Fiction by | August 30, 2015

“Dili ko hubog.” Ingun sa akong usa ka barkadang lalake. Nawung niya! Klaro na kayo ang panagat niya sa among lamesa sa imnanan. Ayaw ko hukmi nga kuno kami pala-igit. Dili tawun. Usahay lang mi maglipay-lipay sa usa ka buwan. Kini laging estudyante ug mga kunong mga Iskolar ng Bayan. Dugay dugay napud ko diri sa Dabaw ug daghan napod ko natun-an nga maayo ug dautan. Di nata magihapay. Hapit hapit napod manirado ang among bar nga nasudlan ug hapit hapit napud mi mahuman. Sige ra mi og tabi, katawa, sayaw, ug dulag baraha. Giabtan na gyod mi og kakapoy ug hapit na usab mahurot among kwarta.

“Tagam!” Ana pa akong higala nga bayi nga gatutok sa suka sa kanal, hubog kaayo ang barkada namo nga lalake. Walay lain magdala ani pauli kon dili ako, silingan lang mi og boarding house. Ningpara na ko og tricycle ug gitudlo sa driver kon asa padulong sa amo. Maygani kay duol lang among puluy-anan sa among napiling partyhan. Pastilan! Sirado na ang gate sa among boarding house, himala ug una nakauli ang palahubog namong tenant. Pero alas dos pa man? Ugma buntag na gyod ko kauli ani. Ako na dayon gihatod ning akong barkada sa pikas balay, diretso sa iyang kwarto ug ako na lang siyang gihukasan sa iyang sinukahang t-shirt mahuman mapahigda sa nagtapad nga baga kaayong foam nga iyang kama. Maayo kay t-shirt lang niya ang nasukahan, damaka sa gago uy. Diretso napud ko ninghapla sa pikas foam nga way palong ang suga kay hapit na pud ko mabarag.

Continue reading Pastilan

Itum ug Ugis

Poetry by | August 30, 2015

Nilung-ag sa kalderong itom nga nabuntagan sa abuhan
Pasaluman sa kapi nga duga sa mais nga sinanlag,
Sugaton ka sa magtigiay nga kolor diha pagbundak sa adlaw
Para ilang malampusong panagsagol sa imu ipatilaw.
Ug palamian pa sa isda nga nikuyot
Didto sa iyang kadugayong pagkamatay,
Palanguyon pag’ayo didto sa niinit nga bahaw
Pasulura na sila sa imung baba nga nihubas,
Kay wa pa ang luwag nga mahimung katigi.
Ug Kaparat,
Kauban sa imung dila sila lima managsagol
Malata sa ngit-ngit ug magduga og kalami
Mahulog sa usa ka danlog ug diha mahuna-hunaan
Nga ang pinobreng pagkaon lisud labawan.

Salle was born and raised in Baganga Davao Oriental and finished a degree in Bachelor of Arts in Communication Arts at the University of Immaculate Conception, Davao City. An Associate Editor in college, Salle attended National Student Press Convention.


Fiction by | August 23, 2015

Juna Subdivision
A low-density residential enclave of the old rich with plants (e.g. Calachuchi, Macopa, Sampaguita) for street names. Flanked by NCCC Mall to the north, and the Jesuit-run Ateneo de Davao Grade School and High School to the east. The century-old Philippine Women’s College sits in its heart. Some of the streets are unpaved and will be muddy after a drizzle, and impassable after a downpour. Notable for its inoffensive domestic architecture, many of the houses are single-level structures, with wide front lawns, low fences, and grottoes of the Virgin Mary. A striking exception is the abandoned Ampatuan mansion (one among many), with its twenty-foot perimeter walls hiding its insides from outside view.

We met at a party at one of the lines of townhouses on D-Street. The facades were identical, and it took me two wrong tries – I didn’t know what the host meant by the third unit, whether it was third from the left or the right – before I got the house right. I buzzed and you opened the gate. I was greeted by your 5’11” wiry frame and wry smile. Your blue shirt was soaked in sweat from playing beer pong, and you took your thick black-rimmed glasses off, betraying your deep-brown eyes that only showed itself if the light hit your face. You led me to the host, grabbing my arm then letting go of it once you realized your slip-up. It didn’t take much to find her, with her long pink hair and chrome hoop earrings. She was leaving for the Netherlands and she invited all of her friends, which were mostly college freshmen and sophomores. I was the oldest one there, having been in university for over six years.

I couldn’t hear anyone through the electro music, but I couldn’t talk to anyone anyway. Everyone was engrossed in their own little worlds. A couple were playing Jenga, some were playing beer pong, yourself included, and the rest were just sitting on the giant plush couch talking (or at least trying to) to each other. Save for the host, I didn’t know anyone. I excused myself outside to smoke. I could hear you shout about something (probably beer pong-related) as I went out the door. I haven’t made up my mind about you. I wasn’t even sure if you were like me. Half a pack of Marlboro Lights and a mug of beer passed by, and I went upstairs to one of the bedrooms, looking for a quiet spot to lie down. A boy and a girl were there, your friends, also looking for a respite from downstairs. “Come here,” the boy said, tapping his hand on the bed. “Let’s talk.”

The boy majored in political science at Ateneo de Davao, the girl, interior design at Philippine Women’s. We were talking about things we had in common – music, movies, how we hated it downstairs – when you walked in. You were obviously drunk and the boy helped you to the bed. You said something about going home and not letting your mother find out before passing out. The boy removed your glasses and emptied your pockets – car key, wallet, iPhone – and placed everything on the side table. I grabbed your phone and thumbed through it. You had Hozier and the soundtrack to Across the Universe on your Spotify. I saved my number on your phone and placed it back on the side table.

Continue reading Vignettes


Fiction by | August 16, 2015


Your fingers glide across black and white piano keys, and the music leaves a pounding in your head—a storm in your chest. You can’t explain it, but it’s the same feeling you get whenever you ace a test or reach the topmost part of a Ferris wheel ride. You’ve never liked heights, but seeing the world from so high up has always left you awestruck and a little breathless.

You think playing the piano is like riding a Ferris wheel, like having wings and having another world at your fingertips. And when you play, you aren’t your brother’s shadow or the perfect kid that your parents expect you to be—you’re just sixteen-year-old Anton Go.

You like losing yourself in the music and drowning in the crescendos because if the music is good enough, you don’t even have to be Anton, just a pianist losing himself in his art. To be honest, you don’t mind getting a little lost every now and then because sometimes you like the worlds inside your sheet music more than the real world.

“And that’s it, great work today, Anton.”

The music comes to a stop and you swivel around in your chair to face Ms. Rivera. “Thank you, ma’am. I’ve been practicing really hard.”

“You should be, the contest is on Friday after all, and I don’t want you freezing up onstage. Have you told your parents about it yet?” She flashes you a warm smile and you feel her long and bony fingers resting on your shoulder.

Mrs. Rivera was the first piano teacher you ever had, and when you were seven, you thought she was the best piano teacher in all of Cagayan de Oro city—maybe even the best in all the world. You used to idolize the tall and bony woman who played with all the confidence you wished you could have, and you remember how you used to give her flowers from the garden on Valentines and little presents during Christmas or her birthday.

She used to be the coolest grown up ever, and you think she still is.

Continue reading Approval

Kanto Interaksyon

Poetry by | August 16, 2015

kanto interaksyon
For interaction
Mangutana for information
Pangutana Bombay negotiation
Embarkation, sibat-ation
wa kanay daganan
Utang lipay-lipay
Bayad likay-likay
Dire magkitaay
Si undo ug si inday
paglingi-lingi, pag-hinayhinay
ayawg tabis, kay magbangi
bola, mutugpa sa ulo
basketbol court sa kanto
Ma purok, ma baryo,
masyudad mamunisipyo
dunay tournament, liga sa kanto
ang mayor, si kongresman
senador, konsehal, sk, el kapitan
miting de abanse,
hala ipasalig kami
tanan musaksi
tanan nawong pulos ngisi
tanan didto saksi
lamano ayaw kalimti
Dunay sikad
Taxi Multi cab ug jeepney, oy noy sakay ko be
Dali pasilong
Ang atop duna nay niangkon
Sa atup, sa bungbong
Stop, look and listen
Ang uban automation
Red yellow green
Dunay nagbarog the dancing green
Tan-aw, muni-muni
Retirement venue,
murag senior citizen
Basag bandera
O hala
Pildi (tubag2x) -kaon
Tanan lumalabay
Nagpabiling tambay
Damgo sa kanto
Tibuuok adlaw pahayahay
Mura nanig balay
Sala, kusina
Sa lingkuranan maghayang
Sa lamesita
Bote itak-ang dama, baraha, bandera
Stop look and listen, shot shot , larok larok
Susu! Lamoy!
Turot turot !
Naa moy kape, unsa man, kanang pakete
Mantika piso
Asin nga piso
Toyo piso
Pila katakos 2x
Patawaga ko te
Nay, nay si inaday ni
Padala na kawarta kay finals na
Sunod semana!
Dili ko kaeksam
Ayawg tuo gilakawtsa lang na
Nay ha karong semanaha , cge kay maligo pko ma late nako
Sabon panlaba, ug syampo pud,
nge unsa pa?
Ug conditioner pud
Nge daghana na ani day uy
Kanto interaksyon
Kanto interaksyon
Stop look and listen, shot shot , larok larok
Susu! Lamoy

Noy is an artist and teacher from Mandug, Davao City.

Inigbanos sa Ulan

Fiction by | August 9, 2015

Tagsa–tagsang mipadailos gikan sa tingkoy ug agtang ni Bobet ang mga singut paghimungtod nila sa balay sa iyang Ninang Diding. Kapin usa ka kilometro man god silang nagbaklay taliwala sa naglagiting nga Adlaw. Daw walay pulos ang gisul-ot nilang mga dyaket ug sarok sa kaigang sa palibot. Si Alfonso, ang kamaguwangang anak ni Diding, maoy ilang naabtan. Wala didto ang magtiayon kay namalit nig pagkaon sa ilang mga mangangani.

“Te, gitugon diay ko ni Nanay nga magsugod na lang daw mog pangani bisag wala pa sila. Moabot man pod daw karong taud-taod silang Noy Silyo, “ni Alfonso kanila.

“Asa man mi dapit magsugod, Do?” pangutana ni Norma nga nagyaka sa tugkaran samtang namaypay sa sarok. Gitudlo sa ulitawo ang usa ka taas nga pilapil diin nanuyhakaw ang mga bulagaw na mga humay nga naglubay-lubay mataghandos sa hangin.

“Didto Te, kanang kinatumyan nga pilapil simpig nianang layog hangtod dinhas punoan sa santol.”

Kalit misagbat si Bobet nga naglingkod sa nagbuy-od nga dakong pinutol nga kahoy. Tupad niya ang igsoong si Sabel. “Ehem… Al, wa ba dihay pabugnaw? Init man god kaayo sa dalan, maayo man god nang magtrabaho ta nga presko ang atong hasang.”

“Bitaw, no? Hulat sa ‘mo, Te, ha, kay mag-abli tag coke, morag naa pa may nahibiling usa ka botelya sa ref,”sa batan-on dayong sulod sa balay.

Nakapanglingo si Norma sa gibuhat ni Bobet. Gisigaan niya nis mata. “Pastilan gyod kang bataa ka, kawalay uwaw!”

Giduol ni Bobet ang iyang inahan dayong pislit-pislit sa bukobuko niini. “Ikaw gyod, Nay…Relaks lang god dinha, akoy bahala.”

Mikunot ang agtang ni Norma. “Saba dinha! Nagbaga ra nang nawong nimo, ay!”

Continue reading Inigbanos sa Ulan

A Piece of Old News

Poetry by | August 9, 2015

I am content when wakened birds,
Before they fly, test the reality
Of misty fields, by their sweet questionings;
But when the birds are gone, and their warm fields
Return no more, where, then, is paradise?
-Sunday Morning, Wallace Stevens

This is what it means to be broke in a time where your friends own smartphones
and post pictures of latte and waffles on Instagram: daytime light
no longer spears through the windows but barely makes them glow.

The knocking on the clear Plexiglas pane is another poor soul dressed
in olive skin and tattered clothes with his little five-year-old palm

stretched out to you, the other holding a somewhat rusty tin cup.

The guy cleaning tables at Jollibee sees the little beggar and draws the blinds

so that you wouldn’t feel bad. Where were their mothers? Some social workers
just so happened to be hungry and were eating burgers at a table opposite you.

They wore frowns, their eyes fixed on their food and drinks. The sound
of metal hitting a glass pane makes you turn towards the window.
“That same kid had run away from six foster homes,” you hear one of them say.

The window’s warm glow fades with the day as the shadows grow longer.
A boy helps a man wearing sunglasses walk past you, holding a cane.

John Oliver Ladaga is taking BA English (Creative Writing) at UP Mindanao.


Poetry by | August 9, 2015

Your soul’s time has run out
and your near-empty husk now breathes its last:
a shimmering white light exits its mouth
and in the following second the light in its eyes


and i mourn your (un)timely departure

while gripping the hand of the husk that you left.

My own soul grieves,

my eyes cry waterfalls,
my mind goes numb,
my vision blurry,
my hands shaky,

but even then I have to face the reality
that even I know that you will never come back

because you cannot come back

because they have cut up your empty husk
and dipped it in formalin
(which is totally lethal, by the way)

because they have locked it up in a wooden box
and dressed it up for a gaudy display
while they mourn and take one last look at you
and “pay their last respects”

while they stuff their mouths with the cakes at the wake
and down the stuff with coffee
(but I presume they are eating away the pain)

and because they have only just crammed the wooden box
inside a concrete box
one that holds barely enough oxygen
to keep a man alive
(okay, maybe for ninety minutes, but still)
and they have forgotten to take into account
that you are claustrophobic

and that cement boxes over wooden boxes
do not have even basic facilities

and so I am worried that you will drown in your shit.

So you do not come back to your husk

because you cannot come back to your husk,
because going back again would be just torture,
because they killed you by asphyxiation,

and so your husk just goes back to dust

which is a pity for such a beautiful husk

and sometimes I wonder if it is still worth it
to break both boxes and pick up all the pieces

ten years later when just the bones remain.

Ga Ulan sa Sulod ug sa Gawas

Poetry by | July 26, 2015

Nilabay na ang Hunyo
Ug ga sugod-sugod napod og ulan.
Murag kita
Na sugod-sugod nasad
atong daan na kahimtang –
Pareha sa ulan
Mo kalit ra og ka kusog
Kung dili, mabundak.
Usahay ga silaw unta ang adlaw,
Unya gaka basa na atong mga likod
Sa pagtulo sa langit.
Katong Marso, gibilin na unta tika
sa init na panahon,
Pero nagbasa ra gihapon akong buot
Tungod sa ulan gikan
sa imong mga mata.
Nag huna-huna ko
Kung madumduman nimo
Ang mga dagat na akong gi puno
Tungod sa atong pag-uban?
Gina kuptan nimo akong kamot
Kamulo’g hawid sa akong payong.
Mikusog na ang ulan
Og sa akong alimpatakan
Ga bundak pod ang buhawi.

Abby James is currently an English teacher at Xavier University – Ateneo de Cagayan.

kinsay tag-iya sa babayi

Poetry by | July 26, 2015

Kinsa bay tag-iya sa lawas sa babae: Susama pud ba kini sa pag-angkon sa yuta sa tawo? Masmahal pa siguro ang kantidad sa yuta kay sa unod?

Kinsa bay tag-iya sa babayi… murag-anay , nga paanakon
Mag-padidi, mag-amuma sa mga baktin niya pag-mapuslan na, biyaan kining malustay
Duna pud miy katungod nga mag-amomag pipila lamang ka anak, kung unsay makayayo namo…

(aw unsa pa)
kinsa bay tag-iya , sa lawas sa babae? Ang kapitalista, negosyante?
Unsay bay kalibutan sa ilimnon ug babe? Malarok ba ninyo nang lawas nga usa ka dupa? Matuk-an ra unya mo,.

Kinsa ba tag-iya, lawas sa babae? Ang bana ba, nga gusto niya bisan kanus-a ?
Aw.. dunay mga tawo nga ang utok naa sa tunga sa paa
D’ ma kadunggog bisan tudluan, singhagan o pakuratan
Kay an iyang ulo wala nabutang sa tunga sa dalunggan

Kinsa bay tag-iya sa lawas sa babae? Pang-nude session, liberal aron ingnon
Kinsa bay tag-iya sa lawas aning babayi”susama sa mga presko ug batan-on
Pag-nakatilaw na ok na, dili ra ba na kendi kung wa nay lami, balhin ug lain
Huna-hunaa ang bukog bisan di mahurot, apan nalawayan na kini

Kinsa bay tag-iya babayi? Ang tag-iya sa kotse?
Murag stuffed toy o duwaan nga ipakita sa mga kahigalaan? O sumsuman sa kanto sa kalalakihan? Sumsuman sa mga tapok-tapok sa mga kabatan-onan?

Pang flores de mayo? Intrams, tourism, bikini, kalendaryo, pang photographer, pang vitsin, pang jeans, shorts, espageti, pang celfone, eload, autolod? Mutya. Miss earth, miss universe, world, miss island,pang wawawi, miss wa

Kinsa bay tag-iya sa babayi ? ang katilingban? Ang simbahan? Idelohiya? Ang feminista? Ang aktibista? Ang pikas? Ang armado? Ang bandido? Ang baylan? O ang kinaiyahan? O sumsuman sa kadalanan

Kinsa bay tag-iya sa babayi?
Magsilbi kami… apan dili kami ulipon

Noy is an art student in life, art practitioner, and art educator.