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How to Climb Mount Apo

Nonfiction by | October 19th, 2014

Climb when you are fifteen or so. Harbor an affinity for heights: at eleven you must have already seen the whole of Bangkok from the 88th floor of Baiyoke Sky Hotel, as well as gone parasailing at Subic, noting how the sea looks like a massive blue tarpaulin from a height of 800 feet.

Know the basics of mountain trekking: never step on slippery ground, always watch your step; on the way down, lean back and allow your feet to fall on stones as surely as a bird lands on its own shadow. But know also what it is to fear heights. Call to mind the day you first climbed Mount Agad-Agad (your hometown’s tallest mountain), aged nine, when, going up the mountain, the sheer effort wrung your lungs empty and your vision swam in a haze of blue afterimages. On the descent you could only cling to earth and crawl down gingerly. Bear these in mind always, for they will arm you for the great climb. Never forget that what you will be dealing with is the highest mountain in the Philippines (think 9,692 feet above sea level).

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Papa’s Ride 

Poetry by | October 19th, 2014

Papa surrounds
his arms around me
securing, supporting
and never letting go.
While his big hands
that smelt of earth
and roughed with calloused
are cautiously holding
our weight
as he placed them
on the handles of his bike.

I sit on a metal rod
having the same view
of the narrow road
slowly easing
between the scenes
of flowers
of rainbows
of trees
But Papa traded
his two wheels to have four
saying that having more
would take us to places.

Now, I sit beside him
on a cushioned seat
with a belt
replacing the safety
of his arms
His hands pale and perfumed
steering blindly
between streaks of scenes
only seeing half
of the view
of the road.


Joissen Marie Bacharpa is an AB English student of AdDU.

The Bus Ride

Poetry by | October 19th, 2014

The bus pulls away
from the terminal; my sister
softly sinks into the splitting silence
of metal lullabies.
The vastness of the vehicle
narrows in my restlessness,
my slippers tap, tap, tap on the floor
as, lurching, we embrace
the journey to Medina.
How do we measure distance?
When it rains in Cagayan
but my fingers feel dry
in Balingoan, that is how
I feel your absence
and the roads stretching into dust
and memories
of afternoons that listen
to the tap, tap, tap of rain
on your Toyota
and taste the grayness
of lips crying for closure.
But this bus
it drives past canopies
of leafy arms reaching toward
a blank canvas of skin,
past silent bungalows
painted in the colors
of your tasteful laugh.
I hear Medina from a distance,
The gentle waves brushing
against the shore, and I,
tempestuous being,
hear your absence resonate
across the sands:
The bus ride carries me away
but where you are, I stay.


Karlene is an AB Sociology student from Xavier University – Ateneo de Cagayan. She is a fellow in the 21st Iligan National Writers Workshop. On Sundays, her column appears on Sun Star CDO.

Dear John, Part 2

Fiction by | October 12th, 2014

continued from part 1

I love my mother very much. She is the only person who accept me as a gay. My brothers especially Ricky is shy to other people that I am a gay. My sisters and father is not angry to me but they do not care me. They do not make me part of their life. When my father is still living he do not talk to me. When only him and me is in one place, for example in the sala, he go to the kitchen or to outside the house to his fighting cocks. Only my mother kiss me and embrace me when she is still not a stroke victim. But sometimes I hate her, I blame her. This is her mistake. I become a gay because she dress me like a girl when I was small. She give birth to two girls and three boys straight before she give birth to me. When I go out, my two sisters are already big and my mother miss playing to a little baby girl so she always dress me with skirt and then she sing to me and said to me to do fashion show in our sala. So I want to be Miss Universe when I grow up.

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The Invitation in my Garden 

Poetry by | October 12th, 2014

In my garden
you can wander freely
pick any fruit
you crave and envy
be not afraid of being
bare and naked
thoughts and body.


Orlando Sayman is an A.B. Literature graduate from AdDu. He is one of the new Milas at F. Bangoy National High School. He misses looking at fireflies.

Fragment II 

Poetry by | October 12th, 2014

I taste that night in Mis Occ
once more,
bitter rust, lusting,
cigar-encrusted sidewalks,
and sore love
I found our memory in this
downtown road, August rain
up all night, sipping this
beer-soaked corner
gulp by gulp


Alton Melvar Dapanas is an AB English Language and Literature Studies student from Xavier University-Ateneo de Cagayan. He is a fellow at the Iyas National Writers Workshop (St La Salle University, Bacolod) and the Cornelio Faigao Annual Writers Workshop (University of San Carlos, Cebu).

Coffee Break

Poetry by | October 12th, 2014

Cut all the ties with the world —
For all its sound and fury.

Sit and find the moment’s balance
Amid lifeless things in motion.

Let your soul glow from the depth
Of your weariness and anxiety.

Keep that newly purchased novel
Or put off those earphones, dear child.

There is no need of escape all the time.
Be still and free your vision to the distance.

Wander above the chaotic and banal.
Let the sound between your gentle lips

And the brim of that paper cup rule over —
To resonate joy and tranquility to the mind.

A little bitter, a little sweet, and utterly warm —
Sip, and sip over, the absurdities of life.


Adonis Enricuso is a university instructor from Duminag, Zamboanga del Sur. He was a fellow of the 29th Cornelio Faigao Workshop. If not taking part in the drama of life, he dreams night and day.

Fellows of the 2014 Davao Writers Workshop

Editor's Note by | October 7th, 2014

The Davao Writers Guild is pleased to announce the fellows of the 2014 Davao Writers Workshop.

Fiction
Andrea Isabelle Mejos (Davao)
Resty Bhoy B. Partoza (Davao)
Arjay N. Viray (Davao)
Reil Benedict S. Obinque (Davao)
Mark Lester Celozar (Davao)
Abigail James (CdO)

Creative Nonfiction
Jecia Anne Opiana (Davao)

Drama
Cayetano D. Polancos, Jr. (Davao)

Poetry
Vel Marie Santillan (CdO)
Hanna Regine Valencerina (Davao)
Michael Jude Tumamac (GenSan)
Neil Cervantes (Tagum)
Ria Valdez (Davao)
Clariza Morta Burdeos (Butuan)

The panelists this year are Dr. Macario D. Tiu, Jhoanna Lynn Cruz, Nino Soria de Veyra, John Bengan, Nikki Gomez, and special guest writer Daryll Delgado. Workshop director is Edmond Julian de la Cerna, assisted by Dom Cimafranca.

The 2014 Davao Writers Workshop is organized by the Davao Writers Guild in cooperation with the National Commission for Culture & the Arts and UP Mindanao, and will be held at Lispher Inn, Matina, Davao City, from October 27 to 31, 2014.

The workshop sessions are open to those interested to listen in and meet the writers.

Dear John, Part 1

Fiction by | October 5th, 2014

For all of my life I want to be a girl. But not this way. Not in my birth certificate. Because of this mistake my trip to New Zealand is delay. We cannot married. But don’t worry. I follow up my papers always. Please wait for a little. We will soon be together. We will live happy ever after.

I’m sorry you spend too much money for me already. I don’t know that going abroad is very expensive and very meticulous. I know you are much money. Your pension is large and one dollar there in your country is thirty-six pesos here in my country. But I’m still shy to you. You shoulder all the expenses. Last year you even go here in the Philippines to see me because it is required, because your embassy said I’m not your partner because we only chat in the internet and we never meet personal. But after you go here and you go back to New Zealand…your embassy said to you again it’s not OK, I still cannot get a partner visa, visitor visa only.

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Marcotting

Poetry by | October 5th, 2014

The untrained see
absurdity.
For the novice –
Secrets!
But he, he knows
how it feels, perhaps,
as he cuts ’round

limb and body.
Bleeding earth blood,
both remain
silent, pretending
blood is infinite,
the wound – fiction.
He covers it with earth.

He knows which
part of the limb
or body to wound.
Where precisely?
Near the heart,
where life
springs eternal.

The reason?
It’s marcotting, he says,
wounds are needed
to grow roots,
new ones,
which we wound again,
to grow more roots.