Publisher's Note

  • Publisher’s Note

    Dear Readers, Maligayang Bagong Taon po sa inyong lahat! I hope you all had a great holiday season this past December and were able to spend quality time with your families and friends. It’s hard to believe that it’s now 2020 and that we are already starting the third decade of this century! Last December 27, 2019 [...]

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Page added on August 26, 2019

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Beyond Postcard

TIGS CORNER:

By: Tigs Tidalgo

He struggles for things we take for granted. He worries how to clothes and shelters his family. There are times when he wonders where to get the next meal. He is a small farmer in the barrio. The harvest is few weeks away and the list he owes at the corner store is already quite long.

Though he senses the reluctance on the face of Aling Sylvia, the store owner and his kumadre, she still extends her patience to honour his credit. He already owed her heavily since last year when the harvest was poor due to lack of rain.

This year is different. The harvest is good. But most of his crops will go to the store to pay his debts and the rest to the loan shark who lent him money to cultivate a hectare of rice field he owned through the government program of land reform. He has nothing left after he pays his bills.

Three of his five children are enrolled in the barrio school. His wife, Sabina is carrying the sixth. The quality of education is poor. His oldest daughter, Mingay is already in grade four and though her interest is to become a novelist, she has not yet memorized the alphabet.

Young barrio women are lured by the glitters of big cities. They heard stories about fortune and fame and aspire to share the good life. They instead become housemaids and in some cases working in ill-refute nightclubs as hostesses. They ultimately find themselves selling their bodies as prostitutes. Mingay, when she fully develops her curves is a likable candidate.

Barrio folks are the most overlooked people. While highways, bridges, overpasses and other infrastructures are built and buildings are racing to the sky in big centers, the feeder roads from inner barrios to the main highways has been dismally ignored for ages. There was once an incident where a small town mayor was kidnapped and the ransom demand was to repair the already impassable road for sometime. The road was fixed quickly.

Rice stalks dance in rhythm with the summer breeze. Coconut palm trees gently sway and lush green banana leaves murmur as it hugs the somber wind. He stares upon the horizon being contrasted against the fading glow of sunset. It is  a lively sight; an idyllic postcard picture of the land he was born and raised.

But beauty is least in his heart. The agony in poverty occupies his mind. He is not alone. Many families in his barrio share his fate. He visualizes the hardship his family endures after the harvest. The fruit of his labour for the whole year is not enough to pay his basic needs. Another mouth to feed is coming. His family is not only increasing in numbers, but his children are also growing up. What kind of life awaits them? The future is bleak.

It’s a cruel world.









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