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On Memories at Laguna de Bay

I spent many, many hours of my childhood down on the shore of the lake, Laguna de Bay.  I was thinking of what was beyond.  I was dreaming of what might be over on the other side of the waves.  Almost every day, in our town, we saw the Guardia Civil lieutenant caning and injuring some unarmed and inoffensive villagers.  The villager's only fault was that while at a distance he had not taken off his hat and made his bow.  The alcalde treated the poor villagers in the same way whenever he visited us.

We saw no restraint put upon brutality.  Acts of violence and other excesses were committed daily... I asked myself if, in the lands which lay across the lake, the people lived in this same way.  I wondered if there they tortured any countryman with hard and cruel whips merely on suspicion. Did they there respect the home?  Or ever yonder also, in order to live in peace, would one have to bribe tyrants?

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