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Bright Yellow Ginkgo Leaf and Dark Green Mimosa

Nonfiction by | July 20th, 2014

I always looked up my hometown in Google Maps, counting the days till I went back.

In my hometown, Ok-Gwa, a small river flowed south and to the nearby mountain ranges; behind it loomed a hill. In spring, fragrant of wild chrysanthemums and dandelions, my friends and I would go to the nearby hill to harvest mugwort, shepherd’s purse, and other natural herbs that could be used for stew or mixed in a salad; by drying and brewing them, they served as alternative medicine. The entire day we spent harvesting these herbs, the birds and mountain rabbits seemed to hide, scared off by our loud laughter. We endlessly exchanged stories about our family, friends, the townspeople, and even celebrities. For the summer break, my cousins from the city would visit us and we packed watermelons and some refreshments and went to the river for a swim and to fish. In fall, we picked the prettiest leaves out of all the yellow and orange leaves that littered the streets and made bookmarks out of them. And in winter, when our nose and hands turned pink in freezing cold, my friends and I would go up the mountains to ski and sleigh until we got frostbites.

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Pauses, Fragments

Poetry by | July 20th, 2014

Here is rage,
Rushing back,
Like ancient seas,
Lies cocooned,
Sun-lined beach walks,
Leaving waves,
Words, disguised,
foreign, phonemes,
And then,
All at once,
It hits me,
It pauses,
But never ends,

Alton 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).


Poetry by | July 20th, 2014

Her windows became
ribbons of glitter
layered through the glass.
A waterfall of peach
and cream roses became
her curtains.
Farewells to the moon
and welcoming dawn.
A pillow of tears
embraced her tangled
mane of nuts and wood.
Dreams of vividness,
escaping reality.
But alas, she
woke again from
unfinished words.
Just as her gaze
isn’t blind
anymore, she
Except for his face
she no less remembered.

Born in General Santos City, Monique is a Second Year student at UP Mindanao. She’s currently studying BS Biology.


Poetry by | July 20th, 2014

One last time,
Let’s buy our wings
Pretend to be angels
As feathers flutter in the air
Let’s stretch our arms
Pretend to be heroes
Our capes will dance with the wind
Let’s shine
Pretend to be falling stars
And in the last seconds
I’ll tell you
It would be the last
The last del of pain —

Ten Ilajas recently graduated from Ateneo de Davao University.

Kon Ako Usa ka Bitoon 

Poetry by | July 20th, 2014

Kon ako usa pa ka bitoon
buot unta nako nga masiplatan
sa takna nga dawaton
sa kahayag ang panamilit
sa kangitngit.
Bisan tuod dili magdugay
mahanaw ra gihapon inig
sabwag sa adlaw, dawaton ko
gihapon sa kinasingkasing
nga pagpaubos,
ug pagsunod sa kaalam
sa sidlakan nga kanunay
gapadayon bisan mapalong
sa higayon nga motugyan
sa kaugalingon.

Si Dr. Jondy M. Arpilleda usa ka magtutudlo sa Kapalong College of Agriculture, Sciences and Technology. Usa siya ka myembro sa Davao Writers Guild ug sa Bathalan-ong Halad sa Mindanao.

Ninth Day

Poetry by | July 13th, 2014

‘Dy, thank you for visiting me
on this ninth day after my passing. 
It gets lonely here, the quiet nights,
the days I mistake for night.
Though I think I know
when it rains — the padded tapping
descends on me, smells of soil,
warmed by loam. It feels good.

‘My, it is already the ninth so quickly. 
But days pass by more slowly 
the fewer people there are at home. 
It gets lonely here, the empty bed,
the rustling drapes I mistake for you.
Though I would like to think
it is you who swings the doors
sometimes. It feels good.

‘My, the tree you wanted planted 
beside you is here, was here 
all along. Lucky you.
Rest now, you are in heaven now 
– you are beyond these things 
that people merely say. You are larger, 
like this tree taller than any of us.
Watch over me.

‘Dy, the sound of your steps on mud 
are as they were on our wooden floor.
Only moister. I am getting used
to this spot; over there some roots
reach out to me, keep me company.
After this ninth is the fortieth, but come too
on the tenth, eleventh… I feel warm 
when you watch over me.

Bj A. Patiño is currently working towards a masters degree in anthropology. A member of the Davao Writers Guild, he hopes that 2014 will be the year when he finally goes back to writing creatively.


Poetry by | July 13th, 2014

Sa tibuok adlaw natong
pagdawat sa
ug pagpangulata
niining dakbayan
sa atong lawas,
Karong higayuna
Sa atong kaugalingong
Suok niining lugara
Kita ang hari ug rayna.
usa ka long neck
guha ka platitong mani
usa ka large nga Nova
Unsa’y chaser, Ma’am?
Unsa may naa?
Apple blend
Calamansi blend
Pineapple, Ate/Kuya
Mura’g ritwal nga gisugdan
Ang pagpanaguban og
Kumusta naman?
Okay lang. Busy.
Niabot ang gi-order
og gisugdan na
Ang rason sa paganhi
mao kaha?
Kada yarok sa rhum
mao puy pagpanggawas
sa kainit sa
ug pagpangaslum sa
ug pagpanghapdus sa
Mga pangutanang
dugay na gilubong
sa kinasuokan
sa akong
namuhi sa akong baba
sama sa mga batang
taud-taud nang
wala makalaag
Sa imong panghuna-huna
Nagsuroy-suroy sila
Kinabugatan sa tanan
Ug imo kining natubag sa kahilom
Niining suoka
Ikaw ang hari
Ako ang rayna
Apan, nilubad na ang lumay
Manguli na kita
sa atong kaugalingong
mga suok

Mai Santillan is a freelance content writer in Cagayan de Oro City. She, along with her friends from Xavier University, founded NAGMAC (Nagkahiusang Magbabalak sa CDO), a community of young poetry enthusiasts in the city. Once a month, they organize CDO Poetry Night.

The Girl Who Lived with the Night

Fiction by | July 13th, 2014

“You are too young for camping, Kat. You know you can’t sleep alone. You even always call for Mama,” started Katrina’s father.

Katrina, since the start of the school year, had been very excited to go to this region-wide camping of the Girl Scouts of the Philippines. She even saved money in her small elephant-bank so that she could afford to pay for transport if her parents would not permit her. They always thought that she was still not ready to be permitted outdoors, and she wanted to be different this time.

“No. I want to join. Everyone else in our class will be there. Just please, please, please let me be in this camp.”

“You’re still afraid of many things, darling. We will not be there to look after you,” her mother replied.

“But, Mama, I promise I will be good and I will learn something in the camp,” Kat insisted. She stood before her parents, trying not to blink. When they finally agreed, she jumped and kissed them on the cheek.

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Paghahanap ng Dagat sa Switzerland

Nonfiction by | July 6th, 2014

Sa isang Dabawenyong tulad ko na halos nasa bakuran lamang ang dagat, ay di maitatuwang kasingkahulugan ng dagat ang pagiging masaya, pagdiriwang, pagpapahinga mula sa araw-araw na kalakaran, karaniwan at masaganang buhay. Kung kaya’t hinanap ko ito bago pa man napanatag ang loob ko sa Switzerland. Ngunit nabigo ako sa paghahanap na ito. Oo, maraming anyong-tubig sa Switzerland subalit wala ni isa man sa mga ito ay tubig-dagat. Lahat ng tubig sa lawa at ilog ay nanggagaling sa mga natutunaw na niyebe buhat sa nagtatayugang mga alpina na nakapalibot sa maliit na bansang matatagpuan sa gitnang kanluran ng Europa.

Dahil nahirapan akong tanggapin ang katotohanang wala talagang dagat sa bayang nakilala ko lamang noon sa mga makikintab na larawan sa kalendaryo’t libro, ay nagpasya akong hanapin ito sa ibang lugar. Mag-iisang taon pa lamang ako noon sa Switzerland ngunit pakiramdam ko’y dekada nang di ako nakalusong sa dagat. Laking pasalamat ko nang naunawaan ng aking katuwang ang pangangailangan kong ito. Isang araw pagkagaling ko sa Alpha Sprachschule Zuerich, kung saan ako nag-aral ng lengguwaheng Aleman, ay nakalatag sa mesa ang isang makulay na magasing nagbebenta ng mga bakasyon sa mga destinasyong maaraw at may dagat di lamang sa Europa kundi maging sa iba pang kontinente. Lumundag sa galak ang puso ko sa aking natunghayan.

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Poetry by | July 6th, 2014

a semicolon
separates a
thought, a
strong point
adding and
never lacking
but adding a
clearer thought
of the
on the

Chedelyn Gee S. Tabalba is a student-journalist of the University of Southeastern Philippines – Obrero Campus