Saturday, June 2, 2012
(written by Raul S. Manglapus. It is about the Filipino's quest for freedom against oppression.)
Once upon a time, the tao owned a piece of land. It was all he owned. But he cherished it, for it gave him three things, having which, he was content: life, first of all, and liberty, and happiness.
Then one day the Spaniard came and commanded him to pay tribute to the crown of Spain. The tao paid tribute. And he was silent — he was certain that he was still the master of his land.
The Spaniard became rich. But with riches, evil entered into him and he came to the tao a second time. He read to the tao a formidable document saying: “According to this decreto real, which unfortunately you cannot read, this that you have been paying me is not tribute but rent, for the land is not yours but mine.” The tao paid tribute and said nothing … He ceased to be a freeman. He became a serf. Still the tao held his peace. The rent went up and up. The tao starved.
And this time at last he spoke. Not in words, but with that rustic instrument with which he cleared the land once his own — the bolo. He transformed it from an instrument of tillage to an instrument of death, and with it drove away the stranger. Then he returned to his field saying: “Now indeed shall I again be master of this land, once my own, but stolen from me by the trickery of quicker wits than mine.”
But the tao was wrong. For the land had another master. This time not a stranger, but his own countryman grown rich. The tao had a new name, kasama, which to us means partner, but which to the tao meant still a slave, for once more he suffered from his countrymen the same things he had suffered from the stranger: the rents, the usury, and all the rest of it.
Yes, the tao returned to his field thinking that he was free. But he soon discovered that he was still a prisoner. His prison, a two-room shack, rent by every wind, without any comforts, except that three families have there the privilege to starve. The tao’s home has become his very prison. Its doors, if you can call them such, are wide open. It is a prison nonetheless. For the tao is bound to it, not with chains of steel, but with a stronger chain — his honor. To this day, the tao remains a slave, a prisoner of the usurer.
No wonder, then that tao, being a slave, has acquired the habits of a slave. No wonder that after three centuries in chains, without freedom, without hope, he should lose the erect and fearless posture of the freeman, and become the bent, misshapen, indolent, vicious, pitiful thing that he is! Who dares accuse him, who dares rise up in judgement against this man, reduced to this sub-human level by three centuries of oppression. The tao does not come here tonight to be judged — but to judge! Hear then his accusation and his sentence:
I indict the Spanish encomendero for inventing taxes impossible to bear.
I indict the usurer for saddling me with debts impossible to pay.
I indict the irresponsible radical leaders who undermine, with insidious eloquence, the confidence of my kind in our government.
You accuse me of not supporting my family. Free me from bondage, and I shall prove you false.
You accuse me of ignorance. But I am ignorant because my master finds it profitable to keep me ignorant. Free me from bondage, and I shall prove you false.
You accuse me of indolence. But I am indolent not because I have no will, but because I have no hope. Why should I labor, if all the fruits of my labor go to pay an unpayable debt. Free me from bondage, and I shall prove you false.
Give me land. Land to own. Land unbeholden to any tyrant. Land that will be free. Give me land for I am starving. Give me land that my children may not die. Sell it to me, sell it to me at a fair price, as one freeman sells to another and not as a usurer sells to a slave. I am poor, but I will pay it! I will work, work until I fall from weariness for my privilege, for my inalienable right to be free!
BUT IF YOU WILL NOT GRANT ME THIS … If you will not grant me this last request, this ultimate demand, then build a wall around your home … build it high! … build it strong! Place a sentry on every parapet! … for I who have been silent these three hundred years will come in the night when you are feasting, with my cry and my bolo at your door. And may God have mercy on your soul!
(Poor bride. Her groom didn't show up on her wedding day. Find out why. :P)
I've been stood up on my wedding day! Have you thought of anything more tragic than that? Here comes the bride, all dressed in white!” - - but where is the groom? My Jonathan?
Father’s eyes were apprehensive - - “Madeline - - this is preposterous! - - - Didn’t I warn you? Is this what you call maturity and independence at eighteen? I guess we better hurry home!”
But this is not how playwrights picture love. Romeo died for Juliet, Pyramus for Thisbe, Han Suyen called it a many splendored thing!” - - - And Princess Margaret gave up the crown for love!
Jonathan - - - wait till I get you. I am determined to pursue an unceasing justification of my plight! I remember how I fought Father and Mother when first they refused our young engagement. But how we talked to them about independence and youth’s self-reliance - - - of the new breed, ready, willing and able not only to vote at eighteen but also get married at eighteen.
I imagine what my gang mates would say - - - “Poor Madeline, she was almost a bride - - -!” “Jonathan must have found out that she’s a square!” And all Mother can say is - - “This is most embarrassing!”
Indeed, it is. I should have joined the crusaders for blessed singleness. I should have noted what my father confessor, Fr. Martin, said when I talked about Jonathan and marriage. “Madeline, you’re not ready for it. I guess you have to listen to your parents this time!” But I didn’t!” I was like a spoiled and stubborn child immensely carried away by the now-generations’ indefatigable cry for self-assertion! I was like Jane Fonda speaking for the women’s lib movement.
That phone keeps on ringing. Alright, Mother, alright, I’m answering it. Hello - - - Hello - - - Hello!! Don’t you darling me Mr. Jonathan Anderson - - - may I be privileged to know where were you at nine o’clock sharp this morning? What? Do you know what you did? Well - - - if you don’t - - - then, you’ll never knew!!!
I've been stood up on my wedding day because my groom forgot and fell asleep. Marriage at eighteen - - - how do you like that?
(Selfish love... This is my own description of the piece. Read it and you will understand why.)
Honorable judge, gentlemen of the jury, people of the Philippines, judge me, am I guilty or not guilty?
But before you sentence me to death let me tell you my story.
There was a young girl seventeen years of age with curvaceous body 36, 24, 26, a long hair and sizzling eyes being rich as she was she studied at an exclusive school.
Oh my gosh! I met this guy, he’s the best player in our basketball team, and he’s the heartthrob of our school. OH my gosh! His name? Guess what? who? Robbie Satillian isn't sweet? Oh my gosh we became friends. We became friends. Later more than that after one year of relationship, we decided to settle down the marriage that cut-off the ties of our families and since his parents disagree that’s why he was not supported on his studies. So I decided to give up my studies and work as a sales lady in the supermarket.
Then one night he returned home, he asked for money but I can’t gave him for I just gave him last night, so he walked out the door and the next day he returned home, he was cold as ever and hard as a stone.
One day his graduation came. I was so happy. I expected
Robbie to invite me but he never said a word. I didn't mind it. I still attend his graduation ceremony and when his name was called with a degree of medicine a suma cum laude Robi Santillan, I shouted with glee! When i stood up I was shocked when another girl stood up, and gave that medal to him. I’m supposed to give that medal and pin that ribbon, because I’m his wife, I’m his wife right? I AM HIS WIFE!
With that unpleasant thought fain when he returned home that night, I confronted him. “Robbie, who was that girl?” I asked. He answered, "It's none of your business" he said but Robbie I’m your wife, "You’re just my wife" Robbie how could you do this to me? I gave up my studies and worked as a sales lady and this? This is how you payback? “I have to leave”, he said and when he had packed his this things I decided to get my 45 mm revolver.
“Robbie, you can't just leave me” (pointing the gun to his face) “You can just leave me, Robbie.” “You can't just do this honey. be calm, be calm”.......”No, no, no you can't just leave me, Robbie. You can't just do this”.
But he still decided to go and I did threw worst in my whole painstaking life “Mr. Robbie Santillian with a degree of medicine a Suma cumlaude you will pay all my labors and sacrifices
“BANG! , BANG! I shot him Robbie.......I had killed him.......I had killed him with my barehands..... huhuhu… I'm so sorry.
And now honourable judge gentlemen of the jury people of the Philippines judge me am i guilty or not guilty?
I KILLED HIM BECAUSE I LOVED HIM
(Here's a young girl who needs counsel to enlighten her way and guidance to strengthen her life into contentment..... )
Am I a juvenile delinquent? I'm a teenager; I'm young, young at heart in mind. In this position, I'm carefree; I enjoy doing nothing but to drink the wine of pleasure. I seldom go to school, nobody cares! But instead you can see me roaming around. Standing at the nearby canto (street). Or else standing beside a jukebox stand playing the nerve tickling bugaloo. Those are the reasons, why people, you branded me delinquent, a juvenile delinquent.
My parents ignored me, my teachers sneered at me and my friends, they neglected me. One night I asked my mother to teach me how to appreciate the values in life. Would you care what she told me? "Stop bothering me! Can't you see? I had to dress up for my mahjong session, some other time my child". I turned to my father to console me, but, what a wonderful thing he told me. "Child, here's 500 bucks, get it and enjoy yourself, go and ask your teachers that question".
And in school, I heard nothing but the echoes of the voices of my teachers torturing me with these words. "Why waste your time in studying, you can't even divide 100 by 5! Go home and plant sweet potatoes".
I may have the looks of Audrey Hepburn, the calmly voice of Nathalie Cole. But that's not what you can see in me.
Here's a young girl who needs counsel to enlighten her way and guidance to strengthen her life into contentment.
Honorable judge, friends and teachers... Is this the girl whom you commented a juvenile delinquent?.
(The end justifies the means. Stealing was his way to buy medicine for his ill mother.)
They're chasing me, they're chasing, no they must not catch me, I have enough money now, yes enough for my starving mother and brothers.
Please let me go, let me go home before you imprisoned me.
Very well, officers? take me to your headquarters. Good morning captain! no captain, you are mistaken, I was once a good girl, just like the rest of you here. Just like any of your daughters. But time was, when I was reared in slums. But we lived honestly, we lived honestly in life. My, father, mother, brothers, sisters and I. But then, poverty enters the portals of our home. My father became jobless, my mother got ill. The small savings that my mother had kept for our expenses were spent. All for our daily needs and her needed medicine.
One night, my father went out, telling us that he would come back in a few minutes with plenty of foods and money, but that was the last time I saw him. He went with another woman. If only I could lay my hands on his neck I would wring it without pain until he breaths no more. If you were in my place, you'll do it, won't you Captain? What? you won't still believe in me?. Come and I'll show you a dilapidated shanty by a railroad.
Mother, mother I'm home, mother? mother?!. There Captain, see my dead mother. Captain? There are tears in your eyes? Now pack this stolen money and return it to the owner. What good would this do to my mother now? She's already gone! Do you hear me? She's already gone. Am I to be blamed for the things I have done?
(How do you show your faith to God? How do you ask forgiveness to God every time you committed mistakes in life? Until when you will put the pride in your hearts and will not kneel down? This declamation piece can help us reflect on our relationship to God. Don't forget to pray after reading this piece. ^_^)
Have you heard that call? They’re looking for me. That’s definitely me. You’re in doubt and Why? You want me to give you proofs? Oh! That’s very easy.
Who told you to doubt that I am a Christian?
I am a Christian! How?
I went to church. I pray. I have my religion. I read the Bible. I love kids and I am giving them what they want. I sing gospel songs. Now you’re telling me that you are in doubt?
How dare you to question me?
Can’t you see? Or Are you blind? I am the true definition of a Christian. You’re so pathetic; you don’t have the right to question me that way.
What?! You want to ask me more?!… I’ll think about it for a second. Hmhm… Ok! I’m sure I’ll be able to answer all your questions fluently. Go… Ask me….
You’re asking me if I go to church every Sunday?! I told you… I GO TO CHURCH… ahmm b-bu-but not every Sunday. Every other Sunday I guess that’s fine with the Lord.
Why?! I-I-I have a project every other Sunday. Yes r-r-right, I have a project. The Lord understands that.
Liar?! I’m not a liar. I’m telling you the truth in fact I went to church last three Sundays straight and Oh my Gosh Cris is in the stage he’s starting to play the guitar.
Ooops I slip!
Ok fine. I went to church three times straight without absent b-because of Cris. He’s cute, he’s talented. And I’m still there for the Lord.
Liar? I’m not a liar. I am still a Christian. It so happen that I don’t have any projects that Sunday.
Ahhh! Fake?! I’m not a fake Christian; at least I go to church.
Don’t shout! Ahhh! I said I’m not a fake Christian, I-I-I pray… every other day. At least I pray.
No! I said I am a true Christian I read the Bible. I open it… Every time the Pastor is telling me to do so.
Ok stop. Why do we need to argue? I guess I really don’t know what Christianity is?
Ok! I go to church not because of Christ but because of Chris! I’m sleeping every time there is a sermon because I only love the music. I don’t read my Bible because I guess that’s boring. I sing… “Jesus, I surrender I draw nearer, I fall down” but the truth I’m not sincere with that. But I guess my works will be credited in his name. I share my blessings to the poor, i give gifts every Sunday and I have a religion I guess that works…I don’t know.
Right, Ephesians 2: 8-9 was right. It is not by works that I will be saved because Jesus is the only way. And I am so wrong I don’t even mind his sacrifices on the cross. I am supposed to be there because those are my sins. I forgot my purpose here on earth; you know what, he’s been good to me. But I always take him for granted. I’m doing things not for his glory but for my own. I should live for him because he died for me. I’m so ashamed now. But Lord you still forgave me. You’re so good. And you brought me to my knees.
Now I’m talking and standing in front of you and I don’t care if you are going to laugh at me. I care to tell you things that I believe I must tell you. He won everything in me and he’s been waiting for you too… If you believe you have him, you may now shout what Carman once wrote “Jesus is the Champion”.