(2016) Habi Vol. I, No. 1

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Habi vol. i no. 1 3rd edition Copyright 2016 Habi is a collaborative artistic and literary folio of Jesuit universities in the Philippines. Copyright reverts to the respective authors and artists whose works appear in this issue. No part of this book may be reprinted or reproduced in any means whatsoever without the written permission of the copyright holder. This publication is not for sale. Correspondence may be addressed to: heights, Publications Room, mvp 202 Ateneo de Manila University p.o. Box 154, 1099 Manila, Philippines Tel. no. (632) 426-6001 loc. 5448 heights - ateneo.org Creative Direction by Ida de Jesus and Renzi Rodriguez Cover and Dividers by Manuel Angulo, Philip De La Torre, Ida de Jesus, Cheska Mallillin Layout by Kimberly Alivia, Nina Atienza,

Juan Carlos Concepcion, Ida de Jesus, Zoe de Ocampo, Ellan Estrologo, Geraldine Fajardo, Miguel N. Galace, Maxine Garcia, Joan Eunice Lao, Ninna Lebrilla, Cheska Mallillin, Richard Mercado, Troy Ong, Therese Pedro, Marco T. Torrijos, Jonah Velasquez

Typeset in mvb Verdigris


Contents Ateneo de Davao University 1 Introduction Karlo Antonio David 5 Kuyaw Ram Manlatican 14 Alimukon Andrea Isabelle F. Mejos 15 Red Light Reil Benedict Obinque 16 An Unusual Case of Pregnancy Duane Allyson Gravador 25 Baliktaran Mark Louie Balladares 26 For Reservation 28 Kalamansi Vendor Ian Derf Salva単a 27 Desolation


Ateneo de Manila University 31 Introduction Luis Wilfrido Atienza 35 Poem for an Alien Arkaye Kierulf 37 The Great Traveling Hunger 39 A Beginner’s Guide to Good Manners Abner E. Dormiendo 44 Breakup poem without you in it 68 Magulong paliwanag sa biyaya ng buhay 69 Maging langit Karl Estuart 45 Insistence Nicole E. Sanglay 48 Spectres & Constructs Christian Jil R. Benitez 49 from I Shall Be Missing 61 Kung Saan Nagsimulang Pinakaibigin Kita Jam Pascual 52 Shelter Ben Aguilar 54 Cartography Reina Krizel J. Adriano 56 A Postcard Displaces Us of the Now Paolo Tiausas 70 Still Life Arielle Acosta 73 Hanap Buhay


Alfred Benedict C. Marasigan 74 Place 1.1 75 Place 11 81 Nativity 82 Icarus 87 Spectre 1 Andrea G. Beldua 76 Ophelia II Celline Marge Mercado 77 Lord Pounce 78 Flower from (I AM NOT A) Feast (series) 79 Fruit from (I AM NOT A) Feast (series) Richard Vince S. Mercado 80 Wrong Direction Miguel Roberto Parungo 84 Golden Shower from Memory (series) 85 Poolside from Memory (series) Joan Eunice Lao 86 Sans Soulmate Alex Tuico 88 Healing I 89 Healing II Robyn Angeli Saquin 90 Peek (triptych) Therese Nicole Reyes 91 [Untitled] Angelo Juarez 92 Lola Clara


Ateneo de Naga University 95 Introduction Harold V. Alarcon 99 Alas 103 Kan Mga Oras Na Ito Rea Robles 106 Dos Mil Tres Jusan Misolas 108 Lawóg 110 Alulunti sa Baybayon 112 Tukdô 114 Pawnshop 116 Close Open Camille Ann A. Loza 118 Transcultural Battlefield: Recent Japanese Translations of Philippine History Mae Lovinia F. Almelor 122 Árbol de Fuego Krystel Padin 123 [Sa pagtingin sa gabing taimtim na...] Miguel Imperial 124 Relativity of happiness 125 Coins and candies 126 No decent bathroom


Clark Glenn F. Neola 127 Beget 128 Morose Khim Francis Balete 129 The Imaginarium 130 The Burden Guada Victoria H. Marbella 131 Gunita 132 Humaling 133 Kalinaw 134 Pahimakas 135 Silakbo


Ateneo de Zamboanga University 139 Introduction Everylyn T. Jaji 143 The Call 145 The Lady from Basilan 146 Eight Hours Fatima Sherlyn R. Ismun 147 To my Habibati Portia Grace O. Peralta 150 Queda Jethro O. Cristobal 152 When the Lights Go Out Marion B. Guerrero 154 A Song for Zamboanga Joseph Aaron S. Joe 157 Civil Wars Francis C. Macansantos 160 Segunda Carta para con Cesar Marquez 165 The Spurner 166 For Father G. Venjovi V. Pondevida 168 Two Words 170 November Jamie Bernadette C. Cabayacruz 172 Wait Kent Kerby Bayona 173 He Matters Xavier Agraviador and Heidelyn Tan 174 2o Pristine Janielle F. Padua 181 No Te Vayas Paul Alfonse J. Marquez 185 Mother Knows Best


Cedrick Zabala 2oo Regatta Hermosa 2o1 Vinta contra la Puesta del Sol Kenneth T. Chuacon 202 Marejada Mohammad Sarajan 203 Enormity 204 Surveyor of Suman 205 The Malls Close at 8 206 Four Goats and a Dog Come Joshua Jhune Bughao 207 Determination 208 Masepla 1 209 Masepla 2 Dominic Ian Cabatit 210 You Can’t Paint Yourself a New Face 211 Girl and Flowers 212 Not Very Healthy 213 They’ll Never Believe What I Found Today 214 The Zamboanga Crisis Amihan F. Jumalon 215 Trojan Horse 216 Temperance 217 Lamplighter 218 Mariana 1 219 Mariana 2


Xavier University 223 Introduction Gino Dolorzo 227 Cricket 228 drowned 230 Father Leaving Arvin Narvaza 233 FRANCO 237 Sunflowers Charie Grace C. Funa 238 On the 9th of April Andrew del Fierro 241 Tether Lest You Fly Jan Rupert I. Alfeche 244 “This Is My City” Adeva Jane H. Esparrago 245 A Voir Peur AP Yao 246 Aftermath 268 Smiles won’t wash away 283 Yellow catch Jericho B. Montellano 247 Artwork Francis Ryan Avellana 248 At Play 249 Bird’s Eye View 255 I Thirst 260 Midnight Marauder 282 Washed


Paul Balase 250 Callbox Jigs Racaza 251 Chasing the Gold Rico Magallona 252 Discombobulated Jericho B. Montellano 253 Flesh and Bone Evan B. Aranas 254 Fortunate Events Hensell Hebaya 256 Just a Position Christian Loui Gamolo 257 Kabaliktarang Kalayaan Kimberly Mae Llabo 258 Liberty and Captivity Lynette Tuvilla 259 Life’s Paradox Michael Sy 261 Onward 271 Strokes 272 Take Flight Nikki Que 262 Onward Jigo Racaza and Francis Ryan Avellana 263 Opposites: A World of Contrast Jennifer T. Vaquilar 264 Ripples of my Youth 279 [Untitled]


Mary Yvonne C. Alamban 265 Sentimenti 275 The Power of Words Stephanie Go 266 Serenade 273 Tambayan Maria Gladys Labis 267 Skins Martina Jugador 269 Spots of a starlight Keith Obed Ruiz 270 Stop and Look Maite Aranjuez 274 Tchaikovsky’s Odette April Joy Laurente 276 The Smoker Jan Buragay 277 Tight Fit Jenamae Espineli 278 Unfathomable Pounding Haiko B. Magtrayo 280 [Untitled] 281 [Untitled]



Editorial It is with great pride that Banaag Diwa of Ateneo de Davao University, heights of Ateneo de Manila University, The Knight of Ateneo de Naga University, Marejada of Ateneo de Zamboanga University, and Veritas of Xavier University present the first joint folio among Jesuit universities in the Philippines: Habi. When we first conceptualized a collaborative folio among Jesuit universities, we wished to first celebrate the diversity of art and literature in the Philippines, and to secondly create an avenue for Atenean artists to showcase their work on the national level. Political and economic issues in development and representation cut divisions that other fellow Filipinos, such as regionalism. However, such divides are also cultural—they are found in our educational curricula, in our news, in our films. To bridge this gap, we must utilize another cultural force: art. Although possibly born from a specific context, art is a universal language that knows no exclusive audience. It speaks beyond time and border, class and ethnicity, accepting and yet overcoming difference. Habi is a response to the need for multiple contexts to the Filipino story. It is an attempt to provide a rare space for young Filipino artists and writers to come together to share their art and spark discussion. In the assemblage of accepted submissions, we found works that sprang from and operated in specific contexts. In the interest of reserving this richness, each university publication has retained its rights to its respective deliberation processes in accepting work from their region. In this collection, you will find Banaag Diwa’s “An Unusual Case of Pregnancy,” which is speculative fiction about an obstetrician’s frustration with being barren, and “Baliktaran,” an experimental piece on poetry structure.

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Contrasting images of despair and resiliency can be seen in the photos “Washed” and “Smiles won’t wash away,” taken during the aftermath of Typhoon Sendong, one of the worst tragedies that struck Cagayan de Oro. “A Postcard Displaces Us of the Now” reflect a growing practice experimental forms and nonfiction in Ateneo de Manila; this falls alongside an abundance of poetry in the lyric form. Meanwhile, the faith for which Bikolanos are known is delicately reflected in The Knight’s “Obra,” a poem which plays on man’s taking likeness from the Divine. Takes on different faiths are also depicted in works from Zamboanga. Marejada’s creative entries are replete with themes of perseverance, irony, and finding what peace there may be amidst the apprehension that comes from being near so much hostility, and despite this, going through the hustle and bustle of everyday life in this small town. The poem “A Song for Zamboanga” and the allegorical short story “20,” among others, tell of the struggle most Zamboanguenos go through each day in trying to see the beauty of their hometown through the tendrils of fog of war that spill over from neighboring provinces. We also published works written in the dialect, along with translations. Some works that rely strongly on local color, such as Banaag Diwa’s “Kuyaw” and Marejada’s “Mother Knows Best,” have also been published. Every year, each university publication exercises its own hands when publishing their respective folios. This is the first time that our hands—each bringing its own stories, media, and contexts—have come together to sew different narrative threads into one book. The interfacing of our different contexts is a weave in itself. In the first run of Habi, our hands are still a little unpracticed, fumbling with unfamiliar material. We hope that in the future, similar projects can

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be pursued to practice these hands, so that the weave can only become tighter and more intricate. Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam. Le Grande Dolino Editor-in-Chief Atenews Ateneo de Davao University

Janie Padua Editor-in-Chief Marejada Literary Folio Ateneo de Zamboanga University

Regine Cabato Editor-in-Chief heights Ateneo Ateneo de Manila University

Xian Arcayera Editor-in-Chief The Crusader Publication Xavier University

Althea Abergos Editor-in-Chief ThePILLARS Publications Ateneo de Naga University February 2016

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Introduction Ateneo de Davao has always been on a wild rollercoaster ride with regards to its literary history, having been able to give birth to gems such as Dr. Macario Tiu, Aida Rivera-Ford, and Joey Ayala. Sadly, however, the university is in a seemingly permanent literary sinkhole. The arts have always been tucked away, with the AdDU community focusing instead on other matters such as division sportsmanship or academics. The three are not even mutually exclusive! There is no doubt that literary talent and potential could be found in AdDU; it is just that the arts are not the priority of many. This is a truth many groups and individuals recognize. Hence, there have been many efforts to persuade Ateneans to pick up a pen and write. For starters, there is the AdDU Writers Workshop, which is an annual event hosted by the university with the Davao Writers Guild, allowing fellows to have their works directly critiqued by Davao’s literary giants. Another example is Atenews’s very own Banaag Diwa, which is a literary folio from Ateneans themselves. We in Atenews believe that the students should not tame and cage their ability to write a line of prose or poetry. We offer the Banaag Diwa as an annual outlet for the students to pick up a pen and write. But the Banaag Diwa was not enough. Quality submissions still came slowly. That is the reason why just two years ago, Atenews began hosting the Banaag Diwa awards. We wanted to believe that the prestige of meeting other artists or at least of winning a prize would encourage submissions. That is why Atenews is participating in this folio. We are in the hope that what’s left of AdDU’s literary community will be able to dish out something that it is proud enough to show the world. But, we were on the fence. We could not risk asking the whole student body to contribute to this folio, as that would harm our chances of being able to collect enough for this year’s Banaag Diwa. 1


We resorted to asking for contributions from past Banaag Diwa winners themselves. Alas, as if my previous characterizations were accurate, almost everyone did not contribute, even if they made it seem otherwise. For the following works, Atenews had to basically peddle the folio for submissions. The first entry is by Karlo Antonio David, a Palanca awardee who attributes his writing career as having started from the Banaag Diwa. He is interested in what he calls Davao Tagalog, which shows a colorful display of local quirks with regard to language. The rest of the submissions are similar. All of them (spare the last one) show some tinge of locality. They discuss familiar sights, ideas, and realities. This familiarity is what many Davao writers, from the likes of Dr. Tiu to Karlo David try to safeguard. Even if it may not be plentiful, authentic Davao literature exists. Atenews continues to celebrate AdDU literature, no matter how hidden it may be. We hope that what the students would like to say (and their fluency in translating it into syntax) would excite non-Davaoe単os with AdDU and Davao culture. Godspeed. Le Grande Dolino Editor-in-chief November 2015

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karlo antonio david

Kuyaw lain talaga pagsimula. Alangan uy. Habang nakaupo lang si Nick Berg sa screen ng laptop, ang meron lang gud sa akin kay ang pagkaalam na mamatay siya pagkahuli. Nagsimula magsalita ng Arabic yung isa sa mga nakaitim at naka-balabal-muslim sa likod. Klaro masyado ang hostage sa kaputi niya at sa ka-orange ng kanyang suot. Habang nagatagal mag-iba ang kalain: alam mo na na kangilngig ang makita mo, pero kay sa huli mo pa makita, masuya, manabik ka. Sige na uy, ipakita na lang gud sana, kalahati mo maisip, pero kalahati gusto mo lang gud talaga makita. Nang patapos na ang pagsalita sa Arabic, gikulbaan ako masyado. Nagbilis ang pulso ko—nautgan na ako. Hala, hala. Nakatinghab ako sa kakulba paglapit nila kay Berg. Nahubad ko na ang short at brip ko. Ah, grabe. Gikutsilyo na nila ang leeg. Grabe, katigas ko na. Parang matunaw na sa kainit ang nasa kamay ko. Sabay sa ad-ad ng kutsilyo sa leeg ang pag luslos taas-baba ng kamay ko. Ah, grabe. Nakaungol ako sabay ng sigaw ng ginapugutang hostage. Ah grabe, grabe. Gibalik-balik ko ang video sa pag-ad-ad—sakto pagtanggal ng ulo at pagtigil ng mga muslim ng pag-ad-ad, nilabasan ako. Grabe ko kahangak, pawis masyado at basa ang kamay, habang nakatingin sa paglagay nila sa putol na ulo ni Berg sa sahig. Grabe. Kuyawa ko na talaga. ‌Sila kaya, ‘no. Mga gahi man daw. Kaya kaya nila ito? Ambot lang. Yung mga kaklase ko sa U___, grabe makatikal. Bisyo, babae, basta lagi kakuyaw nagawa na yan nila. Elementary pa lang daw sila sa kanila (sa Mati ba o sa GenSan, maraming dayo sa kanila), nakabira na daw sila. Kapitbahay, katulong, pinsan, bangagan na classmate. Kuyaw lagi masyado. Nung first year pa kami nag-sabot man yan sila magsibat sa klase sa Calculus.

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Nag-inom daw sa may Claveria (‘yan o, alas dos pa lang sa hapon naga-inom na). Kay hindi man ako gisali ako lang ang nagpasok sa klase. Gikataw-an nila ako nung malaman nila. Dun man siguro nagsimula yang Bela-Bela. Abel Patalinghug, tapos kay brayt man sila masyado gibaylo lang nila ang “A” at “bel” sa pangalan ko, tapos gisungog-sungog akong “Bela.” “Bela irebond daw ning akong bulbol be, bayran ra takag lubi,” “Bela, kuyog sa amo next time mag-inom ha, tagaan ka namog Zest-O,” “Ay dili diay, ang imo man diay ganahan imnon kay kanang Batong-flavour.” Kuyaw sila, ako hindi—wala man pera o hilig mag-damo, mag-DoTa, o magbira ng kung sino ba (at ano pa lang sabihin ni kuya). Pero imbes na kulango lang sana, bayot ang naisip nila itatak sa akin. Si Ralston Calawen man siguro nag-unauna nun. Grabe yan si Calawen kagago. Nakabira na daw ng silingan ten years old pa lang, dose pa siya nagasimula na panigarilyo, hindi na daw niya maalala kelan siya una nakainom. Pero ngayon Tanduay na ang tirada niya. Apat yan sila pinakagago sa aming section sa Civil Engineering. Si Calawen, si Alvin Quezon tag-Bukidnon na nakulong na daw kay nag-akyat-bahay nung grade 5 siya, si Jik-Jik Buy-an taga-Sta. Cruz na palagi matulog sa internetan kaadik sa DoTA, si Ivan Neri taga-Cotabato na gidala dito yung hilig niya mag-damo. Gisubukan ko makikaibigan minsan, para ba makita din nila na hindi lang daw ako kulang sa kakuyaw. Nagdala si Ralston ikaisa ng fhm sa klase, gibasa nilang apat nung walang teacher sa Trigonometry. Naglapit lang gud ako para makiusyoso. Pagkita nila na malapit ako, gidalidali nilang tago. Alis daw ako, panglalaki lang daw yung gitignan nila. Wala daw binayot dun, dagdag ni Ivan Neri, kay fhm man. “Hala,” sungog ni Jik-Jik Buy-an, “‘Vin isarado na imong zipper kay basig nangita ra diay’g bibiron ni si Bela.” Tapos katawa. Sa takot at kakulba ko ang nasabi ko lang, pautal, hindi ako bayot. Gititigan nila ako. Kuba-kuba konti, luspad kay bihira lang maglabas sa bahay, amoy Johnson’s baby soap imbes sigarilyo. “Mao ba,” sabi ni Ralston. “Okay ra jud kaayo sa amo, gang.

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Amina na lang gud. Ug wala man pud gihapon kay otin. Magbayot na lang ka uy.” Katawa ulit. Pero at least sila ginakausap pa ako. Yun talagang mga tambay sa may kanto sa amin sa San Lorenzo Village, nakita lang ako nagdaan minsan may dalang payong naisipan na din na bayot ako. Magtaghoy pag nagadaan ako. “Salad o, ngil-ad pa.” Tatlo-apat yan sila palagi, nakahukas at nakalaylay ang bilbil madalas, naga-Dama ng tansan sa ilalim ng Talisay habang naga-Tuba. Ang pinakagago diyan sa kanila, yang si Pugak Domingo. Dati daw panday sabi ni kuya, pero giputulan daw ng dds ng daliri kay gago lagi. Yan siya ang grabe maka-bugal-bugal sa akin. Ang pinakagrabe yung hubog siya masyado isang hapon.‘Ali diri gang, pahikapon takas akong birdie. Di ra ko mag-promise nga mafinger taka.’ Nakasuka sa katawa yung mga kasama niyang tambay. Kung gialok lang sana nila ako ng tuba, nakatikim na siguro ako. Kasarap siguro ‘no, na ang kalingawan mo galing sa paghirap ng iba. Nayawyaw ko sa sarili nung gisubukan ko magbigti. Hapon man yun, nasa call center si kuya, ako lang isa sa bahay. Sa loob ng nakabitay na pisi, isip ko habang ginatitigan ko ang butas, tapos lahat. Pero makatakot ang wala. Kahit sino na makakita, alam yan. Sa harap mo, wala na lahat. Tapos lahat. Natakot ako uy, pero nahiya ako sa takot ko. Grabeng hiya, yan ganing sa sobrang hiya mo, gusto mo na patayin sarili mo kay kawala mong pulos na tao, pero kay talawan ka lagi takot ka masyado para patayin ang sarili mo. Naglupasay na lang ako sa sahig, giiyak ang sama ng loob. Ang maganda lang talaga sa akin madali ako madistract. Kasarap siguro na galing sa hirap ng iba ang kalingawan mo, ‘no… at doon ko nakita kung gaano kabala nung mga gago na yun, at kung saan ako pwede maging kuyaw, mas kuyaw. Kulang pa. kulang pa ang kanilang ginakalingawan na hirap. Ang mga babae ang pinakamaganda gamitin halimbawa para ipakita kung anong klaseng kakuyaw ang uso. Gusto yan nila ‘maginoo pero medyo bastos,’ madumi sa labas pero malinis sa loob. Pero mahina ang mga babae, hindi nila kaya ang totoong kuyaw.

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Hindi man gani nila siguro alam bakit nila gusto na medyo kuyaw ang lalaki—sa delikado mo man kasi maramdaman na mahalaga ang mga madali masira. Kabata, ka-inosente, puri, buhay. Kuyaw si Ralston Calawen kay baka birahan ka lang bigla, pero sa huli palaiyot lang yun, hindi rapist. Bala masyado... Madaanan ng jeep na sakyan ko galing U___ pauwi ang isang bahay sa may highway diyan sa Puan. Ikailan na nangyari na nanganak yang aso nila diyan, tapos paglaro-laro ng itoy sa kalsada masagasaan. Noong una ko yan nakita, gilayo ko ang tingin ko. Luod baya. Pero noong may nasagasaan ulit dalawang araw pagkatapos ko gisubukan maghikog, gipilit ko tingin. Sige daw be. Buo pa ang katawan ng itoy pero nakalabas na ang tinae sa semento. Naglamig ang kamay ko pagkakita sa kanya, pero gipilit ko ang sarili ko na titigan, at pagtagal naging init ang lamig, at nagsimula tigas ang tiyan at balakang ko. Ibang klase na pakiramdam, parang gigil na grabe. Tapos parang nakatutok ang gigil sa bukas pa na mata ng tuta. Hala. Gititigan ko ang mga mata, dilat sa pagkawala na gikatalaw ko, dilat pa at nagapahiwatig sa buhay na nawala, at naglakas ang gigil ko. Tapos bigla man yan nasagasaan ng nagdaan na taxi ang ulo—durog ang mukha, nagkalat ang utak sa semento kahalo ng bituka, nalagpot ang mga mata. Ah, grabe. Gikilabutan ako—parang grabe ka-igo na kiliti. Sa hayop pala yan siya simulan. Palaging may masagasaan sa daan paakyat sa Puan pagsakay ko ng tricycle pauwi sa San Lorenzo. Palaka, daga, pusa, kung swerte aso. Nagkalingaw ako ng tingin, lalo na kung maisip ko na kanina lang buhay pa yung dugmok na tapok ng dugo at utak-bituka. Pero sandali ka lang malingaw sa tiratira: katagalan naghanap na ako ng mismong pagkamatay. Para ganing babae na nakadamit na makaakit masyado, pakita ng konting laman pero hindi mo mahanap ang ginatago. Katagalan hanapin mo ang itsura niya nakahubad. Hindi ko na nakaya minsan. Nanghuli ako ng bakbak sa may basakan sa likod ng San Lorenzo. Tapos giitsa ko sa may semento ng malakas. Pagkahulog niya, bungkag ang katawan—ah, grabe. Kalingaw. Hindi nagtagal naging kalingawan ko yun pag weekends. 8


Simula man yun ng second year ko na naisip ko makinig ng iyak ng ginakatay na baboy. Tahimik man gud ang bakbak mamatay. Tapos minsan, nung may gikatay na baboy sa silingan, gikilabutan ako pagrinig ko. Kay kalayo man ng slaughterhouse sa Maa, nagdownload na lang ako ng mp3 sa laptop na gipadala ni mama galing Saudi. Yan ang karamihan naging laman tugtog ng cellphone ko, kasarap pakinggan sa jeep. Minsan mainggit ako kay mama. Gusto ko magtambay doon sa Deera Square sa Riyadh. Kalingaw siguro manood ginatigbas yung mga kriminal sa publiko. Ginaisip ko pa lang yun, mas lalo ako maenganyo seryosohin ang pag-Engineering ko. Isang araw may naglaroy-laroy na kuting sa labas ng bahay namin. Ka-cute na kuting, nagalapit. Hapon man yun, nasa call center na naman si kuya. Kung nasa bahay pa yun giabog na ang kuting kay magdumidumi daw sa bahay ang balahibo. Gipasok ko siya at gilaro-laro sa sala. Habang gitangag ng kuting ang tsinelas ko, pumasok sa isip ko. Nakapanood na ako ng gikatay na baboy, naka-sampung palaka na ako. Pero kulang pa rin. Ginahanap ko ang kamatayan—tanga no, nung nakita ko sa pisi, natakot ako. Pero ginahanap ko siya. Gusto ko siya ipadulas sa kamay ko. Pero sa mga nakita ko, kulang pa rin. Pagtingin ko sa kuting, naisip ko na yun siguro. Dapat sa kamay mo mismo. Yung mga palaka kasi parang nahulog lang sila. Dapat ko talaga siguro maramdaman sa kamay ko. Gitali ko ang pisi sa isang sanga ng nagahirig na batang puno ng rambutan sa may lasang sa likod ng Toscana, yung subdivision tabi ng San Lorenzo. Mas tahimik sa giakala ko ang kuting, pero mas grabe ang pakiramdam. Habang nagapiglas siya, nakabitay, parang ginakambras niya sa kiliti ang loob ko. Ah, grabe. Napaluhod ako sa sarap pag-iyak niya huling beses. Pero kulang pa rin... Gidukol ako ni Jik-Jik Buy-an habang nagalakad sa U___ nung maisip ko ang problema. “Bela pagdali, kusion jud ni sir Torres nang imong bugan kon maglangay pa ka diha.� Puchaks yung gago, isip ko. Kasarap patayin. 9


Tama. Dapat tao. Sa tao ko makita ang ginahanap ko. Doon ako nagsimula basa-basa sa internet. Mahirap maghanap ng video ng talagang pagkamatay ng tao, pero may ilan na sikat na kaso. Pinakasikat na siguro, at pinakamadali hanapin, si Nick Berg. Kaya pagkatapos ko idownload ang video, nagkulong ako sa kwarto para panoorin. Masarap man talaga—doon pa lang sa nasagasaan na itoy alam ko na—pero ngayon lang ako nakakinto talaga sa kasarap. Naghanap ako ng iba pang mapanood na videos tapos nun. Ang sunod kong nahanap yung palabas na Salo – 120 Days of Sodom (nabasa ko na yung libro ni Marquis de Sade paghanap-hanap ko ng iyak ng baboy). Okay man din pala masyado kahit hindi totoo, luod lang yung tae-tae. Giubos ko lahat torrent yung mga pagpugot sa Iraq (boring man yung sa Koreano kay walang tunog). Okay din masyado yung A Serbian Film, nakailang round din ako sa bagong anak na sanggol na part. Nagainom yung isang tao sa Serbian Film nung maalala ko si Ralston Calawen—hindi, sila lahat, pati yung si Pugak Domingo sa kanto (nawala baya yun, giaresto daw sabi ni kuya kay nahuli nagbarker-barker tapos nagapaningil ng sobra). Sigarilyo? Silingan o bangagan na classmate? Puchaks, barker? Kabala nila. Kahilas pa nila tawag-tawagin ako na bayot. Baka gani makasuka na ang mga gago dito pa lang sa video ni Kim Sun Il. Ito ang gahi. Ito ang astig. Ito ang kuyaw… Marielle Sirolo. Nandiyan lang daw sa Toscana, sabi ni kuya isang araw. Nagahanap ng tutor sa Math. Ateneo daw, second year Management. Scholar galing Kidapawan (konsehal daw ang tito doon, pero mataas din daw ang grado sa high school). Pinsan daw ng office mate niya. Kay mataas man daw ang grado ko (consistent DL din baya), baka daw gusto ko mag-sideline. Hindi gud niya gisadya, pero mahiya din baya ako kay kuya. Siya lang isa gaalaga sa akin kay nasa Saudi si mama (ewan asan na tatay namin, hindi ko din natanong). Ang nagawa ko lang para sa kanya, hindi ko dagdagan ang problema niya ng akin. Kaya nagpayag ako. Lakarin lang din bitaw ang Toscana. 10


Hapon nung una kami nagkakilala ni Marielle. Sa loob-loob ang bahay nila sa Toscana. Dalawa sila ng pinsan niya nakatira (yung office mate ni kuya), pero sa tito daw nila ang bahay. Nagulat ako na kaganda pala niya. Magaspang, malupa na kaganda. Morena siya, may maliit at bilog na ulo. Makintab na buhok na medyo kulot-kulot pero sosyal na kinaraan ang hati. Pango ang ilong. Pero cute na pagkapango. Bilog masyado ang mga mata niya, parang yung sa kuting sa labas ng bahay namin noon. Masalita, madaming tanong. Ano daw course ko sa U___. Parang ano daw doon sa loob, kay taga-Kidapawan daw baya siya, hindi pa siya nakapasok doon. Ano daw hilig ko. Nahirapan ako magsagot sa mga tanong na “tingin” ko—hindi ko intawon alam anohin pagsabi sa mga tingin ko sa bagay-bagay. Kumusta sa U___? “Ay, wag ka doon, sayang ka, pang-gago lang yun.” Nagulat ako kay hindi ko gipag-isipan na sabihin yun, yun lang talaga nasa isip ko. Nagtawa siya. Ewan pero parang nahiya ako bigla sa sarili ko. Ganun kami lagi pag magkita kami kada-weekend. Mahabang usapan tungkol sa kung ano-ano bago kami magsimula sa tutor. Hindi siya maubusan ng mapag-usapan: tungkol sa tribo niya (Manobo pala sila), kay tito Gilbert niya na konsehal na kagaling daw na tao, tungkol sa Ateneo, kahit ano. At ako din, kay wala man din masyadong masabi, madala na rin sa kanya. Minsan magsabi siya ng “hala, katalino mo gud ay,” o “kaputi mo gud masyado, kadami mo siguro fangirls sa U___ ‘no,” magbukad ang atay ko. At bago ko mamalayan, nagapaabot na ako sa weekends kay puntahan ko na siya sa kanila (gibigyan niya ako ng number niya, pero mahiya man din ako magtext). Kahit man gani si kuya nakabantay na sobra-sobra na daw ako katagal sa salamin bago maglakad papuntang Toscana. Isang hapon, habang nagasolve kami ng trinomials natanong niya bigla kung mahilig ba daw ako sa movies. Konti, sagot ko. Ano daw gusto ko na movies. 11


Muntik ko masagot na “Salo,” pero bigla ako nahiya. “Kahit anong Pasolini,” sagot ko. Habang ginaisip ko pa bakit ako nahiya, nagsabi siya bigla ng, “Hala, totoo ka? Ka-cultured mo man pala uy. Sa Ateneo ka na lang be kay wala gud talaga akong makausap na matino doon.” Parang may mga palaka nagalukso-lukso sa loob ng tiyan ko pag-uwi ko. Pagkagabi noon kay nanaginip ako. Gisunggaban daw ako ni Ralston Calawen, ni Alvin Quezon, at ni Pugak Domingo. Pero pag hulog nila sa akin, gilangkat ko daw ang tinae nila, tapos habang gangisay sila nakatayo, gisalapid ko ang tinae para gawing pisi. Tapos gitali ko daw ang pisi sa kahoy sa may ceiling, masaya masyado kay nakaganti. Tapos kung saan man, gipulot ko yung kuting tapos gilagay sa bigtian ng pisi. Naga-piglas ang kuting, pero parang wala siya doon, at grabe ko kalagot kay hindi ko mahanap ang ginahanap ko. Habang nakatutok ako sa kawalaan kong nasaan dapat ang kuting, ginahipo ang sarili ko, biglang nagtawag si Marielle sa likod. Puchaks, sa kagulat ko nagising ako. Si Marielle at itong kakuyaw ko… Giisip ko kung anong mangyari kung malaman ni Marielle na ganito ako, na mapakinto ako sa kasarap sa pagkakita sa kamatayan—puchaks, natakot ako. Hiya, grabeng hiya. Para ulit ako natalaw ipasok ang leeg ko sa gibitay kong pisi noon, grabeng hiya na gusto ko mamatay, pero wala din ako magawa sa kanya kay takot din ako sa kawalaan. Sa liwanag ng buwan na nagapasok sa bintana ko, mabuang ako sa kahiya. Pero sa likod ng hiya may takot na parang naramdaman ko na noon—takot na baka malaman ni Marielle. Oo, takot na makita ang kawalaan ng buhay. Takot sa kakuyaw. Oo, ito yun. Noong gititigan ko yung itoy sa kalsada. Noong giitsa ko yung bakbak. Yung ginasimula na ad-ad ang leeg ni Nick Berg. Takot. Takot, kulba na pag patagalin maka-utog. Parang may nahawakan akong matagal ko na ginahanap na sinulid. Ito yun. Dito ko makita ang ginahanap ko. Kulang sa bigat—sa halaga—yung kuting… 12


Para akong nagalutang pagpunta ko sa bahay nila Marielle nung hapon na yun. Mag-isa ulit siya. Pagdating ko nagahiwa siya ng kamote. Galing daw sa Kidapawan, masarap daw ang kamote sa Kidapawan. Mag-binignit daw siya para sa akin, wag daw muna kami mag-polynomials ngayon. Gikilig ako sa sarap ng tawa niya. Hindi, gigil. At alam ko na mapalabong ko pa ito lalo. Mas mapagrabe ko pa ito. Gibaba niya ang kutsilyo at gitignan ang nakaapoy na kaserola. Nakatalikod siya sa akin. Kabigat na ng hininga ko sa kagigil. Sige na, ito na. Naganginig ang kamay ko paghawak ng kutsilyo. Nagkanta-kanta pa siya habang ginakanaw ang kanyang ginaluto. Paglingon niya ko siya natigbas sa mukha. Pinakurat yung tigbas ko. Hindi na siya nakasigaw, tahimik siya nahulog sa sahig. Alam ko ang ginawa ko pero parang wala ako doon. Gihiwa ko din ang tiyan niya tapos gilangkat ang tinae palabas. Tapos gitaga ang ulo niya parang butong, buo pa ang mukha pero nakalabas ang utak. Habang ginagawa ko yun grabe ang kulba ko, at grabe ang pulso ko kabilis—nautgan na ako. Ng basa ang kamay ko sa dugo, apdo at tubig-utak, ng naganginig, gibuksan ko ang zipper ko. Ah, grabe. Kadulas. Parang matunaw ako sa kasarap… Hala… grabe… Nahuwasan ako pagkatapos ko malabasan. Parang pader sa mukha paghampas na kahuwas. Hala, anong ginawa ko… si mama, si kuya, si Marielle at yung mga nagasimula na sana sa amin… ito ba ang ginahanap ko..?! Takot, hiya, galit sa sarili—lahat naghalo sa loob ko, pero hindi naging tapang kay nahaluan pa rin ng katalaw mamatay. Hindi ko maintindihan ang maramdaman ko, ang alam ko lang, habang nakalupasay sa harap ng katawan ni Marielle, kahina ko masyado. Nabalot na lang ako ng kalain. Makahilo, makasuka kagrabe na kalain. 13


ram s. manlatican

Alimukon Perching on twigs as a frightened flock, Alimukon birds hooted through their chests. Threats are nearing. Tiny claws grip on twigs like tangled threads, Alimukon birds whispered hoots of fading cry. Heavy flaps are nearing. Pairs of eyes dangled above and beneath, Alimukon birds shook in terror. Camouflaged intruders are upon them. These native birds that resemble doves, Build nests and home in fruit trees. Intruders, however, happen to destroy them. Swallowed hoots and bristled feathers, Every nearing flap is a slap for them to fly away— The flaps from intruding fruit bats.

14


andrea isabelle f. mejos

Red Light Ang kulay ng langit ay pinag-aagawan ng asul at pula habang si Dodong ay naglalakad na naka-paa nakadukong binibilang ang hawak na mga barya Kinse lang ang kanyang kinita sa buong araw na pagkanta sa mga dyip na naka-para Walang maramdamang init ang makukubal na mga paa ramdam lang ang umiinit na mukha sa tuwing kumakalabit siya sa dyip na sakay ay pamilya Tuwang-tuwa sa isa’t-isa Tingin lang ang ibibigay sa kanya Si Dodong ay bababa Maghihintay na muling umilaw ang bilog na kulay pula

15


reil benedict s. obinque

An Unusual Case of Pregnancy Dr. Janet Ypil had tried everything. At least, everything obstetricians like her do not normally try. She had taken fertility drugs, hoping everything was caused by hormonal problems. She had gone to several chapels kneeling and praying in front of the icons of different saints. She had forced herself to dance during infertility festivals. But nothing happened. She was still barren. They almost opted for Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injections but they were too expensive. Her husband grew tired of waiting for something to work. His hopes for a “happy marriage” were gone. They started fighting over small things, expanding issues about misplaced keys, unfixed blankets, uncooked meals, and objects they did not normally argue about at the beginning of their marriage. The fact that they could not have a child changed their relationship entirely. It was as if her husband was tired of having only her in the house. If only there was something that could keep them together. The solution came when Dr. Ypil’s friend went to her for an ultrasound. The obstetrician could not believe it, for her friend was barren as well, Dr. Ypil was sure about that. But the ultrasound itself confirmed that she was pregnant. Entirely, exceedingly pregnant. “I went to Mr. Cayog,” said Hanilyn, the friend. “He’s an albularyo.” “Albularyo?” Dr. Janet hadn’t consulted an albularyo before. For her, it was like swallowing her pride. Why would she seek help from someone who was not as educated, as scientific, as well-taught as her? “I’ve been kneeling in the chapel for years, Janet,” Hanilyn said. “And I think this came as an answer. Mr. Cayog came as an answer, and he did what he could do for my husband and me to have a child.” Dr. Janet was silent.

16


“Give it a try, Janet,” Hanilyn said. “I know you’ve also done everything—everything—to be pregnant. So, you might as well give it a try. There’s nothing wrong with trying, but there’s always something wrong with not doing anything.” Barangay Mangga was probably the last place she would visit. As her car went farther from the highway, taking the road that led to the Barangay, everything was losing hints of civilization. There were fewer vehicles passing by the place, most of them were habal-habals carrying passengers with bayongs from the market. Without those means of transportation, the place would surely become barren. It was her friend that brought her there. Dr. Ypil stopped to ask a resident who was with his carabao, maintaining a professional tone. “I am looking for Mr. Alfonso Cayog’s house,” she said. “Where is it?” The man stared at her for a long time, then at the shiny car she was driving. The man blinked and pointed to a direction, without even opening his lips. He pointed to a shabby house with a barren yard and a useless wooden fence (for some parts of the fence were slightly removed). Dr. Ypil mumbled thanks to the man then drove to the house. She parked the car under the mango tree near the wooden fence. She stood there for a while, staring at the dusty soil. After some hesitation she walked to enter the house. When she was close to the house, she realized it had no door. There was just the rectangular opening which revealed some parts of the gloomy interior. The house presented Dr. Ypil with a problem: where to knock. She ended up calling out from the entrance.

17


“Excuse me?” she called out, for from where she was standing, she could see a wooden chair where a gray-haired man was seated, with a noisy radio at his side. The radio was tuned to dzmm. “Excuse me?” The old man, Mr. Cayog, coughed. “You can enter. Just leave the door open.” Mr. Cayog chuckled and chuckled, culminating to a loud cough. Dr. Ypil furrowed her forehead. She entered and stood inside the dim house. Nothing was inside, at least not the things Dr. Ypil expected from an albularyo. Everything was normal for a shabby house. “You came here for…?” the old man stood up, lessened the volume of the radio and looked at Dr. Ypil. He had the grayest eyes and the most wrinkles one could see in a face. Dr. Ypil predicted he must be 100 plus years old. But the sweet smile his very thin lips made was priceless. “A friend of mine… a friend of mine told me to come to you because… because,” Dr. Ypil looked at her own feet, as though the right words were there, “because I want to have a child.” Mr. Cayog continued smiling. “Mmmmm. I see. Let’s see how I can help.” It was as though everything was usual for him. He approached Dr. Ypil, got close enough so that she could smell the strong odor of tobacco, and laid his palm flat on Dr. Ypil’s abdomen. The doctor hesitated, afraid that something else might happen. “Don’t worry, I’m not a rapist,” he said with a broader smile. He continued feeling Dr. Ypil’s stomach, his smile fading a little, his eyes slowly closing. Minutes after, he stared at Dr. Ypil and sighed. “This is an unusual case,” Mr. Cayog, not smiling now, revealed. “If you can’t do something, I could just—” “No, no, no, no,” he cut her mid-sentence. “Of course I can do something. I can. Wait there. Just take your seat, make yourself comfortable while I prepare what we need.” The old man walked and got a glass, filling it with water. He went to Dr. Ypil and whispered “don’t move” to her. He then balanced the 18


water on the doctor’s head. He touched it, closed his eyes, murmured something, and then, miraculously, the water started boiling. But it never fell from her head. Mr. Cayog continued saying the enchantment until the boiling stopped. “Drink it,” he ordered. Dr. Ypil hesitated. “Come on, that will not turn you into a mermaid.” Dr. Ypil, desperate, drank the water, trying to be confident that it was clean. “Well, that’s it,” the albularyo said. “Tonight, have… have time with your husband. Tell him not to use a condom,” he chuckled loudly. “And everything’ll be alright, right?” Dr. Ypil nodded, confused. She got her wallet from her pocket but the albularyo shook his head. “You see that?” the albularyo pointed at the large hole in his roof. “If I am successful, just bring me a piece of something that could repair that, that’ll satisfy everything.” “Well, t-thanks,” said Dr. Ypil. She never expected everything would happen that fast. She turned and bade goodbye to Mr. Cayog, turned her back, stroked her belly, and left the house. The doctor woke up the day after, tired after a night spent for pleasure. Beside her was her sleeping husband, naked too. Dr. Ypil touched his masculine chest, feeling the manly hair on it, and caressed it. Then she paused at the thought about the pregnancy, wishing that a child was developing inside her body. Her husband woke up with the affectionate touch the doctor gave. He faced her and they kissed. “I love you,” he whispered. “We both know how I love you too,” the doctor said. That morning, they did not argue. Weeks passed. Early signs of pregnancy should have already been observable. But Dr. Ypil was as normal as how she was before: no vomiting, no period missed, no backaches. The pregnancy test confirmed that she wasn’t pregnant. Dr. Ypil was convinced it was a scam. 19


She planned to visit Mr. Cayog again and ask for an explanation, desperate that her case was still solvable for an albularyo like him, but her husband was sick. They thought the sickness was normal, but it occurred with unbearable stomachaches and dizziness. She didn’t know if she should be thankful because they couldn’t argue because of his sickness, or be worried because her husband was never this ill before. He insisted that he was alright even though he was vomiting every now and then. So Dr. Ypil left him for work, hoping that he was okay. But he wasn’t. When the doctor came home, she saw her husband sitting rather comfortably on the couch, with sliced unripe mango at his side, watching TV Patrol. There was a small bowl of bagoong and vinegar, the smell diffusing into the living room. He was dipping a slice when Dr. Ypil entered. “I think this cured me,” he said proudly. Dr. Ypil found it unusual for her husband to absolutely like something. She was sure he was not okay. The next day, her husband complained of backaches. But he still insisted he did not need a doctor. “I’m alright! I don’t need your help!” But he was complaining every now and then about how his lower back hurt. The days after that were even more unusual. The husband’s craving for unripe mango did not subside. He even added sinkamas on the list. Also, he occasionally experienced fatigue, unstoppably complaining but also insisting that he could really manage. This was paired with nausea and morning sickness. Their sleep was, from time to time, interrupted because the husband had to go to the bathroom every now and then to pee. Dr. Ypil already found it irritating. “Are you sure you’re okay?” she asked, when her husband’s complaints about the backaches turned into angry shouts. “I AM! I AM!” That was the problem with her husband: he could not, would not, would never ever ask for help from someone. That was why he also disagreed with Dr. Ypil’s attempts to ask for help just to get herself pregnant. 20


“I’M ALRIGHT!” was his never-changing line. But when they noticed his considerable gaining of weight, Dr. Ypil was convinced he wasn’t alright. Mr. Ypil, as always, thought otherwise. However, he began to believe Dr. Ypil when he woke up one day with a noticeable bulge in his abdomen. He knew, finally, that he was not okay. “I think,” Dr. Ypil started, trying to sound calm despite being alarmed, “there’s only one thing we need for us to know what really is happening to you.” She turned her back and went to her room. She headed to her kit, where some of the small things she needed in the hospital were stored. She tried to catch her breath. From the kit, with shaking hands, she picked up a home pregnancy test. She went out wondering what to hope for. She stood there and tried to breathe and relax. Then she raised the home pregnancy test and looked at her husband. “You’ll need this,” she said. It looked like her husband was going to faint. The couple drove their way to Mr. Cayog the day after, hurrying to settle everything. The home pregnancy test was still in Dr. Ypil’s pocket. They did it thrice, and the result was still the same. “This is impossible,” her husband said after the test. “Impossible, unbelievable.” He put his palm on his face, not looking at Dr. Ypil. He just sat there, very disappointed and a bit disgusted at himself. “This never happens. This could never happen.” Dr. Ypil stayed silent. She knew it was impossible, but she was thinking of Mr. Cayog. If it was his doing, then he was the only person who could resolve it. “I will kill whoever did this to me,” her husband told her. Dr. Ypil bowed her head. She opened her trembling lips. “It’s my fault,” she said and tried to explain everything. Her husband almost turned into a monster… a pregnant monster. So they drove all the way to Barangay Mangga, Dr. Ypil rehearsing what she was going to say, her husband on the steering wheel, not 21


believing still that a body was inside him. They reached Mr. Cayog’s place and sooner enough, they found themselves entering the doorless house. Mr. Cayog was, again, listening to dzmm, with the volume louder this time. He had his back turned to the couple, tapping the ground with his feet. “Mr. Cayog?” Dr. Ypil called. “Mr. Cayog?” The albularyo slowly stood up. He turned to face the couple. His eyes were filled with surprise when he saw Mr. Ypil. He stared at him, taking much of his time staring at the belly. “It has been days,” he said without a casual greeting. “And I am expecting you to come.” “Mr. Cayog—” “How is he?” the old man pointed at Mr. Ypil. “Am I successful?” The couple looked at each other. Mr. Ypil inhaled and started to speak. “I don’t believe any of this. But the pregnancy test said it’s positive and—” “Oh, which means I’m successful. Congratulations, Mister.” “Wait, wait, wait. I’m pregnant, old man, what are you thinking?” he was starting to raise his voice. “I’m not happy! If you’ve caused all of this, then you have to do something! I just can’t accept this!” Dr. Ypil hissed at him for yelling at the albularyo. “I guess you don’t have to stress yourself. That’s not good for pregnant… well, pregnant men.” “Can you just shut up and do what you can do—” “Mr. Cayog,” Dr. Ypil interrupted. “We need your help. Yes, we will be having a child, but why him? I just don’t understand… I think you can do something.” Mr. Cayog chuckled. “No. I can’t. That’s final. I said it’s an unusual case. I just want to satisfy what you need, like what an albularyo should do. Well, if you don’t want it, you can end the life of the child inside.” “That’s not what I am saying. We want the child, but we want it in… in other ways.” “Well, there’s no other way. I’m sorry.” 22


“But you’re an albularyo, you can—” Mr. Ypil already had his hands folded into fists. Dr. Ypil decided to make everything calm before someone gets injured. “Mr. Cayog. We’re begging. I guess you can find other ways… to… to solve all this.” “There is no other way, I repeat. You just have to accept everything. Take care of your husband like how an obstetrician should take care of a pregnant woman. That’s the solution there. Nothing else. Consider it a blessing. That was your wish, right?” “Bullshit!” her husband yelled. He pulled Dr. Ypil’s hands and dragged her out. “We’re wasting time.” “But—” “Let’s go!” Just when they were about to enter the car, Mr. Cayog went out of the house. “Remember, you’ve got a roof to fix!” he reminded. “Goodbye!” They entered. The car engine started. They left without even giving thanks. On their way home, Mr. Ypil was complaining, yelling. “How will I tell my boss? I can’t have a maternity leave! How can we deliver the baby? God damn it, it’s impossible. Everything’s entirely impossible. I don’t know… I don’t even know what’s real.” Dr. Ypil stayed silent, sitting beside her husband. “This is all your fault! You asked for help from a stranger! You’re too desperate to have a child! You’re barren! You are barren! We can’t have a child, do you understand? You just have to accept it! There’s just the two of us. Nothing more!” The tears Dr. Ypil tried to contain in her eyes finally fell, crawling down to her cheeks. She tried to wipe it off but her hands were shaking in anger. She tried to relax, to stay calm, to not argue. She decided to stay silent and let her husband talk. “Shit! Shit! SHIT!” he was shouting, banging his hands on the steering wheel.

23


They were going so fast, Mr. Ypil unable to control himself. Dr. Ypil was still silent, letting him do what he wanted. The car went past two crossings. Mr. Ypil, impatient and still complaining, decided to overtake the bus they were following. “What are you doing?” asked Dr. Ypil. “Shut up! I know what I’m doing.” A loud beeping erupted from somewhere. “STOP!” Dr. Ypil shouted, seeing the large truck making its way towards them. Mr. Ypil panicked. He turned the steering wheel immediately before the truck would crush them, letting it go out of the lane and the road. The car swiveled several times until the brakes stopped it. It ended up staying on the grassland. Inside the car, Dr. Ypil and her husband were safe. Save for a few bruises and small cuts. Dr. Ypil sat, trembling, heart beating so fast she could almost not feel it beating. Her face was very pale and her lips were shivering. Her husband stayed holding the steering wheel, catching his breath. He looked at his shaking hands, feeling its numbness. Then, slowly, he put his hands on his belly. He felt his skin, his flesh, until he seemed to reach what’s inside it. He sat there for seconds with his hands on his stomach, not even blinking. He turned his head to look at his wife. He cried, for the first time in his life, and hugged her. It all came back to him. The two of them embraced each other, crying. Mr. Ypil rested his palm on his stomach and opened his mouth slowly, his lips nervous still. “I felt it,” he said, feeling a kicking, feeling another life inside him, feeling the most wonderful sensation he could ever feel. “I felt it,” he repeated. They stared at each other as though it was the only thing they could do. Then they kissed passionately. At last, it finally came: a blessing, a thing that could keep them together.

24


duane allyson gravador

Baliktaran all. is That whatsoever. difference any made have I if know to like would I and end the from begun have I

25


Mark Louie Balladares. For Reservation. Digital photography.

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Ian Derf Salva単a. Desolation. Digital photography.

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Mark Louie Balladares. Kalamansi Vendor. Digital photography.

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Introduction For over ninety years, literature has shared a space in the Loyola Schools community. Beginning with the Ateneo Monthly in the 1920s, young writers have always sought to produce and share their creative work with the rest of the community. The Ateneo de Manila has been home to Gregorio Brillantes, Rolando Tinio, Jose F. Lacaba, and National Artist Bienvenido Lumbera—just a few of the many prominent writers who committed to their lives to the written word. Perhaps it is this very commitment that stirred passion and revolution among Ateneans throughout history. Stories, essays, and poetry have served as avenues through which ideas about nationalism and sociopolitical issues were propagated. Pugadlawin was integral in sustaining the voice of the student body, which cried against the corruption and censorship that pervaded during the 70s and 80s. When heights was formally established as the official literary publication of the Ateneo, writers began to further probe into literary studies and linguistics. The formalist tradition was adapted; the cultivation of craftsmanship was prioritized; literary work written in English and Filipino was rendered, approached, and deliberated on accordingly. That said, the Atenean community expressed an awareness of its surrounding contexts and attentiveness to schools of criticism and style. Today, the university continues to celebrate literature and art. While thematic concerns of works submitted and published in heights are different, literary and artistic excellence are maintained. As articulated by the editor-in-chief in the 63rd first regular folio, today’s works demonstrate a fixation on the self, human emotion, and personal experience. While the formalist tradition remains, there has also been a growing trend of experimental writing and interest in the open text.

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There is also a continual proliferation of visual art; the university established the Ateneo Art Gallery in the 1960s, later on followed by the Ateneo Art Awards in 2003. heights witnessed the inception of its art staff in the early 2000s, seeing the need for student artists to gather together outside the classroom, appreciate, and analyze works of different media. In recent years, visual artists have developed a keener eye for observing and studying surroundings and everyday objects, and delved more into photography and collage. With this in mind, heights continues to provide opportunities for student writers and artists to practice and develop their craft. Our Creative Talk series has explored the intimidating depths of semantics and translation, and has likewise provided discourse to popular culture and trends. The annual Ateneo Writers and Artists Workshops are in their twenty-first and sixth year respectively, consistently selecting outstanding writers and artists to be mentored and critiqued by professionals. The Kuwentong Pambata Book Grant, now in partnership with the Sector-Based Cluster of the Council of Organizations of the Ateneo, seeks to illustrate and publish a children’s story for a community in need. With the rise of the internet, the publication has also established its presence on online platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and its very own website. On behalf of the editorial board, I would like to thank the Ateneo de Manila community for continually supporting heights. Our contributors and our readers keep our publication and organization inspired and thriving. I also hope that our readers outside of the university enjoy and appreciate the works that we have selected and assembled especially for this issue. Let us continue our commitment to art and literature. Catherina Dario Associate Editor January 2016

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luis wilfrido atienza

Poem for an Alien I know you are far away but if this reaches you, there should be a chance we can do this over and over again. I hope we can have a conversation. What color is the sky where you are? Can you send me a picture? Do you have cameras? I’m sorry, I’ll try not to ask too many questions. Right now I’m planning to sneak this on to a rocket, or make friends with an astronaut to get this to you. I’m not sure that it will work, but I can only hope that this is in your hands when it’s out of mine. Can you send things into space? Voyager has left the solar system having run into nothing, but maybe they just launched it in the wrong direction. Do you orbit the sun, or are you on a moon? I’m sure your language is beautiful, even if I wouldn’t be able to understand it. I’d love to hear you speak. What are people to you? Do you drink 35


water to survive? What do you fill your swimming pools with? How do cows and birds look, and do you have fish? Do you have music? Tell me what your poetry is like. You have read mine, even if you don’t know it. Please come visit soon, or tell me, send a sign at least, that you’ll try. I’ll look up tonight not watching the stars but the space between them.

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arkaye kierulf

The Great Traveling Hunger In its purest form, every man begins and ends as an idea. In the evenings, the laborers start locking up the storefronts, offering a drink in a bar to anyone who’d listen. Dust collects in my eye, and through the debris I see the world in a haze, as if all the world were again imaginable. A single word from a stranger (a man on a bicycle) can break another stranger. An old crone on the top step to her house, watching the nine-to-five crowd rush home, remembers in a flash decades ago one summer a boy in the grass trailing the tips of his fingers through her hair. Ivory mist purifies the sky where pulled by inverted gravity all our tears collect. I climb the stairs to my apartment, rehearse for the thousandth time how to slit my throat. Those who are unmoved by beauty are wise. They do not know how to suffer. Tomorrow I repeat the same old routine, the same precise steps

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as the oculus of the present spreads its tiny claws and digs deeper, deeper into a future where no one, not even the blind, can see.

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A Beginner’s Guide to Good Manners Before entering a house, it is courteous to first knock at the door. Arrive fifteen minutes late. Pull your shoulders back, your chest out. When the congregation welcomes you, make a little bow, not too decided nor stiff. You can kiss the hostess but it is impolite to use your tongue. Now’s the perfect time to compliment her on her babushka And her impeccable taste in drapery and linoleum. Disclose your name and station but never embellish. If you desire to promenade on the lawn outside under the moonlight naked, Wait until later when everyone’s playing poker and no one’s looking. (Nudity is an affair only for those who are never completely alone.) It is acceptable, for example, to tarry a bit in the gardens. You can associate with the orchids and name the animals in your immediate surroundings. It is acceptable to drink the milk of stray camels and goats. But at the table, the proper boy spreads a napkin into a rectangle on his lap. The proper lady wipes her lipstick with tissue To avoid smudging the glassware at the rim. Use the silver outside in: First the salad fork on the farthest left, the dinner fork next. The butter on the bread plate is for buttering the bread. On the farthest right is a soupspoon. A soupspoon is used for soup. On matters of love, the proper boy is expected to dance with a girl. He maintains a distance of six to eight inches

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And doesn’t stare too long. He protects a girl from himself, or if she’s of the wild sort, From herself, or from themselves both. Gifts should be limited To candy, poetry, and flowers. Avoid chrysanthemums. When a girl enters a room, men should remove their hats. Men should not leave her stranded in the middle of the floor. If presently not inclined to dancing, try the shrimp. Oysters served fresh from the sea can be eaten straight from the shell. Lobsters are a tad too laborious. Only if dexterous with a fork And nutcracker should one proceed. Clams, however, are serviceable. If tempted to use bare hands, remember that dirt under your fingernails transforms The flavor of finger food. So before taking the last piece From a platter, offer it first with a smile to your neighbor. You’re allowed to lick your spoon as the blessing of God is said to be in the morsels. Because polite company refuses to get bored, talk to the pretty girl next to you. Mention the fascinating properties of the African warthog or some imitation philosophy. And yet do not speak if what you’re going to say is dull. Do not force your presence on others. This is considered barbaric. Do not betray the plot of the movie to the person next to you at the cinema. This will cause moral indignation and the downfall of society. You must avoid the judgment of the courts. You must avoid being noticed by the police. When the proper girl enters a room, she glances disaffectedly at her beloved. She avoids too many public dances. She does not want to be conspicuous.

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She regards the defects of her person with a voluptuous contempt not distinct from wonder. Applying a touch of powder and rouge, she dresses her hair like a veil. The best time for cosmetics, she knows, is right before intercourse. She cultivates her charm and takes off her clothes on special occasions. A man should take a bath at least twice a week. He cannot afford to be overly ceremonial. The use of perfume is deceitful, of deodorant, licentious. In crowds, he walks deliberately and maintains some breathing space around himself. He ventures to be pleasant and winsome and broad-shouldered. When the congregation moves in opposing directions, he keeps to the right. Devil worship is prohibited, nose-picking taboo. His credit rating is kept afloat, his taxes paid. He tips the maître d’, the manicurist, and the valet. If presently needful of a washroom, excuse yourself. Affect the manner of someone about to enter a church. If all urinals are vacant, pick one on the farthest side. If that’s occupied, pick one on the opposite side, then the middle. Initiating a conversation while your fly’s still open Might be construed as an unhealthy form of friendliness. Touching anything while your hands are still wet is doubtless beyond the pale. Upon returning to the table, recommence the conversation You had abruptly broken off with the pretty girl beside you. Ask if she’d like to go for a walk outside on the lawn under the moonlight. The proper girl will answer only with her eyes. The proper boy then holds the front door open for the girl, Glancing over his shoulder to keep the door from smacking onto her face.

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The grass will be a little wet on account of the small rain. The proper boy will commence to take off his shoes. The first kiss, done correctly, can’t be forgot: the world arriving in the body slowly, by degrees. The proper boy thereby practices at home ahead of time. He remembers to gaze deeply into her eyes, not like an invading force to thrust His tongue down her throat, but to prod gently, gingerly, As a bee nudges a peony in a field only just discovered. He tilts his head before the kiss to avoid an accident of noses. Coming up for air afterwards, she coyly grazes his ear with her lips. The proper girl wears brightly colored clothing so long as they are later to be taken off. The preferred fashion is white. This conveys holiness. (Beauty is the first requirement for nakedness; the second, desire.) She wears black only if it matches her skin tone or she rides a broom. The proper lady sits in the middle of her chair, or askew on a sofa. In the absence of a chair, as in this case, she lies on the grass. She commences to take off her gloves and her stiletto shoes. The grass will feel like a thousand first kisses under the feet. The girl greets the moon with a curtsy and the boy takes off his hat. They dance and sing even when they forget the words to the song or where to put their toes To the dance. This is the proper way for the girl to behave: She opens her legs shyly and twinkles her eyes. This is the proper way for the boy to behave: he pounces. They roll around on the ground like children, laughing. They whisper truths they will never understand

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And listen to each other when they’ve nothing to say. They run into the woods never to return.

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abner e. dormiendo

Breakup poem without you in it Last week a forsythia and tomorrow, the sun. Today that forsythia under a wheel, a bird on the ground, and tomorrow, the sun. Remember the deer, the seed, the man on the asphalt, and tomorrow, the sun. Then the message to the anxious lover, a letter to a fatherless son, the bomb on the cheek of a ruin, the ruin on the chest of a city, the city on the heart of a war-torn land, and the land on the face of a spinning earth, and tomorrow, the sun. The moon, and the tide with the flood, and the drowning to bring in the bodies, and the bodies with the flies with their wings, and the wings with their song, and the song, and the drone, and tomorrow, the sun. Then the water levels on the knees of a continent minus an elephant minus the tusks and a man minus his job minus a woman minus a child and the town minus its children minus childhood minus knowledge minus sense, and tomorrow, the sun. Then the sun minus the sun and tomorrow, no more sun. Just me and the forsythia, and the absence of forsythia, and the absence of sun and tomorrow—

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karl estuart

Insistence We speak as though the night is not upon us. The lights beckon for stillness. We are suspended in resistance. Motionless at the precipice of another nameless street. Nobody but the damned on their feet at this hour. But I, I beckon for salvation tonight. Run these faceless ghosts over. Take the world in your hands and crumple it all up. I insist. I will open myself to you, but the way your arms cross over my shoulders desists inhibition. Calling: the wipers switched on by a careless gesture, screeching against the thick and dry windshield. Indicates rain, for nothing is separate from its absence, can be thought of outside of its presence or its lack. Indicates occupied space. Indicates inside and out. The world insisting on the duality of belonging. Inside: the specter

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waiting for its presence to be made, for you to alight your gaze on its weary form, for you to tender your resignation. Out: here where the world rests relative to us. Here where we are lacking, in stark dissonance, the assonance of touch—your touch, the specter’s cheek, my cheek —dutifully corresponding with the frequencies of shadows. Reflection: absence. Benign consumption. Shadow. Delicate. We do not speak. Resonance: the specter: an accomplice to the conspiracies of streetlights and late-night pedestrians crossing roads at this hour, drifting off sidewalks and wedging themselves between empty lanes. They forget that the night cannot complete their solitude. That emptiness does not seek acknowledgment. That—no, you fool, I am not the specter. Yes, goddamn it, of course I’m going to deny it. But this is denial only to withhold affection you cannot keep. Withdrawing from the projected deterrence of empty roads, regretting these streets, regretting the last stop, forgoing the sentiment. Denial. Running all these red lights. Compliance. My face buried in your jacket, the gesture of all those who cannot speak. It is you I speak of 46


when I say the lights are still glowing bright red. It is you that comes to mind when the world insists on desolation and I retaliate with the insistence of touch. You insist on recklessly abandoning all sense, and the world, with its predisposition to entropy and loss, opens itself to you. Relative to the clenched fist that returns your hand. Relative to the stillness of this memory as we will soon begin to recall it: you speeding down near-empty roads in the middle of the night, wondering what there is in the dark that can stay unroused in your wake.

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nicole e. sanglay

Spectres & Constructs Ask me how to proceed—enable the skin to sense textures, enable the mind to sense structures. Open your eyes and stare at the defined: Light dances on the edges to give form. Memory will strive, but still contrived. Memory is not by the object owned. Light is true even in darkness full—the absence will define the presence. And so it be. The world is true. And we are nothing. Phantom vibrations in thirst to know, the known becomes true in the revealing. Corresponding responses to initiated actions: Motions will construe a pattern of living. To live in overlapping patterns—perhaps then, the knowing is incomplete but it clamors to be enough. Visions into apparitions—moments of brevity, moments of concrete reality. To locate the presence of the fabled profound. Surface area contact increase—proximity of hands unfamiliar, translates to proximity of selves, familiar. To be grounded on the concrete: meaning condensing in repeated representations. So: self proportioned; self portioned found. Volume contact increase. I will find a piece of me localized in your palm. The locus of my peace is in the center of your soul. Layers of complexities, complexities falling away. We are nothing, and I am calm.

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christian jil r. benitez

from I Shall Be Missing Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari’s Capitalism and Schizophrenia attempted to counter the notion of fascism, especially in the form of identity, which means to say that not only did these theorists argue against a purist notion of identity (how a self is exclusively A or B only) or a fragmented one (how a self can be both A and B at the same time), but went as far as to debunk the concept of identity itself as something that is, to some extent, stable and certain, hence the proposition: To think of the ‘self ’ as amorphous and desiring, capable of ever shifting, establishing connections and flows, all for the sake of the desire for these alone and never for other motives, giving matter more on the paths, the bridges, and the roads; the process itself, on what is at hand, the now, until the paths, the bridges, and the roads cease connecting and flowing, the time to surgically remove the ‘self ’ from other ‘selves,’ to continue walking, to shift once more, as ever amorphous, as ever desiring. In Ferdinand de Saussure’s Nature of the Linguistic Signs, language, being representative in nature as signifiers for the signified objects, was theorized to be essentially arbitrary, which means to say that the sound coming from the vocal folds, rolled and bent by the tongue, moderated by the teeth and the lips in order to cut through the wind to eventually become a word with a meaning it is bound to carry over time was assigned out of random choice to the said meaning—a randomness, he wrote, that would not be found only in the languages that are onomatopoeic in nature, meaning those languages whose words whose very meaning are manifested viscerally upon their utterances, which then means to say that meaning is found not only in the word-meaning correspondence on the abstract level, but also in the concrete level through the materiality in the sensation of the utterance.

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Lope K. Santos noted in Mga Tinging Pahapyaw sa Kasaysayan ng Panitikang Tagalog that the said onomatopoeic characteristic of language can be observed in the Filipino language, in how the sensation of each word upon its utterance would render viscerally what it actually means: For instance, the wideness of the opened mouth in lawak and its smallness in liit; with dependence on the stress of each word, the fastness in bilis and the slowness in bagal; the unfolding and layering of petals in the repetition of the syllables in bulaklak; the rising movement towards the peak in the last letter in bundok; the gentleness and the eventual round stones at its banks in ilog; the air and the flighty sound in lawiswis; the succulence, roundness, and firmness to be gripped in laman; the seething hiss until the gradual opening as if to unleash fangs in ilahas. Hence, the word lagalag: Referring to either the nomad itself or its nomadic behavior, the meaning of word as expressed viscerally upon its plain utterance: Lagalag, the mouth utters, and the softness of l leading to the thudding of the g, in its repetition bridged by the alliterating sensation of the opening a in the middle, renders as if the throbbing beat opening itself to the earth for the flesh to feel, with the movement of the sound from the tongue going back to the diaphragm, while its stress as a word classified under the category of mabilis renders the fleeting of the feet—all these effects amounting to the seeming imitation of the endless movement of the feet, the walking, the perpetual taking of steps to go onwards without any necessary direction, the sound of the wild impulse to always wander, to always wander, to never stay and to always wander— And this, then, is how I shall be missing: To cease the existence of my ‘self ’ as a construct of stability and certainty regardless of its conceived wholeness or fragmentation, to finally become amorphous and transitory as to become desire itself, to ultimately render the word lagalag with—for the absence of precise words because of the failure of language—all of ‘my’ ‘self ’: How the essence and all the ‘layers’ of the ‘self ’—as if the ‘self ’ can be ‘deconstructed’ into ‘layers’ given now its amorphous form—is to become the visceral manifestation of the word, as ever-moving neither towards something or away 50


from it because the hopes for what is to come and the memories of what has come finally cease in this form, but instead now only as the ever-movement in itself, as the process, as the ever wandering, as the feet to always step upon the earth, again and again leading to now and to here: I shall be missing from the places and the faces left behind and the places and the faces to be left behind, but how, to me, I shall never be missing: I shall never be missing, I shall never be missing.

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jam pascual

Shelter after Eric Gamalinda

(8) We must invest in each part before even considering the potential of the sum. (17) I don’t like the trajectory either. I just wish the line could even out, a chain of stable averages. (6) Call the police. Form a perimeter. Keep out of reach of children. (12) Recite your chants and watch the bones dance. (2) Memory: the sustained spark, the great impasse. (5) I held you like a stolen treasure. We were out of the cave, finally, when I first lifted you up to the light to shimmer. (26) Traveler, don’t go just yet. (22) You talk about digging a hole to China like it’s the quickest way. You do not even consider the sea. (18) Permission to inhabit your space: I can be there as either ornament or air. (24) May you stay vulnerable, and may softness be your greatest weapon. (10) How do you know when to stop? What are your reasons? (21) A naked body, slouched over a balcony rail, surrounded by mosquitoes. (9) Then again, how can you satisfy something that always grows? (11) She explains, she kept out of reach for safety. In the background, a stray weapon, wrestled out of an uncalloused hand. (14) The first thing we notice when we bow to drink from the river: it cannot hold our faces. (4) I know what I want. I told you this, and I hit you with my best rumble. (13) Were we meant to suffer? No. We were meant to bite down. (15) All things unfurl into disorder, as natural as a petal lowering its head to wilt. (7) Impossible to evade contact in the city, in this mass of brushing shoulders. (23) Regardless, I hope you find peace. (1) We create so much space, a prism

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of connected dots. (25) Fission becomes fissure, and we are left once again with mere data. (19) I believe it will happen, that every fold of time will press onto each other as a readable page. (16) This is the order of things: cruel, because you can take it. (20) We all begin with a full supply of patience, and grace. (3) What does the world want from us?

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ben aguilar

Cartography You are looking for errors, and this is what you find: our names are the basis of nothing. Even the streets here call themselves something else— like myths or trees. The other side of the lake has been lost to the fire, and all you can do is ask for directions. Which way to the ground where the priests stood. Which way to the god of your village. Which way to your god. Show them the picture of what we are looking for then show me why we must look for it. The lightless windows tell us that here they do not allow idle speculation; they have had too much of it. The people have already gone to get their torches. Tell me the name of this street is familiar to you, too. You are looking for errors: that is all you will find.

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Here, on the map, should not be in red. There’s nothing there. Invariably, you were right, except for the water. Beside it, a tower with something inside, something pushing against all the stones in the walls. A myth or a tree begging to be let out. There is no front door. Go ahead, ask it for directions.

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reina krizel j. adriano

A Postcard Displaces Us of the Now There was the time and location to think about, what intrigues us in destinations, or why departure doesn't give the same experience as arrival. Perhaps we know too little of the word timelessness, perhaps too much of the word modernity. Perhaps we know too little at all. Then again, perhaps not. I admit that the Escolta I know is not the Escolta depicted in the postcard. When a city gives birth to its history, the act of travel is our way of visit. I can take you to this part of my city and you can get a feel of its whole, but we all know what is impossible: we cannot relive the Escolta in history books, much more in albums of the old. We can only collect postcards as mementos, photographs as souvenirs, journals we didn’t write on as documentation. Somebody remembers to exclaim upon sight: I’ve been here before you were even born. This is our attempt to accommodate everything in a memory, the way the cargoes attempted to bring in commodities from the West. It was the turn of the century: shops queue left and right, awaiting customers who might never come. Children breathe on glass windows upon passing by. Carts and carriages tread along the pavement. Distance keeps us curious, misinforms our theory from sight. The pedestrians wander without getting lost.

The subtleness of moments arriving slowly and departing too quickly. I do not dare to ask myself, Where to go from here? I recall the story as if it were a memory: there was a moment, a moment of a moment, when R wanted to travel; C did, too—just not with her. I did not tell her this, only presumed that the language of departure never meant goodbye. 56


Now, he plants his hands firmly on the table, on top of the paper, smooths out the creases, tends to the folds delicately. I read the book, he says, I only have to follow it. The illustrations speak more than the text. In the meantime, I dream of traveling on my own. The wings jut out, the tail has an angle. He throws it against the wind. It settles lopsidedly on the surface. C frowns at me the way a child does at the sun. I smile at him. It’s okay, It takes some time to learn how to balance. There lies the assurance in failing. I teach him the trick to make it fly. C sets it aside and takes another sheet, This time, he says, I want a boat. He tucks the flaps neatly on the sides; I watch him. He sets it on his palm when it is finished. I give him my regards to journeys made out of paper.

We don’t pay for the travel, really, we pay for the wandering of the mind. The art of walking through cities I have never lived in is a choice of rebellion. R would sip the coffee off the spoon like a story wanted in bits instead of its entirety. Hold on, here’s what I didn’t tell you, she said. C longed to travel across the world but not with me. I asked why; she shrugged her shoulders, irking from personal history. How we craved for comfort in unknown places. She was selfish for stories, often chooses to keep them to herself. There had been too much travel in the past few years, I suppose so. Passports and tickets scattered inside her bag. It was dinnertime when we spoke of itinerary and how a change of plan is another plan. Don’t worry, I am bound to send my regards. It takes years to understand that too many people have already passed through the same roads 57


we will encounter now. Someday, we’ll be the ones to talk about the trip. What is the language of travel, then? The shop was closing; the torrential rains were about to signify sadness. We could only go back in time. Sudden departure is longing for another place to call home. Here’s the thing, though: each time we visit is another story. We would walk a bit of this country and claim that we have seen the part of the world wherein we don't know its parts, but only its past. When we leave, she watches my back. The train shifts its speed. The gears rev slowly in anti-motion. I enter; she bids goodbye. Cities fly like a film trope behind the windows. I grasp the metal bars fervently like a prayer in want of an answer.

See how the perspective shifts between text and image: this was the old downtown district and we are branded those who are never familiar with it. Try to talk of a past we try to avoid and we will often end with “...and the rest is history.” But I am all for details I do not know; a postcard does not permit us travel but a story of our absence. It is neither a painting that depicts a scene nor a letter that ponders on words. When we flip it over, we let the other side intervene with what is in front. History says that the Spaniards dropped their goods in Binondo, Chinese immigrants opened their businesses along Escolta, American bombs flew and fell during the war. When we walk along this street, we try to look less of a tourist. The town inhales the absence of our footsteps, exhales with transactions of its days. They once named it New Manila; now we call it the old one. Notice how the window frames shelter light from within. Facades of buildings loom over kiosks and parasols, hand-carved exteriors make houses more intricate. Language exchanges more often than bills and coins. There was the tranvia bus I have never ridden. Put together history and memory and what we have is a mismatch of fact and truth. 58


To send a postcard is to say, “We wish you could visit this place, but too bad you cannot, so here’s something to intensify your dismay.” The receiver becomes our reader who never critiques our work, only takes in what he thinks is beautiful. If we dismantle a postcard's contents, the postcard feels sorry for itself. What can I say; we put meaning in everything we do. When we attempt to pry out its parts, we try to make them live on their own.

It takes commitment to render scenes we witness. On the map or on the corner of a gallery: Escolta never says, “You are here.” We don’t become one with the place; we extract ourselves from it when we traverse the street. There was the paradox of travel. I wanted to eat hakaw; my friend told me this was the place. The shadier, the better. We both chuckled in amusement. The walled city we call Intramuros grunts at our dispassion for learning. We know nothing, really, and yet, we remember things from stories. The grandmother says, the water on the banks wasn’t murky back then. She was talking about the Pasig River where her children bathed naked and men waddled their oars in small boats. Busyness was not enough to mean we do not have time to know all about history. The ports were not far away from Escolta. The ships had docked, goods were waiting to be unloaded. The men were strong enough to carry the burden. It was time to anchor out from the bay. Enter the gates of the city and you will still find carriages pulled by horses. The church bells echo in the tower during the Angelus. The buildings have intricate shadows. How can we say we were nostalgic when we never knew they were here before us?

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People sketch Escolta nowadays based on what they see. Some old glory blending in with the new. Ask them if they know about the old postcard series and most of them will give you a blank look. That was in 1903. So what? It was that old. Capture the place with the eyes and be truthful to what you draw. I take photographs to make the moment linger, but I have never sent a postcard to someone. I only look at sceneries and write messages separately. Funny how people think: if we see old art imposed on the new, we subject it to timelessness, call it a classic or a vintage. Now when we travel along Escolta, we do not just travel on foot; we travel against time. In the moment, I am being generous. Let me escort you wherever you wish: into decades-old memories, far-off cities, modern thoroughfare, the picturesque life. The image is from the Oilette Series Postcards of Raphael Tuck, entitled Escolta and printed in 1903.

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christian jil r. benitez

Kung Saan Nagsimulang Pinakaibigin Kita Hindi nagsimulang pinakaibigin kita sa pagkatok sa pinto. Hindi sa makailang ulit na pagtama ng kuyom na kamay sa kahoy. Hindi nagsimula sa pagbukas ng pintuan at pagbungad ng isang katawan. Hindi sa pagtingin sa dumudungaw na mukha ng katawan. Hindi sa paglibot ng tingin sa kalawakan ng bumungad na katawan. Hindi sa pag-uwi ng pagtingin sa pulang tuwalyang nakatapis sa katawan. Hindi rin nagsimula sa pag-iisip na iisang tela lang ang humahadlang sa mga mata mula sa pagsaling nito sa katawan. Hindi sa pag-iisip sa kapulahan nitong tela, kung ang kapulahan bang ito ang talinghaga sa pagnanasa. Hindi sa pag-iisip kung gaano kakapal ang telang pumapagitna sa titig at sa balat, kung magagawa bang sipsipin ang bawat butil ng tubig sa kakapalan nito matapos ang pagligo at pagbanlaw. Hindi sa pag-iisip kung ano ang natatago sa ilalim ng kakapalan ng tela, o kung ano ang hubog na natatago, o kung ano ang mga sulok nitong pinakatatago. Hindi nagsimula sa pagpapatul贸y. Hindi kung gayon noong binuksan ang pintuan at pinapasok sa loob. Hindi sa pagbati at pagngiti, at nang malumanay na sinabing tumuloy sa silid. Hindi noong pinatuloy sa silid at sinabing ituring ito na para na rin itong sariling silid. Hindi noong tumuloy na nga sa silid at kusang ibinaba ang gamit sa isang tabi na parang sarili nga ang silid. Hindi ito nagsimula noong nagtungo na ang katawang bumungad sa palikuran. Hindi noong iniwang nakaawang ang pinto upang makita kung papaano inalis ang pulang tapis. Hindi noong nakita ang hubog ng katawang nakatalikod. Hindi noong nakita ang hubog na ito sa ilalim ng liwanag ng puting ilaw. Hindi sa pagkakapangko sa kinatatayuan sapagkat sa pagkakapatda, hanggang sa hinawi ang kurtina at tuluyang nagkubli muli ang katawan sa likod nito.

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Hindi sa sumunod na tunog ng mga unang patak ng tubig sa sahig, o sa tunog ng paghaplos ng palad sa katawan. Hindi sa alingawngaw maya-maya ng tinig na tumawag upang saluhan sa pagligo. Hindi sa aking kahubdan. Hindi sa sabay na paghaplos sa sari-sariling katawan. Hindi sa pagdaan ng palad sa tubig, dulas, at bula sa balat. Hindi sa pag-iikotikot sa katawan, sa paglilibot sa mga singit at sulok na pinakatatago ng saplot. Hindi sa pagbabanlaw. Hindi sa pag-anggulo ng mukha at pagtango sa dutsa. Hindi sa pagpikit ng mga mata habang dumadaloy ang tubig, dulas, at bula mula sa mukha. Hindi sa pagbaybay ng mga ito mula mukha pababa sa katawan. Hindi sa pagbaba ng mga ito mula sa katawan, hanggang sa paghantong at pagkawala sa huli sa butas sa sahig. Hindi rin nagsimula sa pagpupunas sa mga sari-sariling katawan. Hindi sa paggamit sa iisang tuwalyang dumidilim ang pagkapula dahil sa unti-unting pagkabasa. Hindi sa pag-abot nito sa akin matapos tuyuin ang katawan. Hindi sa pagtanggap din nito. Hindi sa pagpupunas habang iniisip ang pagdikit sa sariling balat ng parehong tuwalyang humaplos at tumuyo sa balat ng katawan kanina pa pinagmamasdan, pinagnanasahan. Hindi sa paglabas ng palikuran. Hindi sa pagdatnan sa katawang hubad sa higaan. Hindi sa kung papaanong nakataas ang mga kamay nitong nagsisilbing unan para sa ulo. Hindi kung papaanong nakapirmi ang mga binti nito sa paghihintay. Hindi kung papaanong nakapikit ang mga mata habang nakangiti, malay na pinagmamasdan ng aking titig. Hindi kung papaanong tinawag ng katawan upang lumapit at tabihan. Hindi kung papaanong sa paglapit upang tabihan, nakita ang sarili sa salamin ng bintanang tanaw ang siyudad. Hindi nagsimulang pinakaibigin kita sa malamlam na liwanag ng dapithapon mula sa bintanang nakabukas. Hindi sa lagimlim mula sa kataasan ng palapag kung saan saglit na namasdan ang siyudad sa nagtatalong dilim at liwanag. Hindi sa mga pulang ilaw ng mga sasakyang pila-pila sa abenida sa ibaba. Hindi sa bigat ng daloy ng mga sasakyang tila nakapirmi na sa pagkakahinto. Hindi sa pagtingin sa tila pagtigil ng siyudad na kinatatayuan, ang pananatili sa iisang 62


lugar, ang kapirmihan. Hindi sa dahil sa kapirmihan, ang pag-alala sa ibang malayong siyudad. Hindi nagsimula noong lumapit at tinabihan ang katawan sa higaan matapos tawaging muli. Hindi sa malumanay na pagtawag sa tapik sa kutson ng kamay. Hindi sa marahang paghiga. Hindi sa marahang pagtihaya. Hindi sa parehong pagtitig ng mga katawan sa kisameng tumitingin din pabalik. Hindi sa katahimikang nagsisilbing puwang. Hindi sa mga birong sinubukang ibato pantawid sa espasyong namamagitan sa higaan. Hindi sa pagtanong sa katabing katawan kung marunong bang kumanta dahil na rin sa kalamigan ng boses nito. Hindi sa maliliit na pagtawa sa tanong na ito. Hindi sa pagsagot ng katabing katawan na pag-arte lang sa entablado ang nalalaman nito. Hindi sa muling pagtawa mula sa pabalik na birong entablado naman din ang kinahihigaan sa ngayon. Hindi ito nagsimula sa kalinawan buhat ng pagkatantong entablado rin nga ang kinahihigaan. Hindi sa pagkatantong parehong tauhan lang sa isang entablado itong mga katawang nahihimlay rito. Hindi sa pagkakatantong pawang kunwa-kunwarian lang ang lahat ng magaganap dito. Hindi sa sumunod na buntonghininga. Hindi sa biglaang pagbagal at paglalim ng paghinga. Hindi sa pagdagundong ng dibdib sa katahimikan ng silid. Hindi sa pag-iisip ko sa iyo. Hindi sa pagsubok na labanan ito at maging katawan bilang pawang katawan lang doon. Hindi kung gayon sa marahang pagdikit ng mga balat sa pag-abot ng kamay sa aking kamay. Hindi sapagkat dito ang simula ng pagtatanghal. Hindi sa walang-salitang pagtawag ng kamay ng katabi upang magsimulang gabayan ang aking kamay sa paggalugad sa kasukalan ng katawan. Hindi sa sumunod na salimuot ng kuwentong-laro nitong katawan at ako. Hindi nagsimulang pinakaibigin kita sa dahan-dahang pagkilos ng mga katawan. Hindi sa karahanan at katimpiang dahan-dahan ding bumigay sa ragasa. Hindi sa biglaang pagsuong sa laman ng isa’t isa, sa kung papaanong biglaang umimbabaw ang isa sa isa, sa biglaang pangungusap ng mga labi, kamay, at binti sa isa’t isa. Hindi 63


sa biglaang pagkawala ng mga puwang sa pagitan ng mga balat, sa paglalapat nang balat sa balat. Hindi sa paulit-ulit na pagdikit at sa paglusong at pag-ahon ng katawan sa katawan, sa indayog sa ritmong dinikta ng pintig ng dugo at laman. Hindi sa bawat paghawak, at paghigpit at pagbitaw nito. Hindi sa sabay na paubayang halinghing. Hindi sa mga matang taimtim sa pagpikit. Hindi sa bawat halik sa kalawakan ng katawan. Hindi sa bawat halik na ipinunla saanman maliban sa labi. Hindi unang natagpuan ang lahat sa pagtama ng namamatay nang liwanag sa labas sa katawang nasa ilalim. Hindi sa pagtingin dito at pagkaalala sa ibang malayong siyudad. Hindi sa pagtingin sa katawan at sa pagkaalala, at sa pag-iling upang muli tingnan ang katawan sa aking harapan bilang pawang katawan. Hindi kung gayon sa pagbigay sa pagkalam ng laman mula sa gutom para sa pagsaling, ang pagkiskis bilang pagpilit sa pagkakabit-kabit, ang pagpilit bilang paghahanap ng pakiramdam muli, ang pakiramdam bilang isang sandali, ang sandali isang ilahas na walang itatanggi para sa sarili. Hindi rin ito nagsimula sa pagtatapos, kung saan bumangon ang katawan upang haplusin at hilutin ang mga pagal kong binti. Hindi sa pagtatapos, kung saan tumayo ang katawan upang muling binanlawan ang sarili. Hindi sa pagtatapos, kung saan sumunod akong muli upang banlawan din ang aking sarili. Hindi sa pagtatapos at ang pagiging mabilis ng pagbabanlaw sa pagkakataong ito. Hindi sa pagtatapos, kung saan kinakailangan nang isuot muli ang mga saplot at damputin ang mga gamit, kung saan higaan na lang muli ang higaan at maaari nang buksan ang ilaw. Hindi sa pagtatapos sa paglabas nang walang paalam mula sa silid. Hindi nagsimulang pinakaibigin kita sa aking pag-uwi. Hindi ito nagsimula sa aking paglalakad sa siyudad. Hindi sa pananatili ng amoy ng sabon ng ibang katawan sa aking mga palad, sa pagitan man ng amoy ng usok at mga katawang bakal ng mga sasakyan. Hindi noong napalibutan sa aking paglalakad ng mga pulang ilaw ng pagkahinto. Hindi ang pag-andap-andap ng mga ito. Hindi noong naisip na hindi ako makahihinto. Hindi sa paglalakad nang paglalakad. Hindi sa pagsakay at paglipat-lipat sa mga tren at sasakyan, hanggang 64


makarating na sa wakas sa ibang malayong siyudad, hanggang sa makarating sa siyudad na dapat uwian. Hindi nagsimulang pinakaibigin kita pagdating sa harap muli sa isang pinto. Hindi sa pagharap dito sa isang pamilyar na pinto. Hindi sa muling pagkuyom ng kamay, sa muling pagkatok sa kahoy nitong kilalang-kilala na ng kuyom na kamay. Hindi sa pagbukas ng pamilyar na pintong ito at pagbungad sa akin sa wakas ng isang mukha, ng hindi sa akin naiibang mukha. Hindi sa kabatirang hindi ito ang mukha ng katawan ng iba, kundi ang iyong mukha. Hindi sa pagngiti mo at pagpapatuloy sa akin na parang walang naganap. Hindi sa sapagkat wala ka ngang kabatiran sa kung ano naganap sa akin kasama ang ibang katawan sa ibang silid sa ibang malayong siyudad. Hindi sa pagpapatuloy sa pagkilos lang natin tulad sa nakagawiang araw-araw. Hindi sa pagpapatuloy sa silid, paglalapag ng mga gamit, pagpapalit ng mga damit. Hindi sa hanggang sa tuluyang pagdating ng gabi at paghimlay natin sa higaan nang magkatabi. Hindi sa hindi pagkatulog sa pagdating ng gabi. Hindi sa pagtitig sa kisame habang katabi kita. Hindi sa tahimik na pagwawala sa loob ng aking katawan. Hindi sa pagsubok malulon ang kasalanan. Hindi sa pagnanais umamin ngunit nangangailangang manatili sa katahimikan. Hindi sa pagbibitbit ng lihim. Hindi sa pagbibitbit ng lihim na hindi naman kayang dalhin. Hindi sa bigat nitong lihim ng unang pagkakataon ng kahinaan sa ibang malayong siyudad, sa loob ng ibang silid. Hindi sa mga sumunod na araw ng pagkilos na para bang walang nangyari, ngunit nagnanais sumabog. Hindi sa mga sumunod na araw na pagtatalo ng loob. Hindi sa mga sumunod na araw na paninimbang sa pagitan ng kumpisal at pagtatago. Hindi ito nagsimula noong isang gabi, sa wakas, sumuko na rin sa pagsuko. Hindi ito nagsimula noong bumaling at humarap sa iyo upang magsimulang humikbi. Hindi sa aking pag-amin. Hindi sa aking naging karupukan. Hindi sa aking pag-amin sa aking naging karupukan, o sa pag-amin sa kabigatan nitong karupukan. Hindi sa pag-amin sa kabigatan nitong pagkapanandalian ng aking karupukan. 65


Hindi sa pag-amin sa sariling lalambong sa atin itong naging kasalanan ng karupukan hanggang kailanman. Hindi sa pag-amin sa katotohanang ito sa iyo o sa sarili ko. Hindi sa pag-amin sa ating mga sarili sa naging pagkukulang ko. Hindi sa pagtingin sa iyong mukha sa pagitan ng lahat nitong mga pag-amin ko. Hindi nagsimulang pinakaibigin kita sa katahimikang sumalubong sa aking pagsuko. Hindi sa paghihintay sa sidhi ng iyong bulyaw ng galit, sa ragasa ng iyong hapis. Hindi sa paghihintay sa magiging kapalit nitong lahat ng aking panandaliang pagkawala ng sarili. Hindi sa paghihintay sa isang katapusan sa gitna ng gabi bilang kapalit ng kahinaan ng laman. Hindi sa paghihintay sa pinagmakaawang pagbali sa katahimikan upang ipataw na ang parusang hinihintay. Hindi sa paghihintay sa iyong higanti. Hindi sa paghihintay at pag-aasam sa iyong higanti upang mabigyang-kapatawaran nawa sa pamamagitan ng kalbaryong iyong iaatang sa akin. Hindi sa iyong pagtangging sumuko sa lahat ng aking pagsusumamo para parusahan mo. Hindi sa kawalan mo ng imik sa gitna ng ganap na pagsuko at paghihintay ko. Hindi nagsimulang pinakaibigin kita noong sa halip na pagdating ng laksa-laksang salitang patalim, marahan mong inilapat ang iyong palad sa aking dibdib. Hindi sa pagkabog sa aking dibdib. Hindi sa pagkunot ng iyong noo, ang pagtatalo sa loob ng iyong dibdib na mababakas ang iyong mukha. Hindi sa patuloy na pagtapik ng palad mo sa aking dibdib para sa hindi mabibilang na pagsubok ng pagpapatahan hanggang sa wakas, ang aking pagtahan. Hindi sa pananatiling ganito ng ating mga katawan hanggang sa iyong alisin ang iyong palad sa akin, saka tumihaya at tumingin sa kisameng inaagiw. Hindi sa aking pagsunod sa iyong pagtihaya at pagtingin din sa kisameng tumitingin din pabalik sa atin. Hindi sa iisang direksiyong ito ng ating pagtitig. Hindi sa katahimikan. Hindi nagsimulang pinakaibigin kita sa pagbali mo, sa wakas, ng katahimikan. Hindi sa aking pagkabigla na sa halip na gaspang ng mga salitang inaasahan, narinig lang ang kalumanayan. Hindi sa 66


hindi pagiging matimpi, kundi pawang tapat, pawang dalisay. Hindi nagsimulang pinakaibigin kita sa pagsabi mong tao ang mangailangan at mapatid. Hindi sa pagsabi mong naiintindihan ang karupukan. Hindi sa pagsabi mong kapatawaran sa kasalanan. Hindi sa pagsabi mong muli at muling mananahan. Hindi mabigkas-bigkas ang lawak ng lahat ng ito, ng lahat ng sinabi mo, nagsimulang pinakaibigin kita sa hindi pagkaunawa.

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abner e. dormiendo

Magulong paliwanag sa biyaya ng buhay Mahirap magpaliwanag sa ganitong wika, ngunit mas mahirap ang mabuhay sa katotohanang nag-iisa lang ako sa mundo, at ang suma total nitong saglit kong pag-iral ay nasa bilang ng bagay at tao na aking nahawakan, kaya tinanong ko sa iyo kung ako ba ang paborito mong punong sinisilungan sa tanghali o tasang pinupuno ng kape sa almusal, ngunit nagsimula kang magpaliwanag kung bakit bughaw ang langit, at tinanong ko bakit nga ba bughaw at hindi luntian o itim, o kung ano ang kulay ng pag-ibig ngunit wala yatang kulay ang pag-ibig, at gusto ko rin naman ang hitsura ng bughaw, at gusto ko rin ang kurba ng bundok sa umaga at gusto ko ring mapunta sa kalawakan tangan-tangan ang lahat ng problema ng mundo, at sinabi mong malaking enerhiya ang kailangang sunugin upang makatakas sa hatak ng daigdig, ngunit hindi yata ganoon kadali iyon, iyong mamatay para mabuhay, at sinabi mong hindi naman tayo namamatay dahil sabi mo mayroong Langit, iyong may malaking L, iyong pakonsuwelo sa mga nagkamali sa buhay na ito o gantimpala sa mga nakagawa ng tama, dahil hindi yata sasapat sa isang buhay ang isang habambuhay ngunit ako, masaya na ako sa ganito, sa biyaya ng damong umaawit ng hamog, sa palanggana ng hanging hinihilamusan ko sa umaga, sa himpapawid na nagkukula ng buhok kada makalawa para masabi nating bata pa ang mundo, at matagal pa ang ilalagi natin dito. 68


Maging langit “like where else could you fit the sky but the sky?” — Bob Hicok Isinisiksik ko ang isang buong langit sa ga-dibdib kong pananalig, tumitingala sa hangin nang may pangarap ng tubig paglipas ng tag-ulan, kamay ng punong humahablot sa hangin, dahil nais kong ibalik ang mga nagsilisan sa lupa— lahat ng naligaw na lobo, ulap na singlaki ng kamao ng Diyos, lahat ng panalanging ligaw, hiningang nalagasan ng balahibo't walang muwang na lumilibot sa walang hanggang bughaw, dahil nais ko masaklob ang daigdig sa aking palad, maging tahanan ng narito’t paparating, ng narito’t nawala, ng narito ngunit hindi nadarama, maging hudyat ng katapusan sa aking paglaho dahil ako ay isang tao, ako ay isang tao, ako lamang ay isang tao, at higit ako sa naiisip ko, at hindi

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paolo tiausas

Still Life Sundang na nag-aabang sa leeg ang pag-iisa. Mamaya paglapat ng pinto sa kuwadro, umiilap na mga katok sa lupa hanggang lamunin ng silid ang pandinig mapapansin sa wakas na walang kasama sa kama ang imahe ng imahe ng aking isip. Ibig sabihin. Posibleng mag-isa ako. Sa gabi inilalatag ko ang lahat ng hindi kailangan tuwing hindi mapakali ang mata. Hinuhuli ang paniki na nakikitira sa bahay. Hinahabi ang bakas ng anino kaya nagsanib bigla ang pader sa sahig. Nalilito

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ang tubig sa akin ang gripo minartilyo ng braso at nagkapasa ang aking noo diyos ko. Sa leeg nagkasugat noong sinubok kilatisin sa salamin ang sakit. May ayaw makakita sa akin. Naghahanap ako ng makakain. Hinalughog agad ang nilalaman ng pridyeder at pilit pinagkasya sa bunganga ang dalawang mansanas. Sinabawan ng ketchup mula sachet galing take-out. Naging panulak ang beer. Gusto ko lang matikman ang buhay iyon ang pinagbabanta sa sarili bago namulat sa tabi ng kama nakasabit ang katawan

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angat ang paa. Una kong pinisil paloob ang bukol sa lalamunan. Mahapdi ang anumang bahagi ng katawan. Binilang ko ang kabit pang daliri wari nag-aabang ng pagbabalik nitong sundang. Hawak ko ang gabi, ilang oras na lang. Hihintayin kitang umuwi. Buksan mo ang pinto kailangang patigilin ulitin sulitin ang hapdi.

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Arielle Acosta. Hanap Buhay. Digital photography.

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Alfred Benedict C. Marasigan. Place 1.1. Acrylic and poster paint on canvas. 12 x 16 in.

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Place 11. Acrylic and poster paint on canvas. 12 x 16 in.

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Andrea G. Beldua. Ophelia II. Digital photography.

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Celline Marge Mercado. Lord Pounce. Collage.

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Flower from (I AM NOT A) Feast (series). Analog collage. 7 x 7 in.

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Fruit from (I AM NOT A) Feast (series). Analog collage. 7 x 7 in.

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Richard Vince S. Mercado. Wrong Direction. Digital.

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Nativity. Acrylic and oil on canvas. 3 x 3 ft.

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Alfred Benedict C. Marasigan. Icarus. Acrylic on canvas with plexiglass frame and metal corners. 28 x 28 in.

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Icarus (detail).

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Miguel Roberto Parungo. Golden Shower from Memory (series). Film photography. 5.6 x 8.4 in.

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Poolside from Memory (series). Film photography. 5.6 x 8.4 in.

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Joan Eunice Lao. Sans Soulmate. Ink and markers. 13 x 21 cm.

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Alfred Benedict C. Marasigan. Spectre 1. Acrylic on canvas. 4 x 5 ft.

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Alex Tuico. Healing I. Acrylic on canvas. 150 x 210 cm.

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Healing II. Acrylic on canvas. 150 x 210 cm.

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Robyn Angeli Saquin. Peek (triptych). Acrylic on canvas. 10x15 in. (each panel),

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Therese Nicole Reyes. Acrylic on paper. 8.5 x 11 in.

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Angelo Juarez. Lola Clara. Digital photography.

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Introduction Literature, especially Bikol literature, is a force of its own. It is alive, resilient, irrepressible. It does not quaver. It demands to be heard, begs to be written down, and finds by itself ways of manifestation. And in the crevices of Ateneo de Naga, one can find a testament to this beckoning. The University Press, for instance, endeavors to adamantly enliven the university’s thrust to cultivate Bikol culture. At present, the adnu Press is home to countless literature written by contemporary Bikolano poets and writers, who are ever-driven by the same wilfull force. On a smaller scale, inside the university, the same beckoning also reverberates to publications: The Language and Literature Studies Department’s Rimpos, for example, has time and again served as an avenue for translating the strong force of literature into words. Meanwhile, the Department of Education’s Sural and Ateneo Literary Association’s Tilad and Flyleaf have also given space and shape to this summons. And so this is The Knight, ThePILLARS Publication’s literary journal, also heeding Bikol literature’s same demand to be written down. Like countless publications both inside and outside the university, The Knight is driven to nurture Bikol literature, to have it etched permanently on paper, to keep aflame all literary forms, especially those unique to the region like the tigsik and rawit-dawit. Ultimately, as it celebrates what it calls its own, it also revels in the diversities of Philippine literature, as it participates in Habi, the first of its kind. When ThePILLARS was first invited to contribute in the collaborative folio project, it did not for one second hesitate, although its focus has remained largely on journalism in the recent years. It was in 2002 when an issue of The Knight was last published. And so at the project’s initial stages, the contributions from Ateneo de Naga were listed under ThePILLARS. 95


However, it felt rather offbeat to publish a literary folio called ThePILLARS. This was when the editorial board decided it was time to revive the literary journal; it felt right. It was time to reopen the publication doors to the call of Bikol literature, to give budding writers their rightful space, and to participate in the same thrust of forwarding Bikol culture. At the same time, The Knight hopes to contribute as well to the larger archive of Philippine literature, to offer color and diversity, and to attest to the vigor and life of the country’s literature in the larger scale. Literature, especially Bikol literature, is a force on its own, and The Knight is privileged to have been beckoned, to have given space for this plea. In years to come, it could only strive to do so, and in the process celebrate more diversities and keep aflame the drive for literature. Althea Abergos Editor-in-Chief January 2016

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harold v. alarcon

Alas Alas tres y media nin magagahon. Dingkilan na oras. Sabi kan mga gurang kadakol mararaot na elemento an nasa palibot, nagaalimpasay sa diklom nin banggi. Bigla mo akong pinukaw. Tinikwil nguna saka pigyugyog an lawas nin tulong beses. Luway luway kong binukasan an mata kong gusto pa kutang magpirong, an mata ko na gusto pa kutang padakulon an mutang minatagas tagas pa sana. Alagad mate kong may sasabihon ka. Importante. Minuklat ko an mata ko. Biyong piglabanan an tungka dara nin lipot nin banggi. Biyong pigpugulan an liwoy na maturo na kuta. Biyong pigsikwal an ritmo nin hukragong na nakakapasiram lalo nin paggibo nin mga pangiturugan. Hinale ko an tamong na nakakugos sako. Makulog sa buot. Makulog nanggad. Garu man sanang pigsubol mo sa ibang tawo su tawong namumuot saimo ta aram mong nagngaipo man nin pagdangog asin pagintindi su tawong minamawot mong marhay. Siring sa tamong na kaya mong bayaan por sobre su tawong gusto mong kaulay suru segundo nin saimong buhay. Mantang nagbubuhat ako, mantang pirit na pinapakusog an mga tulang sa likod, garu bagang pinupugulan pa nanggad akong magbuhat kan katre ko. Mantang nagbubuhat ako, iniisip taka. Na baad... na baad... Nagtukaw, pinakarhay an buhok, naghakay, pigpusipos an mata nganing magimata nang pwerte. Pigipos ko an lalawgon mo, mayong planong magngisi. Pigipos ko an mata mo, hararom, may buot nanggad sabihon, may buot kumpisalon sa kinadingkilan na oras asin panahon. Nahadit ako. Alagad kasabay kan hadit an ogma ta nahiling ko sa likod mo an kalendaryo na nagsesenyas na bagong aldaw na naman. Bako sanang ordinaryong bagong aldaw kudi bagong taon na naman para satong duwa. Sarong aldaw nin taon na masasabi kong maswerte an petsa trese nin kalendaryo na nagpatak sa aldaw 99


na biernes. Ika anom na taon ta nang pagibahan. Napangirit akong basang. Haloy na palan kitang duwa. Haloy na palan kitang maogma. Hinapros mo ako sa pisngi. Malipot an kamot mo, bakong arog kan dati: maimbong, nagusop sa unit, magiram. Bigla kang nagtaram. Garu akong mautsan. Pano ko daw ini sasabihon? Dae ko aram kung pano. Dae ko aram kung tano garu bako ika itong dati kong nabisto. Sabi mo... Sabi mo may nabisto kang iba. Sabi mo iba siya sakuya. Sabi mo luwas an trenta y dos mong ngipon pag kaibahan mo siya. Sabi mo padaba mo siya. Anong paghuna mo sako, dae taka padaba? Sabi mo padaba mo na siya. Di buot sabihon dae mo na ako padaba? Sabi mo duwang bulan na kamong duwa. Herak man sako, ginibo nindo akong tanga. Sabi mo tatapuson mo na kun ano an igwa ta. Sabi ko, tangina mo, tano pinukaw mo ako tapos kukulugan sana? Alas singko trese na nin aga kan nahanap ko an sadiri ko sa luwas nin harong. Gatok an mata, gatok an puso. Alas sinko kinse kan naglakaw ako pauli. Linakaw ko sana. Mayo akong namateng tanglay o kulog. Daghan ko sana an makulog. Alas siyete kan nakaabot ako samo. Dae ako napangiturog. Habo kong magturog, habo kong mangiturugan, habo kong maggibong dakol na muta, habo kong magtamong, habo ko. An gusto ko ika! Ika na linoko ako nin duwang bulan. Ika na inapon an anom na taon tang ibahan. Ika na pinukaw ako nin alas tres y media nin magagahon, habang nagtuturog nin pwerte, habang naggigibo nin mga pangiturugan na hanggang sa pangiturugan na sana palan.

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Alas Alas tres y media ng madaling araw. Delikadong oras. Sabi ng mga matatanda, maraming masasamang elemento ang nasa paligid, nagpapasuray-suray sa dilim. Bigla mo akong ginising. Kinalabit muna at saka niyugyog ang katawan nang tatlong beses. Dahan-dahan kong binuksan ang mata kong gusto pa sanang pumikit, ang mata kong gusto pa sanang paramihin ang mga mutang malapit nang tumigas at maging mga butil. Pero alam kong may sasabihin ka. Importante. Dinilat ko ang mata ko. Pilit nitong nilalabanan ang antok dala ng lamig ng gabi. Pilit pinipigilan ang laway na malapit na sanang tumulo. Pilit na isinisikwal ang ritmo ng hilik na lalong nakakapagpasarap sa paghabi ng mga panaginip. Inalis ko ang kumot na nakayakap sa’kin. Masakit sa loob. Masakit. Para bagang ipinamimigay mo sa ibang tao yoong taong nagmamahal sa’yo kasi alam mong nangangailangan ng pag-intindi at pagdinig ‘yung taong minamahal mo nang sobra. Gaya ng kumot na kaya mong iwanan para sa taong gusto mong kausap segu-segundo ng buhay mo. Habang bumabangon ako, habang pilit na pinapalakas ang mga buto sa likuran, para bagang pinipigilan pa akong bumangon ng kama ko. Habang bumabangon ako, naiisip kita. Na baka... na baka... Umupo, nag-ayos ng buhok, naghikab, kinuskos ang mata nang magising na nang tuluyan. Tinitigan ko ang mukha mo, walang balak ngumiti. Tinitigan ko ang mata mo, malalim, may nais sabihin, may ibig ikumpisal sa pinakadelikadong oras at panahon. Nag-alala ako. Ngunit kasabay ng pag-alala ang saya nang makita ko sa likod mo ‘yung kalendaryo na nagsasabing bagong araw na naman. Hindi lang ordinaryong bagong araw kung hindi bagong taon na naman para sa ating dalawa. Isang araw ng taon na masasabi kong masuwerte ang petsa trese ng kalendaryo na pumatak sa araw na Biyernes. Anim na taon na tayong magkasama. Napangiti ako bigla. Matagal na pala tayong dalawa. Matagal na pala tayong masaya. 101


Hinaplos mo ang pisngi ko. Malamig ang kamay mo, hindi katulad ng dati, nakakapaso sa balat, nakakakiliti. Bigla kang nagsalita. Para akong mahihimatay. Paano ko ito sasabihin? Hindi ko alam kung paano. Hindi ko alam kung bakit parang hindi na ikaw ‘yung dati kong nakilala. Sabi mo... Sabi mo may nakilala kang iba. Sabi mo iba siya sa akin. Sabi mo labas ang trenta y dos mong ngipin kapag kasama mo siya. Sabi mo mahal mo siya. Tingin mo ba hindi kita mahal? Sabi mo mahal mo na siya. Ibig sabihin, hindi mo na ako mahal. Sabi mo dalawang buwan na kayong dalawa. Kawawa naman ako, ginawa niyo akong tanga. Sabi mo tatapusin mo na kung anong meron tayong dalawa. Sabi ko tangina mo, bakit mo ako ginising tapos sasaktan lang pala? Alas singko trese na ng umaga nang mahanap ko ang sarili ko sa labas ng bahay. Maga ang mata. Maga ang puso. Alas singko kinse nang maglakad ako pauwi. Linakad ko lang. Wala akong naramdamang ngalay o sakit. Bukod sa puso. Alas siyete nang makarating ako sa amin. Hindi ako makatulog. Ayokong matulog, ayokong managinip, ayokong gumawa ng maraming muta, ayokong magkumot, ayoko. Ikaw ang gusto ko! Ikaw na niloko ako nang dalawang buwan. Ikaw na tinapon ang anim na taon nating samahan. Ikaw na ginising ako ng alas tres y media ng madaling araw, habang natutulog nang mahimbing, habang gumagawa ng mga panaginip na hanggang sa panaginip na lang pala.

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Kan Mga Oras Na Ito Kan mga oras na ito, tuninong, silensyo, kalmado. Ito bagang huyup-huyop na sana nin duros an nadadangog mi. An bulos nin tubig sa irarom kan tulay, An mga ilaw sa tinampong iyo na sana an mata, An samuyang maimbong na hinangos hali sa samuyang ginhawa, Asin an samuyang aninong kaibahan mi pauli. Kan mga oras na ito, pagluba ko mayo nang kasagkodan. An muro nin samuyang mga kamot, nakakuripot, mainit, daing planong magbutasan. Tig-ipos ko an saiyang lalawgon nin nagkapirang minuto. Itong gabos na detalye nin saiyang mabinion na presensya, Tinutuom, ginigirumdom, Tinatatak sa sakuyang memorya. Asin kan magduta an saiyang ngabil sa sakuya, Duwang kalag an nag-ugma.

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Nang Mga Oras Na Yun Nang mga oras na yun, tahimik, silensyo, kalmado. Ihip na lang ng hangin ang naririnig namin. Ang daloy ng tubig sa ilalim ng tulay, Ang mga ilaw sa daang siya na lamang ang gising, Ang maiinit naming hininga, At ang aming aninong kasama naming pauwi. Nang mga oras na yun, akala ko wala nang katapusan. Ang mga daliri ng kamay namin, magkayakap, mainit, walang balak bumitaw. Tinitigan kita sa mukha nang ilang minuto. Yung lahat ng detalye ng mabini mong presensya, Isinasaulo, inaalala, Tinatatak sa aking memorya. At nang magtagpo ang mga labi natin, Sabay tayong nagsaya.

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rea robles

Dos Mil Tres Domingo kaidto kan nagkaigwang kasisibutan an mga tawo duman sa samuya. Sinabayan nin makusog na uran asin daguldol an paghandal kan sarong may-agom na naghahalat sa luwas kan saindang payag-payag. Malipot, alagad an ganot sa angog kan saiyang agom, dai mawara-wara dawa pauruutro na ining pinupunasan kan paraaki. Balagbag. Delikado. Makusog an ngurob-ngurob kan mga kagugurangan na nag-aabang. Mapula pa sa dugo kan nangangaki an mga nilustab na minamaan. Ikalima na kun siring. Panlimang lalaki kun siring puon kan halonbulan. Dai man lugod. Luminuya an uran. Puminundo. Nadangog an kurahaw hale sa laog kan harong. Katoninongan. Nagpiling-piling an mga kagugurangan.

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2oo3 Translated by Ashley Saludes

It is a Sunday. Fearful thunder and heavy rains join the man who sits outside, waiting, waiting, worried. It is cold, and yet sweat drenches the woman’s forehead even as the midwife pats it dry. It isn’t right. It isn’t safe. The old ones, they whisper too loud, spit out sentiments darker than the blood between the sheets where the woman lies, heaving breaths, trying to give birth. The fifth. It will be the fifth boy since the eclipse, if so. Would that it is not. The rain slows, the rain stops, a single cry rings throughout the house, and then silence— The old ones shake their heads.

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jusan misolas

Lawóg Pinurbaran kong ikurit an lawóg kan Kagurangnan, maski anong pirit, iba an sakuyang nahahaman. An nahihimò ko, iyo an sakuyang lawóg, itom na buhok, mga matang turuhok, baralud na ngabil, panô nin pagkatakot. Pinurbaran kong ikurit an lawog kan Kagurangnan, maski anong pirit, iba an sakuyang nahahaman. An nahihimò ko iyo an sakuyang lawóg, an sakuyang dungô, pirók, kiray, talinga— nagkukurahaw na dai ko tapuson an obra.

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Lawóg Translated by Victor Dennis T. Nierva

I tried to draw the face of God and I failed, no matter how I tried. Always, it’s been my own face: dark-haired, penetrating eyes, curved lips, nothing but fear. I tried to draw the face of God and I failed, no matter how I tried. Always, it’s been my own face: my own nose, eyelashes, eyebrows, ears— all in a loud chorus conjuring endlessness.

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Alulunti sa Baybayon Garo alon, garo alulunti. Nadùtan kan pagkamuot, kan dai mapugol na pag-ilusyon kan dagat asin baybayon. Iyo. Dai. Iyo? Dai. Iyo. Dai? Daing sagkod na pagduwá-dúwa. Mantang ika nauutsan, nawáwarâ an takig kan katig.

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Alulunti sa Baybayon Translated by Victor Dennis T. Nierva

Like a wave, like an earthworm. Caressed by longing, by the endless affair of the sea and the shore. Yes. No. Yes? No. Yes. No? Certain-ness of uncertainty. Upon your last breath, the outriggers lose their shivers.

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Tukdô Kansubanggi, sabi mo dai ako magparatukdô Ta tibaad may mga bagay na dai nahihiling Alagad yaon. Tinukdô ko man giraray Nin pasubá an duros. Pighiling mo ako. Nagkasabatan an satong mata. Sa buót ko, Garo may nahiling ka na dai ko nahiling. Sa buót ko, May namarî man ako nadai mo narisa Alagad yaon. Nagtutubod ako Sa gabos na dai ko nahiling, sa gabos Na dai mo narisa alagad namatî ko. Banggi ngunyan, tukdô ko An sakóng daghan. Dai man Lugod ako maibanan.

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Tukd么 Translated by Victor Dennis T. Nierva

Last night, you asked me to stop pointing elsewhere for there are presences that our eyes miss. I did not heed your request and pointed, jokingly, at the wind. You looked at me. Your eyes met mine. It was as if you saw something I failed to see. It was as if I felt something that just went past your senses. I believe in all that I do not see, in all that is beyond you yet within me. It is evening now and I am pointing at my chest. I pray, the unseen does not keep me company.

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Pawnshop Pirang dagâ pa daw an kaipuhan isangrâ, I-display sa mga estante kataid Kan mga antigong rolex, de-antenang cellphones, Pan-aking hikaw, wedding rings, Asin iba pang mga bulawan. Dangan ikahon sa abang hìbog na salming Na mata saná an nakakalagbas? Kasubàgo may gurang na nandùngaw Sa balyo, an saiyang hinangos nawalat. Nuarin daw kayâ niya mababalukat?

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Pawnshop Translated by Victor Dennis T. Nierva

How many parcels of land must be pawned, to be put on display next to old Rolex, cellphones with antennas, children’s earrings, wedding rings, and other things made of gold, in thick glass enclosures that only the eyes can pierce? Today, a wrinkled face peeked from outside the display, her breath left a trace on the glass. Hoping, perhaps, to take it back?

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jusan misolas

Close Open itinukd么 ninda sakong kuguson an duros asin kun nuarin bubutasan ini

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Close Open Translated by Victor Dennis T. Nierva

they taught me to conquer the wind and when to give it freedom

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camille ann a. loza

Transcultural Battlefield: Recent Japanese Translations of Philippine History Translation is not just an intellectual activity of expressing the sense or meaning of a word or text in another language. In translating, the social environment of the language to be used must be taken into consideration as well. This is the act of de-contextualizing the text from the original social environment and re-contextualizing it to the new cultural milieu (Nagano, 2006, p.9). This is the reason why some outstanding books and essays, for instance, are well-acknowledged in a particular country but lose their value or importance in a different social context. Orientalism is the Western colonial way of dominating Asia. It is a deep domination characterized by the entry of many forces such as military, religion, etc. Religion in the Philippines during the Spanish era played a vital role in colonization. This factor was used to control the minds of the people and to indirectly inculcate to the minds of the natives of the country that the white people are superior and dominant and they must be treated as models by the inferior. Postcolonial studies and literature are researches and literary works influenced by the colonizers. Works that are included in this category usually talk about the experiences of the colonized people and their undertakings during the regime of the colonial masters (Ashcroft, 1990, p.2). An example of this is Reynaldo Ileto’s book, Pasyon and Revolution: Popular Movements in the Philippines. The book discusses Filipinos’ resistance against colonization and in its first chapter, “Toward a History From Below,” it gives a brief discussion about the secret society—the Katipunan and the influence of other factors that made the influence of these invaders even more powerful. 118


The gist of the journal is to share the meaning of translation as a transcultural intellectual battlefield since in translating, a translator must be able to re-contextualize the text to the social environment of the language to be used. Since the milieus of Philippines and Japan are different, Nagano shared the process of translating one of the most difficult books to be translated which is Ileto’s Pasyon and Revolution. Aside from this book, there was also a collection of essays by Filipino scholars that Nagano’s group translated to Japanese to enable potential important Japanese audiences to comprehend these essays which are criticisms of Americanization. Ileto’s book was given much attention during the translating process because Nagano claimed that there is a huge chance in the society and culture of Japan in terms of American influence and that the Pasyon and Revolution expresses thought that can be well understood by the Japanese since Japan and Philippines were claimed to be both under the American shadow. Prior to the group where Nagano belongs, there was already another mentioned group who attempted to translate Pasyon and Revolution ten years earlier. The problematic part of this claim is the inability of the author to give names to these people who made the first attempt to make it sound believable. The author also failed to mention the problems that hindered them from pursuing the translation that might have given Nagano’s team the guidelines on what to do and what not to during the process which contributed to the success of the team. Nagano also mentioned in the journal that Ileto’s work is one of the most difficult books to translate into another language because it is labeled as “one story, one book.” Meaning, the discussion and ideas 119


in the chapters are interconnected with each other and that by simply having a very minor error in the comprehension of the thought in one chapter would ruin the entire thought of the book. However, after giving this reason, there is already the lack of broader substantiation for the readers’ better understanding. The author should have at least provided several additional reasons to really validate the complexity of translating Ileto’s work. And lastly, the works of the three writers namely, Reynaldo C. Ileto, Vicente L. Rafael, and Floro L. Quibuyen, were said to be chosen by Nagano’s team to be translated because they provide provocative and penetrating discussion on Philippine history. What has this to do with Japan’s social context? It is well known worldwide that Japan is not really under American power and the case of the Philippines is far different from Japan’s. Therefore, this fact contradicts the author’s claim that the works of the said writers were appreciated and well-acknowledged by the Japanese since these states involved are too much different in terms of social context. Yes, Japan may somehow be influenced by Americanization but the influence of the United States in the Philippines is more rooted and very powerful. Nagano said to translate is to traverse two cultural milieus while interpreting the original text and then making the translation text simultaneously. In relation to the present Philippine culture, as well as my personal experience, this has to do with the now ever influential medium: television. Nowadays, Filipinos are already fond of watching dramas which have foreign actors and are Tagalized (to dub the script from a different language into Filipino). The connection of this to the journal is Filipino translators or scriptwriters who Tagalize these scripts extend across two cultures, for instance Japanese and Filipino, while interpreting the origin and giving the translated meaning simultaneously. For example, if a drama is based on ancient or medieval Japan, the story must be strict in terms of honor and the characters must not show love or concern for other people. This is because it is the context of the ancient and medieval Japan. However, should the audience of this drama be Filipinos, there must be a revision in the script since Filipinos are 120


known to be loving and caring towards other people, especially their families. If the translators will not revise the storyline, the drama has lesser possibility of being appreciated here in the country. This example explains the act of interpreting the origin and giving the translation that will go with the context of the new environment. References Ashcroft, B. (1990). The empire writes back: Theory and practice in post colonial literatures. London: Routledge. Ileto, R. C. (1979). Pasyon and revolution: Popular movements in the Philippines. Toward a history from below. Nagano, Y. (2006). Transcultural battlefield: Recent Japanese translations of philippine history. Kanagawa: UCLA Center for Southeast Asian Studies. Retrieved from https://escholarship.org/uc/item/68t5m5h0

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mae lovinia f. almelor

Árbol de Fuego Minsa’y nagningas ang aking damdamin, Ang tikas at tayog, ng mata’y pilit inaabot. Sa tuwina’y tila hinihila ang paningin, Sinusundan, inaasam, sa puso’y nananawagan. Ito’y apoy, at ako’y papel, Nagliyab man ay payapa pa rin. Tahimik na nagbabaga, Sa dakong tago, doon nananatili. Sapagkat apoy, maliwanag ang paligid, Ang dalang init ay nanunuot sa lamig ng dilim. Ngunit pag naglilikot ang mga pula sa hangin, Naglalagasan na tila mga patak ng dugo. Dugo o apoy? O apoy at dugo? Walang kaiba sa sementong pinaglagakan. Ang apoy sa lupa ay naging dugo, At ang dugo’y mas naging kabigha-bighani. Mas inibig ang pulang niyurakan nang walang pakialam, Nangitim ang dugo sa ilalim ng bulagsak na mga paa. Patuloy ang paglaglagan, sa mukha, sa kamay, Sa paligid ng matayog na punong kinahimlayan. Isang araw, isang araw malalakad din, Ang paligid ng ganitong tanawin. Nasa itaas ang apoy na nakasisilaw, At nahulog na ang dugong malayang pagdadaitan.

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krystel padin

Sa pagtingin sa gabing taimtim na humihingi ng liwanag, Kamukha ng mga tala ang mga butas na naukit ng kuko ng panahon kalawakan ng telang nakadapa sa hapag na walang pagkain o ano‌ Walang pambili ng bago.

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Miguel Imperial. Relativity of happiness. Digital photography.

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Coins and candies. Digital photography.

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No decent bathroom. Digital photography.

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Clark Glenn F. Neola. Beget. Oil on paper.

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Morose. Acrylic on canvas.

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Khim Francis Balete. The Imaginarium. Digital.

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The Burden. Digital.

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Guada Victoria H. Marbella. Gunita. Digital.

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Humaling. Digital.

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Kalinaw. Digital.

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Pahimakas. Digital.

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Silakbo. Digital.

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Introduction When non-Zamboangueños encounter such a word as exotic or far-sounding as Zamboanga, perhaps the first impression that comes to mind is that it is a remote and backward town. For those who encounter the word in the news, perhaps the first and lasting impression of this little city is that it is struck with violence and hostility. Some people associate Zamboanga with this little Spanish town whose inhabitants speak a beautiful language, sometimes making its way through through opm Chavacano songs. Unfortunately, the Chavacano language, when it comes to literature, has started to become compartmentalized to only fliptop rap battles and sad love songs. Chavacano aside, even other recent forms of literature in any other language about Zamboanga are hard to come by. Zamboangueños today seem to have lost the ability to creatively translate into words the culture of Zamboanga. The few who still do write about this city are limited to writing in personal journals, school publications, self-published anthologies, and very seldom in dailies. In truth, not much can be said about the literary scene in Zamboanga. Although we have Chavacano Palanca awardees, it is disheartening to say that the likes of Antonio Enriquez and Francis Macansantos are from a generation of Zamboangueños who have experienced a Zamboanga that had flowers on verandas in every home, who had a mayor who refused to cut his long white hair until Marcos fell from power—in other words, they come from a time when Zamboanga City was an inspiring place to live in. Perhaps it is a sign of the times that too much hostility and violence can in fact cripple a city’s inclination to contribute to literature and propagate a culture. However, recently, the 2013 Zamboanga City Siege has given Zamboangueños the motivation to write—from angst-filled social 139


media posts and campaign songs about rising from the ruins of that stand-off , to essays, poems, short stories about the grief, terror, restlessness, and even comic relief during those trying times. The poem “Civil Wars” encapsulates the apprehension within Zamboangueños , with and without threats of war, and the allegorical short story “20” presents a metaphor of the behavior and attitude Zamboangueños have toward any form of conflict. Moreover, Zamboanga has always been steadfast when it comes to the visual arts. It is home to far more artists than writers. However, some of the paintings, illustrations, and photographs in this collection still carry themes of conflict and confusion, such as Dominic Cabatit’s pencil on paper, fittingly called “The Zamboanga Crisis”, Amihan Jumalon’s oil on canvas entitled “Trojan Horse”, and Joshua Bughao’s monochromatic photos shot at a transitory site in the series “Masepla”. Admittedly, not all literary and creative pieces in the succeeding pages are just about war. The one-act play entitled “Mother Knows Best” depicts the difficulties of living in a city where so many regional languages converge, from Filipino and Chavacano and then code switching to English too. The short story “No Te Vayas” is infused with anecdotes reminiscent of those told by grandparents to grandchildren at their knees. Meanwhile, the photographs “Marejada” by Kenneth Chuacon and “Enormity” by Mohammad Sarajan depict the vastness and tranquility of the waters surrounding Zamboanga. Despite Zamboanga not having a thriving literary scene, this part of the country is just waiting for its stories to be told and captured, no matter how mundane or interesting they may be. In the off chance that the stories do get to be written and shared, the execution is always just something short of wonderful. Y colorin colorao el cuento hende pa acabao. Pristine Janielle Padua Curator January 2016

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everlyn t. jaji

The Call I could only remember the softness of my pillow, the wind from the fan finding its way through my pajamas and the night whose darkness never fails to drown tired men and women to slumber— before my eyelids weakened by the day shut in peace. And in the tranquil night my soul is satisfied that it had hours of visits to places and people until Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar… It is the voice from the nearby Masjid mingling with the night air piercing through the windows signaling the beginning of dawn. Hayya ‘alas-Salah…

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Prayer? But, the whispers tell me the night is still long and my soft pillow need not be abandoned this early. Yes, still an hour before sunrise maybe, just a little more… As-Salatu khairum minan-nawm… My eyelids pulled open as if the call came right beside my ears my yearning for forgiveness and for a day started with that meeting also awoken And thus, my body parts from the inviting comforts of sleep in search of the purifying water.

Allahu Akbar – Allah is Great Masjid – Arabic word for the Muslim place of worship Hayya ‘alas-Salah – Come to Prayer As-Salatu khairum minan-nawm – Prayer is better than sleep

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The Lady from Basilan Raises her hand in front of television audiences as a teacher who demands silence amidst the noise around her— exploding establishments, priests in pain and guns in conversation. But she never looks down or elsewhere to name her hometown, she says, “I am from Basilan,� with her hands now raised in front of audiences deafened by the noisy television, and in front of neighbors who say they come not from Basilan.

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Eight Hours Now I will undress my hair and shape it into a bun. For eight hours, I will be the mother of a helpless child or an adolescent, or the friend deprived of candies or dried fish, or the grandchild whose name changes every day, every hour. It could have been eight blessed hours of no uninvited glances from strangers, of no sin added to my sin bank, had they not been so single-minded about my kind’s aged war with theirs. If, for once, they smile at me and at my hair dressed, perhaps I am a teacher to the children, the adolescents, and the aged. As when one seems strange and hostile later proves to have a shakable hand. Perhaps my veil can sweep the sands off their hearts so that it could beat, like a melody let its sound fill our need for doves and friends. Now I will be a mother, a friend, a grandchild whose name changes every day, and I like to think my hair is dressed. 146


fatima sherlyn r. ismun

To my Habibati Remember the last time we talked, those vague words I said in that call? It was tough but I had to be bold but still a lot remained untold. It was not a question of what you have done or what you said for me to be gone, It was more about me; my feelings for you for fear of Allah, I had to leave you. For our age back then it felt good but I knew it is Shaitan's energy food, and there is no way that I would risk the Afterlife for this temporary world; at the expense of my future wife. I wanted everything to be halaal the timing of such was the most crucial, and so I waited and kept my faith in Allah (swt) from then until now, you have always been in my dua’a. I showed no sign of any affection even to my nafs I gave no attention, It was hard but I knew you are worth the wait that day of our nikaah shall be our first date. I wanted to keep you pure in the eyes of people and our Creator, for your hayaa is nothing but a treasure meant not even for me, but for the place of forever.

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I dreamt of leading you in fajr using your fingers in tasbeeh to share ajr, hearing your voice as you read the Qur-An together, we will strive to apply all Sunan. Then we will raise our kids in the teachings of our religion tell them tales of Muhammad (saw) and his companions, together, we will perform our Pilgrimage to Mecca together, we will take every step towards Jannah. I have too many dreams for the both of us though what Allah gives, in Him I put my trust, We will be together sharing to others every barakah and the rewards of tribulations too, in shaa Allah. Now you have already completed half of my Deen no thoughts, no message shall be left unseen Yaa Habibati, I love you for the sake of Allah (swt) in this world and in Akhirah.

Shaitan – Satan in Islam Halaal – permissible activities or objects that a Muslim can use or do Dua-a – prayers Naf(s) – myself Nikaah – marriage Hayaa – modesty Fajr/ajr – the 5 a.m. prayer of Muslims Tasbeeh – repetitive utterances of short sentences in the praise and glorification of Allah Sunan – the teachings, deeds and sayings, silent permissions (or disapprovals) of the Islamic prophet Muhammad

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Jannah – Heaven Barakah – spiritual presence and revelations of Allah Deen – religion Akhirah – afterlife Yaa Habibati – “my love”

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portia grace o. peralta

Queda Mas dia ta pasa el dolor mas ta senti de este distancia conatun ta parti. Tu cara no hay noche nunca olvida, no hay hora tu voz nunca oĂ­, tu mano siempre talli dol como aire y madrogada con mi cara ta palpa. Por que mi lagrimas No hay acabada? Por que ansina necisita queda? Mi corazon contigo yo ya deja pensaba mi vida aqui ay principia. Kamali grande. Aqui no hay vida ta espera. Alli contigo mi alma ya queda.

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Queda As more days pass the more pain I feel the pain of this distance that parts us. There is no night that your face is forgotten, no hour your voice is not heard, your hand, always there, touching my face like the air, like the dawn. Why do my tears not end? Why must this be so? My heart, I left with you thinking my life can start anew. Such a grave mistake. No life awaits me here; I left my soul with you.

151


jethro o. cristobal

When the Lights Go Out We live in worlds, and worlds apart, One where lands and seas separate. Then there are those who within walls Live lives of a different state. We get so enthralled with technology, Engrossed with life’s demands, Oblivious to people in our reality, and what is essential not withstands. We scream and burst in indignation, when the lights go out and we see darkness, We search for an answer. We yearn for a solution. But there is no cure to this land’s present illness. Darkness then, and only darkness, has filled our barren house before. “The power is out!” I would say. The power is out once more. The day turns to night. Nothing happens still. So I curse this austere land of Zamboanga. I look ahead; there must be something more beyond. I hope to someday leave my home, Zamboanga. But in the middle of the heat and idleness, I see people walking out of their holes. We gather in a room and sit beside one another, With nothing but a candle to warm our souls.

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And there I found at last, What still would make this place a home for me, That in the consequence of power and technology, I took for granted: a family. So with this I choose to say, To take time and find words to appreciate, Those who aren’t forever here to stay. I pray that I’m not yet too late.

153


marion b. guerrero

A Song for Zamboanga i Oh Zamboanga, sing to us the past, of a paradise borne of the currents, offspring of the Sulu and Celebes seas! Your tides that throw playful kisses on your beaches murmur its charm, the same charm that enchanted traders and adventurers, storytellers and conquistadors. These dreamers you have enchanted brought along their wares, their poems and pieces of their worlds from across the oceans. On your ancient soil they toiled and labored and out of your marshes a city they built. Stone by stone, sweat by sweat they gave you a fortress jutting out of your marshes, a sentinel against your enemies and later a shrine for your faithful. Oh Zamboanga, you were home and muse! ii Oh Zamboanga, wail to us of what you have become! Bemoan to us the present paradox of your lyrics, of melodies that charm in vain, of songs that hark back to an Eden lost and found and then lost again! Oh City of Flowers, reveal to us where your flowers have gone a-hiding—flowers that used to perfume your name, are now flowers laid on the cold tombs of your dreamers. Lead us back to your tropical gardens of peace now wilting in apathy and injustice. Bring back the petals we gaily shower at dear La Virgen’s feet, for now these petals shower caskets and comfort not the bereaved and the injured. Oh Zamboanga, our ravaged muse!

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iii Oh Zamboanga, your people’s tired voices are a chorus of fear, for the orchestra of violence brings no applause but tears. This is paranoia in paradise! Woe to your pink sand, pale hue of the blood of your lost children—children of your promise! Madre Zamboanga, you have made us waifs and orphans, treading on your narrow streets that lead nowhere, gaping at your gyrating fountains that quench no one, staring at your Technicolor canton lamps that illumine no life. Denial designs nothing but discord and discontent. Oh Zamboanga, you are muted by your own silence. iv Oh Zamboanga! Your name, dulcet and beguiling, mentioned in legends and epics once conjured images of a Romantic affair between the Oriental and the Occidental. But now, yours is a name feared and disdained. Remind us not of the unsettling irony of the lines: Don’t you ever. Don’t you ever go to far Zamboanga! Recite once more the sonnets that flatter and glorify Mi ciudad de Zamboanga, remind us not how foreign and strange they seem in the light of the truth that headlines and travel advisories scream. Oh Zamboanga, what sorrow it brings to reminisce the epithets of your great renown! What sorrow it brings to know these have become epitaphs!

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v Oh Zamboanga, your sunsets offer vague tomorrows and sad recollections, for as the sun drowns in the horizon, we speak of no shelter from what stalks your savage nights. La Bella. La Tormenta. La Tortura. Oh Zamboanga, when shall we sing once more in the peace you have been promised? Dance in merriment from the harmony you once possessed? Revel in the flowered meadows that were once your name? Speak of your name in conviction as Orgullo de Mindanao? Oh Zamboanga, we do not need nostalgia. We need now.

156


joseph aaron s. joe

Civil Wars Zamboanga and I are not much unlike each other. In psychology, we are catalogues of the disorders we share. We begin with anxiety. This one we wake up to, heavy like military boots to our necks. A weight we bear day in and out. Her eyes gaze vigilant like a hungry hawk. Eyes wide open, she is watchful for whispers of war wafting through the darkest alleys of her underbelly. Mine are gouged to make space for hiding. I’ve grown used to resigning myself into furrows and shadows, away from eyes that glint to condemn. 157


Either way, sleep abandons us, leaves us swishing on our sheets. Sometimes she swallows her depression like a pill; an attempt to bury in her belly the need to mourn eternal. The blood on her hands have ceased to drip. Yet, it insists in memory like the aftertaste of vodka pursued without salt. It is made permanent, made one with her skin and the skin of her kin, one generation after the other. I mourn for the memory of what once was and the vision of a bright and bulging tomorrow that might never come. Feet caught in a treacherous belief, I am deep in the quagmire of a battle no one might ever win. 158


The years spent at war with ourselves have grayed our sights. No longer do we recognize who we are, or what we are fighting for. Our battlecries tremble like hands holding guns for the first time. We are at the mercy of demons we know by heart. The ones who have learned to call our bones, “home.�

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francis c. macansantos

Segunda Carta para con Cesar Marquez Tu ta queda antes na Sta. Catalina Que ta man tupahan codo lang con el Sta. Barbara Que dûmon daw del hediondo y barbaridad, Donde puede pa tu oi de lejos El mar ta’n halay con su suspiro na muro. Hace kita puguera na orilla del camino Para resucita por un humera de oracion Con el Viejo Narag, el sinisao aparicion Del princepe del soneto Shakespereano. Agarando un Free Press na su maga mano De no hay pa el ley militar, un tiempo de paz, Sus ojos aguantado lagrimas, Ta declama ‘le su poema de Ingles daw si untrajo. Pero los demas alli mas corto gayot el vida, Maga martir que con el muerte cara-cara ta ganguia, Rebentador de corto mecha y manada ta rebenta, Dol un gran piesta ta queda, dol noche de estrellas. Donde ya si Jî Putus, el di atun Achilles, Que si sinti man duele na corazon lang. Ta canta pa ba ‘le dueto junto su hermano “Devoted to You”, daw Foreverly Brothers?

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Y el kambal man-hermano, Bilolino y Bilonio, Karatista Tagalista y maga barraco del barraca? Si Bill ya man taklas na citadel del maga mongja Para lleva hui con su novia que ya queda novata. Ya pasma lang su pulmon, ya padece le daw un Simoun, No hay mas gana resulla sin un amor, Dejando cun su hermano, dol su retrato de color. Si, bibo pa si Bill na cuerpo de su hermano que si Lone. Ta acorda pa ba tu el de tu storia antes, Aquel del un gordo gente con quien ya lancia? Habla pa tu, cuando el puñal ya hila ya desde el hirida Ya man ngisi lang ‘se, y na hirida de su dedo ya chucha. Hasta ahora ta sonri pa ‘se conmigo, Un gente que quiere con su mismo muerte tantia. Como cay una bes lang ‘se ay sucede como el vida corto, Tantia ya lang gane, cay ay pasa ya. El de su porma ta plota na mi imaginacion, Dol na un mar de humo, de asul del oscuriciada, Este el hiro que hende ta sufri na miedo, Cay si corto man gane el vida, déjà ya lang corta.

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El vida corto hende como de atun que bien planiao, Pero amo gane lang, llega na punta, ay corta siempre, maskin largo, Y maskin envidia man kita kanila, Al llear el tiempo puede pa kita copia. Amo siguro el mining del existencia: Que si tiene man fuego, humo lang ta queda, Quema ya lang si quema, ansina ya gayot el storia, Y na fin de ese no mas ya conversa.

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Second Letter to Cesar Marquez You used to live in Sta. Catalina That’s elbow-to-elbow with Sta. Barbara, What’s said to be the sty of the unwashed and of barbarity, Where from the distance one can hear The sea hanging sighs on the sea wall. Let’s build a fire by the roadside To bring back by smoky incantation The ashy apparition of old man Narag, Prince of the Shakespearean sonnet. In his hands he holds before him A copy of the old, peace-time Free Press, And as his eyes hold back tears, Declaims his poem in English like a denunciation. But the lives of others there are far shorter, Lives of martyrs who mock death in the face, Lives short-fused, firecracker bursts, but then so many, They make one grand feast, a night of stars. Where now is Jî, our very own Achilles, Body so tough only his heart was ever hurt? Does he still sing duets with his brother Like “Devoted to You” by Foreverly Brothers? And the twins Bilolino and Bilonio, Tagalog-speaking karatekas, the bulls of the barracks? Bill tried to scale the monastery walls To take back his sweetheart who had taken vows. 163


What he got was pneumonia, and wasted away like Simoun, Losing delight in breathing without love, Leaving behind his brother like a color-photograph. Yes, Bill lives on in the body of his brother who is Lone. Do you still remember the story that you told me long ago About this corpulent man who had been stabbed, Who, just as the assailant pulled out his knife, Just grinned and put a finger in the wound? The guy still grins at me till now, A man who wants to touch his own death So as not to miss something as fleeting as life, So short one had better feel it before it goes. The short life is so unlike ours that’s so well planned (Although at the very end it’s still cut short) And though we may envy them all, At the very end we could still imitate them. Perhaps such is the meaning of existence, That where there is fire will afterwards be smoke. Burn if we must then, that is our story, And at the end of it stop talking.

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The Spurner Mouth shaped the words to say stop pummeling That raggedy Ann down there. Look up here! I’ll be right down. But can anyone hear? I’ll dive into my body from the ceiling. From then on this heart has fought back, beating For every right to what it holds most dear. Humbled, it vowed never to leave this sphere. But what are the clouds—the sky—concealing? Birds crisscross the garden, having returned From wintering south—not somewhere in space. Like sap the blood is conjured by the sun, Yet the heart’s the burner till itself is burned To power flight—but to what dark embrace? Likely nowhere but to desolation.

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For Father G. From harmony, from heavenly harmony The universal frame began. — John Dryden In class, Father, you would pull out your belt From under your white priest-skirts (Having turned your back to us for that purpose) Then turn around to face us, That leather thing in your hand quivering with life, All as your sterling tongue, fat tip like a bell striker in the air, Heart-stopped us, tolled our common doom. Jesus, you said, was a man’s man, Not some lily-toting wimp. He had come—not to bring peace—but a sword. But the choir-loft, which a few of us damp birds braved, Turned out to be a haven from your tempests— It seemed too sacred for any high display. In the stillness of the empty school-chapel The sound of your baton, that tap-tap-tapped us to attention, Seemed like soft rain. But as you drew us into that lair of sound, That suddenly marvelous dome, That all our puny voices, somehow, had vaulted to create, By fusing, each into each, Arches of airy communion, I felt fear, that old familiar, return, catch at my throat, As I realized I had lost track of my own voice. 166


Like a fish in a tank, I moved my jaws, Deaf to myself, yet all along Listening to the strains of O Sacrum Convivium Rise and fall like one slow wave Until it reached the shore of silence. There I found myself Among the other awkward angels, Wondering where I had been, And taking deep breaths, at last. But that wand of yours surely could rein us in, Father, Where just one voice breaking, or breaking through, Would have rent the dome of heaven. It seems then that the fate of any angel Is never to hear a single note he sings, But rather to commune with space, that void, With neither fear nor vanity— Or else the roof falls in

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168

Help me. I can’t. Sometimes, two words cry. Two words bleed and two words die. Two words search for someone to eat ice cream in Paris with and someone to kiss in the rain. For someone to joke around, ease out, and lessen the pain.

Be still. I’m here. Sometimes, two words give you everlasting promises more than politicians can ever give. Two words make you believe the moment you thought you’ve lost your faith in magic. Two words bring you to a house full of hope, lock the door, and keep you starving at night. Starving for love and affection, craving for explanation.

I am. You are. Most of the time, two words do not express a whole thought. Two words make you wait for continuation. Two words are just incomplete. They are cliff-hangers that leave you holding on. Holding on to those lips delaying emotions that you badly want to understand.

Two Words

venjovi v. pondevida


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Please, stay.

But sometimes, no matter how many words you utter, it cannot change a single thing. Sometimes, your tongue fails to say what your heart intends to sing. Sometimes, two words are enough.

Kill me. Sometimes, two words could be a vice. A poison that tastes bitter in your mouth. Noise that resonates loudly in your ears. Wreckage that hauntingly blinds your pretty eyes. Two words could be the fire you carelessly created, burning your flawless skin.

Let go. I’m tired. Sometimes two words stab you in the heart with a shattered glass from your mom’s kitchenware. Two words kill you like Jesus’ death, resurrecting you after three days, only to kill you again. Two words loosen your hand from the grip you’ve been giving your whole life but can no longer bear. They protect you, harm you, hug you, and push you away. They are something so little and so easy to say yet so big and hard to decipher.


November In another life, it is November. The world crafted the word ‘we’ for us. Not just you, not just I. We take the love we believe we deserve. We possess our own planet. We are our own orbit. We create our music from silence, water from drought, and our own light from the dark. We are beyond magnificent. In another life, it is November. You are resting your head on my shoulder. You say I smell like vanilla. Vanilla is bizarre, I’d tell you but we just hold hands, never wondering how God created such perfectly-fitting fingers. You are my king. I am your Wendy. We always play hide and seek. I hide all my fears in bushes so thick no one could see them except you. You seek for all the answers we have lived to marvel and turn our question marks into exclamation points. We are beyond sensational. In another life, it is November. With my eyes closed, I still see you. With your mouth shut, I still hear you. The world is colored, we are black and white but we never felt out of place. We never wanted to be Romeo and Juliet. We know we are better. We are answering questions we don’t even know existed. We exchange breaths, so in sync with one another, that we can live underwater and not worry about drowning. We are beyond impossible. In another life, it is November.

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Your touch feels like a supernova. I am a blighted star—in the best way. I am not shattered. I am not crushed. I am twinkling in shreds. My pieces flash the bliss of the memories we unceasingly protect like pirates to their treasures. We try to measure the affection we share but soon realize that no unit can describe how we feel and we are just that strong. So strong, no mountain, no wave, no eclipse, no quake can tear us apart. We are beyond resilient. We are spirited. We are bursting with power. In another life, it is November. We are the flowers that bloom in the garden of Persephone. We are the harp that Cupid is playing melodically. We are the trees that sway along the storms. We are the polar bears that cuddle each other during winter, knowing that no other season is waiting for us. We are the arrow brave archers release. We are everything beautiful. Everything meaningful. Everything stunning. We are beyond lovely. Beyond lovely. Beyond… We were there for a moment but ‘there’ is in another life. And that was November. Our November.

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jamie bernadette c. cabayacruz

Wait You said you wanted to hear three words But I always say it in ways you don’t notice Like the way I stare into your gleaming eyes The way I sing you songs on gloomy days And I waited Like waiting for the 8:15 train, or for a flight, or for you to tell me everything. But then the waiting hurts me. It feels like a drag. I am no longer sure what is coming. I don’t know it exactly, but I am hoping I am imagining my life with it; living with you And the wait heats up It makes a fist in my heart; so shallow I can barely breathe And I am reminded of how much I want to burst To tell you the three words I yearn so much for you to hear This I want you to know: I just don’t love you like the way I love my coffee With two teaspoons of sugar in it Or the way I love scribbling at 2 a.m. Or my John Mayer playlist on happy days. I love you in a way I have never loved anyone else And that scares me Because I have so much of you in my heart I have the kind of love for you that consumes me. So please, wait for me. Wait with me.

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kent kerby bayona

He Matters From where he’d come from everything is so small Neither from arid lands nor from distant shores From where he lives the lightning is his beacon Dancing to and fro on thunder eruption Freedom, fatuous lies of civilization Lethal lies like an effervescing poison He trod on dry devil’s earth like what you hate Worm and scavenge your minds, Judaize your faith Scapegoat for hero’s glory, innocent villain Crucified for a gene he cannot alter He can’t earn the love and mercy of his father He’s a whore, sodomizes his close musketeers Curiously how heavy things are guns For he cannot earn a sense of significance Slit his throat and watch his sad life leave his eyes Thrall to failed mutation of witless human distrust He’s nothing but a drop in an endless sea What is a sea but a multitude of drops From where he comes from, people are fools to not see That here on earth, he matters like you and me

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heidelyn tan and xavier agraviador

2o

Day__3__11__17__20__ the room was small and plain white with no windows. The only thing in it was the bed I was on, a wooden chair next to it, and a table. On the table was a vase containing a flower and a digital clock. 9:00 a.m. it read. I asked it if it was accurate. The clock didn’t reply. The door opened and someone entered. It was a boy whose entire mouth was covered in multiple overlapping yellow tapes with various words written on them; I could vaguely make out the words “Caution” and “Do Not Speak.” His right hand was raised, and on his open palm was perched a silver crow. His arms were wrapped in watches of all kinds. The boy sat on the wooden chair and jerkily moved the fingers of his open palm. “Miss, how are your injuries?” The Crow squawked. I told the boy that it hurt and that I recalled being shot multiple times by unknown figures. I became aware of my own blood painting the marble floor little by little. It seeped through the poorly wrapped bandages around my body, and it was then that I understood. I asked him where he found me. The Crow laughed and replied that I was found unconscious approximately two days, nineteen hours, and thirty minutes ago. He glanced at his watches. “I see.” I tried sitting up but felt the searing pain in my sides. The boy came to my aid and sat me up. I noticed that he was holding a knife. Without warning, I grabbed it and pressed the tip to his neck. He merely stared at the knife, and then his black orbs darted towards mine and seemed to smile. Suddenly the knife dispersed into snakes of electric bolts. They squirmed down my hands, making me jerk back. Then out the door they went. “The electricity went out,” the bird stated as the boy pulled back. “You do not have the means to keep the energy with you, I guess.” 174


I glared at all the yellow tape around his mouth. “Why don’t you say what you think?” “Because no one has the ears to hear me,” the Crow replied. “You don’t need ears to say something,” I retorted. “Opinions, opinions,” the boy mimicked with his free hand. “There’s a column for that in the newspapers.” I shook my head and thought against saying anything more. There was no use reasoning with the unreasonable, but then again, rarely are my cries heard. Instead, I diverted our attention to another topic that needed to be addressed. “That flower,” I motioned to the one on the table. “You cannot take it away from me. Neither the soil you plant it in nor the water you shower it with will keep it alive.” The boy stated that it was his now and that I was not to take it back. I told him that he cannot take without giving something back in return. He didn’t answer and merely looked at his watches. “I’ll feed you, I’ll tend to you, but you must stay here.” The boy stepped back and headed for the door. “And who do you think you are to say all of this to me?” I demanded. “My name is Generation. But I am called Gen,” the Crow said as Gen was already halfway through the door. “You, I know very well. You were a companion to me before anyone else.” His last remark was, “I always thought I would never outlive you, but that I am questioning now.” Day__3__11__17__20__ I’ve lost track of time; the clock died not too long ago, although it always did make me ponder why he would need a lot of watches. Everyone today is hard pressed for time that they carry it around with them, I should think, or are running after it and seek to contain it. 175


I briefly wondered if I would suffer the same fate as the clock. Neglect often yields unwanted repercussions and not many notice nor care. I know though that time is still moving outside these walls. I’ve been wondering too why my friends haven’t found me yet; is it that hard to reach me? I tried clawing at the door, but it was locked from the other side. “I have the key.” Gen once said. He even dangled it in front of me, but never let me have it. That Satan spawn. “I brought your clothes.” The Crow chirped as Gen entered. “You should stop adorning yourself in vibrant colours, they don’t suit you.” The bells jingled as he unceremoniously dumped my clothes on the bed. They were a mixture of blue, pink, green and yellow; they were fastened together with thick fibres. I was one of the most colorful among our group and I was proud of it. I noticed that some areas were stitched together or were otherwise patched completely. “You sewed the bullet holes closed? You struck me as someone lazy,” I commented after I changed into my attire. “I will feel ashamed if you wore rags. We are bound after all.” The boy rolled his eyes as he watered the flower. It was black and crippled, barely kept up by the porcelain vase. “That flower is dead.” I chuckled. “It’s a stubborn flower that does not accept water.” Gen grimaced. “That’s because you’re feeding it the wrong kind...” I tilted my head to the side. “...and the wrong way.” “Like the way you came to be here?” The Crow said. “How so?” I strode over to where he was and sat down on the wooden chair. The ordeal was a pained one; I was far from recovery. “I shot you,” the Crow said casually. “I figured,” I sighed. “Why?” “Because you’re beautiful.” I laughed harshly. “Did you want this beauty for yourself?” The watering can fell from his hands and clattered to the ground. He was laughing, but no sound came out of his mouth; his shoulders shook and the Crow cackled. “No, what I want is something only you can give me.” His eyes grinned at me. I was caught off guard when he lunged forward and grabbed a fistful of my dark hair. He shoved 176


me aside; my hand accidentally struck the vase. It landed on the floor with a loud crash. I felt all my wounds re-opening as I landed on the sharp glass. While I struggled to get to my feet, he had already picked up the flower and thrown it at my direction. When I caught it the leaves turned green and the petals began to regain its colour. The process stopped midway, but its former appearance was evident. I raised my head and Gen was already in front of me, he clutched my hand with both of his hands as the crow went to stand on the table, watching us as the flower began to live fully and pulsate once again. Its radiant petals bloomed and shone as flower roots coiled around both our hands. I tried to pull back, wanting to rid myself of his grip. He tightened his hold until my hands bled and the flower absorbed it like nutrients. Gen released my hand immediately so that I was unable to keep my grasp on the flower. He snatched it away and stepped back. The flower wilted away slowly as Gen tried desperately to keep it alive. “You can’t keep the flower alive on your own,” I said, cradling my wounded hands and trying to ignore the ache in my wounds. “You need me.” “I know. That’s why I hate you!” He threw the flower against the wall; it crashed and created a gaping hole. The walls seemed to rebuild itself almost immediately and like rubber, it pushed the flower out and on the ground it fell again. This time, no one made a move to retrieve it. The Crow flew over to Gen and positioned itself on his palm. Without another word, Gen stormed off and left me to my own devices. I staggered over to the flower and I took comfort in its recovery and my momentary reprieve. Day__3__11__17__20__ “This room is so soundless. I cannot hear the cries of the war,” I remarked. I could still feel the pain like flames in my body, the bullets were deep and not all of them were extracted. A cut barely heals without another one opening up but that’s just how it is. I had 177


the flower tucked behind my ear, in its rightful place. Gen and I were at a standstill but he seemed to have calmed down considerably. “You do hear them. You hear the war inside this room,” the Crow said as Gen motioned around and then pointed at himself. “And in here.” I nodded and asked him when he thought this would all end. “War never stops. He just rests for a bit and leaves us with an illusion of peace in his wake.” was his answer. “He is one of the busiest of us all. It makes me think of another such individual and of when I will receive my scheduled visit. I imagine it’s not too long.” I allowed him to hear the sarcasm in my voice. “You cannot live alone,” he said. “Not now, no. Not after what you’ve done to me.” I tilted my head to the side. “Oh, I’ve been meaning to ask. Why is there a gun on the table?” When he had entered the room, there was a gun in his hand. I thought that he finally had enough and was going to shoot me. Instead he set it down on the table and there it stayed. “Let’s have a race.” the Crow said. “The gun has one bullet. We both reach for it and whoever gets to it first must kill the other.” “I don’t see how killing someone you need helps.” I raised an eyebrow. “There are two ways to get out of this room,” The Crow said, “You shoot me and then you can get the key, or I shoot you and you die.” The instant Gen finished his sentence I sped to the table, swiped the gun, held it firmly, and aimed at his face. The boy didn’t even make an effort to lunge forward for the pistol. The Crow’s eyes glinted as it burrowed its eyes deep into mine, almost challenging me to pull the trigger. I stood there, gun cocked, finger ready to pull the trigger and shoot him. “Once he’s dead, I can escape,” I thought, with my mind racing a little. My eyes looked on, preparing to see blood splatter. Now both the boy and the Crow were staring deep into my eyes, it was almost intimidating. The stress broke me down into a cold sweat. I don’t know how long I’ve been standing but Gen got tired of waiting as he glanced at his watches. He effortlessly snatched the gun 178


away from my hands and pressed it up under my chin. The bells in my clothes jingled, startled as I was at how easily I was overpowered. Was I finally about to receive that scheduled visit? “Are you afraid of death?” The Crow whispered eerily. I kept quiet. Perhaps I’d be kept quiet forever after this... I heard a loud click. The sound made me wince... and after a while it made me look down. The gun wasn’t loaded. “You’re a liar,” I murmured, tired. “Aren’t we all?” Gen cackled. A vein snapped in my head. I grabbed the gun from his grasp, aimed... and pulled the trigger. Day__3__11__17__20__ I shot the bird. That was a few days ago. Now I sit on the bed. The memory was still fresh in my mind. I flinched from the recoil as a deafening blast echoed around the room. The boy stared at me, his eyes nearly popping from his sockets as bits of silver feathers danced to the floor. The Crow’s dead body lay charred and unmoving by the far wall. After killing it with an unloaded gun, I looked at it in disgust. Tears rolled down the boy’s cheek. I dropped the gun and advanced toward him, wiping his tears, caressing his warm cheeks and slowly peeling the yellow tape off his lips. “You should stop adorning yourself with barriers and things you cannot control. They don’t suit you.” Underneath were his lips, pink and untouched. “Speak,” I demanded. “Why did you do that?” Gen whimpered. His voice was surprisingly angelic. “I need him. He is who I send to hear and see for me.” “You have all those so use them. It’s different than listening to the story tales of others or viewing a picture that you can’t see beyond.” “He is my voice—” I slapped him hard in the face and with it, I hope some sense came with. 179


“I want to help you, but I also don’t want to help you. I want to leave you but I can’t,” he said, after calming down and holding his bruised cheek. Gen suddenly stood in front of me and brought me out of reverie. “You are a funny young man, but you are also prideful and irritable.” I chuckled. “And you are an old fashioned woman. Not my type at all,” he retorted. and I laughed at him. “You’re just saying that because I have a flower on my ear and you don’t.” “Then, maybe you can help me find one.” He smirked. I picked the flower from my ear and held it out to him. We held it together, and the flower fully bloomed to life. I plucked a few petals and told him to hold his hand out. He did and I covered it with mine. When I removed it, the pearl shone. “Only petals. If you take them all then there will be nothing left. The flower would have lost all its beauty. I would be drained of it too,” I said. “Many still think that you’re beautiful even without it.” “Do you?” “I do.” “There are more flowers outside,” I said. He fished out the key from out of his pocket and opened the door. With the smirk still on his face, he led me out the door. “Ah, wait Zamboanga,” He turned back to me. “Let me get my umbrella, you never know when it might rain.” The End

180


pristine janielle f. padua

No Te Vayas

it is coincidental to think that Zamboanga’s one and only runway starts and ends in two different cemeteries. The runway spans around three kilometers in length and runs through four barangays. I would like to think that when I leave this life, I would be on an airplane to get to my final destination; not on one erstwhile carosa or funeral car, to be lowered into a six-foot deep trench on the ground. But if I do get to be buried in the grave of my forefathers, I would like this to be engraved on my tombstone: sancho saavedra 1942–2012 “here lies a man who in life stood six feet tall; now he lies in repose six feet under.” I am sorry, but that is all that one old man stuck inside his sweltering casket can think of, especially when he is attending his own misa entierro—his own funeral mass. I must say, when I was a boy I never did like hearing mass. I remember being an altar boy in my youth, and the parish priest back then always reminded me of Rizal’s Padre Damaso, except that I later found out he was gay, and unlike Rizal’s antagonist, he lived until a ripe 9o years old. In my teenage years, often I found myself in the priest’s antechamber behind the pulpit, being sniffed at by the cura. “Ah,” he would always say, “bambino olor chico.” Indeed, I did smell like the chico fruit. Even my own mother used to tell me that all the time. But I know that the cura did not mean the fruit. Chico is a kind of fleshy fruit that often smells like brewed beer. Beside the parish church is a small orchard of mango and chico trees. As a child, this was my playground. As a teenager, too. This was where my amigos and I would hang out before and after serving mass. 181


Always we were high up in the trees, trading back and forth a bottle of cerveza, or beer. My favorite tree to perch on was one where an engraving of my name was carved deep into the trunk of a mango tree. I had always pointed this out to my Mama as a child. “Hijo,” she would say, “better from that tree than there,” and she points to someplace beyond the orchard, “in the cemetery.” In actuality, the barangay’s cemetery is farther than beyond the direction of the orchard she once pointed out. But since we were colonized by the Spaniards, and they introduced to us the “proper” arrangement of amenities, then yes, our parish church has been directly parallel to the cemetery, with some twenty houses in between; with the escuela directly perpendicular to the church. Funny you should ask why my name is on the mango tree, or my mother naming me after the carving. Truth be told, my mother had me when my father was not around. Truth be really told, I do not have a father. All I know about him is that he was an enlisted man whose behind was sent here after the Japs blew off Pearl Harbor. To add to the irony, my mother did not even catch his surname; she simply called him John. I, being an illegitimate child, had to use my mother’s surname instead. Now, as to why I share a name with a mango tree? Simple: come the time for me to be baptized, Mama was still distressed about John leaving the country, that she had no other name for me but John. Now, Mama’s parents Papalolo and Mamalola did not like the notion of me being named after my father. So what Papalolo and Mamalola did was, they brought Mama to the orchard and told her to pick a tree at random. I do not know how the names got carved into the trees in the first place, but I figured at least I am not John. Mama even says the first tree she saw had the name Quixote on it. Good grief! I am now done with a sixteenth of my life’s stories, and the mass has not yet ended. Come to think of it, this barong I am wearing is a tad too thick and itchy. And good riddance! I have shoes on. As I lie here silently in my casket, wishing I could scratch my itchy nose and toes, I suddenly come up with another tombstone epitaph:

182


sancho saavedra 1942–2012 “here lies a man who in life had no foes; now he cannot scratch his nose nor reach his toes.” But of course, that is not entirely true. Who in their lifetime had no foes? Well I knew someone who knew this guy who had a missing toe. Sin verguenza! Who was that? And why is the glass on my coffin suddenly wet? Oh hey. They are calling on the immediate family for the last viewing. Technically, it is the second to the last viewing because it is customary for the coffin to be opened once again in the cemetery before interment. Oh hey, there goes my eldest… and there goes my youngest. Oh come now, children, be happy for Daddy; lighten up, subi ya yo na cielo. I hope. And there goes the love of my life, my wife Rita. She was your typical all-American girl: blonde hair and blue eyes. I met her during those days when the Philippine government sent scholars to study in the United States. When we were recalled back by then president Macapagal in the ‘60s, Rita decided to come with me. So we came back to the Philippines together, and Mama was ever so happy when she met Rita. Dios mio! What was that? Oh look. They are bringing me to the hearse, to get to the cemetery. Since the church is on the same street as the cemetery, with the funeral car running at ten miles an hour, and my family and well-wishers need only walk at a similar pace, I might as well be cremated first given this inferno I am already in. Anyway, who gets buried at high noon? Surely, even the presidents don’t. Oh well. At last, we finally reach our family’s plot in the cemetery. I do not know why, but I find my palms suddenly clammy, and the front of my barong wet. As if my heart could not beat any faster, the local barangay band with a French horn starts playing a slow rendition of “No Te Vayas de Zamboanga.” As I understand, it is a song of not wanting to leave, or of not wanting to go. I do not intend to go, nor do I want to stay; so instead I sing along to somewhat sundry tunes: 183


For myself: No te vayas, no te vayas de Zamboanga Que me puedes, que me puedes olvidar No te vayas, no te vayas, ni me dejes Que yo sin ti, no puedo estar For my wife: No llores, paloma mia No llores que volvere No llores que en cuando llegue Paloma mia, te escribire For you: Con un pluma de ave Y un pedazo de papel Con la sangre de mis venas Paloma mia, te escribire. As they close my casket for the last time, I stare silently into the faces of those I love, bidding them my last goodbye. Gulping down my last gasps of breath, I think of another tombstone: sancho saavedra 1942–2012 “cause of death: buried alive.” Nope. Not really. Perhaps this is what death is about; half of you knows you are fully alive and well, but then again the other half believes you are dead. And just before I thought I was really going, I felt a cool, feminine hand on my arm. “Sir,” a feminine voice said, “We have arrived.” “What?” I try to sit up, only to be slammed back against a cushioned chair. I am wearing a seatbelt. I find myself inside an airplane. Sin verguenza!

184


paul alfonse j. marquez

Mother Knows Best characters rosco – 21, graduating student mother toribio – 50, Rosco’s mother kaye – 17, Rosco’s girlfriend time and setting Rosco’s bedroom at night The last bells of the Angelus are heard from outside the house. It is around dinner time. The bedroom is dim but we see a bookshelf, a TV set with a DVD player, a desk with a laptop, some luggage, one door that leads to the bathroom, the other entrance to Rosco’s room, and a bed. Two bodies are seen moving from under the bed sheets;

mother toribio

(Shouts off stage) Rosco, come ya! (The two twisting and giggling under the sheets. We can hear footsteps. MOTHER TORIBIO opens the door, and turns on the lights.) Susmariajosep!

rosco

Ma! (Gets out of bed and quickly wears his shorts and shirt.)

mother toribio

Rosco! Cosa vos ta hace alli?!

rosco

Ah. No hay lang. 185


mother toribio

(Looks at the lump under the sheets and makes her way toward it.) Quien se de vos uban?

rosco

Ah. No hay… Si… Ah…Wait!

MOTHER TORIBIO pulls at the sheets and sees a girl wearing only her underwear. We can see the development of her reaction from shock, to disbelief, then rage. kaye

(Mouth wide and lets out a small cry) Oh, my God!

mother toribio

Sin verguenza vos Rosco! Maga no hay huya!

rosco

Wait, Ma, I can explain.

mother toribio

(To KAYE) Vesti daw vos camisa, Neng! Senior, mi anak, mi hijo, un poco delicadeza tambien, Rosco!

KAYE picks up her clothes and covers herself with the sheet. She dresses underneath it. rosco

But we aren’t doing anything wrong, Ma!

mother toribio

Ta pensa kamo ayer lang conmigo ya nace! Y hende pa bien vieja para hace lang consuelo de bobo?!

rosco

Ma, calm down!

mother toribio

Hende iyo kalma! (Walks toward ROSCO then pulls at his shirt and drags him away from KAYE.) Si ay sabe el de atun maga uban na parokya, cosa ya lang sila habla?! Ha?! Na el hijo de Senyora Toribio un fornicador! Que horror!

186


rosco

Ma! I don’t think anybody would know. (Shrugs off his mother’s hand from his shirt.)

mother toribio

Onde vos se ya aprende man rason ansina? Amo se con vos ya enseña ese mujer? Rosco, inca y resa para de vos maga pecado! Ahora mismo! (Points at KAYE.) Y vos tambien! (Rosco’s mother clutches the rosary around her neck.) Senior, perdona con mi anak. Ya man mal influensiya lang conele el demonyo. (MOTHER TORIBIO takes the rosary from around her neck, kneels, and begins to pray rapidly and silently.) San Bellarmine, San Realino, San Benedicto, resa para na mi anak!

She does this for awhile, and then looks at ROSCO. mother toribio

Hende ba ya habla yo inca?! Inca, Rosco! (Points at KAYE.) Vos tambien! Inca!

ROSCO kneels. KAYE leaves the bed fully dressed, bows her head, and gets her luggage. kaye

Sorry po. Nakakahiya po sa inyo.

mother toribio

(Points at KAYE.) Onde bo anda?

kaye

Uhm… Mauuna na po ako… ma’am.

mother toribio

Alli lang vos! Inca, ahora mismo!

KAYE steps back and kneels beside ROSCO. mother toribio

No hay pa yo principia con vos! Cosa de vos nombre?

187


kaye

Uhm…

mother toribio

Cosa de vos nombre? Contesta!

kaye

Kaye po.

mother toribio

Kaye? Cosa clase nombre se, ha? Cosa apelyido? De donde vos?

kaye

Uhm…

rosco

Ma, stop it!

mother toribio

Contesta!

kaye

Uhm…

rosco

Ma, stop it. Please.

mother toribio

(Looks at ROSCO and gestures with her hands wildly.) Hende yo con vos tan cuento! (Directs her attention to KAYE and shouts:) Contesta!

KAYE starts to cry.

rosco

(ROSCO stands and shouts:) Ma, stop it!

ROSCO sits beside KAYE and embraces her. MOTHER TORIBIO is shocked and brings a hand to cover her mouth and with her other hand, clutches the rosary to her chest. mother toribio

188

Ansina vos ta contesta na de vos nana? No hay respeto?


ROSCO does not reply. Rosco’s mother stands up, walks toward ROSCO and grabs the sleeve of his shirt and drags him away from KAYE. mother toribio

Ansina yo con vos ya hace engranda, Rosco?

ROSCO shrugs off his mother’s grip, and goes to comfort the sobbing KAYE. mother toribio

Yo el de vos nana! Y ansina vos ta trata conmigo? (MOTHER TORIBIO grabs her rosary. She starts to sob and pray.) San Miguel, San Rafael, y todo maga angel na cielo, purga con el demonia na cuerpo de mi hijo!

rosco

Ma, you’re overreacting! Why do you have to embarrass me like this?!

mother toribio

Tan huya vos por causa conmigo? Iyo, ta hace huya con vos? Evo! Evo el debe man huya aqui! Evo, ta lleva-lleva conese…conese seductora!

kaye

Nakakahiya po sa inyo, but I didn’t seduce him, Mma’am. We both did it with consent.

ROSCO is shocked at Kaye’s outspokenness. MOTHER TORIBIO turns her attention to KAYE, and stalks toward her. mother toribio

Bien valiente gat vos contesta?!

kaye

Gusto ko lang po liwanagin. I did not seduce your son.

mother toribio

Na por que man vos taqui? Para cosa se de vos bagahe ha?

189


rosco

Kaye, wait!

kaye

Pasensya na po. Di ko po alam na nandito kayo. Rosco said we could wait here before we leave for the bus terminal at 10. But then one thing led to another, tapos ayun na.

mother toribio

(To ROSCO) Ha? Sigue se con vos? Pensaba bay o junto vos de vos amigo anda Dumaguete?

rosco

I am, Ma. But she’s also coming with me.

mother toribio

(Drained and tired as if about to faint) No hay gayot vos huya Rosco! Ya embusti vos conmigo!

ROSCO sits MOTHER TORIBIO down by the chair at his desk. She fans herself. rosco

Ma, I didn’t actually lie. I just didn’t say she’ll be coming with me.

kaye

(To ROSCO) Hindi mo pala sinabi sa Mama mo? I thought okay na sa kanya.

mother toribio

Sin verguenza vos Rosco! No mas ya vo sale. No mas vos man bakasyon!

rosco

What? You can’t! I’ve been planning this for a year now! And you already said yes months ago!

mother toribio

Ta protecta lang yo mi hijo na buling del mundo.

rosco

Ma, I’m not a kid anymore! I’m not that innocent.

kaye

Not as innocent as you think. (Embraces ROSCO.) 190


MOTHER TORIBIO stands up and walks toward ROSCO to grab his sleeve. mother toribio

Ay, onde ba yo yan kamali con vos Rosco? Ya hace man iyo todo bueno para con vos! Enbuenamente yo con vos ya hace grande! Onde iyo yan kamali con vos?

rosco

Ma, please stop that now. Please listen.

mother toribio

Cosa man yo necesita sabe? Kay mi anak un fornicador?!

rosco

Ma, listen! Kaye is my girlfriend. We’re together. Please understand that.

mother toribio

Hijo! Hende se amo ansina. Na tiempe de amun, ta manda anay conose y ta pedi pa kame permiso con el de amun maga parientes. Cuanto anyo ya ba se de vos novia?

ROSCO rolls his eyes and is about to answer when Kaye interrupts for him. kaye

I’m 17 po.

mother toribio

Disisyete?! Senior! Hay Rosco! Evos pa gale mismo ta busca dolencia de cabeza! Evos gale el cradle snatcher alli!

rosco

What the?! It’s just a four year gap. You and dad had a difference of thirteen years!

191


mother toribio

(Gets a fan from her pocket and starts fanning herself.) Loco vos! No mas vos hace bira con el cuento! Otro cuento ya se! No hay pa gane vos gradua colegio, tan pilit-pilit ya vos na de vos novia!

rosco

Ma! You and dad got married a year before you graduated!

mother toribio

Si taqui lang quel de vos tata, God rest his soul, kamatis ya vos!

rosco

You’re not listening to reason.

mother toribio

Basta ya se cuento! Iyo siempre de vos nana, evos siempre mi hijo!

rosco

I’m 21 years old. I’m not a—

kaye

He’s a big boy now.

ROSCO and his mother look at KAYE. Rosco’s mother freaks out a bit. mother toribio

Santisima! (Looks at ROSCO.) Palta pa gaha mi pagkastricto con vos! Por causa se na internet, todo ya lang pornografiya!

rosco

(Flails his arms in the air) Hah! Ma! I’m a guy, it’s—

kaye

It’s normal naman po. Lalaki naman siya.

ROSCO and his mother look at KAYE again.

192


rosco

Anyway, don’t talk to me about porn, Ma. I found your stash of dildos and vibrators when I was in high school, and to this day, I still know where you keep them.

mother toribio

Hoy! No hay mas gane vos respeto, ahora ta acusa pa vos conmigo! Pendeho vos! No hay vos huya! Del de vos quel tia! Sabe ya man vos, dalaga vieja quel!

rosco

You don’t have to deny it, Ma. They had stickers with your name on it.

Rosco’s mother does not answer but just keeps on fanning herself. KAYE covers her mouth with her hand as she smiles. mother toribio

(Shuts the fan and points it at KAYE) No vos ri-ri alli! (Points at ROSCO) Por que man iyo ahora na spotlight? Evos el culpable, acabar ahora ta hace vos bira conmigo? Pati por que vos tan cuento conmigo ansina, ha, Rosco?

ROSCO does not answer. mother toribio

Cosa man, Rosco?! Contesta pa?! Santa Madre! Hay! Cosa pa iyo necesita sabe, Rosco? Manyakul ya vos, ta lleva pa vos de vos novia aqui na casa, y hende pa vos ta respeta conmigo?! (Looks and points at KAYE) Y evos! Evos gat se el demonyo!

rosco

(Shouts) Ma! Why do you make things so difficult? Why do you have to make a scene like everything needs divine intervention? Besides, look who’s talking. You’re the one with the vibrator!

193


kaye

(Hits ROSCO on the shoulder) Ano ka ba? Below the belt yun ah!

mother toribio

Ansina gale ha?! Grounded vos hasta de vos graduation!

rosco

I’m too old for that to work!

mother toribio

(Drops her jaw and crosses herself) San Martin de Porres, San Benedicto, San Miguel, y San Rafael… Cosa ta pasa con vos, Rosco?!

rosco

I grew up and got a mind of my own, Ma.

Silence. KAYE sits at the foot of the bed and ROSCO sits on one of the pieces of luggage facing his mother. rosco

The bus leaves at 10 p.m. We’ll be waiting here until then. I hope you don’t mind.

mother toribio

Hende vos anda!

rosco

You already said yes months ago.

mother toribio

Hende vos anda si junto le con vos.

kaye

Uhm… It’s not my place to ask. But it kind of is, pero bakit ayaw niyo po sa akin?

MOTHER TORIBIO does not answer. rosco

Ma, why don’t you like Kaye?

MOTHER TORIBIO still does not reply, but covers her face with her hands.

194


kaye

Bakit po?

rosco

Ma, please answer.

mother toribio

Kay ta ruba vos mi anak conmigo!

rosco

Ma, that’s not it. You’re still my mother.

mother toribio

(Crying) Hende mas vos ta ama conmigo!

rosco

Ma, don’t say that. I’m still your son. This doesn’t change anything.

mother toribio

(Sobbing) Hende! Mas quiere vos conele contra conmigo!

rosco

(Comforts MOTHER TORIBIO) Ma, I love you both. It’s just different. You’re my mother.

kaye

Opo. Iba naman ang pagmamahal na binibigay sa akin ni Rosco, iba rin po yung pagmamahal niya sa inyo.

mother toribio

(Turns to KAYE) Cosa vos ya habla? Manyak vos mujer vos!

rosco

Ma, calm down please. El de tu pression.

MOTHER TORIBIO weeps on Rosco’s shoulder. ROSCO looks at KAYE apologetically then turns his head and rests it on his mother’s. At the same time, MOTHER TORIBIO looks KAYE in the eye as if saying “In the end, I still win!” KAYE rolls her eyes at this. mother toribio

Anda pa tu man bakasyon? Deja tu conmigo aqui solo? 195


rosco

Yes Ma, I’m going, but don’t worry. It’s only for 10 days. I’ll be back before you know it.

mother toribio

Promise?

rosco

Promise, Ma.

kaye

Oh, my God, Rosco!

ROSCO and MOTHER TORIBIO end their hug. KAYE walks toward ROSCO and grabs his sleeve to pull him closer to her. She embraces him. kaye

(To MOTHER TORIBIO) Iwanan niyo na po ang anak niyo sa akin. Aalagaan at mamahalin ko siya. Don’t worry po.

mother toribio

Hoy! (Stands up) Ta pensa vos deja iyo con vos solo junto mi anak? Si sigue vos, sigue tambien yo para bisya con vos!

rosco

What?!

kaye

Ano?! Ano po ba problema niyo? Sobrang over-protective niyo!

mother toribio

Over-protective? Hende no! Si quiere gayot vos na mi anak, debe tiene chaperone.

rosco

Ma! That’s ridiculous!

kaye

Dapat ako ang may kailangan ng chaperone, hindi siya. At sira po ba kayo? Chaperone at this day and age? Come on!

196


mother toribio

Calla voca! Si no quiere kame, evos mujer vos, hende mas vos puede mira con Rosco hasta por cuando!

rosco

Don’t do this to me, Ma!

kaye

Well then, let him decide!

KAYE then violently kisses and frisks ROSCO in places that make MOTHER TORIBIO livid. MOTHER TORIBIO walks toward them and grabs ROSCO away from KAYE, standing in between them. mother toribio

Evos, mal imfluensiya vos na mi anak! (Grips Kaye’s arm tightly) Sin verguenza vos!

kaye

Aray! You’re hurting me!

rosco

Ma, stop! What are you doing?

mother toribio

(To KAYE) Puta de Babilonia! Un seductora!

rosco

(Tries to release KAYE from his mother’s grip) You’re hurting her! God damn it, Ma! (ROSCO drags his mother to the other side of the room and sits her on a chair. ROSCO goes to KAYE and embraces her).

MOTHER TORIBIO is shocked at what ROSCO has done and she begins to pray anew in her seat. mother toribio

Hay, San Pedro, San Garnet, San Ignacio resa para na mi anak y el su novia que ya lleva conele na mal!

197


rosco

(To KAYE) I’m sorry. She doesn’t mean everything. She’s just in shock.

kaye

Oh yes, she did! Sinaktan niya ako!

rosco

Take it easy. She’s just overreacting.

kaye

Overreacting?! She’s crazy! You’re crazy!

mother toribio

(Suddenly shouts) Gracias, Senyor! Ya oi tu mi reso! Man break ya mi anak con su novia demonya!

rosco

Ma! What the hell? Stop it!

kaye

Parang good idea ‘yon. I don’t want to be in a relationship like this.

rosco

What? What are you talking about? Don’t say things like that.

kaye

Ayaw kong tawaging isang demonya, isang seductora, o isang puta. At mas ayaw kong galing ito sa crazy mong mother! My own mother never called me that, nor does she insult you to your face!

mother toribio

Gracias, Senyor!

rosco

Let’s talk about this, please!

kaye

(Pulls at her luggage, walks toward the door, and is about to cry) I’m sorry. Hindi ko ‘to kaya.

mother toribio

Dejalo ya, Rosco. Manada pa mujer alli. Iyo ya bahala escuje para contigo.

kaye

Bye, Rosco. (KAYE exits) 198


rosco

No! Kaye!

mother toribio

(Stands up, arms raised) Gracias, Senyor!

ROSCO is shocked at KAYE leaving him. He just stands there until his mother grabs a chair and sits him in the middle of the room. His eyes are glassy, looking into space. mother toribio

No mas ya tu pensa conele. Manada pa otro mujer alli. Sabe tu, mas manada bonita na Dumaguete. Man enjoy tu alla. Tiene yo amiga de alla.

ROSCO just stares straight ahead. mother toribio

No mas ya tu man problema, hijo. Iyo ya bahala contigo. Ay, sabe ya yo! Un rato tu. (MOTHER TORIBIO goes to the bathroom)

MOTHER TORIBIO comes out with a basin of water and a sponge. She goes to ROSCO and starts taking off his shirt and giving him a sponge bath. She does this while singing a nursery rhyme. The set fades dark. Only the nursery rhyme is heard. FIN

199


Cedrick Zabala. Regatta Hermosa. Mixed media.

200


Vinta contra la Puesta del Sol. Digital photography.

201


Kenneth T. Chuacon. Marejada. Digital photography.

202


Mohammad Sarajan. Enormity. Digital photography.

203


Surveyor of Sunan. Digital photography.

204


The Malls Close at 8. Digital photography.

205


Four Goats and a Dog Come. Digital photography.

206


Joshua Jhune Bughao. Determination. Digital photography.

207


Masepla 1. Digital photography.

208


Masepla 2. Digital photography.

209


Dominic Ian Cabatit. You Can’t Paint Yourself a New Face. Watercolor on paper.

210


Girl and Flowers. Mixed media.

211


Not Very Healthy. Ballpoint pen on paper.

212


They’ll Never Believe What I Found Today. Watercolor on paper.

213


The Zamboanga Crisis. Pencil on paper.

214


Amihan F. Jumalon. Trojan Horse. Acrylic on canvas. 5 x 4 ft.

215


Temperance. Acrylic on canvas. 5 x 4 ft.

216


Lamplighter. Acrylic on canvas. 4 x 5 ft.

217


Mariana. Acrylic and charcoal on paper.

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Mariana 2. Acrylic and charcoal on paper.

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220




Introduction There is something about Cagayan de Oro that will make you feel rich and complete. It must have something to do with the rumored gold treasures hidden beneath the city. It could also be due to the fact that the city’s economy is continuously booming, with investors coming, tall buildings rising, and new businesses opening. However, we have got a strong feeling that it’s something more than that. The number of true friends you meet in this city is so unbelievable, you start feeling richer day by day. The widespread feeling of acceptance must be what triggers the feeling of completeness. In this city, instant connections quickly become lifetime commitments. In this city, stunning women in their 70s meet up for coffee breaks and telltales. In this city, tricycle drivers share cigarettes and complaints during noon breaks. Hence, the infamous dubbing of CdeO as the City of Golden Friendship. The literary works in this section revolve around connections people have made within the city. In the next few pages, you will meet a child longing for his father. You might also come across a story of love and loss. Maybe you’ll find a black and white photo colorful. What we can assure you is that after scanning through the pages, you will also feel complete. After all, it’s how we felt after picking these entries, so how could you ever feel otherwise? What’s even more unique about these masterpieces is that they are influenced by various subcultures. As a university located in the heart of Northern Mindanao, Xavier University has become a melting pot for young minds from various places in the region. Be they from the chilly mountains of Bukidnon or the salty island of Camiguin, every storyteller has had great encounters in this merry city; every artist has a picture he can’t get out of his head. The Crusader Publication believes that it is our job to present these encounters. By annually launching our Literary & Art Folio called 223


Veritas, we give everyone in the University the equal chance to see how their creativity looks like in print. We are happy to say that some students, alumni, and faculty are actually looking forward to Veritas, constantly asking about the submission dates and decided theme. So we’re fervently hoping that you get to enjoy and connect with the pieces in this section. Should you ever feel the utmost need for a best friend or simply someone to talk to, come to Cagayan de Oro and be prepared to make lasting, golden connections. Nitzschia Cassiopiea Beroe Lozarita Associate Editor January 2016

224




gino dolorzo

Cricket It is evening. Outside, the sound of a cricket is audible, breaking the night’s silence. It is true that the saddest thing in this world is lying alone in bed, listening to the cricket’s song, floating in resonance with the whimper of wind, leaves, and twigs, as if having a language of their own. There, now, the darkest night is becoming the bluest. As if its tone, single like its syllable, can speak about loneliness as silent and miserable as caressing a pillow lightly, enough to hold the weight of tears.

227


drowned for the streetchild who was found dead in the waters of Calaanan Creek, Cagayan de Oro after Typhoon Sendong

“cold,” i whisper to my palms a bit louder to the waters while i clench myself like a stone below this common ground next to darkness nobody knows me here here where daylight prior to its saving leaves no footfalls but shadows alone stalk me in silence captured by the vacuum pores of my body preparing for its plunge warmth departs from my skin like ripples on wave– 228


blown sand as the hours toss and turn and twist with all memories sunk deep before my thoughts go numb like ice below this common ground next to darkness “cold,� i whisper

229


Father Leaving Your steps are heavy like the baggage you carry and drag, filled with uncertainties. A flood of tears drowns this blue hut as you move out. Your slouch suggests how we will be missed like your breakfast value meals, the crisp of unpaid water and electric bills, the bittersweet song of Totoy wailing for milk, and the spicy blaspheming of mother at your crucified God for putting nothing but salt in our rice. I wonder how time will fly without you as you fly too towards Saudi where you will scrub toilet bowls and urinals in exchange for our bright future. I wonder who will cradle my face when my eyes turn misty in times like these— the way I have been meaning to put this poem out of its misery. 230


gari r. jamero

Forward Reaction My windpipe is full of smoke straining to utter words to woo. Neurons swimming in alcohol to fool myself that I’m with you. Exasperated; waiting for when oxytocin, in lieu of nicotine, dominates my body and brain— when love would satisfy and not deride. There is one I seek, whose love will wholeheartedly suffocate me; she will not fiddle nor balance but overwhelm the chemicals in me. She is the catalyst I need to join… to aid… to complete me.

231


Smoking in the Attic Sneak away from the daily buzz lighter in hand and light footsteps, too treading up the staircase to where I feel desolate. Cigarette now lit; inhale the smoke coaxing— lost to the air and with it are forgotten yearnings of the past. Only the filter remains like baggage I should dispose of to avoid revealing my innate need to be loved. Washing off the nicotine masked with soap suds and toothpaste rid my teeth of plaque from smoke ready to flash my dummy smile. When I break off, thinking I’m safe I prop a stick in my mouth waiting, for someone to light the spark or a mouth to keep my own shut. Until then, it’s the attic for me— my own penthouse of solace.

232


arvin narvaza

Franco in the late summer of 2010, I finally decided I was miserable. I ate a lot of ice cream, opened my Facebook frequently, wrote nonsensical thoughts, and spent most of my time talking to my dog. Once, I stood in front of my tall mirror, and realized all the ice cream I devoured, and the laziness I’ve been into finally took effect. I got fat. It felt like the world was in slow motion. Not that there was nothing much to exert my energy for, but because I got heavier each day—inside and out. Life was rather different when I still had Franco. I was light. Life was never heavy for both of us. My friends told me that Franco and I were like two peas in a pod. We were inseparable. I was happy being with him for eight years. It seemed that “stress” was never part of the picture. I would always smile. I must admit that he was a good relationship handler. We only had a few misunderstanding issues. He was more thoughtful and caring than I was. He would always remind me to take care of myself, even if he was not around. Franco and I had a lot in common. We had several pairs of couple shirts. We read the same books, ate the same food, watched the same movies, had the same hairstyles, and sang and listened to the same songs. He was my other half in almost everything. We sat on my rooftop one night. Franco’s family came over for dinner. It was Mom’s birthday. Franco suggested we tell our parents about our relationship but I hesitated. I just thought my parents were not ready and neither were his. There were two things our parents would be shocked about. First, we were gay. Second, we had a lot of sleepovers together. So, we finally settled on keeping it a secret instead. But, sometime in December 2009, everything changed. Franco had paraplegia; the upper half of his body was paralyzed. No one in 233


his family could relay what really happened. They just remembered Franco riding his bike from their house. Raychel, his sister, told me that he had to catch an important meeting; the next thing they knew, Franco was lying on the pavement along the national highway. If it weren’t for their neighbors, they wouldn’t have found out. He could have died there. I could have died. Two days after the incident, Franco finally woke up. I flashed him a full smile. I wanted to surprise him. With his bloodshot eyes, he looked at mine. His stare haunted me. He was not the Franco I knew. I could even tell that he was not Franco anymore. He seemed frozen. I knew he wanted to tell me something. He tried to open his mouth but what came out were slurred words. The more he forced himself to talk, the more painful it felt inside my chest—it was painful as hell. It was like being torn into pieces. It was unbearable; unfathomable. I could hardly breathe. My throat hurt. I could not utter a single word. My jaw shook irrepressibly. I felt my wide smile slowly turning into a frown. My facial muscles hurt from forcing to lift the corner of my lips to form a smile. They just didn’t. And there I was, conquered by my untamed tears. For two straight months, Franco went through a series of physical and speech therapies. I had to make sure that I was there just in case he needed anything. I was at my happiest when he accomplished several milestones in the course of his therapy. That moment when he uttered the word “dog,” “cat,” “log,” and other monosyllabic words made me smile and cry at the same time. I had hopes that he could talk soon, or at least say my name. “Franco… Mmmm… Franco… that’s the spot. There… Oh… make love to me, baby…” “Stop saying his name! I’m Roy, not Franco, okay? Hurry up. Are you close yet or what?” I always thought Roy could provide me with the same sexual satisfaction I experienced with Franco. I had several meet-ups with him and we would always end up in motels. For those two months of Franco’s therapy, I had to feed my sexual needs. I would imagine Roy as Franco. But Franco’s face would just fade away as soon as Roy started talking. I would get inside the bathroom, lock the door, 234


and linger on the pain, over and over again. Roy was not inclined to courtesy. He would get out of the room without me knowing it. My phone rang. Click! “Hello, Mick speaking. What?!” I froze. I didn’t understand what Franco’s mom was telling me. My hand felt numb. My sight, blurred. I felt my tears trickling down my cheeks—burning. I ran down the stairs absentmindedly. My heart pounded fast. My chest ached. The corridor was a never-ending tunnel. I could see Franco at the other end, smiling. Every movement felt slow as I tried to reach him. It seemed like time was pulling me away from Franco. “to love is to place our happiness in the happiness of another.” — leibnitz franco ralph s. faller born: april 9, 1985 died: february 21, 2010

Franco sure had his way of making me guilty. Even his epitaph made me remember a lot of things that I regret. “I’m sorry…” I whispered, while I felt the etched letters on his epitaph. I was told that Franco died because of me. Raychel told me that he went shaking on his bed when he woke up, even shouting my name. That day was our 9th anniversary. “You know, Mick. I have to say that you and Franco were so close that I really thought you were in a relationship. Sorry if I had to say that…” she interrupted. “I don’t know what to say, Raychel,” I replied with a sigh. “Hmm… I have to be honest…” I continued. “I know. I know. You don’t have to tell me. I’m not mad. I actually appreciated you—being there for my brother all along when he was trying to recover,” she quickly said. “How did you know?” I asked. 235


“I actually overheard you when you were on your rooftop,” she said. “What?” I gasped. “Yeah…” she remarked. I was silenced. I turned my head away from her and stared at the little bulb of fire on the candle standing in front of Franco’s epitaph. The light got bigger and bigger. The candle melted. I went to Franco’s house and asked his parents if I could go to his room. They approved. I got inside and observed how things were in place. It was peaceful. I looked around. I stood in front of his dresser, mulled over the framed pictures. My tears came again. In those photos, we were happy. The sight of it made me feel that I had not given back what he really deserved. Franco was strong. I wasn’t. He was able to surpass the kind of love that I had for him. I was not born with Franco. Neither was he born with me. But when I lost him, I felt like I’d never be whole again. Maybe everybody is born as a half of another; maybe everybody is on a mission of searching for his other half. Yet, I could not grasp the idea of finding the other half and losing him in the end. It was like losing on both sides. I lost Franco. I lost myself. I was left hanging, and so was Franco. I couldn’t tell when I would finally recover. I guess I can never have him back and neither can there be anyone who’ll be as good as he was. There was no longer any reason to smile. I didn’t want to look happy and appear to have recovered, probably because I didn’t want anybody to take Franco’s place. I didn’t want to entertain anybody anymore. I wanted to be plain and alone. So there I was: In the summer of 2010, I finally decided I was miserable. I ate a lot of ice cream, opened my Facebook frequently, wrote nonsensical thoughts, and spent most of my time talking to my dog. I got fat. And it’s all because of Franco.

236


Sunflowers To where the sun runs, the sunflowers too, face. Much like reaching to the heavens, yet never, in return, embraced. Much like a scene that meets the eyes, which eyes linger to stare. Much like the moon that chases the shadows against the moonlit flare. Always, it would follow but never meant to hold. It only witnesses the sun’s rays and mimics the sun’s gold.

237


charie grace c. funa

On the 9th of April once, in a city known for its majestic waterfalls, there lived a little boy who was greatly loved by his grandparents. Since he had always been filled with their care, he saw them as his biological parents. Through their rearing, he grew up to be a sweet and kind child. He even learned the craft of fishing at a very young age, all thanks to his grandfather. Everyone knew he was a happy child. He grew up with cousins and neighbors who played hide-and-seek with him all day. When he entered adolescence, he had his own group of friends whom he traveled with. Girls came and went out of his life, too; there was never a dull moment. On some days, he would sit in front of the computer all night, playing the games he loved or talking to his relatives from afar. Everything was perfect. Everyone thought his life comfortable. Everyone thought his life was as cool as those online games he played until dawn. He wore a sweet smile every time, not caring even if one of his teeth came off. He was supposed to be happy. Then, at around 3 a.m. on the 9th of April, the sweet boy decided to surrender. He entered the door of nothingness by hanging himself by the doorstep. No one knew why he took his own life since he had always looked so happy. During his wake, many let out voices of pain and loss. His grandfather was so close to being bedridden; he could not move himself because of the pain. His grandmother, who was just as clueless as everyone, cried in agony—the way mothers grieve for a lost child. Relatives from abroad came home with heavy hearts, arriving only to see the lifeless body of the boy they once held with care, now inside a white coffin that separated him from the living. No one knew why, except for one person. She was sure of the reason behind all this. She recalled the whiteness of the powder wrapped in aluminum foil; she remembered the scent of smoke that 238


smelled like paradise. It was then that she began to realize the boy’s life was never a rollercoaster ride; it was a downfall. A rollercoaster would eventually arrive safely, but his didn’t. As soon as he reached the top, he fell three times faster. She knew what was happening inside the boy’s house. In the place he called home, he was lonely. His parents, when having misunderstandings, called each other names: yawa, pisti, and inatay. Outside, nothing seemed to be wrong. Deep inside, though, he was screaming for silence. His siblings failed to offer him comfort, too. His whole life was deprived of that precious bond. Punches took the place of words. Jealousy took the place of respect. His grandparents, whom he loved so much, failed to console him, too. Even they were unable to see and fill the loneliness. Perhaps his friends, who were the same age as him, would’ve been able to make a difference. Though they were able to bring a smile to his face, they were unable to erase his misery. More often than not, amidst a big crowd of people, the boy knew he was alone. Amidst all the laughter, he was never truly happy. Lovers, who knew everything about their partners, would have been a great help. However, even his relationship was nothing but a desperate attempt to feel complete. Despite the love he showed her, she betrayed him. Now there was no one else to go to; now there’s no reason to live. On the 9th of April, he told his father he was leaving. He also added that he was never coming back, but everyone ignored him. It was either they thought he was bluffing or they didn’t give a damn. Whichever it was, the boy had made his decision. He was leaving and never coming back.

239


On the 9th of April, the sun hid behind the clouds; the sky started to let out tears. On the 9th of April, a sad song was playing on the radio. On the 9th of April, my phone rang its loudest ring, seeming to echo with pain and sorrow. My phone was crammed with unanswered calls and unread messages which read: Ate, wala na si kuya. Nag-hikog. (Brother is gone. He committed suicide.) On my way to the place I once called home, I begged the Almighty to wake me from this horrible nightmare. I knew it was futile; I knew my little brother was never coming back, but I couldn’t stop myself from trying. It was at that moment when I realized that suicide was not a laughing matter. It was at that moment when I realized the importance of family bonds. As I stepped out of the bus, I could only hear sobs welcoming me home. “Everything is over,” I thought to myself. The only thing left to do was to cry and regret. And so I did.

240


andrew del fierro

Tether, Lest You Fly Soft soul, the moments in which you are known are so few and far between and tucked away— bookmarks in your favorite pages, a smile, kept safe for when the music starts to play, and notes (‘breathe,’ they often say) on neatly folded napkins, unsought but treasures, still. Gentle, you will face the world and its terrifying fullness waiting to smother you and the quiet spaces you’ve kept under the weight of its nonsense until you are left gasping for sense for sky and hollowness and you will try to fly and fall fall as newborn birds do from empty nests tiny and trembling pleading madly in the silence for surer wings to save you pleading 241


falling then, broken. Candor, dear soul. Speak. There are those who will hear you past the din when the fall has all but crushed you into a whisper, those with whom you will fall, again slower, this time tenderly and not because of gravity (‘friend,’ each is called; in other tongues, ‘love’)

but all souls are burdened and anxious, wish to fly and you, foolish, lovely soul, will grasp them with alarm crying, “Stay, I can keep you here,” though countless risk the plunge, there are few tucked safely away in the places you once thought were lost and there, remain grounded so when you stand yet again on the precipice teetering, 242


look back at the hand that firmly grasps you saying, “Stay, I can

243


jan rupert i. alfeche

“This is My City” They call this city “The City of Golden Friendship,” I’d like to amend that moniker a bit. It’s more accurate to say “The City of Big Smiles, Hours-long Conversations, Simple Pleasures, and Mini Adventures”; It is also “The City of Strangers-turned-Friends” but if you breach their trust, it easily becomes “The City of Broken Friendships.” This is the city of drained, cheap coffee cups, of innocent love, of laughter and songs at all hours of the day. Like a massive mirror, this city reflects my personality and perhaps that’s why I feel at home here. From the sidewalks, I see the city of growing pains, of cultural trends, of tremendous strength despite countless tragedy, of hot summer days, and of beautiful sunrises. This is my city, and just so you’d know, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

244


Adeva Jane H. Esparrago. A Voir Peur. Mixed media.

245


AP Yao. Aftermath. Photomanipulation.

246


Jericho B. Montellano. Artwork. Digital.

247


Francis Ryan Avellana. At Play. Digital photography.

248


Bird’s Eye View. Digital photography.

249


Paul Balase. Callbox. Digital photography.

250


Jigo Racaza. Chasing the Gold. Digital photography.

251


Rico Magallona. Discombobulated. Pencil on vellum.

252


Jericho B. Montellano. Flesh and Bone. Mixed media.

253


Evan B. Aranas. Fortunate Events. Digital photography.

254


Francis Ryan Avellana. I Thirst. Digital photography.

255


Hensell Hebaya. Just a Position. Digital photography.

256


Christian Loui Gamolo. Kabaliktarang Kalayaan. Pen and ink on paper.

257


Kimberly Mae Llabo. Liberty and Captivity. Digital photography.

258


Lynette Tuvilla. Life’s Paradox. Mixed media.

259


Francis Ryan Avellana. Midnight Marauder. Photomanipulation.

260


Michael Sy. Onward. Digital photography.

261


Nikkie Que. Onward. Digital photography.

262


Jigo Racaza and Francis Ryan Avellana. Opposites: A World of Contrast. Photomanipulation.

263


Jennifer T. Vaquilar. Ripples of my Youth. Digital photography.

264


Mary Yvonne C. Alamban. Sentimenti. Watercolor on paper.

265


Stephanie Go. Serenade. Digital photography.

266


Maria Gladys Labis. Skins. Digital photography.

267


AP Yao. Smiles won’t wash away. Digital photography.

268


Martina Jugador. Spots of a starlight. Book blackout.

269


Keith Obed Ruiz. Stop and Look. Digital.

270


Michael Sy. Strokes. Digital photography.

271


Take Flight. Digital photography.

272


Stephanie Go. Tambayan. Digital photography.

273


Maite Aranjuez. Tchaikovsky’s Odette. Mixed media.

274


Mary Yvonne C. Alamban. The power of words. Watercolor and pen on paper.

275


April Joy Laurente. The Smoker. Digital photography.

276


Jan Buragay. Tight Fit. Ink on paper.

277


Jenamae Espineli. Unfathomable Pounding. Digital.

278


Jennifer T. Vaquilar. Digital photography.

279


Haiko B. Magtrayo. Digital photography.

280


Digital photography.

281


Francis Ryan Avellana. Washed. Digital photography.

282


AP Yao. Yellow catch. Photomanipulation.

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Arielle Acosta (3 BFA Art Management, ADMU) Always returning. Reina Krizel J. Adriano (4 BS/M Applied Mathematics, major in Mathematical Finance, ADMU) Reina is double-majoring in Applied Math and Creative Writing. She was a fellow for the essay in the 20th Ateneo heights Writers Workshop and a participant during the Iowa International Writers Program – Nonfiction Seminar 2015 where her currently published work was initially drafted. The project itself was heavily influenced by Sir Vince Serrano’s The Collapse of What Separates Us and Sir Jo-ed Tirol’s History lectures. She doesn’t know what other muses inspired her to write the piece. She knows she wants to receive a postcard someday, though. Xavier Agraviador (BS Accountancy 2015, AdZU) Xavier Agraviador is an accounting graduate of Ateneo de Zamboanga University. A fan of books ever since he was young, he has devoted a considerable amount of time reading and composing stories and poetry. Despite his involvement in commercial matters, he continually indulges in his passion for writing. Ben Aguilar (BS Health Sciences, Minor in Creative Writing 2015, ADMU) Ben graduated from the Ateneo de Manila University with a degree in health sciences and a minor in creative writing in 2015. He is an awardee of the Loyola Schools Awards for the Arts for Poetry. He is currently studying medicine at Xavier University Jose P. Rizal School of Medicine, Cagayan de Oro City. Mary Yvonne C. Alamban (4 BS Agricultural Engineering, XU)

287


Harold V. Alarcon (4 AB Communication, ADNU) Namuot. Nakulgan. Nagsurat. Masurat. (Umibig. Nasaktan. Nagsulat. Susulat.) Jan Rupert I. Alfeche (AB Sociology, XU) Currently taking ma in Sociology at Ateneo de Manila University. A member of nagmac - Nagkahiusang Mambabalak sa Cagayan de Oro. Mae Lovinia Almelor (3 BS Psychology, ADNU) Basa, kain, tulog, aral (minsan). Buhay estudyante si Mae Almelor. Gumagawa ng tula at natutulala, minsan walang nagagawa. Evan B. Aranas (4 BS Development Communications, XU) A 19-year old work in progress who believes in three things: Creativity can change the world, self-proclaimed hipsters are not hipsters, and curly hair is hard to maintain. Maite Aranjuez (BS Business Administration 2013, XU) Maite F. Aranjuez was a member of Circulo de arte since 2010, the organization inspired her to unleash her creative side through the creation of different artworks and by experimenting with different medium. These experiences sparked the inspiration that led to the creation of “Tchaikovsky’s Odette”. She currently works as a Planning Officer at the Department of Environment and Natural ResourcesEnvironmental Management Bureau Region 10. Luis Wilfrido Atienza (5 BS Biology, Minor in Creative Writing, ADMU) I wish I could say I was running out of ways to thank everyone that needs thanking, but I haven’t been thankful enough. If you feel this is true, e-mail me to book an appointment for a windmill high five.

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Francis Ryan Avellana (BS Development Communications 2014, XU) Paul Clinton B. Balase (4 BS Computer Science, XU) I want to be whole again, but I want to find it in the bottom of a good cup of coffee. Khim Francis Balete (4 BS Digital Illustration and Animation, ADNU) Khim Balete is a Digital Illustration and Animation student from Ateneo de Naga. Most of his works are photo manipulations and double exposures. He sees art as a venue for self-expression, for him to dwell into depths of his subconscious mind. He is a fan of Haruki Murakami and loves cats too. Kent Kerby Bayona (4 BA International Studies, AdZU) My name is Kent Bayona, a fourth year student majoring in International Studies. My piece has many interpretations, so it depends on how one sees it, as I wrote it in different facets of which I identify myself and some people as “different.� More so, it's about pushing people to kill themselves because of social pressures, and if only people accept others for who and what they are, suicide rates could drastically be lessened. Andrea G. Beldua (BFA Information Design 2015, ADMU) Disturbing the comforted and comforting the disturbed, ala Banksy. Uncensored. Irreverent. Unadulterated. Unapologetic. Without Wax, Andrea Beldua

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Christian Jil R. Benitez (4 AB Literature-Filipino, Minor in Creative Writing, ADMU) Si Christian Benitez ay kasalukuyang patnugot para sa transit at heights. Naging fellow siya para sa tula sa Ingles at Filipino sa iba’t ibang palihan, nagawaran ang kanyang tula ng parangal sa Carlos Palanca Memorial Award for Literature at Maningning Miclat Poetry Awards, at nailimbag na ang ilan sa mga ito sa High Chair, Cha, transit, at heights. Joshua Jhune Bughao (3 BA Communication, AdZU) Joshua Jhune Bughao was born in a little island town called Basilan, but was reared in the small town of Zamboanga. He takes pleasure in the black and blue of life, as is usually portrayed in his belongings, and reflected in his art—be it doodling, photography, and filmmaking. He is known to be a jack of several trades, among these dancing and voice acting. As of this writing, he is currently trying to ace at photography, cinematography, and editing. Jan Buragay (4 BS Computer Science, XU) Amateur illustrator with a passion for science fiction. All around geek. Dominic Ian Cabatit (Communication Department, AdZU) I like unicorns. Thanks to Sheena Alcala for telling me about this. Jamie Bernadette C. Cabayacruz (3 BS Management Accountancy, AdZU) Discovering a penchant for writing, it has been my hobby and passion ever since. My works would like to portray a myriad of emotions felt by the human heart on fire. It is like a rose garden. It’s beauty similar to the petals on a rose but with every conveyed sharp diction and emotion, the fatality will lie on the rose’s thorns itself. I’d like to master how to carve out the human heart like it has never been done before.

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Kenneth T. Chuacon (3 BS Electronics and Communications Engineering, AdZU) Securing his future as an engineer, living for the moment, and reminiscing the past through photographs. Loves for the love of love and happiness. Jethro O. Cristobal (BS Psychology 2013, AdZU) A writer driven by pain and misery. A poet in progress. A romantic. Karlo Antonio David (AB English 2012, ADDU) Karlo Antonio David is a Palanca awardee for his one-act play, “Killing the Issue.� With an MA in Creative Writing from the Silliman University, he was a fellow of regional and national writers workshops such as the Davao Writers Workshop, iyas Creative Writing Workshop, and Silliman National Writers Workshop. Andrew del Fierro (2 BS Nursing, XU) Gino Dolorzo (BEED Special Education, XU) Abner E. Dormiendo (AB Philosophy 2014, ADMU) Abner graduated with a degree in philosophy in 2014, and has since worked as a Filipino teacher in Xavier School Nuvali. His poems and short stories have been published in heights, High Chair, and Plural Prose Journal, among others. He currently lives in Antipolo City and works at Sta. Rosa, Laguna. His first book of poems are non-existent as of yet. Adeva Jane H. Esparrago (2 MA Education, XU) Socially awkward penguin who wants to rule the world. Jenamae Espineli (Bachelor of Elementary Education 2013, XU)

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Karl Estuart (2 BSM Applied Mathematics and Finance, ADMU) “Home, is where I want to be But I guess I’m already there I come home, she lifted up her wings I guess that this must be the place” — Talking Heads, This Must Be The Place Karl is a math major who’s lost count of all the places he’d rather be and all the time he’s waited getting there. But he’s still here and sometimes he’s led to think things will add up somehow. Some things are worth staying for. Charie Grace C. Funa (3 AB International Studies, XU) People call me different names but I go by “Charie”most of the time in school. I was born in Iligan City but was raised somewhere in Opol, Misamis Oriental. I was born on the 5th of June, 1997 and I am 18 years old. I love to read books, of anything that triggers my interest, yet I also have a thing for anything Anime and Manga. Christian Loui Gamolo (5 BS Mechanical Engineering, XU) An aspiring visual artist who is passionate in portraying and combining objects or any form of subjects that leads to a kind of symbolism, bringing message or meaning in a form of art, also a freelance artist and currently a graduating college student based in Cagayan de Oro. Stephanie Go (BS Development Communications 2009, XU) Duane U. Gravador (AB Philosophy 2011, ADDU) An avid writer and songstress, Duane currently teaches philosophy in the Ateneo de Davao University. She is currently pursuing a masters degree in philosophy at the same university.

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Marion B. Guerrero (Communication Department, AdZU) Marion Guerrero is the chairperson for the Communication Department of the Ateneo de Zamboanga University. Hensell Hebaya (4 BS Business Administration, XU) A 19-year old work in progress who believes in three things: Creativity can change the world, self-proclaimed hipsters are not hipsters, and curly hair is hard to maintain. Miguel Imperial (2 BS Environmental Management, ADNU) Miguel Imperial is the Head Photojournalist of The pillars, the Official Student Publication of Ateneo de Naga University. Fatima Sherlyn R. Ismun (4 BS Accountancy, AdZU) A frustrated self-proclaimed writer who strives to use her skills for the sake of Allah. Everlyn T. Jaji (BS Nursing 2012, AdZU) Everlyn T. Jaji is a 23 year old Muslim writer from Zamboanga City. She enjoys writing about her experiences as a Muslim woman living in a predominantly non-Muslim country. She is also an advocate for peace and interreligious dialogue. She is currently studying medicine in Cebu Doctors’ University, Cebu. Gari R. Jamero (4 BS Biology, XU) Eldest of four siblings, an avid fan of the TV Show archer, Producer-Director of The Xavier Film Society 2015-2016, and seeking to don the undergraduate toga on March 2016. Joseph Aaron S. Joe (HS 2013, AdZU) The more I watch sitcoms, the more I am convinced that my life is one, and that there are bigger people with earth-shaped TV sets watching me as I perpetually trip over and spill food on myself.

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Angelo Juarez (BS Management Engineering 2014, ADMU) Sinong may sabing ‘di ka makakapag-art sa office? Martina Jugador (4 Medicine, XU) Defervescent. Amihan F. Jumalon (AB Philosophy 2004, AdZU) Amihan Jumalon (b 1978), the eldest child of Edwin Jumalon and Lorna Fernandez, is a Philosophy graduate of the Ateneo de Zamboanga University where she spent a year teaching Humanities, spearheading the school’s theater organization, and facilitating art workshops for kids. Amihan has not had any formal training in painting. But coming from a family of painters, she took her casual art lessons from her artist father. Although she started painting early, Amihan began painting seriously only in 1990. Since then, her works have been featured in solo and group exhibitions all over the country, in Singapore, and Italy. Currently, Amihan Jumalon is working with her husband, Bendix Fernandez, on writing and illustrating a children’s book . For Amihan, there’s a delightful clash in her roles as artist, mother, wife, daughter, and a member of a family of artists as well. She explores the tension that it produces in her works. In “watchwoman”, her last solo exhibition in cebu in 2013, she has fragmented these roles and painted female figures as mythical archetypes. Recently, she’s been creating works that deal more directly with motherhood and loss. She is, currently, based in Zamboanga City after years of nomadic life in Dumaguete, Pampanga, and Thailand.

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Arkaye Kierulf (BS Chemistry 2009, ADMU) Arkaye works for the Philippine Institute of Pure and Applied Chemistry. Maria Gladys Labis (4 BS Business Administration, XU) A finance student who loves to capture moments through photographs. Joan Eunice Lao (2 BFA Information Design, ADMU) Joan “Yuni” Lao is a part-time visual artist and a full-time sandbox overlord. She was born and raised in the Kingdom of Bahrain and moved to the Philippines for university. She regularly advocates third-culture kid dilemmas and enjoys drawing dismembered hands in her free time. blog: joaneunicelao.tumblr.com ig: yuniowl Kimberly Mae Llano (4 BS Development Communications, XU) Camille Ann Loza (4 AB English, ADNU) Camille Ann A. Loza, former president of adnu-poem, is neither a poet, playwright nor short story writer but aims to be good in critical, periodical essay writing. Her thesis, with her co-author and friend, will soon be published in the Advance Science Letters, an international refereed, scopus-indexed journal, after she presented the paper in Bali, Indonesia last September 30, 2015. She’s inspired by Niccolo Machiavelli’s “I’d rather be feared than loved” philosophy.

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Francis C. Macansantos (AB English 1971, AdZU) Francis C. Macansantos was born in Cotabato City, grew up in Zamboanga City, and has been a resident of Baguio City since 1981. He was educated at the Ateneo de Zamboanga, msu-Marawi, Xavier University and Silliman University, where he obtained a Master of Arts in Creative Writing. A five-time Palanca award winner in English Poetry, Macansantos won the ncca (National Commission for Culture and the Arts) Writer’s Prize for Epic Poetry in 2003. He has three books of poetry: The Words and Other Poems (UP Press 1997), Womb of Water, Breasts of Earth (ncca 2007), and Balsa: Poemas Chabacano (ncca 2011). Balsa, a collection of 31 poems in Chabacano, with translations into English, was finalist in the National Book Awards in 2012 for Poetry in English. Macansantos has taught at several universities, including Mindanao State University and the University of the Philippines, and has served in panels of critics in creative writing workshops throughout the Philippines. In 2007 and 2014, he was elected as Baguio/Cordillera representative in the Executive Committee for Literary Arts of the ncca. In 2014, Macansantos was one of the recipients of the Martha Faust Sonnet Prize in Minnesota. He is married to writer/mathematician Priscilla Macansantos and they have one daughter, the writer Monica Macansantos. Rico M. Magallona (4 BS Computer Science, XU) Self-taught freelance artist based in Cagayan de Oro and an average starving college student. Haiko B. Magtrayo (BS Development Communications 2013, XU)

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Alfred Benedict C. Marasigan (Fine Arts Program, ADMU) Alfred Marasigan graduated magna cum laude from the Ateneo de Manila University in 2013 with a bfa in Information Design and a Loyola Schools Award for the Arts (Graphic Design). Last June 2015, he became a First Round Winner (General Category) of Art Olympia: International Open Art Competition in Tokyo, Japan. His other artworks have also been included in various local and foreign exhibitions such as Galerie Métanoïa’s Un Seul Grain de Riz: A Small format Graphic Art Competition (2014-15). Metropolitan Museum of Manila’s met Open 2014, Metrobank Art and Design Excellence (made) Painting Competition Exhibition (Semifinalist, 2014); and publications like Fordham University’s cura Magazine, SFMoMA’s Tumblr, and Ateneo’s heights. Alfred is now taking up his mfa in UP Diliman’s College of Fine Arts, and is also a faculty member of the Ateneo Fine Arts. He does freelance design and art commissions on the side. Ram S. Manlatican (2 BS Chemical Engineering, ADDU) A budding writer, Ram Manlatican was a fellow of the Ateneo de Davao Summer Writers Workshop and the Davao Writers Workshop. Guada Victoria H. Marbella (3 BS Digital Illustration and Animation, ADNU) Ada is a third year bs dia student from Albay. She likes to create digital paintings and portraits using different editing and illustrating software, like Paint Tool Sai. Her collection called “Haraya” consists of digital paintings and digital portraits interpreting the meaning of the Filipino words. Haraya means imagination. Paul Alfonse J. Marquez (BS Mass Communication 2010, AdZU) Just a normal person going through the journey of life. No pretenses, just keeping it as real and simple as possible. Currently working and thriving in the corporate world but still a free spirit at heart. 297


Andrea Isabelle F. Mejos (4 AB Mass Communication, ADDU) A seasoned student journalist with works published in several news outlets nationwide, Andrea Mejos was a fellow to the Ateneo de Davao Writers Workshop. Celline Marge Mercado (2 BFA Information Design, ADMU) Celline Marge Mercado is an 18-year-old Filipino studying art and design at the Ateneo de Manila University. In her freshman year, she became one of the ten select of the 5th Ateneo heights Artists Workshop. She was the illustrator of Christian Benitez’s story “Ang Dalawang Punong Matayog (The Two Great Trees)”, the winning entry of the 2014 Kuwentong Pambata book grant. Mercado’s main media are acrylic, ink, and graphite. She is currently experimenting with the digital medium, whilst trying to find her artistic style. She divides her time between Pampanga and Manila. She loves milkshakes. Contact her for collaborations and commissions. margauxnomdeplume@gmail.com Richard Vince S. Mercado (3 BFA Information Design, ADMU) Richard Mercado is a third year BFA Information Design student in Ateneo. He draws komiks for fun. Jusan Misolas (4 AB Literature, ADNU) Jusan Villaflor Misolas is a 4th year AB Literature student. He is a member of the Ateneo Literary Association (ala). Jericho B. Montellano (3 BS Development Communications, XU) They’ll tell you I’m insane.

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Arvin E. Narvaza (BSEd Major in English 2009, XU) I am ongoing with my graduate studies at XU, and I’m also teaching at Mindanao University of Science and Technology; specializing on English Language and Literature, and Technology Communication Management courses. Clark Glenn F. Neola (3 AB Literature, ADNU) Clark Neola is a member of the Ateneo Literary Association. Reil Benedict S. Obinque (3 BS Education - Mathematics, ADDU) Reil was a fellow to the Ateneo de Davao Summer Writers Workshop and the Davao Writers Workshop. He contributes to dagmay.kom.ph, the online literary journal of the Davao Writers Guild. Krystel Padin (2 AB Bachelor of Secondary Education, major in English, ADNU) Krystel Padin, 20, is a Bachelor of Secondary Education student. Miguel Roberto Parungo (BS Management, major in Communications Technology, ADMU) What I value in my life becomes more clear with each photo I take. Venjovi V. Pondevida (2 BS Accountancy, AdZU) Venjovi Pondevida is a sophomore taking up the course of BS Accountancy. Seventeen years old and blooming, she is a little girl filled with ethereal words wanting to come out from her little mouth and little hands. Simple and imperfect yet this native Tagalog lass tries everything she can to radiate magic and perfection with every sentence the world could ever ask her to write and tell. Pristine Janielle F. Padua (3 BA Communication, AdZU) Janie Padua is currently a junior at the Ateneo de Zamboanga University. She is The BEACON Publications’ Associate Editor for sinag, and the Curator for its Marejada Literary Folio.

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Jam Pascual (BFA Creative Writing 2015, ADMU) Jam Pascual graduated this year from Ateneo de Manila University with a degree in creative writing. He was a fellow for the 18th Ateneo heights Writers Workshop and the 15th iyas National Writers Workshop. He currently works as an editorial assistant for Rogue and as a columnist for Young Star. This is dedicated to Marjorie Evasco, who saw more in this poem than I did. Portia Grace O. Peralta (BS Nursing 2005, AdZU) Tried. Tested. Proven. “Omnia mutantur nihil interit� is the byword that she lives by. Nikkie Que (2 BS Development Communications, XU) Jigo Racaza (3 BS Business Administration, XU) Jigo Racaza is a 3rd year student of business and management major in marketing. He has been a member of the student publication as a videographer and photojournalist for 2 years. He is also a part time shooter for One Happy Story, Premuim Weddings and Lifestyle Photography Studio. Today he continues to persue his passion in photography and currently the Photo Editor of The Crusader Publication. Rea Robles (BS Business Adminstration, major in Financial Accounting 2014, ADNU) Rea Robles is an alumni of the Ateneo Literary Association.

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Therese Nicole Reyes (BS Psychology 2013, ADMU) Therese has fixations for detail, order, symmetry, nature and is slowly warming up to the realms beyond. Her work has been published in heights on various occasions and garnered the Loyola Schools Awards for the Arts: Illustration in 2013. She looks forward to what comes next. For my family, Mickee, up cfa (especially Faye, Danna, and Nev), past and future Heightsers. Keith Obed Ruiz (4 BS Development Communications, XU) Nicole E. Sanglay (4 AB/MA Political Science, Major in Global Politics, ADMU) For the intricacies and the nuances—habit of repetition: forelsket. Robyn Angeli Saquin (2 BFA Information Design, ADMU) Robyn is a self-proclaimed art freak still trying to figure out what art even is. She would like to thank all the people who have pushed her (indeed, maybe sometimes even dragged her, kicking and screaming all the while) to get to where she is now. Mohammad Sarajan (2 BA Communication, AdZU) A photographer and mountaineer. Michael Sy (4 BS Business Administration, XU) Heidelyn Tan (4 AB Philosophy, AdZU) Heidelyn T. Tan is an AB Philosophy student of Ateneo de Zamboanga University. Other than studying for school, her days are spent hanging out with friends, playing video games, reading, and writing stories whenever possible.

301


Paolo Tiausas (Fine Arts Program, ADMU) Nagtapos si Paolo Tiausas ng kursong bfa Creative Writing sa Fine Arts Program ng admu. Nailathala na ang ilan sa kanyang mga tula sa Kritika Kultura, Softblow, transit, Philippines Free Press, at heights. Kasalukuyan niyang sinisimulan ang kanyang MA sa Art Studies sa UP Diliman. Alex Tuico (2 BFA Art Management, ADMU) Isaiah 40:31 Healing, acrylic on paper, 150x210cm This is the process of healing. The left painting in the diptych shows the reason for such an act. Healing is only possible when pain / hurt exists. One cannot heal when he or she is in a state of contentment because there is nothing to purge. The darker of the two paintings is supposed to show the unwanted feelings and the drowning of oneself in these emotions. The verticality of the strokes is like that of rain—how it continuously pours on all that it can rain down on and how it clouds the vision of whoever the rain falls on. The painting on the right shows the beginning of healing. The white is permeating the black. It is attempting to get rid of the dark and replace it instead with light. The strokes are horizontal because it represents progression; it shows movement from a state of pain to that of peace. The white on the rightmost part contrasts the black on the leftmost area and depicts a moving forward—a change in perception. Lynette Tuvilla (3 BS Industrial Engineering, XU) An engineering student. Living unknown. Jennifer T. Vaquilar (BS Psychology 2015, XU) Conveys her creativity through pictures. AP Yao (4 BS Development Communications, XU)

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Cedrick Zabala (Communication Department, AdZU) A multimedia artist, a government employee, a teacher, a traveler, a student of life.

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Acknowledgments Fr. Joel E. Tabora sj., and the Office of the Ateneo de Davao President Fr. Karel S. San Juan, sj, and the Office of the Ateneo de Zamboanga President Fr. Roberto C. Yap, sj, and the Office of the Xavier UniversityPresident Fr. Primitivo E. Viray, Jr., sj, and the Office of the Ateneo de Naga President Fr. Jose Ramon T. Villarin, sj and the Office of the Ateneo de Manila President Dr. John Paul C. Vergara and the Office of the Vice President for the Loyola Schools Dr. Roberto Conrado Guevara and the Office of the Dean for Student Formation Dr. Josefina D. Hofile単a and the Office of the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs Dr. Ma. Luz C. Vilches and the Office of the Dean, School of Humanities Mr. Danilo M. Reyes and the English Department Mr. Martin V. Villanueva and the Fine Arts Program Dr. Joseph T. Salazar at ang Kagawaran ng Filipino Mr. Allan Popa and the Ateneo Institute of the Literary Arts and Practices (ailap) Mr. Christopher Fernando F. Castillo and the Office of Student Activities Ms. Marie Joy R. Salita and the Office of the Dean for Student and Administrative Services Ms. Liberty Santos and the Central Accounting Office Mr. Regidor Macaraig and the Purchasing Office Dr. Vernon R. Totanes and the Rizal Library Ms. Carina C. Samaniego and the University Archives Ms. Ma. Victoria T. Herrera and the Ateneo Art Gallery The mvp Maintenance and Security Personnel Mr. Iesous Jireh Hernandez and the Council of Organizations of the Ateneo Ms. Shiphrah Belonguel and the Constitutional Convention Ms. Roxie Ramirez and The Guidon Mr. Ray Santiago and Matanglawin The Sanggunian ng Mag-aaral ng Ateneo de Manila, and the Council of Organizations of the Ateneo And to those who have been keeping literature and art alive in the community by continuously submitting their works and supporting the endeavors of heights


Habi Launch Team Martin Tempongko

Project Head Assistant Project Head, Logistics Programs Promos and Documentation

Max Suarez Jonnel Inojosa, Pia Zulueta Paula Molina, Dea de Guzman

Food and Decors

Alex Tuico


Editorial Board Editor - in - Chief Associate Editor Managing Editor Managing Editor News Editor Associate News Editor Features Editor Honorary Editor

Le Grande Dolino [bs chem 2016] Steely Dhan Caballero [bs arch 2017] Minnie Maboloc [bs act 2016] Mary Gyle Manuba [bsa 2017] Katrina Guilonsod [ab polsci 2016] Ian Derf Salva単a [ab polsci 2018] John Paulo Vicencio [ab polsci 2016] Katrina Kate Dianne Punay [bsed-english 2016]

Moderator

Fr. Erwin Rommel Torres


Editorial Board Regine Miren D. Cabato [ab com 2016] Catherina Maria Luisa G. Dario [bfa cw 2016]

Editor - in - Chief Associate Editor Managing Editor for External Affairs for Internal Affairs for Finance Art Editor Associate Art Editor Design Editor Associate Design Editor English Editor Associate English Editor Filipino Editor Associate Filipino Editor Production Manager Associate Production Manager Heights Online Editor Associate Heights Online Editor

Manuel I単igo A. Angulo [ab com 2016] Luis Wilfrido J. Atienza [bs bio 2016] Selina Irene O. Ablaza [bs com tech 2016] Lasmyr D. Edullantes [bs mgt 2017] Lorenzo T. Narciso [bs psy 2017] Ida Nicola A. de Jesus [bfa id 2017] Renzi Martoni S. Rodriguez [bfa id 2016] Joshua Eric Romulo B. Uyheng [bs psy 2016] Juan Marco S. Bartolome [ab lit (eng) 2017] Christian Jil R. Benitez [ab lit (fil) 2016] Juleini Vivien I. Nicdao [ab psy 2016] Micah Marie F. Naadat [ab com 2017] Angelica Bernadette P. Deslate [bs psy 2017] Anna Nicola M. Blanco [ab com 2017] Ma. Fatima Danielle G. Nisperos [bs lm 2016]

Head Moderator and Moderator for Filipino Moderator for Art Moderator for English Moderator for Design Moderator for Production Moderator for Heights Online

Allan Alberto N. Derain Yael A. Buencamino Martin V. Villanueva Jose Fernando Go - Oco Enrique Jaime S. Soriano Nicko Reginio Caluya


Editorial Board Editor - in - Chief Associate Editor Managing Editor Art and Design Editor News Editor Associate News Editor Features Editor Research Director Circulation Manager Circulation Manager Head Photojournalist Web Developer

Althea Abergos [bsa 2017] Cherilyn Sta Ana [ab eng 2016] Sendy Ros Marcaida [bs ba, major in mgt 2016] Khim Francis Balete [bs dia 2016] Ma. Criscilla Parrameda [bs ba, major in cma 2017] Ray Douvani Regondola [bs bio 2017] Jesily Darla Mae Gutierrez [ab polsci 2016] Mary Lois Ayao [bs ba, major in mgt-h 2017] Ryan Cristopher Yaba [bs bio 2017] Ma Noreen Salvacion Evalla [bs ba, major in lm 2019] Miguel Imperial [bs em] Armando Sta. Cruz iii [bs it 2017]

Moderator

Jose Jason Chancoco I


Editorial Board Trisha Ortega [ab com 2016]

Editor - in - Chief Associate Editor for Reveille for Sinag Managing Editor for External Affairs for Internal Affairs News Editor News Feature Editor Features Editor Creative Director Head Photographer Head Cartoonist

John Xyrious Dela Crux [ab com 2016] Irene Wahab [bs bio 2016] Fathima Ahamed Kabeer [bs mgt 2017] Kent Kerby Bayona [bs psy 2017] Franco Rivas Cananea [bfa id 2017] Bianca Alyanna Zamora [bfa id 2016] Lea Alessandra Lim [bs psy 2016] Ionee Bel Garcia [ab lit (eng) 2017]

Moderator

Marion Guerrero

Aseya Khadija Calo [bfa cw 2016] Pristine Janielle Padua [bfa cw 2016]


Editorial Board Editor - in - Chief Associate Editor Managing Editor Design Editor News Editor External Features Editor Local Features Editor Campus Features Editor Sports Editor Photography Editor Layout and Graphic Design Editor Freehand Editor

Xian Arcayera [bs me 2016] Nitzschia Lozarita [bs bio 2016] Samantha Bagayas [bs devcom 2018] Keith Obed Ruiz [bs devcom 2016] Andrew del Fierro [bs nursing 2018] Kevin Paul Mabul [bs cs 2017] Rezza Tolinero [bs devcom 2016] Mary Antoinette Magallanes [bs devcom 2016] Lorenzo Botavara [bs bio 2018] Jigo Racaza [bs ba 2017]

Moderator

Ann Catherine Ticao-Acenas

Jericho Montellano [bs devcom 2017] Rico Magallona [bs cs 2016]


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