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Truth Serum

Fiction by | August 24th, 2014

Warning: the following story contains strong language and profanity.

Carlos Agape, bagman for the Batangas Cartel, sat on the high-backed wooden chair, his hands held down with leather straps on its arm rests. A slime of drool and vomit trailed down from the corner of his open mouth to his neck. His head was tilted back and his breathing was shallow.

“God, that took a while, but it was worth it,” Jose said with a yawn and pushed himself away from the desk. The desk was littered with notebooks and spreadsheets. On one side was the tape recorder, still running; on the other was the medical bag with vials of sodium pentathol and syringes.

“Pretty risky move back there,” Bert said, “That triple dose almost killed him.”

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Sonnet 1: Ironey

Poetry by | August 24th, 2014

Like strands of curly, noodle hair,
we’re lovers inside a barrel.
Like an extended family
dining on a tel’phone table.

I scratched their backs, so they scratch mine,
Yet we do not know, who scratched who.
I regard them as myself, but
I talk to them like they’re shadows.

They are my ghosts, as I am theirs.
So near, yet so far. So real, yet
exists in my hoax fantasy.
So human, yet so material.

So alive, yet awfully De—————-ad!
There are no people in jeepneys.

Jet is a teacher at Kong Hua School, Cagayan de Oro City.


Poetry by | August 24th, 2014

(i plant vrom three pit)
I woke up one morning seeing our plant…
I want to share with you its fruits. Then,
I wanted to see it grow and mature.
I love our plant very much.
I [Enclosed] it in a box.
I saw a branch fall because of the wind, so,
I put a roof on it.
I felt the heat of the (Sun) drying our plant’s leaves, so,
I smelled the strong odour of the insecticide. Then,
I saw its soil bulge.
I saw our plant soak.
I sprayed a whole bottle of insecticide.
I added twice the amount of the <Recommended> fertilizer.
I decided to double the amount of water.
I wonder when the fruits will ^Emerge^ from the flowers. So,
I don’t want to see the same features every day.
I felt that the days were #Very# long.
I became tired of waiting.
I waited patiently and as calmly as possible, then,
I was anxious .Everyday. as to what fruit will it yield.
I saw it grow and bloom with flowers.
I sprayed its leaves with the strongest insect killer.
I cultivated its soil with the best fertilizer.
I watered it with a dipper of water.
I ‘Raised’ it with love till it became a plant.
I took care of it every day.
I planted our seed in my beautiful garden.

Jet is a teacher at Kong Hua School, Cagayan de Oro City.

A View

Poetry by | August 24th, 2014

The city plaza is full of children
in the afternoon. The acacia trees
stand proud where I enjoy sketching
the light, fading behind the arid mountains,
the glittering haciendas, as I listen
to the shrieking cicadas every sunset.
The monsoon is still far away.
As you can see, the summer burns
intensely in the clear blue firmament—
yes, I know that everything in this world
is grounded with grief of History.
It seems here and everywhere
life moves like a spiraling leaf,
ending in its picturesque fall.

Pangarap ni Fahed

Poetry by | August 24th, 2014

Salaysay sa akin ni Inay
Nasa sinapupunan pa lamang ako
May digmaan nang sumiklab sa Gaza.
At nang pumasok ako sa Madrasah
Natigil naman itong pansamantala
Dahil binomba pati ang aming eskwela.
Kahit na noong minsang nakipaglaro ako
Sa kalsada kasama sina Bashaar at Saleh
Nagsasalitan ang aming mga sigaw
Sa nakabibinging putukan ng mga baril.
Napakalalim ng sugat sa mukha ng galak
Pagkat sa lupa sindak ang namumulaklak.
Sa bayan walang nakakikilala
Nang dalisay na pagmamahal
Pagkat ang laging nakakasalamuha
Sa palibot ay ang matinding poot.
Mapusyaw ang kulay ng bukas
Pagkat ang usok ng pulbura’y
Ulap na humahabong sa papawirin.
Ngunit may pakpak ang aking pangarap
Matulin naming liliparin ni Buraq
Ang paraisong bukal ng karunungan,
Isang masigasig na pakikipagsapalaran
Na tanging layunin ay sunsunin
Ang kapayapaang kaytagal nang naglaho
Kasabay ng aming mga awit, tula at kuwento,
Mga pamanang itinatangi ng buong lahi.

Mr Bacong studied AB Sociology at the Ateneo de Davao University. He loves to travel.

Afore Eventide

Poetry by | August 24th, 2014

It’s been a long, hard day.
Lazy air fused with my tired breaths.
An orange glow caressed over
metallic skins of vehicles along the highway.
Suddenly before me, I behold upon the
dark, thick hull of an ancient ship.
It mounted on waves racing for west.

I heard the captain’s sure voice
shouting demands, his commands
to ready the sails and lanterns for sundown.
I smelled worn shirts of aged and young alike,
the harmony of their heavy feet
begging for rest.
I tasted the oceanic calling
as these marauders move.
And I felt a formidable existence.

Then I was behind whose hair
freely laughed as the seabirds ahead.
He turned around, and I
found myself drowned
in his gold and verdigris eyes
incomparable to the green flash.
A shot of bright light
flooded my closed lids.

I’m back inside a present-day taxi,
surpassing my mind on
restless wanderlust
and parallel universes.
It’s been a long, hard day.

Ms Carillo is currently studying BS Biology at UP Mindanao.


Poetry by | August 24th, 2014

ang bun-og nga nadawat mo
sa matag gabiing
muuli siya nga hubog

ang kalawom sa samad
sa panit mong
gihimo niyang tadtaran

ang mga adlaw
nga ikaw nahadlok
kay iyang kumo gahulat kanimo

sa imong pag-ihap
sa imong pagsukod
sa imong pagbanabana
ayaw kalimti
nga wala na’y laing nagpangga kaniya
nga kung mutunob ka paggawas
sa balay kun diin ka
wala na siya’y balikan pa

magdahom ka
nga ang imong gugma
ug sakripisyo–
dili gayod ma-ihap,
dili gayud masukod,
dili gayud mabanabana–
ang makabag-o kaniya
aron tawagon kang asawa.

Mr. Obinque is a second year BSED-MATH student of Ateneo de Davao University.


Poetry by | August 17th, 2014

Tiwala lamang ang kailangan mo
Upang Pagasa ay matamo
Bakit kaguluhan na lamang
Sinapit ng walang kasalanang bayan ko

Maraming buhay ay nalagas na
Resulta: Kadilima’y nadadala
Ngunit liwanag ay sumisilip nang muli
Pagasa’t kabutihan ay laging

May ilaw pa
May darating na liwanag
May pagasa
Mawawala ang dilim
Huwag tayong bibitiw
Tayo ang pagasa
Huwag nating hayaan ang
Inang Bayan nating ito

Pangarap, pagasa at pagmamahal
Ang laging inaalay ng Maykapal
Isipin natin na laging nariyan Siya
Nakatingin, nakatanaw sa kanyang mga

Dalangin lamang ng bayan ko
Na ang puso ng lahat ay magkatagpo
Kapayapaan sana’y makamit
Kinabukasan ng baya’y sa’tin nga naka

May ilaw pa
May darating na liwanag
May pagasa
Mawawala ang dilim
Huwag tayong bibitiw
Tayo ang pagasa
Huwag nating hayaan ang
Inang Bayan nating ito

Mr. Gomez works at the Campus Ministry and Service Office at Xavier School in San Juan, Metro Manila.

Communicating Love and Hope

Poetry by | August 17th, 2014

The world is so busy
Everybody chases their dreams to be wealthy
Looking forward, it truly makes them happy
But no, it ain’t enough
See the busy world
There’s so many broken homes
There’s so many ailing hearts
There’s so many failing dreams
These hearts are longing for love
Communicate love, communicate hope
The world gets better if we
Communicate love, communicate hope
And we’ll truly be happy.
See the busy world
Many suffer from too much hunger
Many lives were shattered in war
See the eyes of our young children
These hearts are longing for hope
Communicate love, communicate hope
The world gets better if we
Communicate love, communicate hope
And we’ll truly be happy.


Ms. Edday, a young Blaan woman, wrote the song as an inspiration from the Sarangani Big Brother Volunteers, a nationally-acclaimed educational program spearheaded by the province. She wrote in her blog, “I am looking forward to record it in the future to strongly convey the need of communicating love and hope everyday as we live in this busy world.

Ang Bituin Ng Masa

Poetry by | August 17th, 2014

(Alay kay Ate Guy)

Pagkalikha’y ayon sa aming kulay
Sa sukat na aming kapantay
Sa amin di kaiba ang buhay
Ikaw ay kauri’t kaugnay

Sa iyong pagkinang
Nabago ang pagtingala
Dati’y nasa langit
Ngayon nasa lupa

Iyong tinig
Ay aming himig
Ginintuan sa pandinig

Sa iyong mga titig
Kahit walang tinig at pandinig
Kaluluwa’y naaantig

Iyong kahinaan, iyong kalakasan
Iyong pagbaba, iyong pag-akyat
Iyong kasawian, iyong tagumpay
Iyong larawan ay sambayanan
Mahugnay ang kaunlaran
Daang taong inaalipin
Kasawian pighati’y iyong inangkin
Pag-asa’t pangarap nagpapaningning

Sa paglisan ng ginintuang tinig
Hayaang magpahayag likhang sining
Hayaang pagtanggi’y iyong angkinin
Pambansang Alagad ng Sining
Nang masa’y patuloy matanglawan ng ningning

Mr. de Vera is a veteran Davao-based artist. He began his career sculpting wood and stone but later gravitated to painting watercolor, oil on canvas, and even lacquer acrylic.