The political gods and landlords and other would-be gods of this society that subject the vast majority of the Filipino people to penury to be third class citizens of this country are the ones privileged to sing to the high heavens their hearts bursting with greed and profiteering schemes This land is mine, God gave this land to me.

By DON J PAGUSARA
Davao Today

Last week there was a news report on the broadcast media about a certain government agency telling beach resort owners in the Samal Island to demolish their fences and other structures that obstruct or prohibit the free access of the public to the foreshore lands fronting their respective resort areas.

This supposed order did not pass the ears of certain resort owners without a strong opposition.  At least, a lady resort owner was featured pointing out that the removal of the enclosures will open their premises to thieves and other trouble-makers and thus jeopardizing the resort’s normal business activity.

I was elated by this report even as I recalled my own experience in a neighboring beach resort last year.  The unforgettable incident was this –

It was a special Sunday holiday for me and my family.  Of course, there was no fence or any structure that obstructed our entrance to the beach adjacent to our village.  Under the coconut palms that provided shade from the midday sun, my entire family and household members gathered and enjoyed the special victuals prepared for this rare occasion.

After lunch, I was lazily lying on a some dry coconut palms leaves while the rest were enjoying the sea.  I was on the verge of falling to a restful pleasurable sleep when this resort guard in uniform came to us and ordered us to vacate the place, saying “Sir, bawal dito, dahil bahagi pa ito ng beach resort (This is prohibited zone being part of the resort area!).”

The guard and I soon tangled in an altercation that attracted the attention of other people who like us were there to enjoy the luxury of the wind and sea.  Of course, they applauded me for my courage to counteract the arrogance of the pawns of the resort owner.  I did not budge an inch, neither my wife nor my children.  And the guard called his superior guard through his mobile phone.

When his superior came after several minutes he was in company with a “Barangay police” who knew me personally, and who said, we will just settle our case at the barangay hall the following Monday.  He said, “Ang Barangay Kapitan lang ang makasetol ana, kay pareho man mong naay katarungan (Only the Barangay Captian can settle your case, because both of you have your reasons).”

And I said, “Sige, pero di mi mopahawa dinhi (Okay,but we won’t leave here).”  We left before sundown with my heart and soul still heavy with anger unabated.  In the evening, the unfortunate beach incident was our viand at dinner amid teasing and laughter from my sons and daughter who recalled, “Suko kaayo tong guwardiya kay karon lang daw siya gitawag og yawa (The guard was mad for being called “yawa” for the first time in his life).”

I was happy with my daughter’s comment, “Well, there’s always a first time!”  It was just too bad she did not utter it while we (the guard and I) were still in the middle of our shouting match, short of a fist fight.

I cannot really get over my vehement anger and dismay with this intolerable order of things in our society!  I deeply bewail this FACT –

THAT OUR PRICELESS GOD-GIVEN BEACHES ARE THE EXCLUSIVE LUXURY OF THE RICH AND INFLUENTIAL PEOPLE AND FOREIGNERS IN SOCIETY. 

AND THE GRASSROOTS MAJORITY OF OUR PEOPLE CANNOT SET FOOT ON THEM LIKE THEY ARE STRANGERS IN THEIR OWN LAND…!

This state of affairs is true with all the other bountiful gifts that our country is naturally blest with.  Talk of the First Class Mangoes, Bananas and other Choice Fruits grown on and harvested from our soils.  They are intended for exportation and they are the ordinary fare of the very few elite and the tourists.  But the rest of the Filipinos cannot taste these, much less sniff of their scent.  They have to settle for the Third, Fourth or Fifth Class.  If not the so-called Rejects!

Talk of the First Class Fish from our seas.  Who have the luxury of enjoying their tasty meat, if not the wealthy and the tourists — the Aliens. . .!  OMG!  Are we really the citizens and constituents of this country?  Are we the real owners of this land’s rich resources?

Or are we just the recipients — the sacrificial victims — of the natural calamities?  The floods, The landslides, The Tsunamis and the Earthquakes!

The political gods and landlords and other would-be gods of this society that subject the vast majority of the Filipino people to penury to be third class citizens of this country are the ones privileged to sing to the high heavens their hearts bursting with greed and profiteering schemes This land is mine, God gave this land to me.

Don J. Pagusara is a native of Mindanao, a multi-awarded author and a Palanca-awardee.

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  • Joe Smith

    @ Don Pagusara…is that land truly yours Don ? Did you pick up a gun and fight the Japanese for that land ?? Why you think that everything is supposed to be handed to you on a silver platter ? We’re you trespassing on private property ? Why do you think that people should just hand you first class fruits for free ? Nothing in this life is free…join the rest of the world and start paying for things like the rest of us….how much do you enjoy your freedom ? Did you fight for your freedom or you take it for granted ??

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