3/02/2006

Tarlac

Tula ko ito na hindi ko pa naaayos. Naaayos, kasi pina-critique ko na sa kaibigan ko, at hindi ko pa naisasaayos yung mga suhestiyon niya.

Sinulat ko ito nung gabi pagkatapos pinatay si Ricardo Ramos, lider ng CATLU. Ipinagdiriwang niya ng mga kasama niya yung unang yugto ng kanilang tagumpay--- babayaran na sila nung sweldong ipinagkait sa kanila ng ilang taon--- nang binaril siya sa ulo ng asintadong tao.

Nag-text sa akin yung kr ko nung gabing pagkatapos pinatay si Ramos. Nasa mob daw sila sa Baguio, pinoprotesta yung naganap na pagpatay sa lider ng manggagawa.

Hindi ko alam: parang nakaramdam ako ng matinding lungkot--- at galit. Ang kanilang tagumpay ay nabahiran pa ng dugo ng kanilang kasama. Pero ganoon nga 'ata talaga yon: ang tagumpay ay parating may kaakibat na sakripisyo--- at pag-danak ng dugo.


Tarlac

They died so that so that one day, children
will be free in the land of
freedom. –Jenny Sweet


They toil under the hot boiling sun,
burning their skin to a crisp brown,
as they are cooked in their own
sweat tears and blood.
Their bare feet traverse the dry hard earth
scorching their calloused heels,
as their strong brown hands
gather the season’s harvest.

It was also under the hot boiling sun
that they were shot down by
small men in uniforms with
big ugly guns.
It was also the dry hard earth
that caught their falling dying bodies,
splashing it with the last of their
vigorous blood.

Their sacrifice is not lost on us,
those who go on living.
The hot boiling sun and the dry hard earth
weren’t the only witnesses of their struggle.
The struggle will continue as long as
multitudes of strong brown hands,
scorched calloused heels, and skins burnt crisp-brown
continue to be felled by seeing bullets
from big ugly guns.

They died so that someday
their comrades will finally taste the fruits
of their collective labour: they will
be able to savour the pure sweetness
of sugar
in the land of sugarcanes.
-10/24/05

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