Paalam Ka Bel

Posted on May 29, 2008

1


[This blog has a new domain: http://philippineaffairs.com/]

What could be more ironic than a marine squad of honor guards saluting the coffin of a Marxist labor leader? What could be more poetic justice than a battalion of police protecting a crowd of activist marchers?

We are tired of hearing news about soldiers summarily executing leftist leaders. We are already numbed seeing TV footages of mass-dispersals of protesters by anti-riot police using tear gas, bamboo canes, and water cannons. Yesterday’s funeral march for Ka Bel was indeed an unusual scene. It was more than ironic. It was more than poetic. Even in the last stretch of his long journey, Crispin Beltran was still the quintessential street parliamentarian. The funeral march was turned into a protest. Among the sea of red shirts and flags, chants of indignations were heard.

Although his death was not as dramatic or heroic as he wanted it to be, his life was a paragon of unselfish service for the working class, particularly for the common laborer. He gallantly fought for reforms both on the streets and in the halls of congress. But his mouth is now forever silent. His feet will never step on the streets again. His arms will never again be outstretched with defiant fists. His walk is now finally over. Ka Bel might simply become just a footnote in history or he might simply be forgotten but his legacy will remain. As long as the working class is slave to the capitalist infrastructure, many other Crispin Beltrans will rattle the chains and try to break free from bondage.

This song is a fitting tribute to Ka Bel and to all others like him:

MANGGAGAWA

By Gary Granada
(Downdload MP3)

Kung ang ulo niya’y masagi sa balikat mo kaibigan
Ikaw na sana ang marunong umunawa
Ibig lamang maidlip ang lamog na katawan
Ng isang pangkaraniwang manggagawa
Sa maraming pabrika ang pahinanteng tulad niya
Ay palipatlipat na namamasukan
Sa lamig ng magdamag, pagod niya’y sinasagad
Sa munting paghahangad na mabuhay

Kulang ang maghapon upang makaipon
At makakaahon ang isang dukha
Kulang din ang pawis kahit labislabis
Kung ang nagnanais ay maralita

Natutunan niyang hamakin ang sakit at sakuna
Tatlumpu’tpitong taon na siyang nasanay
Sa matang namumutla ay inyong mapupuna
Siya’y mamamatay sa kakahanapbuhay
Sa mga nagpapaluwal ang sahod niyang butalbutal
Nasanla nang matagal sa kagipitan
At kahit siya magpapagal, pilit mang isusugal
Ang hapo at nangangatal niya nang laman

Kulang ang maghapon..

Samantalang may isang panginoong maykapital
Ang nagdiwang at nagdaos ng hapunan
At kabilang sa hapag ng panauhing pandangal
Ang tanyag at ang banal sa ating lipunan
Halos ang bawat isa’y makapangyariha’t matagumpay
Dahilan sa isang taglay na katangian
Ang matibay na loob na magsawang mabusog
Habang may nangangatog sa hapdi ng tiyan

Kulang ang maghapon…

Posted in: Uncategorized