Poetry by | June 18, 2017

I saw
a tenebrous sky looks down on
a dilapidated shanty that houses
a invalid senescent who’s playing
a stringless guitar,
I looked down
only to see the same
in the puddle.

Jet is from the City of “Golden Frindship”, but please don’t generalize.

Dili Ko Mulimod

Poetry by | June 11, 2017

Dili ko mulimod nga ako gimingaw
sa imong tingog nga mura ug mga hunghong
sa hangin mata’g alas tres sa kaadlawon-
hilom, bugnaw, ug aduna’y mga sikreto
na dili angayang ibutyag sa kabuntagon.

Dili ko mulimod nga ako gimingaw
Sa imong mga gunit samtang kita duha mutabok sa dalan.
Ang imong mga palad nga gaspang, singtanon,
ug dili dayon mubuhi sa kahadlok
na basin imo kong mabuhian ug mabiyaan.

Dili ko mulimod nga ako gimingaw
sa imong mga ginagmayng pahiyom
na wala lamang gapundo sa imong mga ngabil
pero muabot ngadto sa mga singkit mong mata.
Mga pahiyom na napuno’g mga misteryo ug pangutana.

Dili ko mulimod nga ako gimingaw
sa mga ginagmayng butang na atong gisaluhan,
mga sikreto ug kamatuoran,
mga hunghong ug katawa,
mga paglaum ug pangutana.

Apan dili sab ko mulimod nga ako gimingaw,
sa mga panahon na wala pa taka nakaila,
sa mga panahon na ako lamang ang akong nailhan,
kay karong panahona hinay hinay ko na usab na ginabalik
ang mga panahon na wala pa ka sa akong kinabuhi.

Adrian Dwight Sefuentes is a second-year Creative Writing Student of UP Mindanao.

Kugihang Mag-uuma

Poetry by | June 11, 2017

Kaming mga mag-uuma intawon
Ubos rami kong inyong tan-awon
Peru bisan ingon-ani ra mi sa inyong panan-aw
Kugihan mi sama sa kabaw.

Sa kainit dili mutalaw
Bisan ug hugaw dili maulaw
Sayo pa sa kabuntagon
Nagsugod na sa hagbasonon

Halos kami tanan walay binipisyo
Di parehas sa trabahanti sa gobyerno
Kami ang nagpakaon sa daghang tao
Apan ang ubang propesyonal wala mi gi-respito

Kanus-a pa kaha mi magka-binipisyo?
Kay kung matigulang unsaon pa pagtrabaho?
Wala tood mi nahuman
Apan unta suklian among kakugihan

Francis Lopez Cabigas is a second year student of the University of Southeastern Philippines taking up Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Engineering (BSAE). He currently resides in Maco, Compostela Valley Province where his father, his younger brother, and he are farming on their small parcel of land.

Laughing At The Savior

Poetry by | June 4, 2017

A black, stripeless tiger crowned
with a headdress adorned with ferns
Locally sewn, nationally stolen

Rests on the cliff overlooking
The majority of his den. He stays in his reign

With a booming roar that deafens everyone’s
Sight, numbing everyone’s ear, and blinding
Everyone’s taste. No one knows this

But Him, the foul-mouthed tiger tending,
Licking the blood spots dried in its claws.

All of you, this is our savior—

A beast pampered to a spoon heaping
With empty bodies, void of soul
Helpless in this land, better in the afterlife.

He who continues to gloat at every successful hunt
(…quivering wind chimes, we had some good times)
He who used to yammer inside our screens
(…wooed by his offer: the fountain of youth)
He who now prowls deviant of nature’s law
(…silenced, we are silenced)

The gallant born of iron fangs

Marks its paws among his prime possessions,
Looking like a fool as he dances

In high-fashioned bravado—
Must never be touched nor questioned.
If tested,

Welcome the gun on your head
A splatter in one of the city’s many tongues
You won’t be remembered,
Yet a roar will be heard,


As a victor
of (t)his land.

Marc Jeff Lañada hails from General Santos City and is an incoming 4th year BA Communication Arts student in University of the Philippines Mindanao.

Sunday Best

Poetry by | May 21, 2017

I believe in Sundays more than I do God or mothers—
More than structures or figures—
My faith in Sundays is tireless, I am a devotee.
Would you agree?
The universe gave us Sundays
To save face
To seek forgiveness for the formidable days that follow
A treat after a long stressful week—sweet and satisfying yet desperate
Some days would come to you as a bribe
To shut your eyes and mouth for the day—
to simply live and let live.
Would you believe?
The most splendid thing about Sundays is that
people mind their own business.
Nobody cares about anybody,
even the eyes of bystanders
take their rest-
the world neglects to detect
the amount of melanin
on people’s skin
other than their own kin.

My favorite Sundays are the rainy ones–
Stores closed, streets almost empty, and houses full!
On rainy Sundays, people mind their own business.
Would you confess?
On Mondays, people transform into
vile creatures
That speak with a spiky tongue
They crouch on cobbled streets composed of corpses—
Creatures like these
forget to forgive faultless fellows but funnily
remember to read
people’s trousers–
A man-ual, “This is a penis, show respect”,
and something else, I suspect.
Which raises the question,
Would you?
Soon enough, it’s Sunday again and
I’ll be wearing nothing–
Why not? On Sundays, people mind their own business.

Angellica “Ineng” Narvaiza is an activist. She is currently studying BA Communication Arts at the University of the Philippines Mindanao.

Chicken Time!

Poetry by | May 14, 2017

One landed on the roof
with a dull thud that i thought
was a fleeting second of thunder
crumpling against the clear sky
just as the three-o’-clock prayer
was airing: “You died, and yet
your well of life sprung forth”
onto the afternoon gone quiet
save for the drunken laughter
gathering in the backyard
where twelve reddened fingers pointed
towards their newfound feathered friend
flailing and crowing thrice
before snapping its neck, after which
I was called out with one thought
in their minds: “Supper!”

John Oliver Ladaga is currently taking up BA English in UP Mindanao. He likes poetry and wallflowers, and doesn’t like being sad.


Poetry by | April 30, 2017

(for Lola Mommy)


Everything passes

from this life

on to the next.

Everything moves

toward something better.

It’s natural to lose some things.


This is the lesson

I remember

from our little chats

on quiet afternoons

in your old house

when it was just the two of us.


You told me to travel.

You said go

before age would interfere;

see the world.

You said you could wait

before your great grandchildren would arrive.


It’s been a year

since you left us—

since I learned that I had tarried.

Sometimes I regret that

I had not hoarded our times together.

Time was not on our side.


But today in the warm breeze

I feel your presence.

Your words echo in my memory

in this foreign land.

Even in your absence

you continue to shape me.


— from Marina Bay, Singapore

(23 March 2017)


*pronounced /æ.pəˈtoʊ.sɪs/ (“apo-to-sis”)

Genevieve Mae Aquino was born in Manila but calls Davao her home. She has a clutch of diplomas in molecular biology and genetics. She was fellow for Poetry in English at several national creative writing workshops. She currently works as a university researcher at the University of the Philippines.

Sa Kasakit Ug Sa Pag-antos

Poetry by | April 23, 2017

Ang kahapsay bag-o napahiluna
Molusot usa sa gamayng lungag
sa dagom nga gitawag nga kamatuoran.
Walay naanak nga puya
Nga dili matugaw ang paginusara
Sa mga bituon sa kagabhion.
Ug wala kini migawas nga nakabiste
Sa matag Domingong pang-simba.
Asa ka kakitag puya
Nga wala gihabolan sa dugo
Sa iyang kaugalingong inahan?
Asa ka kakitag inahan
Nga wala nagkundasingot sinyagit sa pag-utong?
Kay ang tanan makigharong sa kasakit ug pag-antos
Aron lang molahutay sa taas nga panahon.
Wala mimata ang unang tawo
Sa kaharuray ug sa kahayahay.
Mingsubay kini una sa kalisod
Ug niining mga kalisod ug mga pagsulay
Migiya sa unang tawo
Nga makatukod og sibilisasyon
Sama sa natagamtaman nato karon.
Kay sa kasakit ug pag-antos lang
Matukod ang bag-ong ugma, ang bag-ong paglaom.

Si Gil Nambatac kay usa sa mga BisDak nga nagtubo sa Mindanao, gikan sa Dakbayan sa mga Busay, Dakbayan sa Iligan City, nga nagdamgo nga puhon mahimong usa ka magsusulat nga lehitimong magbitbit sa naratibo sa panagbisog sa mga linupigan ug gipangdaogdaog sa katilingban. Nahimong fellow sa Cornelio Faigao Memorial Writers Workshop ug sa Iligan National Writers Workshop para sa mubong sugilanon. Padayon siyang gaapil-apil sa lain-laing workshop sa nasod para makahimamat ug makighugoyhugoy sa mga banggiitang magsusulat ug mailhan ang uban pang sama niya nga adunay damgo nga mahimong magsusulat sa nasod nga dili hilig mobasa.

Palangga Ta Ka

Poetry by | April 23, 2017

Hambala ko nga nadumduman mo
kon san-o ta una nagkita,
kon paano ta gastorya;
kon gaano ta sang-una.

Hambala ko nga waay ka
nalipat sa mga adlaw nga
kanami pa sang imo pahiyom
sadtong mga adlaw nga
napasanag mo ang dulom.

Indi ko pag hambala
nga waay ka na kahinumdum;
nga nalipat ka na
nga gipalangga ta ka.


Emmylou is a 4th Year BA English Student at the University of the Philippines Mindanao. She is a feminist, and an activist; a solemn hero with a fragile heart.


Poetry by | April 16, 2017

The first time I saw you, you had liquid emeralds for eyes and they desired me. They lusted over my thick hide and rich meat that could save your family for the winter. So when I felt the cold steel of your knife pierce through me, I did not fight back. I let you take my life so you could save yours.

The first time I remembered you, your hair was slicked back but a lone, stubborn curl refused to cooperate, making my left hand itch. You smiled at me, flashing a dimple, and called me, “Ma‟am.” And oh, how eager you were to fly. So I watched. I watched you join the biggest con game on earth—war, just to leave the ground for a while. I also watched as your plane was blown into smithereens.

The first time I knew I loved you, you did not exist. I looked for you in the sky, in the ocean and in every nook and cranny of the land. I married a girl with freckles and had twins. While I was happy, I knew I would always wait for you.

The first time you found me, I knew the wait was going to be a part of my lives. I opened my eyes and there you were, smiling, as if you knew, too. We broke our mother’s body but she loved us with every bone she had, nonetheless. That was one of my happiest lifetimes; chasing shadows, getting into brawls and learning every line on each other’s palms. But the best part would always be waking up every morning, certain of your love for me.

The next time I met you, we were both adults and life had come first. I was hard, ambitious and stern—more so than you. You managed to keep that reckless glimmer in your eye somehow. While it was easy for you to discard your armor, mine was molded deep into my skin. You took your time anyway, as if making up for the other lifetimes. And before I knew it, you left galaxies between my thighs and unmade every lesson life had taught me.

Some lifetimes, I would find you with your heart in another soul’s hands. To watch you kiss your wife to work and dress up as a ridiculous Santa to your kids’ delight was an exquisite joy on its own. But to watch you wait for the grinning boy incapable of happiness in Pinto was the second hardest thing I ever had to do. He did not arrive and yet, years later, there you still were.

Other lifetimes, we never even meet. I learned not to look for you in a child’s laughter, a model’s hips and a scent in the train. I just had to be so you can return to me just as I would return to you always.

But for now, I am content to have you in my arms, your dark hair spilling over your pony tail, tickling my nose. “Which was your favorite?” you ask. I look up at the vast emptiness of the universe and trace my fingers over your night skin. “Different bodies, same souls. Same love.”

Viel is a BA Communication Art student at the University of the Philippines Mindanao. She is now on her fourth year and will graduate on June.