How Can They Do That?

Cu-current events lang ako dahil may hugot ako.

Few times in the past, I have read about the plight of workers of Hacienda Luisita. These workers were recruited from far-flung regions and were promised fair wages and a generally
better opportunity but experienced the opposite. Those promises were not followed. The worst that I read today was that they are locked up so that they cannot leave the premises. What the heck was that?!

This hurts me because my parent’s livelihood was tending to our small garden. And gardening is no joke. Totoo yung magtanim ay di biro. You start work before daybreak. You end work past dinner time with no overtime pay. No day off even. When I was young, we were required to help in the garden after classes and on Saturdays and Sundays. The only chance we get to study is at night after garden work is done. If work extended, then study hours will be delayed. Several times especially during the summer, we work as late as 8 or 9 PM just to finish watering the plants because we just borrowed the water from the neighbor who has more money to buy longer hose so that he can position his water source kilometers away from their property. We are lucky if there is full moon because we have instant light, but if there’s none, then we’d have to make do with flashlights. Or a lighted fire pitch/torch if the flashlight ran out of battery.

If there’s harvest, you need to pack until you’re done even if it means until late night because the harvest needs to be picked up early the next morning to be brought to the market. A few minutes late from schedule means you’ll be stuck in traffic and all the lowland buyers would be gone and you won’t be able to dispose your harvest until the next day where by that time, the quality has already declined, hence you have to sell it at a cheaper price.

We do all these works as a family because money was hard and hiring help was expensive. But on the rare times that our parents hired some help for specific tasks, they did not haggle. We paid them with the onging wage rates at that time. We did not shortchange them. Because doing so would mean depriving their families of a decent meal or worse, the opportunity to send their kids to school.

And today, I saw a post by the assistant secretary of DSWD about the Hacienda Luisita workers who were able to escape the farm and somehow foudn their way to DSWD. Darn!!! Their WEEKLY wages was even less than the daily wage we paid in the ’90s. If this is a joke, it’s not funny. WHY can’t you not fairly pay your workers? Is that too much to do? I’m sure their wages won’t have a massive effect on your overall net worth. Why be so selfish? I don’t understand. This is seriously disturbing.

One item in my bucket list is to be able to put up an agriculture-related business and while my main goal is to make it stable enough to support my family, the other side of the coin is that I want to provide job opportunities even to just a few people.

Sana ako rin may-ari ng ekta-ektaryang lupain. Sana ako rin maraming perang pwedendg ipamuhunan para mabigyan ng trabaho ang iba kahit mangilan-ngilan lang sila. Sana.

Hay. Unayen aya.

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Pine torch. Source

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