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A Rented Life

Land has been a point where we start and end a journey. It is where I was born. It is where I have grown as a person who struggle for my dreams and those of others.

In more than 20 tumultuous years, I have nurtured my body and nourished my soul as I continuously make a home out of a tiny room, that at other times stood atop of other tiny rooms. I may not own the very land where these rooms rest, but I owe much to it.

However difficult the practical negotiations over this land, including those that pertain to the boundaries between the public and my own private space may be, I persistently thrive with whatever agency I have so that enough agency will be born the next day.

Although I have been financially useful to my parents and later my land lady, everyday the prospects of being evicted scare me and everyday I dream more and more of my own home.

My home has a garden where I tend some fruits and vegetables in ways that my friends from farming and indigenous communities do. It is built within a peaceful and diverse community. I would not wish to live in solitude on a mountain or in an island nor own a mansion among several mansions in a secured community. For land is not so much about ownership but stewardship.

It is a journey of struggles. Land is life.


Mwierenga's picture

Like it!

I enjoyed reading how you take responsibility over land and community - even though you don't "own" it. Ownership of land is not an option for so many people (including myself) but we are somewhere and we do "owe" something to it. Like you said, that is stewardship. Fruits, vegetables, friends - perfect!
Thank you for sharing your journey!

JaniceW's picture


You seem to have a strong connection to land in spite of the fact that you live on borrowed pieces of it. I agree that it is about stewardship and you are already taking that responsibility seriously. I hope that one day your dream becomes a reality and you wake up to your own piece of land with its beautiful garden. Please continue to share your thoughts, hopes, ideas and dreams with us. I look forward to reading more from you. Welcome.

nina somera's picture


Hi Janice and Mwierenga,
Thank you for your comments. It's really difficult to be a "temporary settler" but come to think of it, maybe it is a general human condition. But yes, I certainly want to have a modest living space with that beautiful garden within a conducive neighbourhood. Once I obtain these, I'll let you know and you'll be most welcome to come in and enjoy :-)

Nina Somera
Manila, Philippines

jodelight's picture


I loved reading your connection to land. It's eloquent and thoughtful. I agree with you, I also don't want an island or mansion, or mountain all my own. I want to share land with others, because land is life, and we are all sharing life together. Keep writing, you have a beautiful voice!


Nusrat Ara's picture

I love your perspective on

I love your perspective on land. A refreshing piece.



corinnasp's picture

Thank you for you beautiful

Thank you for you beautiful words and I smile as I agree with you. I feel that, what I see, is that caring for Mother Earth and land in the way that you are saying is more than taken for granted, and even forgotten for many of those I come across. I too wish that some day I may care for the land as she does us and as you were saying. Blessings to you and to your clarity and encouraging you to share more beautiful thoughts!

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