Ten days after our break-up, I am encoding this letter addressed to you, which you will never be able to read because there is no way this will reach you. Yet I want to continue writing because there is so much I want to say. I am still on the verge of tears after losing you in a tragedy as if I were a family of a victim of the Hacienda Luisita massacre… but not quite. Admittedly, I grieve at your loss especially as our supposedly third month of dating is imminent, just like how the 4th death anniversary of the victims is nearing in.
I remember, when we were still together, you always complain to me about a lot of things you don’t like in your what-you-like-to-call-“poor” life. You say you find it so hard to squeeze your 100-peso daily allowance to accommodate your expenditures in your education, food, fare and other miscellaneous while the Hacienda Luisita farmers earn P9.50 a week. YOU DO NOT KNOW POOR. And how can you, when you are too busy playing CABAL Online instead of attending your classes – something the farmers’ children are deprived of? You claim you push yourself so much into getting a good OJT and after, a good job to earn money you can give your parents to add to the daily budget and save a little to yourself so that you can go to Mall of Asia and watch the fireworks display. You whine about how and why you have to work hard for your extended family, while the children of Hacienda Luisita work multiple times as much just to bring home a total earning amounting to a kilo of rice WITHOUT complaint. I am not even sure if they’ve witnessed the wonder of pyrotechnics.
At the night of our break-up, you accused me of always being deaf to your calls of support that were ever so silent in the first place. You said you needed me yet you never let me know, you never told me, unlike the flared-up spirits of the azucarera workers who stood as warriors at their picket lines just so that their voices can be heard.
Bitterness devours me. The love I had for you that once took the emptiness in my heart’s place is now gone and was replaced by this – this anger even I cannot erase. I TRUSTED YOU. I believed your promises just as the people of Hacienda Luisita believed the promises of the Cojuangcos – and you, as scheming as the wealth-hungry feudal lords, betrayed me behind my back. That was when I learned that our sides – as much as theirs – can never meet at one point. And because of this, I had to lose you, like how they killed the farmers in desperation to at once put an end to the conflict that threatens their stolen wealth. Frail as you are, you lost your ground and walked away. YOU WERE WEAK unlike the azucareros who fought even up to death.
How could I have let you overpower me? Have I been too submissive, thinking you were THE authority as if I were a sugar plant worker, and you, a Cojuangco? And just when I finally learned to fight for myself, when I was finally winning the right to complain, you offer change and yet you shoot me with your high-powered rifles loaded with bullets of painful words. And like the biased news, you say I was the one who started the shooting but ended up hurting myself when my own bullets backfired at me. As big an ass the sly police and military were, you had everyone believe that you did nothing to hurt me.
But then I will say I did not want to lose you, as much as their families did not want to lose the massacre victims – but we had to, if it meant being free from oppression that we let so long and will never again allow to cloud over us.
Today I still have your name plate, as if a tombstone of the azucareros who are now dead – a memorabilia of your loss that I will find hard to get over but I must accept that you are now gone from me and I can never have you back.
And yes, I still love you.