Lerma Dia (10) grew up in the secluded and peaceful mountains of Guinayangan, Quezon. Like the other families from their small community, the Dia’s relied on their land and carabao to suffice their everyday needs. They may not have their own land but Lerma lived a simple life filled with compassion for people, seeing her family, especially Gaudencio (35), extend help to other families in their community, almost regarding him as the barangay captain. But to Lerma’s eyes, Gaudencio was fundamentally “everyone’s hero.” Until one day, their peaceful community was disturbed by series of theft. Lerma (14) would always be alarmed by the knocks of their neighbors that begged Gaudencio (39) to find their missing carabaos. The suspicious crime never stopped, until Dia family’s own carabao is gone missing too, leaving Gaudencio downhearted and their family to hardly move on and survive. One day, their community’s captain and alleged conspirator behind the massive theft was beheaded by the New People’s Army (NPA) which Gaudencio is apparently a member of. Because of the immediate justice, Lerma would hear and commend the people’s admiration of her father’s courage. However, after the incident, Lerma’s father and older brother started to become active fugitives, leaving her (15) the eldest and with the responsibility of providing for their family and taking care of her then pregnant mother. Lerma took all the hard work, inspired that her father and brother were doing their noble responsibility of protecting the poor from the opportunists. And later, when her mother Remelda died of haemorrhage during birth, a grieving Lerma was soon encouraged by her father to join the NPA. With the hopes of taking a different path from the norm and giving better future for her younger siblings, Lerma joined the NPA with conviction. She became the leader of the youth – poisoning their minds and leading them to the promised lands, only to see these later as their own graveyards. But Lerma (20) was firm and tough leader until she built her own family and gave birth to her first child. Just when Lerma was breezing through the ropes of being an NPA leader, she learned of her father’s death. Scared and angry, Lerma ran away believing that it was safer for her and her newborn son to be parted. On her return, Lerma also witnessed the massacre her fellow NPAs do to their members who are alleged spies of the soldiers. Remorseful, Lerma saved some of the victims, especially the youth, and brought them back to their families. All the more, she encouraged her siblings to come with her and live a peaceful life they once had. As a family, they ran away and hid from the NPA, leading her to eventually surrender to Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) for a better welfare. But karma seemed to be chasing Lerma and her family as the NPA then killed her husband and shot her 5-year old son on both legs. With this, Lerma was more awakened by the reality that her pain was the same pain that she inflicted on the families of the youth she recruited. She eventually became a radio announcer under AFP and helped them educate youth, civilians, and rebel-returnees on what is just. It was not long after when Lerma was awarded with a national recognition and promoted by the AFP as a private first class. Now, more than ever, Lerma would always aspire to give her family a comfortable life, that of no threat of violence, ignorance, and poverty.
Sumilip sa likod ng kamera at alamin kung paano nabubuo ang mga madamdaming tagpong iyong natutunghayan sa Maalaala Mo Kaya.