Prints and Traces

Of course, the entire tortuous course of Philippine history can not be encapsulated in one song or retold in a single epic verse narrative. The sporadic revolts that dotted the terrain of the whole period of our people’s engagements with the colonizers have their respective individual plots and characters. And their respective settings or loci of actions occur in distinct times and places.

Certainly each of these people’s revolts in separate islands and at different times has its particularity in terms of motivation and specific cause or reason. There is however a general tale-thread of their occurrence, and that is a people’s natural resistance to foreign domination characterized by abusive use of authority and cruel manner of governance.

And so, despite their unconnectedness in time and distance, it was inevitable that they would converge and amalgamate into a national consciousness that would find expression in the national uprising of 1896 spearheaded by the Katipunan of Gat Andres Bonifacio.

But in 1898, the Philippine Revolution, at the zenith of its crowning glory, was betrayed and suffered a fall — “the crown it won slipped and fell away broken.”

Since then the people’s revolution has renewed its battle cry and has continued to reinvigorate and rage against the gloom of neocolonial times. Like a river it winds its way towards its destination and it has gained momentum along twists and turns towards the sea of victory.

It now behooves on the current People’s War led by the CPP-NPA- NDFP to retrieve and mend the ‘broken crown’ and put it back to its glorious state.

Hymn: Child of the Brown Land

II
But still the fingers
of the angry sun keep pricking
on my breast
as I tread from end to end of
the cemented streets
My soul writhes and writhes
in unendurable pain
for the fangs of wrong continues
to gnaw at the conscience
of my people

The child of the soil since time immemorial
has been crawling like a cockroach on the muck
and stench of history, whilst there on the spaces
beyond the wide seas, on the luck-laden lands of
the west giant rocks grow high to the clouds,
kiss the soft cheeks of heaven’s alluring realms,
sweet-talk the guards at the gods’ estate’s gates,
their pates, illumined by the lanterns in the sky,
glisten with a rare sheen of hubris like monuments
proclaiming dominion over all of history’s creations!

And in the chambered spaces of their interiors
bask in luxury the cabals of privilege—the lords
of finance and all the moneys of the universe!—
they who have thrived on the fat of the earth
and the sap of people’s resource-energies, they
who feed on the bounties of the brown islands.

But the heavy drapes and damp air that saturate
their regal parlors and offices will never ever mute
the agonies of pain and death, nor the steel shutters
of their doors and windows hide the wounds
that serve as passageways of their stolen wealth!

The victuals that nourish their bloated shapes
are priced meatballs — – mashed flesh and blood
of brown-skinned peoples of the archipelago
whose blithesome shadows swoop now and then
on their walls synchronous with the footfalls
on the darkened hallways: living images of
rallying voices bombarding the consciences
of peoples and nation-states—real documentaries
that attest to history’s inhumanities.

And there’s a song that resounds through
the centuries, crisscrossing the dark and narrow
passageways of this thick jungle of high-rise rocks
and stones and towering white men beneath
the shining white of these mounds of civilization
is a widespread layer of boiling magma— molten lava
of history! — half-ignored, faintly heeded, by the
lords and high priests of the world’s superpowers,
but alive and stirring, restlessly simmering,
steadily gaining inertia of its power like the
crescendo rise of a musical rendition, its tempo
quiveringly quickening until the avalanche
of harmonic sounds climaxes in the final
explosive notes of a classical symphony.

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