“You rich, weep and wail over your impending miseries. Your wealth has rotted, your fine wardrobe has grown moth-eaten, your gold and silver have corroded and their corrosion shall be a testimony against you; it will devour your flesh like a fire... Here, crying aloud, are the wages you withheld from the farmhands who harvested your fields, the shouts of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord. You lived in wanton luxury on earth, you fattened yourselves for the day of slaughter. (James 5:1-6)
The above citation from nothing less than Sacred Scriptures sounds not only scary for the covetous, the avaricious, the rapacious but has special relevance to many hacienderos who own truly big farmlands, who do anything to keep these under their sovereignty, who look down at their farmers as but some kind of work animals hereto throwing merely some residuals to keep them alive, to keep them working.
Hence, they firmly hold on and ferociously defend their haciendas – come what may. Provided that they remain wealthy and powerful, they then feel and act like “Landlords” in the strict sense of the term – with a capital “L” to qualify the “lords”. The sad present and dim future of the farmers together with their families, never mind. What is truly important is for the haciendas to remain intact and for the hacienderos to continue being wealthy, to become even wealthier.
The above-cited grim biblical passage not only sounds real but also reads familiar – considering in particular the disturbing or even disgusting phenomena in the Country. There is the untouchable hacienda. There are the filthy rich hacienderos. There are the pitiful hacienda workers. There was the Mendiola Massacre. There were the Tarlac murders. There was even the ousted Chief Justice of the Philippines. But everything remains OK. In act, there is a huge business center in the Hacienda. There is even the long highway express passing by the Hacienda and ending at the highways.
“Weep and wail”: Now, the hacienderos live in laughter and joy, celebrate and rejoice. Thereafter, its misery and pain, anguish and agony.
“Impending miseries”: Tribulations are but waiting to happen. Grief and agony are coming to order. Escape there is none.
“Testimony against you”: There is no excuse. There is no escape. There are too many known injustices done, too much oppression made.
“Wanton luxury”: They laugh and celebrate now. They enjoy life, they love living. But all these will ultimately and definitely come to an end.
“Day of slaughter”: Hacienderos, you have been told. You have been warned. What do you do now? Will you simply say: “Let’s be merry now for tomorrow we die”? How pitiful! How saddening!