Land of Bondage

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  • Topic: The Land is Ours, Natural and legal rights, Accusation
  • Pages : 2 (808 words )
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  • Published : August 29, 2011
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LAND OF BONDAGE, LAND OF THE FREE
By: Raul Manglapus
 
Once upon a time,/ the tao owned a piece of land.// It was all he owned.// But he cherished it,/ for it gave himthree things, having which,/ he was contended:// 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 master of his land.//                 The Spaniard became rich.// But with riches, evil entered into him/ and he came to the tao the second time.// He read to the tao a formidable document saying:// “According to this decreto real,/ which unfortunately you cannotread/ this, what you have been paying me is not tribute but rent, for the land is not yours but mine.// The tao paid thetribute and said nothing…// He ceased to be a freeman.// He became a/ serf.// Still, the tao held his peace.// The rentwent 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,/ droveaway the stranger.// Then he returned to his field saying:/ “Now indeed/ shall I again be master of this land,/ once myown, 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 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...
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