and Youth Advocates (EYCA) held a spoken poetry event dubbed as Sumama at Mamulat Laban sa Child Trafficking (Join and be Aware on the Fight Against Child Trafficking) on July 28, 2018 at the Quezon City Memorial Circle. This is to commemorate the World Day Against Trafficking in Persons which happens every 30th of July.

 

The event aimed to be a venue for young people to freely and creatively express their thoughts on the plight of Filipino children victimized by sexual exploitation. Over 100 children, youth, and adults from across Quezon City graced the event.

 

The evening was filled with performances of original song and dance numbers, composed and choreographed by the ECPAT youth advocates themselves. Songs like Kabataang Pinoy (Filipino Youth) and Gawa sa Luha (Made of Tears) are written to inspire and empower young people to protect themselves and their peers from sexual violence.

 

The highlight of the evening was the open microphone spoken word and poetry as the youth participants poured their hearts into their interpretations of the ordeals, hopes, and strength of children who have survived sexual abuse and exploitation.

 

Youth advocate Dolly Ann, 18, used the metaphor of being repeatedly defeated in a game of Bato, Bato, Pik (Rock, Paper, Scissors), as she spoke of the unending hopelessness that a victim goes through in the hands of an offender.

“Papel, gunting, bato

Unang laro ikaw ang panalo,

Papel ka bato ako,

Ikaw ang demonyong sumakop ng mundo ko”

(Rock, paper, scissors,

First round, you won

You were the paper, I was the rock

You were the devil who wrapped my world around)

 

“Ikalawang pusta, ako ulit ang talo,

Bato ka gunting ako,

Parang ako, pumupurpol kapag nararamdaman ko ang kamay mo,

Kamay mong dumarampi sa katawan ko,”

 

(Second bet, I lost again,

You were the rock, I was the scissors.

I get dull when I feel your hands,

Your hands touching my body)

 

“Ikatlo, hinihiling na sana sa larong to ako na ang manalo,

Sana ako naman ang magpapaikot ng mundo mo,

Yung tipong lahat ng yong kasalanan,

Ay kaya ko ng ipaglaban.”

 

(I wish I’ll win the third round

So I’ll be the one to spin your world around

So I’ll finally be able to guard myself

From all your evil deeds)

 

“Pero mali! Sa ikaapat na laro,

Ikaw parin ang panalo,

Gunting ka ulit at papel ako.

Nagpapakagat nalang dahil iniisip na akoy isang batang walang kwentang nilalang,

Hinahayaan na akoy iyong saktan”

 

(But I was wrong! You still won;

You were the scissors, I was the paper;

So I surrendered and let you cut me;

Believing I was just a creature who meant nothing)

 

But amid hopelessness and suffering, parents’ love bring hope to their children, according to Aizel, 17.

 

“Habang nangyayari ang kahayupang

gawa ng demonyong iyon

Naalala ko ang ngiti ng mga magulang ko

Kung papaano nila hinahaplos ang aking ulo

para lang makatulog

Kung papaano dumadampi

ang mga labi nila saking noo

Kung papaano ang pakiramdam

na mapayapa at ligtas”

 

(While the devil does his evil ways,

I remembered the smiles on my parents’ face

How they gently kiss and caress my head, so I will sleep tight

How it feels to be at peace and safe)

 

Meanwhile, 16-year-old Rayven called on the society to stop stigmatizing survivors and do something to help them recover instead. He also urged people to dig deeper into the societal problems that push children to sexual exploitation.

 

"Pasintabi sa mga nakikinig

Pero isang katanungan na sa inyo’y magpapatid

May nagawa naba kayo para sa kanila?"

 

(Pardon to those who are listening;

But I have a question that will make you trip

Have you done anything for them?)

 

Wala nang intro intro, may sasabihin ako sa inyo

Bagay na kahindik-hindik, masakit sa tainga ito

Sa inyo na walang ginagawa kundi husgahan ang katayuan at katauhan nila?

Anong sinasabi ng iba? Na sya’y walang hiya dahil lang sa pera?

TIgilan na ang pagiging impokrito, buksan ang ating mata

At alamin ang isyung panlipunan na kaakibat nito

 

(Let’s skip the intro, I’ve got something to tell you;

Something alarming, it will hurt your ears.

To those of you who have done nothing but judge their disposition;

Telling them they are shameless for money;

Stop your hypocrisy and open your eyes;

To the issues of society that comes with it.

 

In the end, everything will be alright if survivors have friends who empathize and believe in them, according to Malen, 17.

 

"Hindi mo na maaninagan ang sariling repleksyon

Hindi mo na masulyapan ang dating pagkatao

Tila nakakapaso na ang iyong balat"

 

(You can no longer see your own reflection;

You can no longer recall who you used to be.

You feel like your skin is burning)

 

"Alam ko..

Naiintindihan ko

Dahil iisa lang naman tayo

Ako ang repleksyon mo

Ako ang pagkatao mo"

 

(But I know.

I understand.

Because you and I are one

I am your reflection;

I am who you are.)

 

"Na higit pa sa iba

Dahil sa pagbagsak mo, kasama mo ko

At sa pag-ahon mo, ay kasama mo rin ako

Sabay natin tapakan ang masalimuot na mundo"


(More than anyone,

I will be with you when you fall;

I will be there when you rise back up

Together, we will fight this complex world.)

 

 

As the event ended, ECPAT youth coordinator Homer Forte called on young people to always support, empower and protect each other. “Life is all being there for each other especially for those who need help the most. Let us speak out against child trafficking and help child survivors heal and recover.”

 

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The ECPAT Youth and Children Advocates (EYCA) is an organization and an advocacy arm of ECPAT Philippines. The organization empowers the children and youth to organize advocacy and campaigns that will promote their rights, specifically, their rights to protection and participation. Since the previous years, EYCA through the support of ECPAT has mobilized children and youth to different campaign activities on issues that affect their well-being.  EYCA believes that through spoken poetry, a theater play and other creative venues, children and young people can express their views on the issue of sexual exploitation of children.