Musicians, poets perform in anti-human trafficking fest

To fight against human trafficking, bands, artists, poets, and advocates gathered in “Looking for Freedom (LF: Freedom) 2.0” last July 24 at the Byblos Library.

LF: Freedom aims to raise awareness against human trafficking through visual arts, music, and poetry to educate people about human trafficking and to inform those who are unaware.

Local bands Bill Gates, Karate CHOP Sticks, Modern Cassette, ODD, and WillFreeDo and artists Simon Alvarez and Scarlet Migriño performed at the event.

In between performances, Angelica Mae Gomez, Gloria Gem Lumayag, and Thodd Joshua Cabahug recited their own poems about human trafficking.

Romualdo Señeris II, Visayan Forum advocacy officer, also spoke about campaigning against human trafficking.

This year’s event focused on a smaller audience in Silliman University and made sure it was different from what happened last year.

“We focused on Sillimanians. We’re trying to start in campus to breed a new culture of students that are and will be more informed about these kinds of issues,” said Indievided President Mike Pantejo.

The event was organized again this year to emphasize that anyone can be a victim of human trafficking, even well-educated people. There are also a lot of factors that cause a person to be trafficked.

“We want people to be active, not apathetic. Through this event, we want people to care and make them aware so they can empower and stand against it, and also to be able to protect themselves as well,” said Therene Mari Quijano, event coordinator from DAKILA Dumaguete.

According to Señeris, Negros Oriental is the target for cybersex extortion, a form of human trafficking. Señeris said that traffickers contact girls through social media and offer them money in exchange for a nude photo.

“As members of the Indievided, we wanted to make a change and we wanted to help support the movement,” said Jodi Alonzo of Karate CHOP Sticks.

DAKILA Dumaguete, Indievided, iFight, Visayan Forum, and Belltower Project organized LF: Freedom 2.0 with the Silliman University Student Government Advocacy Committee.

For human trafficking incidents, students may report to Visayan Forum Hotline numbers 09088913928 (Smart) and 09175467255 (Globe), and iFight Hotline numbers 09984807416 (Smart) and 09272962439 (Globe).

By Jann Viansee O. Cardenas

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