Tuesday, January 25, 2005

After Not Seeing Him Three Years

Mila D. Aguilar has received several awards in the Philippines and the United States for her literary works. She is the founder and president of the Institute For Filipino Cinema Inc., author of five poetry books, became a columnist in the Manila Standard, and instructor in the University of the Philippines. This poem was written in 1977, during Marcos’ regime; it talks about how a revolution can transform a person and also points out the trials and hardships brought by an uprising. The persona in this poem is describing the effects of the revolution to his comrade and how his comrade was changed by it.

Just recently, Ricciardone branded the communist rebels in the Philippines as “fake revolutionaries” who claim that they do terrorist acts in the name of nationalism but in reality, what they are fighting for is not clear at all and he calls them instead to make a legacy in the country and help the Philippine government. The description of a revolution in the poem is very much different compared to how the MILF sees it; this poem is a good eye opener for the revolutionaries in this country because it points out what a revolution is really for, it is a selfless act.

Jessica Evangelista
After Not Seeing Him Three Years
Mila D. Aguilar

How you’ve changed, Comrade,
From the self-importance
And garrulousness of the past.
What the revolution could do to us, indeed;
The little sacrifices
Not seeing your children grow up
The hundred and one long marches
After the sudden shots in the dark
The errors
And yes, the collective pushing you on
To change yourself.
Now I see only the flickers of confidence
In the heroic masses
Coupled with a quiet warm-heartedness
And a patience that was not there before.
What the revolution could do for us, indeed;
For otherwise we would already be in the dustbin
Of history, together with the Baneros* and a few others
Who finally turned traitor
Because they could not part with their grand ideas
Of themselves.

*("Banero" is Noli Collantes, who was caught in 1972 and turned traitor without receiving even a pinch from the enemy, and who was punished for his crimes in 1974.)

Source: http://www.geocities.com/Athens/6029/poems.htm


Anonymous said...

Experience is portrayed as the key means for understanding one’s self, as so much can happen during a revolution to test one’s character. Sacrifices need to be made in order to fulfill a purpose and one actually realizes that he is fighting for a greater cause, and not only for personal gratification. Whether consciously or not, over time, one can acquire a more profound meaning in his endeavors. The word ‘revolution,’ basically means change—change that affects not only the society at large, but as well as each individual who works toward it. Also mentioned was the fact that those who conspire against their comrades receive a bad reputation for their acts and do not gain the honor that they believe they ought to deserve. This poem is a reflection of the present time wherein we are challenged to constantly stick to the essence of what is being aimed for, amidst all the complications of war and terrorism.

--rachel de mesa

Anonymous said...

A lot of wars, protests, terrorism attacks, revolutions have been happening for the past few years. This poem serves as a reminder to everyone, that when you fight, fight not for yourself but for everyone else. The result should be for the greater good of the majority.

*Kristine Valenzuela*

Jim said...

This poem, in general, calls for doing something for the good of the majority and not just of oneself. In the poem, the revolution, where soldiers fight as a group, changed the insights of the soldiers about war and the honor it brings. The courage and desire to be recognized is set aside, while the purpose of fighting together receives more emphasis. Hence, they are more passionate and patient, according to the poem. Those who have personal intentions in joining the war think in contrast of the cluster. They fight for themselves and not for the greater good. Those are the people who are easily forgotten, and are regarded as traitors. The poem is ever so timely because it suggests us to come and work AS A NATION for OUR development.

Jim said...

^I posted the last comment. =)
--Neil Jameson Sta. Isabel