Poetry by | September 17, 2017

Remember when we’re cloaked in darkness and wanderlust
In our own filth, we begged at the pedestal of grandiose stars
In their hollow castles all sparkling over our heads
Trying to steal a piece of light for winning our inner wars
We were the nomads in sync with stale winds of rare moons
Following the trails of the archer, Sirius, Virgo
And in the silence, our shut lips are calling on high
That our lost feet may be lifted where galaxies grow

Monique graduated from UP Mindanao. She is currently studying medicine.

limestone cliffs

Poetry by | September 17, 2017

primordial primordial
that’s the word you used
for the limestone cliffs behemoth
over the tranquil waters of this lagoon

divine divine
that’s the word i would use
for you standing before these cliffs towering
over me: a god & I the offering

truth is truth is
i have no care for these rocks
nor for every trace of blue
that surrounds us except for you &

your eyes your eyes
the sea must feel ashamed of itself
& ask was your eyes always this blue
or was the sea’s blue never blue

tomorrow tomorrow
when you leave this blue heaven
godless: the offering remains waiting
his bones become limestone cliffs

creaking creaking
perhaps you were right
these limestone cliffs really are
primordial primordial


Christian S. Baldomero is a BS Accountancy student of Xavier University – Ateneo de Cagayan. He has attended the 2016 Davao Writers Workshop and is affiliated with Nagkahiusang Magsusulat sa Cagayan de Oro (NAGMAC). He loves cinnamon rolls and Siargao.


Poetry by | August 27, 2017


I stand above the grave
of my heart’s affections
for you.
Here lie
of promises
both broken and unbroken;
     at the height of orgasm,
     unspoken as I stared
     at the back of your head.
You will never lay
another finger on me.


I watched
as you stabbed
your suitcase
with unfolded garments.
then your faded denim pants,
old pairs
of your father’s socks,
a tie.

In the mirror
of our shared bathroom,
I saw myself transform
into a stone angel;
silent grief trapped
within this moment.
     God, I hated you.
     God, I loved you.


My mother always told me
Don’t become someone else’s fool.

I was her reflection
her mortality
with her husband’s last name.
Don’t be a fool.
Her long fingers
like the hands
of an old clock, braiding
my hair,
sections married
in thirds.

There were only supposed to be three of us, she said.
Your brother and sister
were happy accidents.

I remembered you
and how you loved tempting fate:
     a hand
     at the small of my back in a library,
     cigarette after cigarette,
     the absence of a rubber.
You always called them


The eulogy for us
came in the form
of a love letter.
     There are times
     I want to live inside of you.
     My favorite moments
     are when you and I
     are “we;”
     snakes in heat.
     You pull me in endlessly.

It started the cancer
that crept
and sunk
into the bones of what we had.
You loved me most
when I was
     the easiest to cut into.


It’s been months
since I turned you
into one of my ghosts.

You haunt me,
          as incessant calls
          and messages.

Rest in pieces, my love.

Nina Matalam Alvarez is a writer and illustrator. A graduate of the Creative Writing program of the University of the Philippines in Mindanao, she currently lives in Dumaguete with her family and her cat, Basil, and is a proud millennial.

Sa Higayong Ako Angoangohon

Poetry by | August 13, 2017

Kon pananglit abton kog angoango
ayaw paila sa imong tinuod nga ngalan,
ayawg gakos ug labawng ayawg hilak.
Tugoti ko nga matag adlaw bunyagan
ko ikaw og lainlaing mga ngalan.
Ayawg halok. Timan-i nga utok
ug dili ang kasingkasing ang may
panumdoman. Ayaw na paghago
og pakli og bulak kay tingalig dili
nako dawaton, ug tungod giputol
lisod na isumpayg balik sa punoan.
Hulata nga angoangohon sab ka
aron patas tang wa makaila sa usag-usa.
Matag adlaw mag-ilhanay pag-usab.
Ug hinaot nga sa usa ka higayon
magkuyog tang duha sa baybayon
magdula-dula og balas, magtuon-tuon
sa pagtabon-tabon sa lawas.

Paul Randy Gumanao hails from Kidapawan City and teaches Chemistry at Philippine Science High School-SoCCSKSARGEN Campus. He was a fellow for poetry at the 2009 Davao Writers Workshop and the 2010 Iyas National Creative Writing Workshop.


Poetry by | July 30, 2017

Nadaanan ko ang dati nating
Tinatambayang kainan.
Napatigil ako.
Hinanap ko ng tingin kung saan
Tayo madalas pumuwesto;
Sa gilid ng pintuang
Dinadaluyan ng ating pinagsaluhan,
Nariyan pa rin.

Sa lugar na ito kita unang Nakitang ngumiti.
Mga ngiting para sa akin lang
At inangkin ko ito na para bang
Ang lahat ng mga bagay sa mundo
Ay umiikot lamang
Sa maliit nating binuong espasyo.
Palagian nating kasama sa pagdiriwang
Ang dalawang mainit na tasa ng kape
Isang platito ng pancake at
At mga daliri nating magkakapit.

Nasa harap kita
Kaharap mo rin ako.
Marami tayong natuklasan
Habang nakaupo
At ninamnam ang katihimikan
Ng bawat isa.
Para bang ang pag-iral ng oras ay kay bilis

Pero tiyak alam nating pareho
Na sa pagitan nitong
Mabilis na takbo
Ay siya namang kaybagal
Nating pagtanggap
Na maghihiwalay rin tayo
Matapos ang lahat-lahat.
Umaasang babalik muli
Dito sa ating dineklarang puwesto:
Ang ikaw at ako.
Ubos na ang pancake
Malamig na ang tasa ng kape
At ako nandito pa rin
Nakakulong sa espaysong
Binuo natin

Na ngayo’y pilit kong
Malimutan sa tuwing ako’y mapapadaan.

Raymond Ybanez was a fellow for fiction at the 1st CDO Writing Clinic and the 10th Palihang Rogelio Sicat. He is also a candidate member of the Kataga – Online, Samahan ng mga Manunulat sa Pilipinas. He’s currently a member of NAGMAC ( Nagkahiusang Magsusulat sa Cagayan de Oro).


Poetry by | July 23, 2017

You and I piled words like how
we did with floral cut-outs
on a sanded surface.
One word after another,

iterations of
– or bits of both.

What was it that glued
them together – our words?

When I look back,
I see exquisite words-art,
stunning in its

Jearvy R. Lanohan teaches literature and writing at the Philippine Science High School Southern Mindanao Campus. She was a fellow to the 2011 Davao Writers Workshop.


Poetry by | July 23, 2017

My sister’s skin is amber
Like my mother’s.
and her mother.
And the proud women before us.
Kissed by the yellow
Burning globe,
Cooled by tropical rains.
Warmed by days
In the river.

My sister keeps
On asking me
“Why am I dark?”
I told her
“When you were born
You took the sun
And kept it inside you.
You gave it a home.”
She clutched her chest
And answered
“Do you know how
To take it out?”

She wants
To take out
The sun within her.
The same warmth
Which makes her cheek blush,
The same warmth
That leaves pink traces on your skin.
The same warmth
That makes her smile light up the room.
So I tell my sister,
“You can’t. You don’t have to.”

Because you are
Every inch
Muscle and bone
Of great women before you.
Your hands can take the stars,
And your voice can name them.

Mirrors and gazes don’t define you
Don’t live your life through their eyes.
You are literature untold.
You are stories made every day.
Your body. You being. Your life.
Your choices.
You make them.
Your life is yours to live.

Don’t take the sun out inside of you
For people
who know nothing about
Your skies.
Or for people
Who wish to make clouds
On sunny days.

Your warmth makes the world
Less cold.
Don’t take out the sun inside you.
Don’t let them kill your fire.
Stand firm,
And watch them burn.

Adeva hails from Cagayan de Oro City. She took up Bachelor of Secondary Education – Major in English in Xavier University – Ateneo de Cagayan. She is currently working on her Masters in Education thesis in the same institution. She teaches English in Xavier University Junior High School. She is connected with NAGMAC (Nagkahiusang Magsusulat sa Cagayan de Oro) and has been a fellow in the 1st Cagayan de Oro Writers Workshop. When not crying over her thesis, she paints, practices Karate and sleeps.

Tomb on Top of the Hill

Poetry by | July 16, 2017

I know exactly how she feels.

That old fat hen with white feathers
her five little chicks following her
she searches for food with her calloused feet
her chicks imitate her as they walk uphill.

It is a cold morning, all is busy
to notice the danger perched on a tree.
Silent as it can be, targeting from above;
the healthy chick is eyed by the crow.

The hen so occupied with the bounty of soil,
the chicks are inexperienced of the upcoming toil.
The crow seizes the moment for a perfect meal,
it goes gliding and its claws clasp a chick.

The hen runs to rescue her chick, clacking, leaping
She follows the black bird that stole her nestling.
Is she angry, or simply begging?
A mother that fights or a mother that pleads.

The hen stops running at the tomb on top of the hill
Still looking upwards, but the crow has disappeared.
She walks back to her four other chicks
who are trembling and chirping under the taro leaves.

Life is unfair. The evil don’t always fall,
the innocents may suffer. Like my firstborn,
who died five hours after his delivery–
only five hours to breathe, then he ceased on struggling.

The loss will linger, like the smell of disinfectant
in the hospital, while my boy
was in the incubator, breathing unevenly–
a day before he was burried in the tomb on top of the hill.

Soon enough, the hen will know exactly how I felt.

Sara Kaye Recentes is an undergraduate of BA English in UP Mindanao. She lives in Malasila, Makilala, North Cotabato. She writes poems and short stories—some are her own experiences, others are what she observes. Writing enables her to somehow understand the complication of life.

Jealousy Incarnate

Poetry by | July 7, 2017

do not bring me to territories
marked by talons of birds you have caged
do not try to mask warning signs
they have left for uninvited guests
I will feel their presence
in every sip of coffee
in every corner of the room
I will feel your memory of them
every word that comes out of your mouth
will be reminiscent of the times you have spent with them
and I will be the uninvited guest
they have sealed exits
laid traps
and left poison for
I will be the uninvited guest
they do not want making home of their territories
I am the uninvited guest
who dares to rest her head on your chest.

Krizza Jan D. Ceniza is an AB Mass Communication student from Ateneo de Davao University.

Balak Alang sa Balakiro

Poetry by | July 7, 2017

Nakita tika nga gahangad sa langit,
gitutokan ang mga gagmay nga suga
nga gakipat-kipat sa itom nga kisame,
samtang ako, naglingkod gawas sa among payag,
kamulo pod ug tan-aw sa akong nag-inusara’ng kahayag.

Mikusog ang hangin og mihalok sa atong mga panit
ug ang kumpas sa mga gangis
mialingawngaw gikan sa mga kahoy.
Susama sa siyaok sa akong dughan,
kusog apan ako ra ang nakasinati.

Imong nakaplagan akong duha ka mata
nga gisuroy ang imong matag kurbada.
Ug mipiyong ko sa makadyot,
Apan sa akong pagpuklat,
Nawala na ka. Hain ka na?

Mikusog ang hangin og mihalok sa akong panit
ug ang kumpas sa mga gangis
mialingawngaw gikan sa mga kahoy.
Susama sa siyaok sa akong dughan,
kusog apan ako ra ang nakasinati.

Christian G. Perez studies BSE English at Capitol University in Cagayan de Oro City.