Harbor

Poetry by | July 10, 2016

It is the moon’s urbane hour—
the period for prism play,
and sidewalk vigil.
The bay tonight is a carpet,
creased by the warm west wind,
black, crayon crimson and yellow.
I sit on the steps, with a paper bag
of syruped sticked fruits, while you,
angle adept, contour the moments.
I watch you fade into the crowd of clicks
and ice cream cones. Fireworks balloon
and pop in the night sky.
You emerge from the flurry of laughs,
with a scarfed smile to show me
your harvest of colors.
In the roll of my mind,
I harbor outtakes of you,
undeveloped, paparazzi raw:
Cotton-gloved fingers by the docks
of the browning hills
in the crips of autumn.
Palms clasped in prayer after washing
the golden god of a birth day
in the bricked spirits of a temple.
Broad shoulders bronzing
in the noontime sun,
the sea shelling you in…
We return to the hostel,
doubling back to our double deck
selves.
I pillow my head, close my eyes
and replay tonight’s scene,
this time, in reel time:
the indigo wash of the bay,
our bodies head to toe,
blurring the crowd,
a stranger’s hand snapping
a portrait of two sailing smiles
in an open harbor.


Miguel Antonio Lizada grew up in Davao City and teaches English language and literature at the Ateneo de Manila University. He was a fellow of the 54th Silliman University Writers Workshop. His essay “The Bangkok Masseur” won a Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Award.

Fatima, the War Nurse

Poetry by | July 10, 2016

In her clinic in the camp, she whispers
Her prayers, hoping no one had been hurt.
But when the forest hushes from gunfire and grenades,
She hears howls of pain, Tabang! Tabang kamo!
Her instruments were all set, laid on the bamboo table—scissors,
Syringe, and bandages—waiting for the wounded.
A bloodied brother in front of her came with a headwound.
Scalp grinning, slit by a bullet. And she stitches it
The way her mother had sewn her pink abaya.
Curious eyes peeking, vision passing through amakan walls.
Veiled women outside covering their mouths.
Pink, sequined veil covers her head. “The color relaxes
The patient,” she remembers. As she buries the needle
In the warrior’s skin once more, she recalls how an old patient
Repelled her, refused her care, for she was wearing a veil.
She had not removed her tondong.
She had turned to another patient, since then.
She gave a slight smile behind her surgical mask
When “Alhamdulillah” came out of the wounded man’s mouth.
Fatima hears gunfire go off again as she washes her hands.
She closes her eyes and waits
For the forest to be completely silent.


Mohammad Nassefh R. Macla graduated from the University of the Philippines Mindanao with a degree in BA English, major in Creative Writing. He is a Kaagan-Moro writer from Panabo City, Davao del Norte.

Subay sa Tradisyon sa Tagay: Nganong Gipalabi ko ang pagsulat ginamit ang dila ni Lapulapu. Ikatulong Bahin

Nonfiction by | July 10, 2016

Subay sa Tradisyon sa Tagay…. Unang Bahin
Subay sa Tradisyon sa Tagay…. Ikaduhang Bahin

Kon ang imong uyoan nga si Shakespeare nakasulat sa mga way kamatayong balak, ang atong mga bantogang magbabalak sa dilang Bisaya may mga garay usab nga mopawagtang sa atong kalaay ug kabudlay.

Atong tilawan kining balak ni anhing Rene Estella Amper, usa ka doctor sa medisina ug kanhi mayor sa Boljoon, Cebu, nga nag-ulohan SA BABAYE NGA NAGHUBO DIDTO SA BAYBAYON SA OBONG [8]:

Nahitimbakuwas ang akong panan-aw
sa kalit nga pagdailos
sa imong patadyong
daw ang labtik sa pasol
tadlas nianang nag-ugdo nga kabilin
diha sa puti mong dughan.
Continue reading Subay sa Tradisyon sa Tagay: Nganong Gipalabi ko ang pagsulat ginamit ang dila ni Lapulapu. Ikatulong Bahin

O the Sad Brown

Poetry by | July 3, 2016

      forfeitures of my race
stare me in the face
like little sins as peanut shells
dotting the ripe sea

When will the fugitive erase
the ransom he consigns upon himself
to live an idyll free
from nightmare?

Continue reading O the Sad Brown

Subay sa Tradisyon sa Tagay: Nganong Gipalabi ko ang pagsulat ginamit ang dila ni Lapulapu. Ikaduhang Bahin

Nonfiction by | July 3, 2016

Subay sa Tradisyon sa Tagay…. Unang Bahin
Subay sa Tradisyon sa Tagay…. Ikatulong Bahin

KALINGKAWASAN, KATITIKAN, KATILINGBAN

Gina-ingon nga walay balak o’ sugilanon nga maka-usab sa tuyok ug dagan sa katilingban. Tinuod. Katuohan.

Apan ang mga obra sa mga alagad sa arte makatabang paghulma sa public opinion nga usahay makapausab sa panud-ong sa katawhan diha sa mga ordinaryong isyu sa katilingban.

Niining puntoha, tugoti ako sa pagkutlo sa mga pulong ni National Artist for Literature Cirilo F. Bautista. Siya nagkanayon, “To write is to liberate one’s psyche from regular realities without completely being alienated from them. It is a never-ending attempt to escape. For art is a paradox, an illusion, a magical performance by which human experience, of whatever kind is transformed into an aesthetic product. But art is also culturally determined, that is, shaped by the artist’s environment. A poem, for instance, is a manifestation of social dynamics as interpreted by the poet. It is always an artifact of social relationship, a code reflecting human behavior. Its essence is narrative, its purpose commentary. It does not intend to change society—no work of literature can do that—but to change people’s attitude towards society, to make them conscious of the need to improve it. This purpose is embedded in the very nature of poetry because it works through the agency of language, which is a social tool.” [4]

Continue reading Subay sa Tradisyon sa Tagay: Nganong Gipalabi ko ang pagsulat ginamit ang dila ni Lapulapu. Ikaduhang Bahin

Subay sa Tradisyon sa Tagay: Nganong Gipalabi ko ang pagsulat ginamit ang dila ni Lapulapu. Unang Bahin

Nonfiction by | June 26, 2016

Subay sa Tradisyon sa Tagay…. Ikaduhang Bahin
Subay sa Tradisyon sa Tagay…. Ikatulong Bahin

GOOD MORNING. MAAYONG BUNTAG.

Una sa tanan, I would like to thank Nagmac and Xavier University Department of English and Literature for giving me the opportunity to deliver a craft lecture on Binisaya Literature.

Sa dihang nadawat ko ang invitation for this event, wa ko kabalibad bisan tuod nga hagip-ot na kaayo ang panahon. Kana tungod kay mao gayoy akong dakong tinguha nga molipang ang writers community dinhi sa atong dapit.

Akong madumdoman nga niadtong naghinapos ang Dekada ’90, pipila lamang gayod ka mga magsusulat ang nagtikawtikaw sa Cagayan de Oro.

Sa HomeLife Magazine ug sa Philippines Free Press, ang regular contributor nga gikan sa Cagayan de Oro maorag si Arlene Yandug lamang ug ako. Ug kining duha ka magazine nga akong gihinganlan pulos na Anhing Wa Na!

Samtang sa Bisaya magasin, morag nag-inusara si Mario Batausa.

Apan kining atong gihimo nga writers workshop karon usa ka testamento nga nagpakita nga milipang ug nagalipang na gayod ang writers community sa Cagayan de Oro.

Continue reading Subay sa Tradisyon sa Tagay: Nganong Gipalabi ko ang pagsulat ginamit ang dila ni Lapulapu. Unang Bahin

Agua de Viuda

Poetry by | June 26, 2016

I forgive you
for teasing me I smell good—
fragrant like a viuda.
But I have not buried my husband,
nor do I want to.

The only viuda I knew was my grandmother,
who spent her days playing cards
with the neighbors, and died
two years later of heart failure
on grandfather’s birth anniversary.
A sweet ending, some might say.
But not for me.

Continue reading Agua de Viuda

Mahal kong Diyosa

Poetry by | June 19, 2016

Mahal kong Diyosa (Cebuano)

Matag gutlo ug tipik sa gutlo
nga nagalakat ang akong mga tudlo
sa hubo mong lawas gikan ulo hangtod tuhod,
migilok ang mga unod sa akong handurawan.
Naghinam ko nga nakuyawan, nagsud-ong
sa bililhong hiyas sa imong pagka babaye—
katahomang gitukib ug giawit sa mga baylan
latas sa daghanang kaliwatan.

Continue reading Mahal kong Diyosa

Fiction Making and History in the Era of the Selfie, Part 2

Nonfiction by | June 19, 2016

Fiction Making and History in the Era of the Selfie, Part 1

WHAT HAS CAUSED the monkey’s outrage upon hearing this inadung? Indeed, the inadung has aroused the monkey’s empathy, he has seen himself in it—and that is really the goal of every writer, is it not? Unfortunately, however, the monkey’s empathy is not of an introspective, but of a possessive kind. “This is about me and no one else, least of all about humankind. And I do not like how it reflects my character.”

To understand literature as the portrayal of ourselves as human seems to require two things: It calls for the examination of diverse cultures, and it calls for introspection (i.e., meditating on oneself as an exemplar of the human race); and these are part of the same mental act, a matter of asking, “What would it be like to be who-I-am-not?”

Continue reading Fiction Making and History in the Era of the Selfie, Part 2