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Speech of His Excellency, Jose P. Laurel, President of the Republic of
the Philippines, delivered over Station PIAM Manila, on February 29,
1944, addressed to the Filipino youth.
In this critical period of our history, we need the heart, the soul and the vigor
of the youth of our land to help us build our country on the most enduring
basis of brotherhood and solidarity of all Filipinos. I am, therefore, happy to
know of the integration of the Filipino youth and that the Filipino youth is now
on the march. The question is: Where is it going? Is it marching with
irresistible will and determination toward progress and civilization, peace and
order, and the prosperity and happiness of the Fatherland? If it is, I, as the
chosen head of our nation and our people, heartily welcome it and bid it
It is trite saying that the future belongs to youth, especially to those
dynamic, aggressive and self-confident young men and women who have
foresight. Thus they have the bounden duty to ensure it. So much faith the
greatest Filipino patriot and hero, Rizal, had in the youth of the land that
while he was still in his teens, he dedicated to it his prize winning poem
entitled “To the Filipino Youth,” and he called the Filipino youth not without
reason and justification “Fair hope of my Fatherland.”
Several years later, when Rizal was in Madrid, he thought again of the
Filipino youth. On the occasion of the signal honor and distinction conferred
upon the famous Filipino painter Juan Luna when one of his paintings was
awarded the highest prize in the artistic world, Rizal offered a touching toast.
He expressed the fervent hope that the worthy and commendable examples
of Juan Luna, and Resurrection, another famed Filipino painter, will be
imitated or emulated by the Filipino youth. In the course of a few years that
youth had become to him more than the “fair hope of my fatherland”; it had
become the “sacred hope of my Fatherland.”
Rizal’s fair and sacred hope is represented by the young men and women of
today, by you, the Filipino youth on the march, you who will be either the
leaders and masters of your country and your country’s fate tomorrow or the
hewers of wood and drawers of water for other people more ambitious and
far-seeing than you, men with vision, with courage, and with an indomitable
will to succeed whatever be the obstacles.
Inspired by the same noble sentiment, the late Dr. Rafael Palma, builder of
the University of the Philippines, dedicated to the same youth, to the same
“fair and sacred hope” of the Fatherland, his last work and masterpiece, his

life-size biography of Rizal. In his dedicatory remarks he gave voice to his
abiding faith and confidence in the ability of the Filipino young men and
women to make good.
Have they made good or are they making good? Were Rizal living today
would he be proud of them? Would he say, if he could see them from beyond
the tomb, that he did not die in vain, that his country’s sacred and beautiful
hope has not disappointed him and those who like him had given their full
measure of sacrifice for the glory of their Fatherland?
How fare the youth of the land? Are they planting the seeds that will make
their country great? Do they realize the serious problems that now confront
the Republic of the Philippines, which is their Republic, and are they
contributing to the fullest extent to the solution of such problems? Are they
putting their strong and broad shoulders on the wheel of progress and
prosperity? Are they helping actively in the complete restoration of peace
and order in their country and in the gigantic reconstruction work which both
the people and the government must undertake? Are they doing their duty
as citizens of the Republic, working for the common happiness and welfare of
their respective communities?
As ye sow, so shall ye reap. Are the Filipino young men and women of today
sowing the seeds of peace and prosperity so that they will reap the fruits of
progress and tranquility? Man is the archetype of society. Both society and
the nation grow as the individuals grow. Unless our youth prepare for the
future, there will be no future for them.
“I want to let those who deny us every feeling of patriotism,” wrote Rizal,
“that we know how to die for our duty and for our convictions. What matters
death if one dies for what one loves, for one’s country, and for those one
In one of his parting letters he wrote “My future, my life, my joys, all I have
sacrificed for my love for her”—referring to the Philippines. “Whatever be my
fate, I will die blessing her and wishing her the dawn of her redemption.”
That, you will agree, is a wonderful sentiment. Does the Filipino youth of
today feel and cherish it?
Isagani, one of the youthful characters that stand out in bold relief in Rizal’s
Noli, once called on one of the leading lawyers in Manila for an advice. The
lawyer advised Isagani to follow the line of least resistance. “Why fight, why
think,” he argued, “when somebody else will do the fighting and thinking for
you? Prosperity, happiness, and peace of mind,” the legal adviser pointed
out, lie in the direction of the current. “Believe me,” he concluded, “you will
remember me and think me right when you have gray heirs like mine.”

I shall be happy to say a few words to you later in connection with the integration movement of the Filipino youth not only in the public and private schools but of all Filipino young men and women all over the islands so that the youth of the land may be not only a strong factor in supporting this government and in making this Republic an enduring nation but also so that with the help and cooperation and loyalty of the Filipino youth. mine are dying. progress and prosperity of the Republic. I thank you for this opportunity of addressing the youth of the land on this memorable occasion. “and I look back upon my past and see that I had worked only for myself. but it is particularly for the young generation and future generations to preserve and to enjoy. said: “The future opens itself for you.” Do the Filipino youth of today talk and feel that way? Are they fully aware of the tremendous responsibility placed upon them by Rizal when he called them “fair and sacred hope of the Fatherland?” Are they willing to die for their convictions. their Republic. and to work actively and persistently for the welfare. to fight hunger and poverty and all the other evils that hard times bring in their train so that their country. frost is congealing in mine. Fire burns in your blood.” he answered. I shall be ashamed of them. martyr and model. on this occasion to invite and call upon all the youth of the land to join hands with the forces of the government to stimulate food production. then.” Surely. Your affections are being born. The Republic is not of this generation to keep. for me it is closing. They are ready and willing.” “You do not know how to sacrifice the present for a useful.What was Isagani’s retort? “When I have gray hairs like yours. I am taking the liberty. I take it. their people. They cannot and will not disappoint their greatest hero. might live in peace and in abundance? Contrasting his age and that of his son. to work with their duly constituted leaders for the salvation of their country especially during these days of supreme ordeal when the fate of the Philippines is at stake as a result of the scarcity of food and the continued pernicious and disloyal activities of some of our citizens. and yet you cry and do not know how to sacrifice the present for the future. to restore complete peace and order throughout the length and breadth of the Philippines. fruitful future. Rizal’s hero in the NOLI. to do their part. the youth of today cannot and will not accept that serious charge. a future which will be useful to you and your country. therefore. without having done what I could well have done and should have done for the country which has given me everything. every gray hair of mine will be for me a thorn and instead of being proud of my gray hairs. the father of Ibarra. we may be in a position to transmit as a heritage to future .

By the strength of their hearts and hands. every river and lake that promise a plentiful living and the fruitfulness of commerce. of Gergorio del Pilar at Tirad Pass. borne upon the billowing wave and the whistling wind. this land and all the appurtenances thereof . compact and united in the bonds of a common affection. It is the self-same seed that flowered in the heart of Jose Rizal that morning in Bagumbayan when a volley of shots put an end to all that was mortal of him and made his spirit deathless forever. Over the sea I see them come. the forests with their inexhaustible wealth in wild life and timber. by every right of law. a people. every hill and mountain that beckoned to them with a green and purple invitation.child of many generations removed of ancient Malayan pioneers. that bloomed in flowers of frustration in the sad heart of Emilio Aguinaldo at Palanan.generations a country. . the seas and lakes and rivers teeming with fish. hostage to the uncertain future.the task of meeting my responsibility to the past.seed that flowered down the centuries in deeds of courage and defiance. In my veins yet pulses the same hot blood that sent Lapulapu to battle against the alien foe that drove Diego Silang and Dagohoy into rebellion against the foreign oppressor.hope in the free abundance of new land that was to be their home and their children's forever. and the task of performing my obligation to the future. for centuries without number. I am a Filipino. Every inch of shore that their eyes first set upon. In my blood runs the immortal seed of heroes . the memory comes rushing back to me: of brown-skinned men putting out to sea in ships that were as frail as their hearts were stout. As such I must prove equal to a two-fold task. carried upon the mighty swell of hope. human and divine.the black and fertile soil. I sprung from a hardy race . This is the land they sought and found. Romulo I am a Filipino— inheritor of a glorious past. of Antonio Luna at Calumpit. Source: Office of the Solicitor General Library I Am A Filipino by Carlos P. That seed is immortal. and so on until the world no more. the same that flowered in the hearts of Bonifacio in Balintawak. Across the centuries. is a hollowed spot to me. the land of my fathers. the mountains with their bowels swollen with minerals .the whole of this rich and happy land has been. I thank you. every mile of rolling plain that their view encompassed. This land I received in trust from them and in trust will pass it to my children.

and this is my inheritance. I have seen the light of justice and equality and freedom and my heart has been lifted by the vision of democracy. of the voices of my people when they sing: Land of the Morning. its passivity and endurance. in the symbolic act of possession and racial vindication. of the battle cries that have resounded in every field of combat from Mactan to Tirad pass. Quezon when he stood at last on the threshold of ancient Malacañang Palace. was my mother. and my sire was the West that came thundering across the seas with the Cross and Sword and the Machine.only individuals and nations making those momentous choices that are hinges upon which history resolves. interlacing branches of habit and custom above me I have seen the light of the sun. but not one defeated and lost. the symbol of dignity as a human being. and start moving where destiny awaits. shape of the lethargy that has bound his limbs. being apart from those world now trembles to the roar of bomb and cannon shot. For no man and no nation is an island. At the vanguard of progress in this part of the world I stand . The East. But I also know that the East must awake from its centuried sleep. and it shall be compounded of the joyous cries of my Malayan forebears when they first saw the contours of this land loom before their eyes. am of the West. I am a Filipino. I can no longer live. with its languor and mysticism. an eager participant in its struggles for liberation from the imperialist yoke. and I know that it is good. . and my generation is but a stage in the unending search of my people for freedom and happiness. I am a Filipino. child of the marriage of the East and the West. there is no longer any East and West . For through the thick. I. The seed I bear within me is an immortal seed. It is the insigne of my race. What pledge shall I give that I may prove worthy of my inheritance? I shall give the pledge that has come ringing down the corridors of the centuries.a forlorn figure in the eyes of some. beyond the power of any man or nation to subvert or destroy.and yet burst forth royally again in the proud heart of Manuel L. it shall grow and flower and bear fruit again. For. too. It is the mark of my manhood. I am of the East. but a part of the main. and I shall not rest until my land and my people shall have been blessed by these. Like the seeds that were once buried in the tomb of Tutankhamen many thousand years ago. Child of the sun returning…Ne'er shall invaders Trample thy sacred shore. and the vigorous peoples of the West have destroyed forever the peace and quiet that once was ours.

out of the limitless patience of teachers in the classrooms and doctors in the clinics. out of the crunch of ploughs upturning the earth. out of the first cries of babies newly born and the lullabies that mothers sing. out of the tramp of soldiers marching.Out of the lush green of these seven thousand isles. Out of the songs of the farmers at sunrise when they go to labor in the fields. out of the heartstrings of sixteen million people all vibrating to one song. out of the silent endurance of stevedores at the piers and the ominous grumbling of peasants Pampanga. out of the sweat of the hard-bitten pioneers in Mal-ig and Koronadal. out of the crashing of gears and the whine of turbines in the factories.forever. I shall weave the mighty fabric of my pledge. I shall make the pattern of my pledge: "I am a Filipino born of freedom and I shall not rest until freedom shall have been added unto my inheritance .for myself and my children's children . .

Other neighbors who passed by our house often stopped in our yard and joined us in our laughter. Some days the rich man appeared at a window and glowered down at us. Father’s farm had been destroyed in 1918 by one of our sudden Philippine floods. The chickens were young and tender and the fat that dripped into the burning coals gave off an enchanting odor. While we boys and girls played and sand in the sun. Sometimes. his children stayed inside and kept the windows closed. We had a nextdoor neighbor. He looked at us one by one. though he preffered living in the country. our whole family stood outside the windows of the rich man’s house and listened to the musical sizzling of thick strips of bacon or ham. He would go in to . a very rich man. We watched the servants turn the beautiful birds and inhaled the heavenly spirit that drifted out to us. or slept. Sometimes we wrestled with one another in the house before we went out to play. when there was any food in the house to eat. I can remember one afternoon when our neighbor’s servants roasted three chickens. Laughter was our only wealth. and the aroma of the food was wafted down to us from the windows of the big house. We were always in the best of spirits and our laughter was contagious. Now. Father was a laughing man. whose sons and daughters seldom came out of the house. so for several years afterward we all lived in the town.My Father Goes To Court by Carlos Bulosan When I was four. as though he were condemning us. We were all healthy because we went out in the sun every day and bathed in the cool water of the river that flowed from the mountains into the sea. or ate. in the morning. this rich man’s servants were always frying and cooking something good. His house was so tall that his children could look in the windows of our house and watch us as we played. We hung about and took all the wonderful smell of the food into our beings. I lived with my mother and brothers and sisters in a small town on the island of Luzon.

watching mother undo the complicated strings.the living room and stand in front of the tall mirror. “Who’s the man?” she asked. “Feel it!” she cried. Mother chased my brother and beat him with her little fists. Suddenly a black cat leaped out of the bundle and ran wildly around the house. for instance. “Don’t be a fool!” Father shouted. “How do you know you are pregnant?” he asked. He rushed to mother and through the bundle into her lap. We all stood around. and then he would rush into the kitchen. Father knelt by my sister. Mother was shocked. We put our hands on her belly. There was something moving inside. Father was frightened. the day one of my brothers came home and brought a small bundle under his arm. “What is it?” <other asked. He put his hand on her belly and rubbed it gently. Another time one of my sisters suddenly started screaming in the middle of the night. “I’m pregnant. my sister stared at us with shame in her eyes. maybe a leg of lamb or something as extravagant as that to make our mouths water. Mother reached her first and tried to calm her. There was. ‘What is it then?” Father asked. roaring with laughter. choking with laughter. . stretching his mouth into grotesque shapes with his fingers and making faces at himself. There was plenty to make us laugh. When father lifted the lamp. “There’s no man. while the rest of us bent double. “You’re only a child.” Mother said.” my sister said. My sister criedand groaned. I tell you!” she cried. pretending that he brought something to eat. “I’m pregnant!” she cried.

and my sister’s blanket caught fire. As time went on. The children did not come outdoors anymore. while we grew even more robust and full of fire. we rolled up the mats on the floor and began dancing about and laughing with all our might. He looked at my sisters. When the fire was extinguished and Mother was revived. He banged down the window and ran through the house. but theirs were pale and sad. and no matter how tight the windows were shut. Then the children started to cough one after the other. It was like that for years. which is the sturdiest tree in the Philippines. the oil spilled on the floor. From that day on. We hung outside their windows and listened to them. father dropped the lamp. we turned to bed and tried to sleep. then at my brothers. We could still hear the servants cooking in the kitchen. the rich man’s children became thin and anemic. Father took me with him when he went to the town clerk and asked him what it was all .Suddenly my sister opened her blouse and a bullfrog jumped out. One morning a policeman from the presidencia came to our house with a sealed paper. The rich man had filed a complaint against us. Mother fainted. genuine laughter. We made so much noise that all our neighbors except the rich family came into the yard and joined us in loud. One day the rich man appeared at a window and stood there a long time. The rich man started to cough at night. whose arms and legs were like the molave. Our faces were bright and rosy. We knew that they were not sick from lack of nourishing food because they were still always frying something delicious to eat. We wondered what had happened to them. shutting all the windows. the aroma of the food came to us in the wind and drifted gratuitously into our house. Mother got up again and lighted the oil lamp. One of my brothers laughed so hard he rolled on the floor. His wife began coughing too. At night their coughing sounded like barking of a herd of seals. the windows of our neighbor’s house were closed. but Father kept on laughing so loud we could not sleep any more. who had grown fat with laughing. then he coughed day and night.

you and your family hung outside your windows and inhaled the heavenly spirit of the food?” “I agree. The rich man’s lawyer jumped and pointed his finger at Father. Mother occupied a chair by the door. the judge took at father. He had grown old and feeble. “Proceed. We children sat on a long bench by the wall.” “Bring the children of the complainant. We stood up in a hurry and sat down again. “Do you or do you not agree that you have been stealing the spirit of the complainant’s wealth and food?” “I do not!” Father said. With him was his young lawyer. Father brushed his old army uniform and borrowed a pair of shoes from one of my brothers. He told Father the man claimed that for years we had been stealing the spirit of his wealth and food. Father sat on a chair in the center of the courtroom. We were the first to arrive. Judge.” He said. The rich man arrived.about. Then he said. “I would like to see the children of the complainant. “Do you or do you not agree that while the complainant’s servants cooked and fried fat legs of lambs and young chicken breasts. Spectators came in and almost filled the chairs.” Father said.” . as though he were defending himself before an imaginary jury. his face was scarred with deep lines.” said the judge. “How do you account for that?” Father got up and paced around. When the day came for us to appear in court. Father kept jumping up his chair and stabbing the air with his arms. scratching his head thoughtfully. “Do you have a lawyer?” he asked. After the courtroom preliminaries. The judge entered the room and sat on a high chair. “I don’t need a lawyer judge.

Judge?” Father asked. The spectators turned their faces toward the sound with wonder. “Did you hear it?” he asked.They came shyly. The sweet tinkle of coins carried beautifully into the room. He went to Mother.” “Proceed. The doors of both rooms were wide open. He just stood by his chair and looked at them. They stared at the floor and moved their hands uneasily. “Are you ready?” Father called.” The judge said. “Yes. who added a fistful of silver coins.” “Thank you. He strode into the other room with the hat in his hands. Father came back and stood before the complainant. He walked over to where we children were sitting on the bench and took my straw hat off my lap and began filling it up with centavo pieces that he took out his pockets.” “Then we are going to pay you right now. Finally he said. . “May I walk to the room across the hall and stay there for a minutes.” Father said.” “Do you claim that we stole the spirit of your wealth and became a laughing family while yours became morose and sad?” Father asked. It was almost full of coins. “Proceed. “I should like to cross-examine the complainant.” Father said. “As you wish. Father could not say anything at first. The spectators covered their mouths with their hands. My brothers threw in their small change. The children walked silently to a bench and sat down without looking up. They were so amazed to see the children so thin and pale.

The lawyer rushed to his aid. “Why not?” Did you hear that children?” Father said. holding their bellies and bending over the chairs. “Yes. Father strutted around the courtroom. . The judge even came down to his high chair to shake hands with him.” he whispered. And the laughter of the judge was the loudest of all.” “Then you are paid.” “You like to hear my family laugh.” he said. The judge pounded his gravel.” Father said. My sister started it. The rest of us followed them and soon the spectators were laughing with us.“Hear what?” the man asked. “The spirit of the money when I shook this hat?” he asked. judge?” Father asked. “By the way. “I had an uncle who died laughing. The rich man opened his mouth to speak and fell to the floor without a sound. “Case dismissed.

. SHe was tall. and he ran his fingers through its forelock and could not keep his eyes away from her. curving horns. "And this is Labang of whom I have heard so much. He paid Ca Celin twice the usual fare from the station to the edge of Nagrebcan." she said and placed her hand lightly on my shoulder. She was lovely. He did not say Mayang. "Maria---" my brother Leon said." She hesitated and I saw that her eyes were on the long. I knew then that he had always called her Maria and that to us all she would be Maria. "You are Baldo. But she came and touched Labang's forehead with her long fingers. Then he was standing beside us. where he stood in front of his horse. And by and by she was scratching his forehead very daintily. He swallowed and brought up to his mouth more cud and the sound of his insides was like a drum. but they were not painted." She held the wrist of one hand with the other and looked at Labang. delicate grace. She looked up to my brother with a smile. I laid a hand on Labang's massive neck and said to her: "You may scratch his forehead now. and in my mind I said 'Maria' and it was a beautiful name. My brother Leon put down the two trunks on the grassy side of the road. and she turned to him eagerly.How My Brother Leon Brought Home A Wife She stepped down from the carretela of Ca Celin with a quick. and Labang never stopped chewing his cud except that his big eyes half closed. And a small dimple appeared momently high on her right cheek. and Labang never stopped chewing his cud. He did not say Maring. and her forehead was on a level with his mouth. I watched Ca Celin. She was fragrant like a morning when papayas are in bloom. Her nails were long.

he rattled the handle of his braided rattan whip against the spokes of the wheel. "Hitch him to the cart. "I have yet to hear another bull call like Labang." my brother Leon said. Noel?" Ca Celin drove away hi-yi-ing to his horse loudly. "I have never heard the like of it. Baldo. "There is Nagrebcan. At the bend of the camino real where the big duhat tree grew." ."Yes. In all the world there is no other bull like him. thinking Father might not like it." "There is not another like it. And far away in the middle of the field a cow lowed softly in answer. He faced the sun and from his mouth came a call so loud and vibrant that the earth seemed to tremble underfoot. "You love Nagrebcan. The sun was in our eyes. gesturing widely toward the west. She moved close to him and slipped her arm through his. Labang's white coat. Maria. "Why does he make that sound?" she asked. Before us the fields swam in a golden haze through which floated big purple and red and yellow bubbles when I looked at the sinking sun. laughing. But it was only the name of my brother Leon said backward and it sounded much better that way. glistened like beaten cotton under the lamplight and his horns appeared tipped with fire. We stood alone on the roadside. which I had wshed and brushed that morning with coconut husk." my brother Leon said." Now where did she get that name? I pondered the matter quietly to myself. and I saw that he had put his arm around her shoulders. don't you. The sky was wide and deep and very blue above us: but along the saw-tooth rim of the Katayaghan hills to the southwest flamed huge masses of clouds. and she laughed with him a big uncertainly. And after a while she said quietly. Noel. for it was dipping into the bright sea." my brother Leon said.

"Give me the rope. "Maria. my brother Leon lifted the trunks into the cart. Baldo. My brother Leon laughed as he drew himself up to the top of the side of the cart and made the slack of the rope hiss above the back of labang." My brother Leon laughed and she laughed and they looked at each other and it seemed to me there was a world of laughter between them and in them.She was smiling at him. She looked down once at her high-heeled shoes. for he was always like that. either I shall fall in love with him or become greatly jealous. sit down on the hay and hold on to anything. "What is it you have forgotten now. placing the smaller on top. so that my brother Leon had to say "Labang" several times. her skirts spread over them so that only the toes and heels of her shoes were visible. and there was the small dimple high up on her right cheek. her eyes were so full of laughter." Then he put a foot on the left shaft and that instand labang leaped forward. I knelt on the straw inside the cart and pulled on the rope until Labang was merely shuffling along. But Labang was fairly dancing with impatience and it was all I could do to keep him from running away. He was restless and would not stand still. I climbed into the cart over the wheel and Labang would have bolted. because her teeth were very white. her eyes were on my brother Leon's back. The sun had sunk and down from the wooded sides of the Katayaghan hills shadows were stealing . legs bent togther to one side. Oh. my brother Leon handed to me the rope. and I stopped in the act of tying the sinta across Labang's neck to the opposite end of the yoke. but I kept a firm hold on his rope. I saw the wind on her hair. "If you continue to talk about him like that. then I made him turn around. When he was quiet again. and in one breath she had swung up into the cart." my brother Leon said. then she gave her left hand to my brother Leon. She sat up straight on the bottom of the cart. placed a foot on the hub of the wheel. I did not say anything but tickled with my fingers the rump of Labang. The wind whistled against my cheeks and the rattling of the wheels on the pebbly road echoed in my ears. the fragrance of her. Baldo?" my brother Leon said. and away we went---back to where I had unhitched and waited for them. When Labang slowed down.

"Have you ever seen so many stars before?" I looked back and they were sitting side by side. Very low in the west. Why do you follow the Wait instead of the camino real?" His fingers bit into my shoulder." Without waiting for me to answer. his hand fell away from my shoulder and he reached for the rope of Labang. "Look. my brother Leon laid a hand on my shoulder and said sternly: "Who told you to drive through the fields tonight?" His hand was heavy on my shoulder. "Baldo. why do you think Father should do that. Then my brother Leon laughed. When I sent Labang down the deep cut that would take us to the dry bed of the Waig which could be used as a path to our place during the dry season. answer me before I lay the rope of Labang on you. . "Maria. unpleasant smell of dangla bushes and cooling sun-heated earth mingled with the clean. but a man's height above the tops of the steep banks of the Wait. yonder is our star!" Deep surprise and gladness were in her voice. was the star. grayish blur. The thick. But in the deep gorge the shadows had fallen heavily. you fool. "Father. leaning against the trunks. hung the stars. he turned to her and said. Crickets chirped from their homes in the cracks in the banks. almost touching the ragged edge of the bank. High up overhead the sky burned with many slow fires. and laughing still. now?" He laughed and added. Manong. sharp scent of arrais roots exposed to the night air and of the hay inside the cart. but I did not look at him or utter a word until we were on the rocky bottom of the Waig." Swiftly.into the fields. and he sat back. Seemingly. hands clasped across knees. Noel. he told me to follow the Waig tonight. he said: "And I suppose Father also told you to hitch Labang to the cart and meet us with him instead of with Castano and the calesa. and even the white of Labang's coat was merely a dim. the biggest and brightest in the sky.

Ahead." "The air here is clean." "I am asking you. "we have been neglecting him. Noel." "So near already. Clumps of andadasi and arrais flashed into view and quickly disappeared as we passed by. Now the shadows took fright and did not crowd so near. I waited for my brother Leon to say something. Noel."I have been looking at it. Noel?" she asked. "Making fun of me. After the fields is home---Manong. "It is so many times bigger and brighter than it was at Ermita beach. the elongated shadow of Labang bobbled up and down and swayed drunkenly from side to side. "Good boy. drawing a long breath. "Ask Baldo." my brother Leon said. and lighted the lantern that hung from the cart between the wheels. Maria?" She laughed then and they laughed together and she took my brother Leon's hand and put it against her face. I answered." my brother Leon said as I climbed back into the cart. Baldo. climbed down. for the lantern rocked jerkily with the cart. "Look at it." my brother Leon said." she said. All the laughter seemed to have gone out of her. picking my words slowly: "Soon we will get out of the Wait and pass into the fields. Baldo. free of dust and smoke." I did not say anything more because I did not know what to make of the tone of her voice as she said her last words. and my heart sant. but he was not saying . "Have we far to go yet." "So it is. Without looking back. half to herself." she said." she said. "Do you remember how I would tell you that when you want to see stars you must come to Nagrebcan?" "Yes. I stopped Labang." she murmured.

and the cars. "Yes. He may not like me. her voice would catch in her throat." With difficulty I turned Labang to the left. "---you see. "Yes. for all the world. until. He was breathing hard. Then we were climbing out into the fields. but in a different way. so I surmised she must be eating with the rest of her family. "the camino real curves around the foot of the Katayaghan hills and passes by our house." "Does that worry you still. We drove through the fields because---but I'll be asking Father as soon as we get home. "You miss the houses. but my brother Leon would sing on. And I thought of the food being made ready at home and my mouth . he might be an ogre. "But it is so very wide here. The jolting became more frequent and painful as we crossed the low dikes. she would join him again. but Moning did not come to the window. and her voice flowed into his like a gentle stream meeting a stronger one. He must have taught her the song because she joined him. but I knew he was more thirsty than tired. In a little while we drope up the grassy side onto the camino real. don't you?" My brother Leon stopped singing." "Noel. Suddenly he broke out into song and the song was 'Sky Sown with Stars'---the same that he and Father sang when we cut hay in the fields at night before he went away to study. Maria?" my brother Leon said. Labang quickened his steps. for he wanted to go straight on. Except when his leg that was wounded in the Revolution is troubling him. gentlest man I know. Maria. and through the spokes of the wheels the light of the lantern mocked the shadows. The light of the stars broke and scattered the darkness so that one could see far on every side. Father is the mildest-tempered." We came to the house of Lacay Julian and I spoke to Labang loudly. "From the way you talk." she said. And each time the wheels encountered a big rock. I am glad they are not here. and the people and the noise. laughing softly." my brother Leon was explaining.anything." she said. though indistinctly." "I am afraid.

Father." . where is he?" "He is in his room upstairs. And my brother Leon shouted to them and then told me to make Labang run. As I passed through the kitchen. there were Mother and my sister Aurelia and Maria and it seemed to me they were crying." I said. He was smoking.watered. "She is very beautiful. and I could see her smiling shyly. The first words that fell from his lips after he had kissed Mother's hand were: "Father. We met the twins. and I said "Hoy!" calling them by name. There was light downstairs in the kitchen. their answers were lost in the noise of the wheels. she was not afraid. And they shouted back and asked if my brother Leon and his wife were with me. He laid it carefully on the windowsill before speaking. I met my brother Leon going to bring up the trunks.. and Mother stood in the doorway. but the room seemed to resound with it. Urong and Celin. "No." He reached for his roll of tobacco and hithced himself up in the chair. He turned Labang into the open gate and we dashed into our yard." "Was she afraid of Labang?" My father had not raised his voice. her face becoming serious. There was no light in Father's room. There was no movement." I did not hear anything more because I had to go back to the cart to unhitch Labang. but he removed the roll of tobacco from his mouth when he saw me. He sat in the big armchair by the western window. I thought we would crash into the camachile tree. "His leg is bothering him again. And again I saw her eyes on the long curving horns and the arm of my brother Leon around her shoulders. and a star shone directly through it." Mother said. all of them. "Did you meet anybody on the way?" he asked. Father.. "No. "Nobody passes through the Waig at night. But I hardly tied him under the barn when I heard Father calling me. but my brother Leon reined in Labang in time. I stopped labang on the road before our house and would have gotten down but my brother Leon took the rope and told me to stay in the cart. Father. My brother Leon was helping Maria over the wheel.

." "What did he sing?" "---Sky Sown with Stars. Beside my brother Leon. she was tall and very still. There was also the voice of my brother Leon." He was silent again. He had laid the roll of tobacco on the windowsill once more. I watched the smoke waver faintly upward from the lighted end and vanish slowly into the night outside. Father. and I thought that Father's voice must have been like it when Father was young. And Manong Leon sang. I looked at Maria and she was lovely." my father said. The door opened and my brother Leon and Maria came in."On the way---" "She looked at the stars. "It is time you watered him. my son. I could hear the low voices of Mother and my sister Aurelia downstairs. Then I went out. "Have you watered Labang?" Father spoke to me. She was tall.. and in the darkened hall the fragrance of her was like a morning when papayas are in bloom. I told him that Labang was resting yet under the barn.. She sang with him.

Rey?"Matigas ang kanyang tugon.""pero may maitutulong sa sa'ming iba.Marahang huminto ang kotse sa tapat ng Kongreso.Napaangat ang mukha ni Rey. Kinakabahan. m-maunawaan mo ako.Palagay n'yo kaya ay nasisiyahan ako na ako ay pinupuri. bawat magsalita at tumatalakay sa mga kabutihan ng hukom. nasa telebisyon at kaipala ay pinanonoodng libu-libong tao. Judge."Masama ang loob mo sa 'kin. ngunit ni ang tatak o modelo at hindi naturol. Kasi'y hindi n'yonaiintindihan kung ano ang maging kaibigan!"Sa katiyakan na hindi si melvin lamang ang dapata maparusahan. Napabuka ang bibig niya.Si melvin ay hinatulan ni Hukom Villafuerte ng bitay. at gumulong sa hagdan ng kongreso. "Dinaramdam ko. na minsan ay narinig ko sa isang kaibigan.Sinasabing isa ako sa pinakamalupit na hukom. Ngunithindi gayon kadali na iyon ay nalutas. Pigil ang hininga halos.Ang tagal nang iniisipisip ko. May pagkutya. Wala isaman sa mga nakasaksi ang nakakuha sa numero ng kotseng ginamit.Sakan naman. siya'y nagtanimng lihim na galit kay hukom Villefuerte.Pagkuwan ay sumabig ang putok at siya'y napapikit nang mariin.. di ba."ka-kailangan kong. Maynakapagsabi na iyon ay kulay pula. Rey?" Tumango siya. Pagkaraan ay ipinarinig sa lahat ang talumpati nghukom mula sa dictaphone na hindi na nito nagawang bigakasin sa sesyong dapatay dinaluhan nito. pwede mong ituro. Gayon kadaling naisagawa ang krimen."Ang sarili ay pinily niyang libangin sa kabatiran ng hait hindi sa pamamagitan ngtulong niya. ang mga dinampot at inimbistigahan ay pinawala dinnang hindi makunan ng ebidensya.. at maganda ang pangakong limanglibung pisong pabuya na tatanggapin niya. At kitang-kita niya ang umigtad na katawan nghukom ay dahan-dahang bumagsak. Kaibigan? Ang mgapangungusap na iyon ay sa kanya narinig ng hukom!Kasama akong Nagsusog na alisin ang silya-elektrika!Si Rey ay .Kabilang si Rey sa mga taimtim na nakikinig.Hindi iisa o dalawang pagbabanta ang tinanggap ng hukom sa buong panahon ngkanyang panunungkulan.Sa harap ng mga nag liliwanagang ilaw na nakatunghay sa kabaong ni HukomVillafuerte ay idinaos ang huling parangal. halimbawa. ang dinila pagkikibuan ay binasag ng hukom.. ay ni hindinabanggit ng hukom kaninuman.. na angbitay ay hindi kalitasan."Malupit kayo. Matigas ang ulo ng amo mo.. Na naipagtapat niya sa hukom na kaibigan niya si Melvinna isang gabi ay pinasok niya ito sa aklatan at hiningan ng awa. ang bumaril sa hukom ay hindi natatagpuan. atbawat katagang iyon ng papuri ay tila hagupit sa kalooban ni Rey. Rey!"Nasa hindi niya pagtuon ang sakit na nadarama niya. Judge. sa paraanko ng pagbaka sa kriminalidad? palagay n. "at nahihirapan din ako. at gayon din kadali na iyong ay lumaganapnang tila apoy. Bago tuluiyang nanaog. Villafuerte.Hanggang sa araw ng libing. maging kay Gng. dahil ang isang patay ay hindi marereporma.. Ngunit mabilis dinna idinilay niya ang mga mata.. Rey!"Tiim ang bagang na naghihintay si Rey. at hindi namabibigyang ng ikalawang pagkakataon. naginawa n'yo lamang ang tungkulin niyo!""oo.. Wala ring naitulong ang ginawa naming paglapit.yo kaya ay ikinarangal ko nanapakaraming tao na ang hinatulan ko ng bitay? Tulad ng lahat. ang plano ay maisasagawa rin. hinahangaan. sa isang pagdalaw niy kay Melvin ay nilapitan siya ng ilang bataanng pulitikong may hawak dito.Naghari ang tilian at pulasa sa paligin."Kaibigan mo si Melvin. si Rey ay walang kakilus-kilos sa pagkakaupo. Wala akong naitulong!""Oo. kung saankayo nagdaraan. "hindi n'yo kailangan ulitin..Rey!""p-palagay ko nga. Hindi niyamaiwasan.Huling nagsalita ang Pangulo.." iyon ang mahina.Si rey ay ligtas sa hinala.

sa kabila ng katotohanang mayroon tayong silya-elektrika. sa paligid ay nabuhay ang anasan. at humihingal..Ang lahat ay isinusumpa kong ginawa ko nang laban sa aking sarili. hindi niya pinansinang nag-uusisang mga tingin na sumunod sa kanya.Matindi ang alingawngaw ng tinig ng hukom. kasama akongnagsusuog na alisin.mapulang mapula ang mga mata niyang naghahanap ng kinauupuan ng Pangulo.May ipagtatapat siya. sa mabilis na pagpapasiya sa mga usapin. at nakatakda pang hatulan ng silya-eletktrika... dinaramdam kong gawin ang mga bagay na kinakailangan kong gawain. matindi ang gunita ng lahat ngpagsisikap nitong maunawaan niya!"Rey. at ang mga baliat na niya ay yumayanig.. Nahihirapan din ako..ngunit sa sala ng isang hukom.. ..Mababawasan ang kriminalidad sa pamamagitan nang mabilis na pagkilos ng mgakinaukulan. Namuo ang huling pangungusap sa utak niya.. Ngunit pagkuwan ay pinayapaniya ang sarili. at binuksan na muli ang pinto. Ikinandado ang pinto.. mariing nakasubsob ang mukha niya samga palad. at angsumunod ay halos hindi na niya nabigyan ng pansin. Rey!"Nasumpungan ni Rey ang sariling umiyyak. Kung bagamt marami na ang hinahatulan ko. punagpapawisan na doon aysumandal. Patakbo halos na nagtuloy sasariling silid.napatindig. a. hindi sa pamamagitanng---biglang tumindig si Rey at mabilis na umalis sa kalipunang iyon.. ang kanyang pagiging hukom ay dapat namangibabaw.Natanga nang matagal ni Rey. Hindi ang silya-elektrik ang kalutasan.Ang kriminalidad ay laganap.. Isinusumpa ko naang lahat ng ginagawa ko nang laban sa aking sarili. tinipon ang lahat ng lakas ng loob..