LITRATO: IMAGES FROM SUGARLANDIA

MAMUMUGON SA KAMPO | LITRATO: IMAGES FROM SUGARLANDIA by Julius D. Mariveles

The cold early morning air nips at them but they have been used to it.  They start as early as two in the morning to avoid the heat.

They are one-half of the typical sugarcane field operation during harvest – the karga tapas – or the cutting and loading of these sweet grass stalks unto waiting trucks that would find their way to the sugar centrals.

Like then, they still are still paid below the minimum wage.  But most of them don’t mind.  They say it is still better than nothing at all.

They are still paid on a piecemeal basis.  The loading of sugarcane is around P63 per ton.  A worker can get around more than P1,500 a week during the milling season although it would depend on the volume of sugarcane they can load.

Tapas or the cutting of canes, on the other hand, nets roughly the same amount.

These are photos of hacienda workers taken in Bacolod City.

HE WAS SHY TO TELL ME HIS NAME but he is from Dalusan, Sagay City in northern Negros Occidental | He was born to a family of sugarworkers, he was raised a sugarworker and he is still one decades later | Photo by Julius D. Mariveles

TEEN KARGADORS | Photo by Julius D. Mariveles

SINGLE COLUMN | Sugarcane workers queue up to load canes on a truck | Photo by Julius D. Mariveles

KARGA: NO EASY JOB | Photo by Julius D. Mariveles

PORTRAIT OF A SUGARWORKER | Photo by Julius D. Mariveles

IDYLLIC SETTING BUT THE WORK ISN'T | The scene in the village of Mandalagan in Bacolod City is idyllic: the lush sugarcane fields facing the Mandalagan mountain range but the hard labor in the fields ain't easy at all | Photo by Julius D. Mariveles | Photo by Julius D. Mariveles

THIS LOAD GOES ON MY SHOULDER | Photo by Julius D. Mariveles

RESTING I | Photo by Julius D. Mariveles

RESTING II | Photo by Julius D. Mariveles

MOUNTAINS AND BEASTS OF BURDEN | Photo by Julius D. Mariveles

AT REST, BRIEFLY | Photo by Julius D. Mariveles

CUTTING THEM TO SIZE | Saksak or cutting the canes compresses the stalks, allowing the trucks to carry heavier loads | Photo by Julius D. Mariveles

SPLAYED TOES | This is a balancing act that is a feat in itself | The loaders use the andamyo, a wooden plank that allows them to board the trucks and unload the canes | Photo by Julius D. Mariveles

A STUDY OF THE HUMAN FEET | Photo by Julius D. Mariveles

UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL | Photo by Julius D. Mariveles

TAPASERO APPAREL | Simple, still in fashion in the fields | Photo by Julius D. Mariveles

THE HAND THAT CUTS THE SUGARCANE WILL SOON ROCK THE WORLD | Photo by Julius D. Mariveles

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About Hannah|JuliusMariveles

English instructor and broadcast journalist

Discussion

15 thoughts on “MAMUMUGON SA KAMPO | LITRATO: IMAGES FROM SUGARLANDIA by Julius D. Mariveles

  1. Despite of the hardship of the nature of their work they managed to smile in between their breaks, its an honest job but yet they are paid less, they are the unsung heroes of Negros economy long time ago.

    Posted by Ruben Logarta | November 7, 2011, 2:33 pm
  2. indeed, pictures paint thousand words. the screaming scenario that poverty is cultured.

    Posted by Brother Rc Gumban | November 8, 2011, 5:27 am
  3. Baw katahum sang pagkwa mo sang pics, damo ko dayon nadumduman sang ako gatapas man tubo sang ako grade 4 pa lng perti pa ka barato sang hinapnig pero wala ko na ya maagyan ang maglatay sa damyo para magkarga. Galing kay subong damo na NPA didto sa nabukid nga bahin sang Manapla ang iban ginapamatay nila.

    Salamat Julius sa imo nga blog. Keep it up. Mayo tani kon imo mahimuan mo istorya ang mga sidewalk vendors sa atubang sang CLMMRH or Regional Hospital or mayo pa gid kon mapost mo mga pics, sigurado ako damo pa ako makilala sa ila. God bless sa inyo tanan 🙂

    Posted by Esoy | November 8, 2011, 12:07 pm
  4. Everyone has a niche in this world. Like a pyramid, they may be found at the base but are absolutely significant in supporting the rest of the top. Unsung heroes indeed! Congratulations on the pictures. I like the “splayed feet” the best. Very interesting subject for artistic photography. You should send this for a contest or something like that.

    Posted by Josephine Demerre | November 8, 2011, 3:16 pm
  5. Nice Bro, salamat!

    Posted by Jose Marcus | January 29, 2012, 6:56 am
  6. Negros, Panay and other sugarcane growing provinces will continue to see the sacada phenomenon unless the sugar growers themselves refuse to mechanize their crop production.

    In the US, Brazil, Australia and China, sugarcane is being planted and harvested using mechanized tools. Why, then, Negros continue to rely on human labor?

    Because it will displace the workers? Or is it a question of greed on the part of the planters who would rather rake in profits instead of spending for machines kesehoda may taong nabubuhay subhumanly under their very noses?

    Posted by Ralph Gene Trabasas Flora | January 29, 2012, 11:09 am
  7. Auf! thanks,… all I could say,….

    Posted by Irvine | March 21, 2012, 3:04 pm
  8. Still could remember fallin’ off that ramp,… those were the days,…. pictures got me misty eyed,……..

    Posted by Irvine | March 21, 2012, 3:09 pm

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