Negros Scandal

January 31st, 20088:32 pm @ elmot



There is no place in this world where beauty and only perfection abound unless you are lying in the arms of the higher Being in the after-world. But sometimes word of a world, a place so perfect flies to the edges of the land faster than a bullet and faster than the reality it is coming from.

After the great depression of Negros Occidental early of 1980’s due to the downturn of the economy especially the price of sugar in the world market, the festive feeling and slow abundance came next with the given renewed spirit and hope. The Masskara Festival highlighted this resurrected spirit of Negrense’s, innate from their very nature of being persevering and gay. And a famous song trying to tell people of abundance was over the airwaves even crossing the seas to different provinces. Not only that this song was heard in different far-flung provinces because of the emerging technology but it has been also been largely carried by the migration of Negrense. They sung it everywhere they went as a sign of a renewed vigor and unfaltering spirit. A part of the song goes this way.

“Sa Negros ginapala
Kag ginapiko ang kwarta”

(In Negros, money is being shoveled)

Because of this song, so many people from different provinces even as far as islands in the outskirt of Mindanao flocked in Negros hoping to find a better life than what they have. This song that was played over and over again, this song that was sung by Negrense over and over again was taken very literally especially by the Badjao (a tribe in Mindanao). Their numbers grew and swelled in the streets of Bacolod City and neighboring cities leaving behind all their lands and homes. But the times of prosperity has just become a thing of the past with sugar prices in the global market never recovered. And so is the province. Many sugar plantations were sold and made into vast subdivisions. The song was in short just a song, nothing but a song. So the people who flocked in Bacolod were disillusioned and left begging in the streets with no more money for them to go back to their homes.

This has become one of the scandals of being in Negros. While in the 50’s-70’s, the whole province was filled with masquerade, dancing, parties and latest of cars and people sporting the latest in fashion, the start of the 80’s marked the decline of prosperity of Sugarlandia. The prosperity of sugar barons and haciendas never came but the saw ushering of a new phase of the economy and the face of the province. The song above became a joke and at the same time a scandal for the people who were disillusioned by the empty promise the song gave them.

Hope many of them have already gone home to where they really belonged.

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