Red Blood’s Farm

(I posted this piece at my other site last October 2008. I planned to have an English site at but it is not wise for me to manage two sites at a time. I will transfer them here one at a time. Happy reading…)

When I was just half a man and was only beginning to question my existence, I used to walk with my Apong Lakay some weekend’s mornings, roaming around our bangkag and talon. My Apong Lakay was in his early 70s but kept on visiting his farm to which he toiled for almost all his years.

While walking along some tamtambak, I asked, “How did you acquire this farm, Apong?”

He was mesmerized by the question and glanced on me with sparkling eyes and I noticed (I just only remember now how happy he was.) he traveled down memory lanes.

He said, “I almost poured all my blood here and lost plenty of bucketful sweats.”

Astonished, I asked, “Blood? Like the red blood I saw when I cut my finger with the buneng?”

“Yes”, he said. “This is Talon ti Nalabaga a Dara. I poured so much blood for this farm. It almost bled me to death just to ensure that you all, appok, could see the fruits of my labor.”

Everytime I learned that some farmers were selling their hard earned farm lots, I remembered my Apong Lakay’s words. I always ask WHY?

It is ironic that farmers sell their farm lots to send their children to school and will hope for all the best to come. That, when the daughters or sons finish their schooling and hopefully land a job, a modest paying job at the most, they will buy farm lots for their fathers including dividends, some added square meters.

But, the hard thing to swallow is that not all daughters or sons could finish school or land a modest job in our Beloved Motherland. Maybe to Adorable Otherland. When this time comes, the daughters or sons have no more farm lots to go back to, the family has no more farm lots to cling to.

You may say to me that I am naïve; that I could not feel the happiness of seeing children strolling to school; that I could not feel the triumph of holding up high the piece of paper, the diploma, or certificate of completion. Again, it is ironic swapping the Land Title Certificate to Certificate of Graduation. I am not judging people but I am just recalling what had happened to me and to some families or maybe, I assumed, you are one of us.

Or maybe, farmers sell their farm lots because they could see that their children has no ambitions to inherit the hardships of toiling under the sun or arching their backs against the rain. They want to become nurses, engineers, seamen, caregivers, all except farmers. Or maybe, farming is not anymore a profitable business?

But. Was my Apong Lakay so fool in keeping the farm lots, of pouring almost his last drop of blood and of draining his self to the last of his sweats?

I assume, every one of us wants to have a Red Blood’s Farm, a fatherland, a motherland, to which we could offer our last drop of blood and last air of breath.

We must cling to our dearest farm.

There are wars because of foods not oil. We need oil to produce foods. We have our lands to produce foods. All political reasons of rebellions and wars could be summed up to having land. All could be summed up as “My Territory”, my land, and my own food.

With this crisis that just befell on us, everybody are complaining that the price of rice is not affordable. I wondered so much. Though, I am also hard up because I am not into farming.

Mostly of the people lining in for a kilo of rice are claiming that they are farmers. I could not understand that farmers have to fall in line to have a kilo of rice for in fact, rice is their own product. They should be in front of the line selling their rice, their produce for us consumers who are not farmers. I should be at the place of that farmer in the line for 18.25 rice.

Farmers should be happy when their products’ prices skyrocketed to the top.

But, who is selling rice? Those people who bought the farmers’ farm lots. Gadamit!

Then, describe to me the feeling of falling in line buying the product that you could produce if you have not sold your farm lots. It takes a lot of humility to accept WHY.

Life, indeed, is full of contradictions.

Again, I remembered my Apong Lakay’s Red Blood’s Farm. I should cling to it. I know it will not fail me.

Everyone’s Red Blood Farm should become a resting place of a wounded farmer’s soul.