Niadtong Tuiga

Poetry by | January 25, 2009

(Paghinumdum sa 2008)

Maniradug tarung sa balay
Sukna sa iyang mama kanunay
Samtang wa pa sila naabot
Lisod na kuno ang panahon karon
Ang kinaiya sa tawo dili kakumpyansahan
Bisan unsa na lang ang buhaton
Aron lang gayud makalingkawas
Sa nagmantinir nga kahimtang

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Beginning with Inkblots

Nonfiction by | January 18, 2009

inkblotsTo write is to be in service to the moment, a moment that seeks to captivate and allure as well as to express the complex nature of emotion. I have written for as long as I can remember because I have found the necessity—no, rather, the conscious desire and comfort to see my thoughts and feelings materialize on paper and hence become my reality through which all can awaken and develop a sense of meaning and value.

I write because I feel the urge to enter into the practice of rediscovering the simplicities and complexities around me through the aid of both imagery and words, each story and each poem pulsating with life, striving to describe, to impart insight, to prove, to share—for life, I believe, is in itself the lifeblood of all things written and to be written.

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Flashback 1956: Letter of James Martin Welborn

Nonfiction by | January 18, 2009

(Excerpt from a letter of James Martin Welborn, an American soldier in the Philippine-American War who turned planter in Davao in the first decade of the 1900s.)

October 14, 1956

Dear Son,

I notice in the F. P. (Philippine Free Press) that there is a lot of graft around Manila; does the same condition apply around Davao?

It seems that all the world has gone crooked. We have it in this country almost as bad as there with you. The older Philipino was trained in it by the Spaniards and many have improved on their methods.

When I was there the aim of most of the young men was to get an education so they could live without work, not for the betterment of their country or countrymen.

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59 Beads

Poetry by | January 18, 2009

when our eyes meet
you stab me.

i see you indulge in whatever,
but you never notice the agony
that flows from my eyes.

time wishes to banish our insanity,
and our existence from each other.

you tend to forget about me,
while i pretend you never saw my heart.

i convinced myself i have forgotten your scent,
the taste of your lips,
the feel of your hands
even though i know i never will.

i was reconstructed by you
bitterly insane is what you made of me.
i was reconstructed by you
to never be held down by anyone—
but you.
to move as if i’m free
even though there’s a chain around my neck
with the other end attached to your ankles.
i was reconstructed by you
to forever dwell within this abyss of sorrow.

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Whilst I’m Breathing

Poetry by | January 18, 2009

rip me open,
nail me on your bedroom wall;
speak all that’s left unspoken,
or leave me here with nothing at all.

peel off my skin,
take a glimpse at what lies within;
hear my pain, make it sing;
do all these whilst i’m breathing.

rip me open,
or break my every bone;
forsake me, to all that’s forsaken,
or leave me here all alone.

tear open my chest,
trick my heart to keep on beating;
teach me to lie to myself,
do all these, whilst i’m breathing.

hear me cry,
see me die;
don’t you dare close your eyes,
watch me beg for my life,
as you pierce my throat with a rusty knife;
i love you, i swear i won’t ask why-
why it seems like you love to see me die.
Continue reading Whilst I’m Breathing


Fiction by | January 11, 2009

(An excerpt)

matesThey knew each other. From the moment they first laid eyes, he recognized her, and she him. Nothing would separate them; not even the war that had caused so much misery, which brought their once magnificent civilization to its tragic downfall. Nothing would interfere with their bliss. They were soul mates.

Together with fellow human survivors in the escape fleet, they fled the havoc wrought by their nemesis, the Banac’ans. Their home planet had been pierced through its very core, causing its horrendous destruction. With it, the civilizations, the lives they once knew, the whole planet itself, vanished from the face of the galaxy.

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Poetry by | January 11, 2009

Death is imminent.

Until the star implodes
and sucks all matter
within its grasp.

Even the ray of light
is a fatality
of its tightening grip
and ultimate hold onto life.
It becomes an abyss
of an unknown fate.

Death is near
but there is irony
in its dying existence.
Its penultimate death
becomes a lure
for more of death.
It becomes a rampage
of itself
frightful and threatening
to the unconscious
and slumbering spirit.
Then its last breath respires,
Emerging as a dense matter
of immense massiveness.
So Great,
but crammed with death.
(dedicated to the inequities everywhere)

Continue reading Supernovas


Poetry by | January 11, 2009

Dedicated to Kristoffer Alibangbang

The dawn is breaking rapidly
like hundred light years have
passed away over the omniscient horizon,
mirroring my heart nestled into
patterned solitude.

…because I have to find the panoramic view of
life. Eyeing differently from gleaming stars, moons and
shadows of light that reflects his cherub façade,

… because I, vowed to see each butterflies and how
they undergone several epiphanies every morning, with
flowers around them, frothed in rain drops, coaxed
by the sun. Leaving me empty with my scratch papers,
lines and silenced metaphors.

…because words are just words. But he composes a bucket of
strayed fragments that I should let go of- to decipher these words
are not just words.

… maybe because , my mind just aches, overfed with this cathartic malady.

…and maybe because, I want to get cured though I know I loved to be severe.

Continue reading Oblivion


Fiction by | January 4, 2009

The dog was leisurely running ahead of him, but it suddenly stopped, sniffing the ground nervously. Alerted by the dog, the young Manobo laid down a bound wild rooster and gripped his spear tightly. He looked around him, quickly scanning the trees for any movement. As the dog did not bark, he relaxed a bit. He inspected the ground, and made out several human footprints. They belonged to strangers, he thought, or his dog wouldn’t have acted nervously. He put his ear to the damp ground, then he raised his head, his ears perking. He inspected the ground again. Mud had caked on the leaves of grass that had been trodden repeatedly. The intruders had passed by several hours ago, he concluded. No danger there. But what did they want, so near his house? He looked up. Towering trees filtered the rays of the late afternoon sun. He had time to investigate. He picked up the fowl.

“Toyang!” he called, and his dog responded, sniffing the ground as it led the way. The young Manobo soon realized they were heading towards the gulch. The spring! His heart began to beat rapidly. Amya! He began to run, his dog trailing him. At the ravine floor his fears were confirmed. A spear was stuck right beside the little pool that collected the water from the spring that flowed beside the root of a tree. Footprints! Signs of struggle! He pulled the lance and inspected it. Mandaya warriors! They had taken Amya. No! He looked around in the disturbed brush and found a bamboo tube for fetching water. No! He climbed up the ravine quickly and ran.

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Labing Ulay

Poetry by | January 4, 2009

Matod nila, anghel akoang hulagway
Barog ug pustura nindot kunuhay
Ikog duulon ug istoryahon
Kay basig silay di akoang tagdon.

Akong nasinati ang kahiubos sa ilaha
Sanglit wa koy mahimo kun mulikay ko anang butanga
Labing kasakit sa kaugalingun
Kay sayop tanan ilang gipang-ingun.

Nahulog na hinuon nga nagtago ko sa usa ka MASKARA
Apan ang kamatud-anan wa giyud giapangutana,
Kaharuhay ni ining kinabuhi nga pirminti ta itimbaya,
Apan angay ba akong makaamgo nianang butanga.

Hayahay manginabuhi sa kinabuhing tunhay,
Apan lisod kay dili ko usa ka LABING ULAY

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