Manila journalist Inday Espina-Varona has won the Hildegarde Award for writing, “They’re killing teachers and children, Mr. President.”
The veteran writer’s piece written as a letter to the country’s highest official, spoke about the plight of the Lumad indigenous people in southern Philippines. The opinion piece was written following the killing of Lumad leaders in Mindanao.
Espina-Varona dedicated the award to the slain leaders and indigenous people still suffering from injustices, and to provincial journalists. ”What makes it really special, however, is that the article, ‘They’re Killing Teachers and Children,’ was and remains the blog that probably best reflects my personal political and creative bents,” she Hildegarde Award recipient said.
”Para sa inyo, Michelle Campos, Alcadev Lumad Caraga Region, sa iyo JR, kay Apad, Bandam at sa lahat na mga kapatid na Lumad, mula Surigao hanggang Davao, na nagbuwis ng buhay, dugo, pawis at luha para sa lupang tinubuan.”
”Para din ito sa alternative at provincial media na pilit na inilabas ang katutuhanan sa kabila ng panganib sa kanilang buhay. Tagasulat lamang po kami. Ang Lumad po ang bayani. Isang karangalan na makilala sila bilang mga kapatid.”
Espina-Varona’s win was announced by ABS-CBN where she published the winning article.
The 10th Hildegarde Awards is given out by St. Scholastica’s College to recognize exemplary works of women in the media and its allied fields.