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+ Irvin Rivera Koty Dwa Adrian Gonzales Asli Kolcu Jasmin Ado Carlos Quimpo Mariel Empit Neille Cuevas


Here we are with another All-out April Issue. When I first started Stache, it wasn’t in the original plan for us to have this issue but I realized that the summer break is the perfect time for everyone to be productive. I know it defeats the purpose of having a ‘break’ but if you want to be better at what you do, you have to practice continuously. We received a lot of submissions from our readers and we are more than thankful for the response. I know how good it feels to get your work published for all the world to see (and thank God for the internet for making this easy) but think about the inspiration you give to the readers. Just one photo can immediately send someone out on a photowalk or simply doodle. With this issue, we hope to inspire you to create something and to spend your summer vacation working on what you love doing. This issue includes artwork, photoshoots and literary works from 31 artists: Jaeron Lardizabal, Jeca Martinez, Ysabell Bondoc, Joanna Empit, Jessica Murphy, Carlos Quimpo, Mara Gonzales, Mariel Empit, Amina Deloria, Moira Parton, Aidx Paredes, Calleigh Kyle, Lauren Hahn, Cru Camara, Noreen Legaspi, Koji Arboleda, Philip Lapinid IV, Adrian Gonzales, Ryan Melgar, Asli Kolcu, Koty Dwa, Irvin Rivera, Arianne Tolentino, Reomin Deocareza, Neille Cuevas, Jasmine Ado, Mikee Sanchez, Ron Mangoba, Dominic Sy, Kit Singson, Vincent Dioquino. Just a warning though, some content are a little sexual in nature and if you are 18 years old and below, feel free to read but don’t say I didn’t warn you. Other than that, I hope this issue pushes you to pick up that pencil, paintbrush, camera, guitar or your personal art weapon and create something wonderful. I’m looking forward to seeing your work in our mailbox! Maine Manalansan, EIC P.S. Oh, I almost forgot. We are going to release a mini magazine on the 12th of May! Be sure to watch out for that because we partnered up with The Circle Hostel and Billabong for that one. Cover photo by Mariel Empit Editor’s letter photo by Carlos Quimpo Background photos by Maine Manalansan and Jaeron Lardizabal



STACHE Editor-in-Chief

Maine Manalansan

Associate Editor

Marketing Editor

Jared Carl Millan

Ellie Centeno

Senior Photographer

Marketing Associate

Pat Nabong

Head Graphic Designer Mary Silvestre

Nikki Viola

Marketing Assistant Coco Macaren

Lifestyle Editor Nessa Santos

Music Editor

Mare Collantes

Beauty Editor

Thea De Rivera

Fashion Editor Ecks Abitona

Art Editor

Koji Arboleda


Adrian Gonzales, Elisa Aquino, Kaye Clarete, Roanne Cabradilla, Hannah Magsayo, Patrick Velasco, Grace de Luna Angel Castillo, Jelito de Leon, Karen de la Fuente, Patrick Guillermo


Samie Betia, Regina Reyes, Karla Bernardo, Kristel Silang, Christine Exevea, Katrina Eusebio, Regina Reyes, Maan Bermudez


Maura Rodriguez, Marella Ricketts

Stylists and Make-up Artists

Vince Ong, Esme Palaganas, Bea Manzano


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by Jeca Martinez STACHE/


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by Ysabell Bondoc STACHE/


by Joanna Empit 10 /Illustrations

by Jessica Murphy STACHE/ 11

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by Carlos Quimpo STACHE/ 17

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by Mara Gonzales 20 /Illustrations

by Mariel Empit STACHE/ 21

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by Aminah Deloria STACHE/ 27

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by Moira Parton STACHE/ 31

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Photography & post-processing: Caileigh Kyle Model: Sofi S Makeup: Katie Melanson 44 /Editorials


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Photography: Lauren Hahn Model: Elle Gibson @ Nova Models Hair and Make-up: Tanya Barlow 50 /Editorials


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Please Hear What I Am Not Saying Photography|Koji Arboleda Styling|Grooming|Maura Isabel Rodriguez Model|Rutherford Perez

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by Asli Kolcu STACHE/ 105


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KEEP WAITING Photography and retouch: Koty 2 Model: Ida Sayk (Fashion Color Models Agency) Stylist: Rozena Grey Make up : Sonia Zieleniewska Hair: Fabian Marciniak


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peignoir, dressing gown- Betsey Johnson lingerie, bra- Etam skirt- H&M goledn rings- Topshop necklace- VERSACE for H&M blouse- H&M peter pan collar- handmade bracelet- Diva hat - H&M gloes- Vintage - Topshop fur, stole- TK Maxx dress with peplum– MM Fashion necklace- VERSACE for H&M boots- Centro white bag- TK Maxx fur collar- H&M Kids

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WHERE YOU END, I BEGIN Photographer: Irvin Rivera ( Wardrobe Designs and Styling: Michael Kuluva (

Make-up: Erica Garcia, Tokiko Inoue Hair: Shannon Mason (, Tokiko Inoue Models: Veronica LaVery and Gezzilyn Leon Assistants: Nap Pempe単a, Deigo Alimagno, Angelo Alimagno, Joe Alimagno

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Tumbler and Tipsy Black Sequin Dress $168.00 Tumbler and Tipsy Vintage Pearls with Swarovski Champagne Cork Necklace $398.00 Tumbler and Tipsy Red Sequin Poncho $144.00 Tumbler and Tipsy Silver Sequin Cape $349.00 Tumbler and Tipsy Silver Sequin Dress $168.00 Tumbler and Tipsy Red Knit Jumpsuit $244.00 Tumbler and Tipsy Black Spike Champagne Cork Necklace $65.00 Tumbler and Tipsy Red Spike Champagne Cork Necklace $45.00 Tumbler and Tipsy Red Woven Plaid Long Poncho $220.00 All other accessories are used in this shoot are courtesy of Tumbler and Tipsy’s Exclusive Vintage Reserved Collection.


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As the remaining weeks of the final semester hover by, hindering a merciless storm of research papers, final projects and exams in its wake, it is not uncommon for students to seek refuge from the looming clouds of deadlines. It is times like these, when wishful thinking leaves us desperate and unsatisfied, that we drop our pens, climb up from beneath the piles of paper and stretch our necks until we catch a glimpse of the approaching light of summer sunshine – our source of motivation. “It’s more fun in the Philippines” claimed our Department of Tourism. To broad a statement, but – with the usual images of poverty as part of the Filipino lifestyle, fresh political disputes every month or so, and endless cases of crimes and accidents clamouring the morning, afternoon and evening news invading our thoughts – is there truth to it? Because we are so often used to responding with a hard and unforgiving NO, we fail to see the beauty that rests underneath the rotting surface. Despite all this, Summer always finds a way of piercing through the clouds and silencing the storm, revealing to us the spot of treasures scattered all over our Archipelago. But our idea of ‘summer’ and ‘vacation spots’ often leads us to think of places like Boracay, Puerto Princesa, Baguio and the like. True enough, these places have definitely earned a soft spot in Summer’s heart. They are not, however, the only places worth visiting. As a matter of fact, visiting these places equivalents to financial heights that may reach far higher than Mt. Pinatubo, and the usual amount of tourists are often large enough to build an army of armies. So why sacrifice your summer in places as crowded and expensive, when you can spend your vacation in locations that are environmentally independent and financially friendly? Through a three-way journey, we shall take you on an adventure of a Summer time – three islands that starts and ends depending on which summer activity you would want to accomplish, namely – Adventure Island, Tranquility Island and Heritage Island. So sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride!

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First, let us travel North for our trekker readers! Our first stop: The Golden Sand Dunes of La Paz, Ilocos Norte framed by the China Sea at the west and a mountain range at the other side. The panoramic scenery in the sand dunes is stunning with the compliments of the blue skies and great cloud formations. The Ilocos Norte sand dune is an 85 sq. km land formation unique in Southeast Asia, and a popular spot for 4×4 and ATV. For thrill seekers, sand boarding is a must. Best time for 4×4 will be early in the morning or late in the afternoon. From Ilocos Norte, we will be traveling for five to six hours to witness one of God’s marvelous masterpieces, the Callao Cave located at the Cagayan Province. Callao Cave is very easy to explore among the other caves we have in our country but requires a little test of endurance as you go up with approximately 200 steps before seeing gigantic limestone and rock formations inside that is a scene to behold. The cave is made up of seven chambers and various formations that make Callao Cave the main attraction of Cagayan Province. According to its reviews, while you are in the area, you must try a wooden boat ride in Mororan River passing through a small rainforest, a bat cave, scenic rocky cliffs and picturesque riverbanks with crystal clear water ideal for swimming. We are now at that second part of our journey, heading to Tranquility Island. As Swami Sivananda once said, “the real spiritual progress of the aspirant is measured by the extent to which he achieves inner tranquility”. We can enjoy the warm crystal blue waters of hot springs, and feel the over the top accommodations of our homegrown world class resorts. Camiguin, which rhymes with “come again,” has been regarded as the most beautiful island in the country. It is also referred to as the Philippines’ “Garden of Eden.” Its famous hot spring, the Tangub Hot Spring, is only one of the many attractions of this island-paradise. It is assumed that is it a volcanic hot spring not fully developed a little beneath sea level where a pool is formed by sea stones and corals. Water temperature shifts gradually but effectively. Being submerge in warm water inside the pool at low tide and enjoying the cold sea water merging with the hot spring, you can

never ask for anything better. This rare spring is situated at Naasag, Mambajao - about 12 kilometers west of the capital town. The Tangub Hot Spring is one of the best kept secrets in Camiguin. Want to experience an adventure in foreign soil? Lying in the heart of La Union is a slice of an island southeast of Greece’s mainland, Santorini. Perched up high on a scenic diff at the Poro Point, the grand Greek architecture stands out at the Thunderbird Poro Point Resort. The Mediterranean architecture sets it apart from other luxury resorts. It is believed that the blue dome on top of the huge central dome gives the distinctive Santorini-inspired look of the resort. Thuderbird resort is definitely one of the high-end resorts in the North. For a taste of our own culture, let us travel to the island of Heritage— Vigan city. Vigan is known as the center of Spanish colonial power in Northern Luzon. The range of structures along the plazas and streets reveals the story of the town. Large and imposing buildings evoke political or religious power. Grand homes speak of wealth, while others speak of more modest means. The architectural ensemble shows that Vigan was the political, economic, religious, and artistic center of the region. The town is a living testament to the Spanish colonial era, a place that exerts a strong cultural influence to the modern Philippine nation. So if you would want a taste of our ancestors or your great great grandfathers, visit Vigan! The endpoint of our summer roadtrip does not lie far ahead, although it still worth the journey. We have visited places around the archipelago but there is one destination that has always brought us a sense of familiarity; setting aside the busy streets and large crowds surfaces the exquisite capital of the Pearl of the Orient Seas, the city of Manila. Manila is our country’s heart and soul and it sets the rhythm of life in the Philippines. Manila is an anchor tourist destination, the very core of the Archipelago. Having unveiled the true gems of the Orient, you would have to agree that, in the Summer time, it is more fun in the Philippines.


GLUE ON OUR EDGES Reomin Deocareza

“Even in cases of disagreement, unless human rights are abused, people should learn the word respect.” - J. W. P. C. At home: Mom and dad keep on arguing over things; Mom wants this but dad wants otherwise. A sister is angered by her sibling for not having followed her order; the sibling complains and explains that she does not want such a thing so she has the right to refuse. Parents suggest things—Do this, do that—yet the child does not want to follow so, aware of his own preferences and thinking, he stands up and explains that he does not want to do such things. In school: A teacher throws a question that is meant to be answered by everyone, no wrong answers, he assures all his students. A student stands up and gives an answer to the question while another analyzes it, finds it faulty and stands up to contest and raise her point which, for her, is the correct one. The teacher disagrees to what his students say; he does not believe in such a thing so he questions the student’s point and there comes a debate between them. In church: There is a mass and the celebrator has his homily; he makes his comments on the RH Bill and criticizes the ones who support it. Some people sitting on the pews raise their eyebrows at the priest whose sermons, they think, are too hypocrite and impractical. A teenage couple pretends not to hear the priest as he condemns premarital sex. An Agnostic teenage guy who is there because his parents want him to be there contemplates and thinks to himself,there might not be a God. At the workplace: In an office, staffs are asked to suggest what to do for the next project. One contributes an idea— What if we do this? The boss finds the idea great until another staff raises his hand and tells that the suggestion, though undoubtedly impressive, is both too unrealistic and ambitious. The boss realizes the point and nods. The staff who gave his opinion first becomes frustrated. On the road: Holding a newspaper, the driver expresses his disbelief to the government. This is their fault, he says in a cold voice as he waits for his jeepney to be filled with passengers at the terminal. A passenger sitting beside him gets

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irritated because of his remarks. People should not blame the government for all the miseries they have, she tells the driver yet the driver insists that his point is logical. The government is not doing what it is supposed to do, he argues but the passenger remains unshaken. Every individual must be accountable for his own situation, she stands firm in her beliefs. Online: A blogger writes about a certain issue and makes his points through criticizing several institutions. In just a matter of clicks, his opinions are published and are capable of reaching all corners of the world. It Is soon read by people coming from different parts of the globe, not all of them agree to what he says in his write-ups so they let him know about their disagreements and tries to reason out why they oppose. The blogger responses to the comments and soon there is a thread until it becomes a talk of everyone. We are different from each other, like tiles separated by sharp edges. Sometimes, these sharp edges which define our differences wound each other whenever we forcefully touch each other in the most unlikely situations. Even more, when we feel that someone else tries to invade our space and go beyond our edges which serve as our boundaries making the distinction between the Self and the Other, we become so defensive that we even resort to become violent and aggressive. Yet it becomes a wonder why despite all these differences from which all forms of disagreement and confrontations regarding differences arise, we remain to live in order. Though we all know that we possess powers to harm one another through the strengths we have in our hands, we manage to maintain a type of life that is not exceeding the limits. Thinking of all these, it can be said that it is because despite the awareness of how different we all are from each other, we know that we have limitations. We cannot just do what we want and manipulate people in the way we want. We understand that despite our differences, we have to keep in mind that it is never a license for us to do things we know will violate others. The magic word is respect. After all, we know we are all humans—we all have our rights that have to be respected. These rights, truly, are the ones that serve as glue on our edges which binds us as one—one despite all the differences.


rape is the summary of my pain. today, is the long awaited separation of my numb index and middle fingers. its pain is causative: weak clamor of curiosity: a dice of confusion cube. whenever the free sets the pattern, i make sure life is set to the bitterest remark: fire blanks to ashes as water becomes nauseous to the weakened mind. each movement is accompanied with the oh-ah-uh onamatopoeic percussions and while each pain recieved is a pain sent to my carrier’s lung: burnt with cigars. i had a difficulty in taking the blank infinite: it is divorcing the strands of my meat soaked in the archaic wine of the most obsolete lexical sin-making: while you stride your way to the door, opened with forced remark (as it was closed--you opened it! you, puta! ahh... puta!) seeing the forbidden area. and that’s how all it went through: i never wanted the line that bordered me upon the skeletal weaving of my heart. you embraced me infinitely, just like that. pain is the summary of my rape.



on her way to set the sun, she went up here– to the most frantic eye of the sea: bara–they kept muttering: rose. as she paid the price of pot clanks, silvery threads of unwoven silk; flower petals summoning sakuras; oh, cherry blossoms so they say, sweet. never she did waver– when her heart is but a flutter of shuffling wishes to the dear– of what hatred does it embrace! she exchanged 20 minutes for 9 months; 9 months for, perhaps 80 years? everything wobbled cob-web-spun-rolling on her jester behind the curtain. sweet, as the rose, bara. as the calm sea rose upon the sun: she never set–she cannot! oh, Yuki, a snowy flowering rose.

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Neille Cuevas

you breathe, you come, you deliver: upon your ephemeral ground you luster; you shine, you enter— within my core; a one, or two final incandescence ever-repelling the beauty of my shudder: the behest of your calling the need, the want; that great feeling of sadness embossing every vein intertwining twilights of my honing: my sculpting, the finalizing; a rain of cats away—my silence, deafening each moan you utter, the insane coughing of your virus; the breathing you lust for every bounce into my door: that every shrilling mundane barking of your bitch; your absolute zero, your final shout of your sucking— the thrilling off-beat air-music of a flute kept resonating whimsical rhyme of the air you have lusted from the shoot of my spirit, my raped forking time.


PERCEPT ONES Mikee Sanchez

Mirror, mirror, a reflection of deception We all want to see authentic perfection Ah! Make-up shall cover what’s defective But wait, a feign smile is better and inexpensive Dress me up in black and white Am I really a wonderful sight? Shush, don’t complain. Just nod your head This place has had too much of the trend They tell you this, they tell you that Which is which? Oh, please tell me dad Mom says I am nobody but me But why I am I turning into society? Once wrong move and you’re forever changed But will your real self really fade? Mirror, mirror, I see nothing but mere reflections But who’s to complain and ask for interpretations? Different eyes will see the same thing But different words shall they sing Soon you’ll hear a tune and find yourself tapping to its beat Who would have thought different words would actually fit?

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Ron Mangoba Hindi lang basta-basta Masasabi ko lang sa isang salita Kundi sa maramihan kung kinkailangan Ang laman ng aking isipan. At mula sa mga salitang nasa ulo ko Ay nabuo ang simpleng tulang ito Na nais ko ipabasa sa iyo at upang malaman mo Na ako’y nais makipagkaibigan sa iyo. Noon pa man, nang una kang makita Nais ko sanang lumapit para makipagkilala Pero ako’y sadyang mahiyain At baka di mo lang ako pansinin. Lumipas na ang mga araw, buwan at taon At eto pa rin ako, naghihintay pa rin ng tamang panahon Ngunit mukhang sadyang palabiro ang tadhana Tila ba pinagsasalisi tayong dalawa. Naisip ko na nga ang sumuko na Pagkat tingin ko’y wala na akong pag-asa Pero bakit nga ba ako hihinto Kung nakapag-umpisa na ako? Meron ngang kasabihan, kung gusto, may paraan At kung ayaw may dahilan Kaya gumawa na ako ng sariling paraan At yun ay gumawa ng tula pagkat ikaw ang dahilan. Kung sakali man na ito’y iyong nabasa Sana ikaw ay aking napasaya Pagkat ito’y ang aking handog para sa iyo Sa isang magandang binibini katulad mo. Pero mukhang wala na akong masabi At dumatinjg na ako sa bandang huli Hanggang dito na lang talaga Pagkat naubusan na ako ng salita.



I’m the Acolyte in surplice white So wet or dry you could rely My youth full of pleasure you can’t deny Sends every priest in heavenly skies

Father is this God’s love? I feel strange with every shove Even in this pain I praise Just to please and give grace

I was kneeling on the pew Then father came along and knelt beside me too I don’t know but I asked him “What’s the matter?” Then he said:

An Altar boy the friar loves to screw He then told him that his love is true The boy kissed him back and said “I love you” too As his inside is filled with the friar’s hot goo

Promise to the lord you won’t tell Or a special place awaits you in hell Be not afraid little child For the hurt is only mild

It’s Father’s pleasure I couldn’t resist “More” I begged as he pulled out his meat Oh Father please listen to my plea, pretty please? But then father left a mark to my neck with his teeth

Forget not the lord said With me you are blessed This is only a test of faith In heaven we will dine on a silver plate

The priest told me what we did is a real mess But I told him that it won’t make me love him less The boy calmed the troubled friar without a fret Then they reached for the blanket then took a rest

To be a servant of God at the altar Who has been “touched” by the friar Bowed low in a reverent prayer Is bounded to be his “toy” later

Father forgive me for I have sinned But It felt so good that I’ve continued the deed Forgive me God for I have sinned a lot An urge so strong I cannot stop

By the divine grace, I was led to his bed I don’t know but our faces flushed red He pulled down his robe and with his shaft I was fed “What we’re doing is wrong but it feels so right” I said Father dominated both of my hands His chamber suddenly turned into a wonderland I don’t know but what he did made me so weak As he kissed my neck and cheeks so meek Sweet submission, Cry of surrender I can’t fight back for his love is tender No grander mission could saints and men enjoy Throughout life then endeavor God’s grace to employ His lusting stripped my innocence With his every caress as I’m thrilled with his suspense To the extent that I’m lost with my very own senses No amount can measure my pleasure as I exclaim “YES!”

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On my fifteen years of living Of all the sufferings I’ve been On your shoulders are the only ones I’ve leaned The only light my eyes have seen

That sweet tale didn’t last And I didn’t thought that it will be fast It feels like I would collapse Our promises suddenly turned into scraps

In times of happiness and despair There is always you who care Thousands of problems we bear But millions of laughter we share

A tale that ended unexpectedly Another life has been taken There in heavens you ascended And I’m left behind unspoken

Who taught me how to stand Who took care of these scars So i whispered upon the stars Will these last forever?

Our dreams were shattered On the day we parted Both hearts were broken And many questions are left open

Like a flower, I flourished Like a child , I was nourished Who gave my life full of courage A life filled with bright new pages

I really miss that person’s warmth Who can replace my missing Part Who can heal this Fainted Heart Who can water this wilted Plant.

Who saved me from these blades Who set me free from this cage Who unlocked me from these chains The person who cleared this rain

No matter how I try to shed these tears No matter how I try to erase these fears I cannot return back time to those years The Happiness I miss so Dear...

Who made me escape from this pain Who caused my life to change The person who took me from the gloom The person who made me bloom It’s like we live in a fairy tale That there’s no one can compare There will be hundreds of conflicts appear But still there is nothing to fear A year was passed When happiness was casted Will these last forever? The stars have finally answered The stars have taken, that person’s Life Leaving my world as cold as ice I believe that everything has a price But I never expected that it wouldn’t be nice

Maybe this pain has to cease The pain I must Release So we both can have Peace In order to find happiness that I want to see I know you’ve tried your best But I think it’s your time to rest I may miss your sweet caress So here in my poem I will express Even we have separate worlds There is still one sky that holds This story that is once told A part of one’s history that will never fold.



Of all things between heaven and earth, Ernesto Gonzales was sure of one: that he was poetry. His work at the company, his garden green, and his wife all wavered in his heart; but not his poems. In a cardboard box at the back of his closet, Ernesto hid portraits of his soul in the form of sonnets, verses, and the occasional epic. His favorite poem was an ode to his mother-in-law, the late Catherine Gretta Perfecto, written shortly before her tragic accident with the horse. To a hypothetical reader, his poetry tackled universal themes such as the cessation of life, the trials of heterosexuality, and big, bright, balls of gas. In reality, however, all of Ernesto’s poems were about Ernesto himself. Even the glorious paean to Mrs. Perfecto was more than an illustration of her bulbosity; it was an intricate metaphor into Ernesto’s personal battle with aging. However, these hypothetical readers were to remain hypothetical, for Ernesto was content to leave his works in the dark of his closet, and live the rest of his artistic life in total obscurity like his hero Emily Dickinson. Although not the most firm or forceful of men, he was resolute in forbidding anyone to read his poetry. He wrote about himself for himself, and though his wife of seventeen years could look all she wanted upon his naked body, she would never be allowed to look upon his naked soul. But Anita Gonzales was a true woman, and seventeen years of curiosity to a woman was equivalent to a lifetime of celibacy. After almost two decades, she decided, it was time to clean the closet. Like anyone who has spent a considerable portion of their life reading the classics, Anita believed herself to be a literary critic. She was proud of her innate ability to find at least one Homeric allusion in every piece discussed in her weekly book club. In only six years, this skill propelled her to the club’s presidency after the untimely death of the Mrs. Revilla when her husband’s golf club swung out of her hands and into her cranium. Her victory was decisive, with the unanimous vote of half the club and one. However, she continued to watch her rival, Mrs. Cabuyao, who captured the votes of those who did not unanimously vote for Anita. If there was one thing she had learned in all her years, it was that one must always be on her guard in the cut-throat world of literary politics. In any case, Anita knew her opinions on literary matters weighed far more than those of Mrs. Cabuyao, who insisted that Homer was inferior to Mr. Quintus Horatius Flaccus.

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It is the rare critic who can judge the work of a loved one with like a guillotine, and barring her girth, Anita Gonzales was a common specie of woman. Upon reading her husband’s works, a scorching flame burst forth inside of her. As a child, she had swooned not for Hector or Achilles, but for Homer himself, man of many words. Two decades of dating had left her disillusioned: there were no more epic Homers, furious Dantes, or haughty Byrons. She put her dreams away in a box beneath her bed, and looked for other qualities of a man: kindness, goodness, money. She fell in love with Ernesto for all of these, and did not think of her box until she discovered Ernesto’s secret. Now, after seventeen years, she finally knew: Ernesto was Homer; Ernesto was Shelley; Ernesto was the poet of her dreams. The box was broken, the bed was shaking, and a fire burned in her loins like never before. Ernesto did not know where this sudden passion had come from. He knew even less of Anita’s schemes as he left the house for work every day. She had already contacted one of those reputable publishing houses that produced the best books for the most money, and handpicked thirty of his best poems -not a few of which were dedicated to the mysterious “gushing garden rose,” whom Anita knew to be herself. Ernesto soon read in the papers about the upcoming book launch of an anonymous poet to be held at the grandest hall of the Manila Peninsula. It was said the greatest writers and critics of the country had been invited to the launch. Ernesto wondered momentarily who the poet could be before going out to the garden to write. He received the answer the following week in the form of two thousand copies of The Gushing Rose stacked prominently at the center of the living room. He was furious at this invasion into his soul, and adamantly refused to attend the book launch until Anita reminded him of the guest list. It seemed some congressman had promised to come, albeit of the insignificant and inconspicuous variety. This often happened when an event was to be held in such a place for free. Frightened at the thought of such extravagance, but even more so on the chance of great embarrassment, Ernesto resigned himself to his fate.

But Anita was convinced that this was their debut into literary history, and she was determined to start with a bang. She’d brought with her, from the bankrupt isles of the Mediterranean, the renowned Greek operatic, Georgios Stasnipoulos, who sang passages from Odysseus’s ordeal with Calipso while a Russian ballet troupe gave a modern dance interpretation under the black light. This was followed by a parade of demons from the Maleboge and their prisoners -all midgets- who circled round the hall with much wailing and gnashing of teeth. This was only to be topped by the invasion of Germanic horrors from the Walpurgis Nacht. The culmination, a return to ancients with the sacrifice of the golden calf, was delayed by a series of road constructions and traffic accidents that forced the truck with the 24-carat cow to the heart of Tondo. Out of options, Anita ordered one of the roast lechons to be coated in golden paint and sacrificed to Ernesto. Exhausted and mortified, Ernesto contracted an unknown disease soon after the launch. Coinciding with this time of weakness were the reviews for The Gushing Rose, the most favorable of which had said “it is at least evident that Mr. Gonzales has sat in front of a rose because he knows that it has thorns.” All these together confined Ernesto to his bed, where eventually all his rage, pain, and fear disintegrated with his body and soul into the sickly air of the bedroom.

and was forced to retire from his position in the company. By this time, however, Anita began to receive a modest but noticeable income as a writer. This began after one of the major Metro Manila newspapers offered her a popular culture column. The fire of her words, the sharpness of her tongue, and the popularity of her columns drew in more job offers. Her overall income along with Ernesto’s pension was enough to pay the bills, with a few pesos left over to put in the bank. Now, Anita spent most of her time writing in the study, by a large window overlooking the garden. Always within her line of sight was Ernesto, who now dallied away his afternoons sitting by the table where he had written his favorite poems. They were there now, rotting beneath the soil. A more turbulent soul would have burnt them, but Ernesto was content with using what was left of him -memories of hours wiled away in the dying sun, writing a glorious ode to a glorious piece of flesh- to fertilize his garden. But now he was at peace, and amongst the rustling of leaves and the smell of freshly cut grass, the only sign of pain was a single thorny stem, poking out of the bushes, cut at the tip.

But all this spirit found its way to Anita, who was furious at the inability of the country’s so called poets to recognize true art. She wrote violent letters to Ernesto’s critics, lashed out against the most prominent -thus, obscurepoets, and created more publicity for the Philppine literary community than it had seen since Rizal was shot at Bagumbayan. She was soon approached by a small newspaper to write a weekly column, which she put to scornful use after her impeachment as president of the book club -a movement spearheaded by Mrs. Cabuyao, who convinced the other ladies that since Anita’s critical judgment was now so obviously misconstrued, it would be impossible for the organization to continue with her as its figurehead. This proved to be a good business decision, for by earning Anita’s ire, the club earned both publicity and respect as a literary institution. Although his health improved to the point that he stroll around his garden again, Ernesto never truly recovered


MUSINGS Kit Singson

She was staring at the floor
Looking blankly at the drops of rain impressing patterns on the clay As they were almost instantly absorbed into it Her legs were crossed, a foot missing a slipper
Jowl to fist as her free arm rested across the inside of her elbow She was fiddling with her fingers
Uncertainly As thoughts of dilemma and discredit, misery or mere songs Stuck in her head
Erupted into her mind
Making her oblivious and numb to the downpour and high winds She couldn’t let go of the unresolved matters aged in silence for the Longest time
No one was pushing her, no one was taunting her
But she was restless in utter mediation She was drinking hot cocoa
Her mug making spherical stains on the marble table in the balcony where she was Occasionally she would sip a little
Eyes not leaving the phenomena that was the marriage of the roof and the rain When her mug was almost empty, she spat the bitter cocoa bits which failed to maim She shrugged in disgust.

146 /Literature


And in the pirouette of your dance Your sensual abjection
Has Acheron been accoutered for this? Stun has made me his empire The pervert glass is looking at you Mine own eager to Abut against your tender lips
And tousled hair between your fingers And slaver nipple after nipple Hard, pink and rigid Pulsating stomach; pulsating groin Your flesh has burned mine
The gaiting of index and middle Across the length of my– My phalanges copy your slender figure Mimesis of salvo


OSCILLATIONS Vincent Dioquinio

The philosopher creates, he doesn’t reflect. — Gilles Deleuze the sun does not reflect on bronze statues. what it glimmers as is epiphany—a face. unnamed measures. chisel, char. what is poise, if not a mere moment? mould. once is enough, history tells us. look, these horizons are intangible: faint shimmer of sunlight now almost gone. Rodin awaits the night, ruminating what neither moss nor cobweb can claim. yet uncast dimensions. such contingency, carved in places no hand can labor on, can create. if only to consider light.

148 /Literature


Vincent Dioquinio down the road, footsteps find a memory. here, fifteen years ago, a child crossed the street, unsure of how to go back. now, in the distance looms an aged tree, its branches weaving light between leaves. balance is too earnest a word. look, the sun insists that there is firmness to things we cannot keep. a kite, torn from winds too strong for its wings, the way it falls to the aged tree, caught in foliage. this must be how things emerge. roots, gathering moisture. or a child’s hand, tugging at kite strings, learning patience, learning the way home. this soil, our foothold, our own.




Stache April 2012 // Issue 09  

Another all-out art issue for April!

Stache April 2012 // Issue 09  

Another all-out art issue for April!