Ode to Farmers, by Leomel Pasquin

Nothing is more relaxing than to sit beneath the shadow a huge tree and enjoying the scenery of a vast rice field before sunset. Men started to emerge from paddies which they tended to the whole day. Along their paths were verdant grasses that shyly sprouted in greetings for the dawn of the rainy season. More than the beauty itself, I started to recall the themes which fascinated Amorsolo most and became subject of his quest for realism. I’m glad that he was solely engrossed with the gaiety of farming and the people involved in it rather than the injustices that these people suffered which did not merely bruised them economically by being perpetually tied to the land but also morally by regarding them lesser than the bourgeois. Whatever his purpose is, the same thing remains abound: that whenever there is a titled land, such can never be free from atrocity or hostility or depicts myriad for of injustices. Land and blood remains as formidable requisites to a legal title.

Having no land to till on my own, I imagine myself transported back to the 60s where an acre of it would cost you about three thousand pesos or less depending on the agreed price between the seller and the buyer. If there is only a way I could go back, I should have been doing the same thing as of those men who walked in pack on their way home. The only difference is that I’ll be doing the land which I personally own and not of somebody else’s. I might have also listed myself as one of the migrants to the south and exploit the land provided by the government to use and farm.

Back in 1960s, it was in these years that people were inclined to have a job in the city, and farming was considered an inferior endeavor which only suit those who hadn’t gone to school. Those who took their chances in the city were relatively better economically compared to those who till the land —well, except for the hacienderos and illustrados who had vast titles over them but which they possessed solely by virtue of their influence and political clouts. They did not even had a hand on the land itself and their attachments were primarily confined in their thirst for profit. This kind of practice was very common during this time and I could only picture out how my grandmother would refer them as “pinanginbulahan” or fortunate. Most of these people were educated in law or engaged in other businesses and see themselves as elite, or someone we used to call “sosyal” before the very term assumes several meaning in subsequent years. And because they know better than anybody else, applied titles to the land they did not even have any roots or history. That’s how things work back then. You get to have a piece of it if you have the edge in knowledge and you have money to exploit in exchange of for intermittent emancipation from poverty of the people.

It was also during these years that my mother was born. Expectedly, she is one who thinks education is the only way out of poverty, thus compelling us to take a long way to school everyday. I am grateful for her nonetheless because I get to explore our little library in our meager elementary school. I came to know things like dinosaurs and why people need to wear undergarments. It was her that showed us the possibility of possessing knowledge and how to use them to advance one’s self above others. While I believed it for the long time, a part of me still desires that success does not only mean getting a good-paying job but also helping other understands the value of uplifting those who are around you. Because most of the time, success is not about an individual quest but of collective teamwork, of getting things done hand-in-hand.

And yet, I am still thankful of education because it is through it that I discovered farming as a noble profession. In fact, it is the noblest profession one could ever think of. In Japan for instance, farmers are regarded with high respect and the government give subsidies to them. They are not only seen as the foundation of a good country but a conduit of the spirit of the earth and of human race. Unlike in our country where a farmer is used as a premise or a benchmark to compare economic status. An ordinary child would often look down on a person with a shabby clothes and stains of mud in his body than a person who wears a plain white clothes and a pricey sneakers on his feet. Or between a doctor and a farmer, people give much regard to the former. That is just how it is, and culturally we are made to look it that way.

But things are changing. With the dawn of social media, people like me and many more came out to share information of the benefit of farming and the importance of farmers. This could not been more true than this moment when we all face the biggest challenge that shakes the foundation of the world – socially, economically, politically, morally and spiritually. This is the time that we need the farmers better and that we need to give them the respect they ought to have long ago. Because no one more deserving of our respect than the one who silently feed us everyday. It’s not the landowners, it’s the farmers. And it is the only way we give them justice for all the tears and blood they shed in tilling the lands just to keep our dreams come true.

Today, I remember my grandmother who used to bring me to the garden where the chili were red and the coffee blossoms smell good; I remember her in the scorching of heat of the sun smiling down on me and telling me, “You have to plant to eat, and you have to eat in order to go to school. And no matter where success may take you, you will always go back to the land you till and that is how you pay respect to those who came before you.” My grandmother was never educated but she has the wisdom rooted in experience, and an essential lesson taught by the very soil she cultivated.

Making Time, Taking Time, Owning Time

I’ve been wanting to devote a whole day for reading and writing and now that I’m finally having the chance, I’m making time for it.

I’m taking my time and owning it.

When you’ve been nagged at for so long, you would know this is a freedom of a kind. And you can’t help feeling being freed to do whatever you want for so long as you can.

Things we should suspend for the time being would be overindulging, procrastinating, and putting off momentum for something one could do.

So drafting would be the thing for today. Let’s see if we would be able to publish some already. I may not hit the publish button just yet for a week or so. I’ve told myself there would be no routine in my blogging mantra. I’ll publish if I will, not yet if not yet.

I am thinking of carefully penning down my thoughts for what they really should be, and see how they will go.

We’ll be closing the drain and removing ‘delete-reflex’ for the time being.

So how’s it going with you?

5/24/2020

As I continue with this blogging thing, I have yet to ponder whether being here is the right thing to do or not.

Currently I am a teacher in Math but funny how I spend my time trying to read and read and read about writing and the like. I also keep creating rhymes in my head.

I don’t know anymore if this is just a long detour or just some psychological behavior I am not aware of.

But, hey! Just blogging! Thank you for visiting my site! I’m delighted! Comment, like, share. But please, don’t be too kind. I love argument for the sake of it. Just realized it. After all, I try to live up to this blog’s title.

SNAPPING OUT FROM UNCALCULATED ACTIONS

We make mistakes and most of these are rarely deliberate or planned.

Just a few maybe okay but always sulking or suffering from these over and over may not be the most recommended scenario if we were to live just a modest life.

They say the greatest glory is not in ever falling but rising every time we fall. But what can we do with rising if we were already broken to begin with? The damage is done. Money is lost. Relationships turned sour. Can one stand again, do things just like the way they were, bring back lost relationships and spilled milk?

Well, if we’ve already made lots of mistake then we can only do so much to cope or heal from whatever unpleasant things brought about by these.

Yes! We can always devise ways to not make lots of mistakes. And this may lessen injuries, physically and emotionally.

Admit it or not, in one way or another, we all are our creators of our own situation. That is, most of the time.

Correct me if I’m wrong.

Tidbits on Language

I suppose so.

TóTómel: Tilling the Nascent Philippines

fuzzy_conversation

A sudden silence in the middle of a conversation suddenly brings us back to essentials: it reveals how dearly we must pay for the invention of speech.
Emile M. Cioran

Is it my right brain or the left brain that’s functioning within my skull? I don’t know exactly because I must admit that my mind is not as sharp as others’ for I still have an inadequacy of mastering any language. So much more with my style, simply because I am not adept in constructing right phrases or choosing appropriate words for my sentences; and with all of these errors and poor English usage, I usually get a bad remark from my girlfriend. Naks!

In the current situation, it is a formidable fact that one is adjudged by the predilection of correct sentence constructions. With vicissitudes and inconsistencies, one may flunk from the standard of languages and be scorned publicly…

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Be a Bridge

So you’ve finally arrived. And you thought, Ahhh… Was that it? Is that all there is to it? Is it really that simple?

Then you lift your head, while your eyes wander back to the place where you came from then you see someone trying to figure out as well their way to the destination.

Now you remember all the hardships you went through. The questions you asked. The things you wished you knew. The gratitude you felt when someone helped you. What you promised to yourself when time comes.

It’s easy to talk now that you’ve achieved what you’ve been dreaming all along.

But you have to decide: Go immediately to the next? Or become some bridge first that helps?

And So we Continue

Moving on, we have to slow down a bit and think about the reasons why we write. Would it just be to express? To walk someone thru something? To inform? To rant? To flex people, books, pictures, words? Is it out of hobby or to earn?

I tend to forget the reasons for my directions and I’m just so indulgent at the very moment to try to be consistent with what I say now and before. I was scared for a bit that moment I divulged on Facebook that I’ve been stealing chances to post on a blog site.

One reason might be because I’m not really the type to go public with my thoughts and deepest aspirations. More so publishing things on the internet. As one might have depicted from my previous posts, I’m not the pro in this field and I am simply taking a long detour from whatever destiny that awaits me. Not that I’m defensive but really, I was not schooled formally for these kind of things save the few lectures I attended back in my high school days when we outsmarted our teachers into being selected for competitions on journalism. Back then, I was honestly not into this type, writing.

But there is just this magic that is created by the prospect of blogging that now that I’m on a go for it that I should grab any momentum that will propel me to discover whatever reason I can have for doing this.

And so this continues.