The Protest Poem of the Palawan Islanders

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.”

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

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