Recently, I was visiting a military museum. One of the displays had a poem about the Palawan Islanders during World War II.
I had never heard of this poem before, but the words of the islanders as they faced the occupation of their islands ring true to every heart longing for liberty from someone or something on this planet traversing the cosmos.
The Palawan Islands:
“Palawan is an island province of the Philippines located in the MIMAROPA region. Its capital is Puerto Princesa City, and it is the largest province in the country in terms of total area of jurisdiction. The islands of Palawan stretch from Mindoro in the northeast to Borneo in the southwest. It lies between the South China Sea and the Sulu Sea. The province is named after its largest island, Palawan Island, measuring 450 kilometers long, and 50 kilometers wide…. Palawan’s almost 2,000 kilometers of irregular coastline are dotted with 1,780 islands and islets, rocky coves, and sugar-white sandy beaches. It also harbors a vast stretch of virgin forests that carpet its chain of mountain ranges.” http://palawan.islandsphilippines.com/palawanhistory.php
Here’s the poem that I copied from the solitary poster in the military museum. No source was cited on the poster.
You tell us to surrender
O sons or Rising Sun
As if we have no honor
Nor will to fire a gun
You threaten us with murder and
Frighten us with lies
By boasting that you are lords of all
the seas and skies
With hills and mountains as bulwarks
With music ‘neath the trees
Why should we give up freedom
To have a doubtful peace?
We believe not your promise
O sons of treachery
For what you mean by friendship is
Naught by slavery
Bomb every town and village
Shell all the hill and lanes
But we will not surrender
While blood flows through our veins
Burning with vengeance to avenge
We are a race and people who
Prize our honor and freedom’s cry
We are not afraid to die.
G. D. Williams © 2013