Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Bonifacio, Andres. "The Cazadores." In The Writings and Trial of Andres Bonifacio, trans. Teodoro A. Agoncillo and S. V. Epistola (Manila: Antonio J. Villegas; Manila Bonifacio Centennial Commission; University of the Philippines, 1963), 11-12.


The Cazadores*

The cazadores were sent here
allegedly to eradicate lawlessness,
but it is not fight they seek,
but chickens and cattle to steal.

The people who are living in peace,
to the Spaniards they are sent,
anything they see that can be eaten,
they grab like hungry ones.

They comb the whole house
for money which they pocket,
so also are the jewels and chosen clothes,
as unto the chick snatched by the hawk.

To the women they find,
their first greetings are shameful,
they do not respect even so little
the spotless honor the women possess.

And the tomatoes, watermelons,
melons and other things for sale,
nothing remains because of the grabbing
of the Spaniards.

*Cazadores, literally, hunters. In the Philippine setting, the cazadores were Spaniards charged with the duty of maintaining peace and order. As such they aided the guardias civiles (civil guards) and tne municipal police force in the enforcement of laws.


All the milk vendors they see
promptly are scolded,
and the hare-brained [Spaniards] gulp [the milk],
and so nothing is spared [by the Spaniards].

The name "cazadores" is a misnomer,
it should be "sacadores" instead,*
for the promontory is far and distant,
indeed they are known to be greedy and cowardly.**

*Bonifacio made a good play of words in the use of "cazadores" and "sacadores", utilizing metathesis to drive home his point. Sacadores means extortionists, from the wordbase sacar, to sack, to extort.

**The last line of the original reads: "mandi halatan malakaw at duwag". The line, at first glance, seems meaningless, owing to the use of the words "mandi" and "halalan", which do not exist in the Tagalog lexicon. But "mandi" must have been a typographical error, and should read "mandin", while "halatan" should read "halatang", from "halala", known or that which is seen through.