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HEIGHTS Tomo LVII Bilang 1 Karapatang-ari Š 2009 Reserbado ang karapatang-ari sa mga indibidwal na awtor ng mga akda sa isyung ito. Hindi maaaring ilathala, ipakopya, o ipamudmod sa anumang anyo ang mga akda nang walang pahintulot ng mga awtor. Hindi maaaring ibenta sa kahit anong paraaan at pagkakataon ang kopyang ito. Maaaring makipag-ugnayan sa: Heights, Publications Room, MVP 202 Ateneo de Manila University, P.O. Box 154 Manila ateneo.heights@ymail.com www.heights-ateneo.org Heights ang opisyal na pampanitikang publikasyon at organisasyon ng Pamantasang Ateneo de Manila. Dibuho sa pabalat: Aikaye Bollozos, Alfred Marasigan Disenyo at paglalapat: Gisela Banaag, Jose Fernando Go-Oco


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Mula sa Patnugot

Tulad ng mito ng mga Hapon ukol sa pagtutupi ng isang libong paper crane, may kahilingan ding natutupad matapos makipagbuno ang manunulat sa isang libong burador, paulit-ulit na tinutupi ang kanyang mga karanasan, kinikimkim na alaala, mga gunitang sadyang ayaw magpalimot sa ibig kumatha. Hindi madaling magsulat o magsimulang magsulat lalo na habang iniisip ang tila mas mahahalagang mga bagay – majors, QPI, makakain, date, barkada, trabaho, pamilya. Walang pera sa pagsusulat. Walang kasiguraduhan sa kinabukasan. Subalit may hiwaga sa loob ng anumang likhang-sining. Dito ibinubuhos ng sinuman ang kaniyang mga ibig sabihin. May bigat at lalim ang mga salita gayundin ang mga kulay, galaw ng linya at bagsak ng liwanag. May lihim ang bawat isa at mga lihim itong nais din naman talagang ibunyag. “Sino nga bang manunulat ang ayaw malathala?” sabi ng isang hinahangaan kong guro at makata. Kaya lumilikha ng sining upang mangusap, mangingibabaw sa ingay ng kalsada, sa araw-araw na paglisan at pag-uwi ng tahanan, sa mga luma’t bagong balita, sa mga nakasanayan na, sa mga malaya nang tinatanggap, sa walang lalim na pag-usad. Sabi sa Pilosopiya, bago pa man maaaring simulang pag-usapan ang moralidad, pinupunan muna ng tao ang kanyang pangangailangan sa estetika – sa pagkabighani sa kagandahan ng mundong kaniyang ginagalawan. Kaya naman, isinasaayos ng mga akda sa tomong ito ng Heights ang masalimuot na karanasan ng isang anak, kapatid, kaibigan, mangingibig, naiwan, nawalay sa bayan, makata, banidoso, dasal at ang karanasan ng buong bayan sa paglikha ng sariling alamat at sa


pagmumuni-muni ukol sa pagpanaw ng Pangulong Cory Aquino. Binibigyan ng panitikan ng magandang disenyo ang anumang karanasan, pinagagalaw ang mga salita patungo sa kaibuturan ng mambabasa, nang sa gayon, tumalab sa mambabasa ang kanilang pagiging tao. Sa panitikan, napoproseso ninuman ang kaniyang karanasan marahil naitatawid din siya nito sa anumang kabigatan. Kaya mahalaga ang panitikan sa kasalukuyan nang patuloy pang lumawig ang kaalaman ng tao, lalo pang lumawak at lumalim ang pagtingin sa buhay, magpatuloy ang ilan pang pagwasak at muling pagbuo ng sarili sa bawat pagharap araw-araw. Kaya rin nagluksa ang mga alagad ng sining sa CCP at patuloy na nagluluksa sa pagkamatay ng sining, pinaninindigan ang kalidad ng panitikan. Kaya rin, ngayong taon, higit na naging masigasig ang Heights sa pangangalap ng mga kontribusyon lalo na mula sa mga hindi kasapi nito. Pinaigting ng Heights ang pakikipag-ugnayan nito sa mga mag-aaral at kaguruan. Sinimulan ito sa pakikipag-usap sa mga guro sa kagawaran ng Filipino at Ingles noong bakasyon pa lamang upang humingi ng rekomendasyon ng mga akdang maaaring mailathala at mga mag-aaral na may natatanging galing sa pagsusulat. Nagpatuloy ito sa pakikipagugnayan sa iba’t ibang organisasyon, sa pagbabago ng website, pagupdate ng Multiply at paglikha ng Facebook ng Heights. Kaya naman, laking tuwa ng aming patnugutan nang mapansing naguumapaw sa kontribusyon ang kauna-unahang tomo ng taon. Subalit, hindi pa rin maikakaila ang kakulangan ng mga akda sa Filipino mula sa mga mag-aaral di tulad noong dekada ‘70 noong buhay na buhay pa ang damdaming makabayan. Upang lalo pang yumabong ang panitikan sa Ateneo de Manila, magsagawa ng writing workshops ang Heights mula Setyembre hanggang Nobyembre para sa sinumang interesadong magsulat sa Ingles o sa Filipino. Hinahangad ng Heights na lalo pang magparamdam sa mga Atenista, ipadama na buhay pa ang panitikan sa unibersidad at ipabatid na may bahagi ng buhay ng sinuman na sa panitikan lamang nila matatagpuan.


Nawa’y magsilbing bukal ng kahiwagaan ang mga likhang-sining ng isyung ito, magsilbing munting kontribusyon sa mayabong na panitikan ng Pilipinas, maging huntahan ng samu’t saring usapan at bulung-bulungan ng mga anghel sa katahimikan, maging moog ng anumang ibig pa nating maranasan. At dito, natutupad ang kahilingan ng makata. mananalaysay, ilustrador, pintor, photographer, eskultor, at sinupamang alagad ng sining. 

Walther Neil L. Hontiveros


Mga Nilalaman Andrea N. Macalino 2 · Benediction

Riche Lim 8 · Pursuit

Jenica Chuahiock 9 · Light

Joven Angelo Flordelis 10 · Cadena de Amor 11 · Pagluha 101

Sasha Martinez 14 · This Fleet of Shadows

Boom Enriquez 20 · Kulay Pula

Vincenz Serrano 25 · Corner House

Joseph Casimiro 26 · Ang Imahen at ang Banidoso 27 · Ang Banidoso at ang Imahen

Margarita Pesons Rafols 28 · Treasure Chest

Isabel Yap 33 · Warmer

Riegele Agnes F. Arceo 35 · Chimaera

Hermund M. Rosales 40 · Pagsasakatawang-tao ng salita

Gian Lao 57 · Artists


Allan Popa 61 · Salaysay

Edgar Calabia Samar 62 · kumpisal

Petra Magno 65 · it was the thirteenth night and

Michelle T. Tan 68 · Marital Affairs

Allan N. Derain 77 · Tatlong kabanata mula sa Ang banal na aklat ng mga kumag

Rafael Antonio C. San Diego 92 ·

Pepito Go-Oco 93 · Abakada

Michael Rey Salazar Orlino 95 · Ngayong Gabi

Walther Neil L. Hontiveros 96 · Mahirap nang sumulat ng tula para sa matalik na kaibigan

Christine V. Lao 97 · Sonogram 99 · Tropical Depression 100 · Holiday

Rachel Valencerina Marra 101 · Ambroxol 102 · Alas Tres ng Hapon 104 · 17

Brandon Dollente 106 · Linya

Marie La Viña 107 · Assisi


[Writing Exercises] Wyatt Caraway Curie L. Ong 110 · Teratoma

Marie La Viña 112 · Hymn

Mikael de Lara Co 113 · Liriko: Pagtawid

Rafael Antonio C. San Diego 110 · La Mancha

Isabel yap 112 · After she left him

Wyatt Caraway Curie L. Ong 110 · Ursa Major

Sining Natasha Ringor 124 · Judas Cow

Jessica Amanda Bauza 125 · Watching You Watching Me

Miguel Mercado 126 · Osier

Alyza May T. Taguilaso 127 · Ah

Genevieve Deniece D. Go 128 · bRat

Patricia Lalisan 129 · Portrait of Crispin


Dave Anastacio 130 · I am a Woman

Monica Esquivel 131 · Burn

Eliana Laurice Javier 132 · Like You

Hazel Anne Tan 133 · Sea Turtle

Dale Liwanag 134 · Breath

Regine Marie B. David 136 · The Morning After 137 · Fire Serpents ii (An Ode to Gustav Klint)

Ria Rigoroso 138 · Lightheaded

Eusebio Kylo Chua 139 · Serenade 140 · Everlasting 141 · Arisia


Mga Akda


When a Line is a Circle

Excerpts from a letter to a friend abroad Ramón C. Sunico

“Dear W ~ “I joined the pila at the LaSalle burol today—ang ganda-ganda! There was a stiff breeze and a pearly overcast sky. People, mostly families, were smiling but not raucous. Very few made singit and if anyone did, no-one really minded. More often, one would jump the line to talk to a friend (“Long time, no see” or “Kamusta na pare? ’Yan na ba ang anak mo?”) and then go back to their place in the line. “There was ice cream and mani—inihaw na may bawang or nilaga— and cold drinks for anyone to buy. “The pila itself started outside the main entrance, went all the way to the corner of EDSA and Ortigas, and then curved back to LaSalle, a line that was really a circle. And not a word of complaint from anyone. “I decided to do this to complete the circle in my own life, since I had also made pila to see ... Ninoy’s remains in Sto Domingo. “It was beautiful the way the long line bent because as it curved onto itself, it would bring back faces from the past: I saw N Q whom I first met as a thin young seminarian, now a properly plump Jesuit; an old student, who never spoke in class but who called me out with a loud and mischievous “Sir!” from her place in the back of the line, now more confident in her lovely salt and pepper hair. The daughter of the late

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Big Mac Macaraig came over to inform me that this was not the line for supporters of Senator Villar. (Mwahahaha) I even saw the ate of a former girlfriend, intent on gossip with her amigas. “Then as the line got nearer the gym, I saw J being helped by his son and his nephews as they offered food and juice to those who spent some two hours of their day of rest on their feet to condole with the family of someone who is now past all betrayal. “Inside I was invited to sit for a while in the place reserved for Cory’s Crusaders, all older but many still strikingly attractive, not least for the strength of feeling you saw sparkling behind their eyes. I saw D who told me T was busy helping to prepare the food. I texted her and she called back just as I was on the way out to buy perhaps my last yellow t-shirt with a picture of a woman who taught me about the scale of a man’s stride and the power of standing in line.”

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From Afar, Yellow Lawrence Lacambra Ypil

From afar, yes, and now a huge crowd gathers. A long line traces its tail to no end. And the rain, quick and persistent reprise of itself, becomes now downpour, now puddle gathering at the foot into a deep pool to be stepped over. A ribbon hovers. An arm grips the edge of a pole. A foot springs from the edge of the gutter. One hand holds another. And from the corner that seems both three steps away and forever, a voice under the torrent yells “Payong!”. Outside the cathedral, in a funeral, we gather. From afar, yes, and in time too. Grade school recess and a button pinned to the pocket of a backpack. Who’s to know when one’s young what was right? Yellow seemed frank, and right, and honest. And the picture of a woman on a pin seemed refreshing, although not exactly new, having seen it in novenas, and newspaper ads, and the pictures of our mothers, painting of our grandmothers on the wall. Yellow is the color of cheese, or cheese curls sold just outside school. Where a sticker was free and to be placed on a pencil box. And the thick yellow clump gathered on the thumb and index finger. “Laban” with cheese curls. “People Power” as merienda. The world was changing but we were hungry and we didn’t know it. Yellow: the color of lighters, and flames, and jaundice, and daylight. Someone hands me a gift when I’m six and the ribbon’s yellow. I bite into a pencil when I’m thinking and it’s yellow, yellow as my thoughts. Hard to pull off a yellow dress, or yellow shirt, unless one was earnest. Earnest and honest and entirely unembarrassed. Shyless as yellow. Yellow which catches and not catches our attention. The color of some

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flowers in the garden. The shade that comes in the order of crayons right after orange, before green. Yellow the sun, the son. From afar, yellow gathers. From afar, songs are sung that seem yellow, mellow. From afar, a yellow rose thrown into the air, like water shot from a hose, like the sound of horns blown from the sea, arcs its brief trajectory in the morning and misses its mark. No mark to be held like a wound, just an honest miss. We will miss all this. From afar, yellow.

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Benediction Andrea N. Macalino

When the Archbishop proclaimed that only women—true, anatomically authentic women—could join the Santacruzan, Alan had expected his family to throw a party. Upon hearing the announcement, he had imagined his uncles carrying in a small lechon, his aunts gathering around the pancit, and his cousins preparing the buko juice or perhaps buying a bottle or two (or three or four) of Coca-Cola. The alcohol—or rather, the absence of it—would prod gently at the edges, but would do nothing more, he imagined, because having a party in itself was blatant, but risking drunken insults would be careless. It was without question that the Ladies of the Parish would obey the Archbishop’s proclamation, forgetting the countless years when women and those who believed they were women in the very core of their souls—had paraded down the narrow streets wrapped in stiff, glittering dresses, or soft, flowing gowns, but always bejeweled and smiling with their escorts. Just the same, there was no question about Alan’s father partaking in the parade this year. Alan stood up from having watched a few moments’ worth of television while munching on pan de sal, and headed towards the kitchen to start with the morning chores. It was something he had long grown accustomed to ever since the day after he and his father arrived four years ago, having just parted ways with Alan’s mother, who had finally admitted to her heart and to her family that having a gay

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husband—albeit a loving, caring, almost polished-to-perfection gay husband—was just not her cup of ginger ale tea. He had quickly learned that his father was no more welcome in this house than he had been at the house of Alan’s relatives on the maternal side, but that bore little significance in the face of the fact that there had been nowhere else left to go. Still, even the temporary relief of finding a place to stay—even if the place was full of sneers and side comments about his father—had to pass. The signs of the times—the suspicious economy and the perennial tension in the government—were tightening their grip on the family’s throat and bleeding wallets dry. Like a silent assailant on the prowl, the demand that one family member be sacrificed and sent to work in the Great Overseas was a constant murmur, slithering through the paperthin walls of the house and caressing the recesses of its residents’ minds. Unfortunately, being a gay, single father, with a low-paying, blue-collar job, fulfilled all the requirements of this silent, insistent whisper and as he gathered the dirty dishes from the table, Alan pictured his father’s plane ticket, passport, and necessary papers piled neatly atop the small desk he kept in his room. What he could not imagine however, was his own father, who had not come out of his room since the Archbishop made his announcement and the Ladies of the Parish, with their quiet nods and equally silent lips, gave off all sorts of signs foretelling of their obeisance two days ago. There was the Flores de Mayo, it was true, but Alan’s father would have gone by then, serving a people whose culture he neither knew nor loved. Mourning the loss of one last chance to don his stunning blue gown before he rode a plane and became one of the faceless thousands of men and women abroad, Alan’s father remained in his room, doing goodness knew what. Or rather, he stayed in his room doing whatever it was that

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everyone else except his own son knew of, for Alan had not been allowed inside his father’s room since the voluntary isolation had begun. This voluntary isolation, the silence of all the other members of the family about it, the constant newscasts about various reactions to the Archbishop’s announcement—Alan suspected that these were the reasons why the pain inside him felt like a tiny ball of half-hardened clay, throbbing quietly and trembling at every feather-light touch. But it was a pain which Alan could not even begin to unweave, for it was a kind of mourning that seemed to grow complex at every moment of each passing day. In some ways, he supposed, he was mourning for his father not only as a son, but as a fellow countryman. In some corner of his heart, Alan mourned the fact that his father was about to leave their country of seven thousand islands in order to earn what could not be earned on native soil. It seemed inhuman to tear his father away from the place where stars were hung on trees and houses at Christmas time, where children and adults alike pressed their foreheads to the backs of their elders’ hands. And it seemed especially insensitive to tear him away from the place where, up until recently, men and women, whether in baro’t saya or otherwise, formed a procession under seemingly dim stars and yellow-orange streetlamps during the Santacruzan, their smiles adorning their otherwise weary faces. But all these thoughts, these seedlings of a still-budding nationalistic emotion, bundled as they were with the pain of losing his father to another country, were made all the more strange when Alan thought of what a mind-boggling isolation his father had brought upon himself. Indeed, what a strange isolation it was! For, as proven by countless cousins, aunts, and younger uncles who had been tasked to bring food to his father at proper times, the door was not actually locked at any time of day. And yet that one time when Alan had tried to go inside, the

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eldest aunt had shrieked and pulled him away, telling him that he was not allowed to see. The day went on, consisting of more chores, an hour or two of chess with some cousins, a few errands to the sari-sari store, and then watching what was left of the obligatory noontime show after washing the lunchtime dishes. Dinner was lonelier than usual, just as it had been the last two nights, with his father’s chair empty still. He always thought that it was loneliest at supper without his father, but this time Alan found his head snapping up the moment his eldest aunt nodded to a female cousin, signaling that it was time to bring food to the voluntary prisoner. The sudden movement by Alan, however, did not go unnoticed. Instead, it caught the eye of his eldest uncle who, after a moment’s pause, put up a hand before the female cousin could turn around with the tray. Alan watched his face, transfixed, knowing at the back of his mind that each spoken word, each little act in the long thread of moments thereafter would somehow be determined by whatever it was that his eldest uncle was about to do or say. Masticating slowly, his eldest uncle let his gaze fall first on Alan and then on the face of his wife. Having caught her husband’s gaze, Alan’s eldest aunt managed to achieve the wide-eyed look of someone who had just been told there would no longer be any obligatory noontime shows or evening dramas. But Alan’s uncle nodded nonetheless. “It’s fine,” he said. “Everyone else has done it except him. It’s about time he saw.” “It’s about time he saw”—those too, had been the words of his mother one day long ago, when a fight had broken out between her and Alan’s father. At that time, Alan had been oblivious to everything; he had not known the reasons why his mother continually snapped at his father

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for the smallest things, had not understood the creeping tension taking hold of their family life. “It’s about time he saw”—those were the words his mother had said, hands on her waist and lips forming a tight line as she demanded that Alan help her organize the closet in the master’s bedroom. “No,” his father had insisted, standing in front of the huge closet, an unexplained fear in his eyes and a kind of stern resolve in his limbs. Still, Alan’s mother had marched to the closet doors and had pried them open just as swiftly. On the right side had hung all of his mother’s blouses—blue, yellow and off-white amidst a couple of slacks, some skirts and a few Sunday dresses. “Look, son,” his mother had said. “This is my side of the closet—and this,” she had gestured to the left, “is your father’s side.” Her eyes had sparkled with a kind of momentary malice. “Fantastic, isn’t it?” Alan’s eyes had wandered over to the disarray of colorful tank tops, knee-length cocktail dresses, and flowered shirts he had never seen before, all of them squeezed to one side of the closet by the more familiar line of long-sleeved business apparel and round-necked shirts. He remembered wondering how a particular pink blouse would look hanging about the lanky frame of his father, although he also remembered wondering how he was expected to go about fixing this closet of secrets. Did his mother want him to arrange the clothes by length? By color? By occasion? But most of all he remembered the unspeakable sadness he had seen clouding over his father’s eyes when he had looked up at him, confused and fearful, unsure of what was being asked of him in that situation. He had not even noticed his mother walking out, although he could remember the strong arms of his father lifting him up, telling him not to let it bother him. Still, it had been too late, too late, too late because he had seen, he had seen, he had seen.

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It had been at that moment years ago, Alan realized, when it had all started to make sense. It had been at that moment when he had somehow, although not fully, understood the reason why his mother always seemed to be on the verge of tears while she cooked or cleaned or sung him a lullaby to sleep. It had been then when Alan had understood that there was not enough comfort in the world for his mother, for his father, or for himself. Now Alan stood with the tray in his hands, feeling a rush of relief when he heard his eldest aunt telling everyone else to resume their meal. Upon reaching his father’s room, he set the tray down on a small set of drawers that stood near the door and knocked, hearing no reply. Alan paused, waiting and pushing away all thoughts of bringing the tray inside. Quietly, he reached for the knob, turned it slowly, and peered inside. There, wearing his stunning blue gown that fit him on the waist and cascaded like a shining blue bell down his hips, knelt his father, arms outstretched on either side of him. On one hand, he held a white plastic rosary by its cross, so that its immaculate white beads seemed to flow like stiff tears from the fingers that held it, tears so unlike the ones which streamed from his father’s eyes and down his weary cheeks. His father’s gaze was fixed on the statue of the Virgin whose eyes, Alan thought, seemed ready to spill with tears of her own.

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Pursuit Riche Lim

In inkblots tinted with ash and smog, the desperate journey circles and loops; riding on wheels, feet never touching the virgin grass, the uncluttered stones. And like an alms beggar leaping to stars, they clasp hands in insincere prayers; in pursuit of clouds with jets and wings, when the portal to Heaven is to walk barefoot on the muddy earth.

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Light Jenica Chuahiock

so slight it could weave through your working needle. A thread that eludes my grasp now held only by my eyes. Here I could comfort the northern star locked in the four walls of an undone universe too long untold. A familiar feebleness clinging like a child in your arms until it drew a hole through your heart. But I remember you this small in the running distance, shedding lullabies from your lips. So this would be your memory of me, too scarce like the grains in our hands it couldn’t exist today. And I imagine this would be the end of a tunnel for tomorrow’s flight when I sing a path of stabbing breaths.

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Cadena de Amor Joven Angelo Flordelis

Ang isinabit ko sa leeg ko Cadena de Amor ang isinabit ko sa leeg ko Cadena de Amor ang isinabit ko sa leeg ko Cadena de Amor ang isinabit ko sa leeg ko

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Pagluha 101

Pinaiiyak ka nila nang muli kitang makita. Sa labas ng ad agency na pinagtatrabahuhan ko, sa ilalim ng malalaking payong ng kapihan, nakaupo ka, kaharap ang isang lalakeng matingkad ang kulay ng buhok. Ayos na ayos ang kaniyang buhok, ngunit hindi lang talaga bagay ang blonde niyang tina sa bigat ng inyong eksena. Nag-i-internalize ka kaya noon. Pinipilit mo kayang umiyak! “Cut!” sigaw bigla ng direktor mo habang idinabog niya ang isinilindrong hard paper na improvised megaphone pala. “Dina! Hindi kita ma-take! Take 11 na!” sabay punas sa namumuong pawis niya sa ilong. “Puwede ba, umayos ka naman! Isang butil lang ng luha! Por dios!” Commercial ng isang kilalang make-up company ang pinagsastaran mo ngayon. Ang ine-endorse mo: ang pinakabagong eyeliner nila. Water-proof daw ang produktong ito—kahit sabuyan ng tubig ang mata, hindi kakalat. Kaya crucial na crucial ang luha mo sa commercial. Pangalawa lamang ang laki at kakayanan ng mga mata mong mangusap. “Direk, sorry! E, ang hirap namang maiyak kung imbis na makapaginternalize, e, nasisilaw ka sa buhok ng leading man mo! Sorry, Jake, pero I have to be blunt about it. Can you like, wear a cap na lang or something? Anything to cover your hair. Please? Nakakadistract e,” sabay iniabot ng assistant na pumapapak pa ng SkyFlakes ang isang navy blue Yankees cap kay Jake. Walang kung anu-anong sinuot ni Jake Zuluega ang iniabot na sombrero sa kaniya. Gusto na rin kasi niyang matapos ang eksena. 42 minutes lang puwede sa ilalim ng araw ang maselan niyang buhok.

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Kaya gaya ng mga usi sa paligid, burat na siya sa’yo. Magaling ka man sa phrasing at pagbato ng dialogue, olats ka pa rin sa pagluha. “Fine, fine, isusuot na. Kahit ano, mapaiyak lang ‘tong babaeng ‘to,” sambit ni Jake habang hinahawi ang locks niyang shining-shimmering pero hindi gaanong splendid. Ngunit lahat na ng tricks sa libro ng pag-iyak, nagamit na. Pinasinghot ka na ng sibuyas. Kinurot ka na sa tagiliran. Binunutan ka na ng buhok sa ilong. Ngunit wala pa rin. Nagmungkahi na nga ang ibang crew na patakan na lang ng Eyemo ang tigang mong mga mata. At sinusugan naman ito ng PA mo sabay ngata sa crackers. Pero tumanggi ka. Walang patid sa pag-iling. Ikinatuwiran mong insulto sa iyong craft ang gano’ng metodo. Sabi mo, mas katanggaptanggap pang patakan ka na lang ng kandila kaysa maging fake at artificial ang iyong mga luha. “Sa akin manggagaling ang luha! Sa akin!” protesta mo. Ngunit tila tumulilig sa tainga ng direktor ang mga salitang itong pinasabog mo. “Pack-up!” ang kinahantungan ng lahat ng attempt sa pagpapa-iyak sa’yo. “Ikaw babae ka, masuwerte ka maganda ka, hindi pa nga gaano e. Sorry pero, ipatatanggal kita sa casting! Iha, sa industriyang ito, kung walang luha, walang artista!” May katotohan nga sa sinabi ni direk. Luha ang gasolina ng industriyang pinasok mo. Lahat ng genres, kung mapapansin mo, kailangan may papatak na luha. Sa comedy, pagkatapos ng halakhakan, may tears of joy na mangingilid sa pisngi ng tumawa. Sa action, may iyakan kapag may nabaril o na-salvage sa madilim na talahiban. Sa drama, obvious ba. Luha ang nagdala kay Juday. At kung gusto mong may kalagyan sa industriyang pinili mo, dapat talbugan mo ang balde-baldeng binuno niya. Pero paano na nga lang kung hindi marunong umiyak ang artista? Madadaan ba ang lahat sa dramatic pauses o vocal dynamics, na parang si Jacklyn Jose ang musa sa pag-arte? Kahit maganda, nangungusap ang mga mata, o pinakalkal kay Calayan ang katawan, tulad mo Dina, na pinatigas na ng karanasan ang puso, may lugar pa ba sa Showbiz?

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“Wala,” ‘yan ang sagot ko nang tanungin mo ako kung may nararamdaman ako para sa ‘yo. Pangahas ka naman kasi e, may syota pa kaya ako ‘non. In-love pa’ko sa kaniya. Pero sa kabila no’n, sinabi mo sa’king mas madaling hulihin ang manok na nakatali. Dina, narinig ko na ‘yan. Totoo ang kasabihan. Pero hindi ako manok. Pero nilalapitan kita ngayon. Dahil nakalas na ang dating tali at naiwan akong ligaw. Dahan-dahan, kumakalas din ang mga taong kumapit sa iyong eksena habang pinipilt mong umiyak kanina. Habang pinipiga mo ang bawat tear glands mo. To no avail. Ngayon, lungkot ang ipinipinta ng iyong mukha. Nakatungo ka pa para mas ramdam ang effect. Dina, wala nang audience, tayong dalawa na lang. Hindi ko alam kung bakit tila naghihintay ka pa kung may papatak na luha. Gusto ko sanang sabihing tapos na ang dalawang taong paghihintay. Kaya heto ako, hinahagod muli ang likod mo. Gaya ng dati. Tulad noong panahong may luhang umaagos pa sa iyong mga mata habang umasa akong sana, manatili ang ating pagkakaibigan. “Danny?” dahan-dahang tumingala ka habang binibigkas mo ang aking pangalan. Hindi. Hindi pala. Hindi mo lang binigkas, inawit mo gamit ang iyong musika. “Dina. Long time a,” sagot ko sa sinimulan mong musicale. At tila habambuhay ang naganap sa pagitan natin. Sa pagtatagpo ng ating mga mata, nagbalik ang kung anong pinagsamahan. At kahit na ibinuka mo pa ang iyong bibig, upang pilit na umutal ng salita, pumalit na ang luha sa salita.

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Ikatlong Gantimpala, Philippine Graphic – Nick Joaquin Literary Awards, 2008

This Fleet of Shadows Sasha Martinez

It is quiet again. Ever since you realized what exactly silence was, you know that is what weights the house in the hours before noon. The arms of clocks move slowly, dust courses through the air without displacing anything. Always that silence, as the day grows from the gauzy rays of dawn to the stark heat of midday. Your mom is somewhere within the house, straightening pillows and blankets, watering plants, steadying vases; she is most probably humming a song you will never recognize. Your father is at work. Down the road, the old people with their rolled tobacco and nganga are talking about the snow that fell on the town of Rosario for exactly seven and a half minutes, some eleven years ago, the day you were born. Outside, the sun is relentless. Today is the hottest day of May. In this house, you are as unmoving as everything you can reach. The rare breeze slips through the drawn lace curtains, and sends loose strands of your hair to tiptoe along your cheeks. You lift your hand, and brush the strands away before reaching for a pen on the table beside you. You try to still the fluttering of a pad of paper with the tip of the pen. It leaves a precise, sudden dot on the white page. Slowly, with a care that bordered on dread, you angle the pen downwards to catch the outline of the shadow your arm leaves on the page. Beside that, you write virtuoso, scimitar, geisha, and connoisseur, words you got wrong on this week’s spelling test.

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In the stillness of this house, as you look at the patterns your words and lines have made on the page, you think of the man – plumber? electrician? mailman? – you watched on television with your mom. The man who was sitting in the toilet one day when a knock on the door made him, well, hurry things up a little, with such force that nerves popped in his brain. (“That actually happens?” you asked your mom then, wide-eyed with glee and wonder.) When he awakened after a stint and a coma in a hospital bed, he found himself to be a voracious poet, writing verse upon verse on notebooks that ran out in days’ time. And then, after that, he took up a brush, and found he couldn’t stop painting as well. His canvasses were created from this fixed, fevered state, all from a hastened sit on his toilet, and an unexpected visitor. You used to be like him once. (Not the part about the toilet, though.) Every object that left a mark, every surface that could be marked, you used, most at the flurry of the moment. Passing by your murky reflection on a dusty pane of glass, you used your finger to draw immobile butterflies waiting for flowers in flight. You used your mom’s eyeliner once, to write down a word you’d stumbled upon in one of the magazines lying around the house: palimpsest. Your father shouted at you, a rare occurrence, for using his shoe polish to draw an intricate pattern of swirls and arrows on the bathroom floor – your mom looked at you then with something too much like sadness in her gaze, before she told your father to leave the child alone, Ted. As a child, younger than you are now, you drew fables on the walls of your parents’ bedroom; imaginary farms and gardens and forests of familiar animals taken from the dreams that made you huddle deeper into the blankets at night; petting zoos of made-up creatures from relatives who sneered at you from way up, their faces too far away to know that your answering scowls weren’t supposed to be endearing. They are still there now, those drawings.

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There, almost kissing the tile floor is a mango tree lying sideways on the ground, its branches heavy and swaying with large round fruit. Inching its way atop the horizontal trunk, like a trapeze artist you saw in a picture book once, is a caterpillar with an elephant’s wrinkly knees. Blue swirls for the sky, red dots for the candy the neighbor’s kid stole from you, yellow slashes for the monstrous canary you shriek at on television, orange waves for the trees because the neighbor’s dog ate the green crayon the day before. And then a penguin here, its small yellow beak curved in the smallest of smiles, soaring, filled in with purple. You drew, you drew. Until your mom, smelling of detergent, gently took the crayon you had been using, and told you to stand still, that she can slash a rough line above your head. She placed her hand on your shoulder to press you against the wall, just to make sure. She smiled to tell you that you have done nothing wrong. She looked really pretty then, with her hair longer. “You’re growing,” she informed you, as she tucked the crayon in the pocket of her slacks. “Do you want to take a nap?” “I don’t want to sleep,” you said, and you jutted your lower lip because you had learned more people do your bidding this way. “I do not want to sleep.” You drew your brows together – the way you had seen your mother do when she talked to your father whenever he came home smelling sweet and a little strange. “No,” you said, “No.” “Okay, okay,” said your mom. She sighed, her hair falling softly over her shoulders. (You remember then that the night before, she had let you brush her hair with the gold-trimmed hairbrush grandmother gave her on her wedding day.) She gave you back your crayon. “Go, uh, trace your shadows then, sweetie,” she told you as she started to walk away. “What for? How? I have to stay still, and I can’t.”

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“Find a way,” your mom told you over her shoulder. You looked at the flying purple penguin you had just drawn. It was too far from the ground, so whatever shadows it might leave will be on clouds. And so you drew a cloud (too bad the crayon you picked was pink instead of blue) beneath the penguin, close to its belly that it looked like it bounced off a pillow in a moment of pure joy, and you squiggled rough lines of purple on its surface. That, that was the penguin’s shadow. On the wall, shielding the outstretched wings of your impossible penguin, your head had left its shape. You started with your neck, because one line, and the another, are always the easiest to start with. You then traced the outline with a crayon (purple to match the penguin), making loops on the wallpaper to mimic the curls on your head. When you leaned in to trace the finer hairs, the shadow moved, growing out of the faint purple lines and shapes. The next day, you stared at the penguin and its companion cloud, and realized that when you had drawn the outline of your head, you had caged the soaring bird into a head-and-neck-jar, almost like the firefly you trapped one afternoon, and left on your bedside table to stare at. You remembered that when you had woken up the next day, the bug had lain on the glass floor of its makeshift prison, as serene as all things that used to glow were. The next week, you asked your mother to give a name to what you do to the walls, and she called it a mural. Mural. Painters do a lot of it, she said. So, then, when you drew on walls, people might call you a genius. Armed with this knowledge, you rushed outside and joined friends, even the bully who had decided to make peace even for a couple of days, the new word floating from your mouth once, then twice, and then another time, until someone told you to shut up, and the word was immediately set aside for a game of tag.

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The next months, right before going to bed, your mother told you to stand by the wall with your shoulders thrown back. She placed a heavy book on your head, steadied it. Then she told you not to move, and then she told you it was okay to move. You stood beside her as she drew a line right beneath the hard spine of the book. You had grown taller, yet again. The penguin you had locked up lagged an inch below this new line. When you looked at your mother, you saw that she looked shorter now, but not less pretty. You, well, grow up, your petting zoos forgotten and abandoned. You learned a new word for this, menagerie, and you said it to yourself over and over as you went to a school where everyone knew your name, and the history of your entire family, up to when the teachers from the first shipment of teachers landed on national soil. Now, when you walk by the walls of your parents’ bedroom, you are inches above the abrupt dashes your mother left that afternoon. Before you know it, you will have completely abandoned capturing your shadows, leaving them untraced, frozen as they are one minute on the road in front of your house, then moving faster and faster out of your reach, until it runs in circles around you. Wendy Darling had sewn Peter Pan’s shadow to the soles of his pointy green shoes, so he could fly. But then, they had to chase his nimble shadow around the room first, creating such a big mess that Nana the dog could hear the noise from the doghouse to which she had been chained. You don’t want to chase your shadows, though. You know it likes to move, at times, disappear. The pen you are holding moves almost of its own accord, trying to record the hazy memory of Peter’s shoes. You draw little veins on the surface, and a stem at the heel. Peter Pan wouldn’t use leather, although the Lost Boys liked to wear dead animals on their heads. You wonder, yet again, why there are no women in Neverland, no other girl aside from Wendy but a spoiled Indian princess, no mothers.

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Your own mom comes in the room now, smelling of mornings. She smiles at you. “Hey kid, is everything okay?” “Yes, mom.” You doodle on the pad of paper, roughly drawing a chicken wing and a melting ice cube. “Oh, fried chicken. You’re drawing again.” You look up at her, and you see your mom has bitten her lower lip. You smile at her to say that it’s okay. “It’s so hot,” she says, and you nod. She sighs and runs one hand through the hair that curls around her face with the heat of the day. She cut it into a bob a couple of years ago, saying then that it would be easier that way. You no longer help her brush her hair with the gold-trimmed hairbrush at nights. Your mom bends a little to give your forehead a brush with her fingertips. “After lunch, how about we go to the grocery store and get some ice cream?” You smile at her. “Cool,” you say. And both of you giggle, although neither of you know why. You drew arrows with shoe polish and wrote the newest strange words with your mother’s makeup. Wendy Darling had sewn Peter Pan’s shadow to the soles of his pointy green shoes, so he could fly. Today is the hottest day of May.

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Kulay Pula Boom Enriquez

Bulag si Utoy. Mula nang isilang siya ni Nanay, hindi na siya nakakakita. Ngunit, hindi naman naging problema iyon sa paglaki niya. Katangitangi pa nga siya dahil kay talas ng kanyang mga pakiramdam. Tuwing umaga, naririnig niya ang tatlo hanggang limang sunudsunod na pagtilaok ng tandang ni Lolo. Mula sa kusina sa ibaba, naaamoy na niya ang piniritong itlog ni Nanay at ang biniling bagonglutong pandesal. Matatakam na kami at papagpagin na niya ang kahoy na papag. Aayusin ko na ang tulugan habang maayos niyang tinutupi ang kanyang kumot. Kinakapa niya ang magkabilang dulo nito at susukating­mabuti ang tupi. Lalo kaming nagmamadali kapag naririnig na niya ang kleng-klengklang-klang ng kutsarita sa tasa ni Tatay, hudyat ng pagtitimpla nito ng kape. Handa na ang almusal. Lalanghapin niya ang mabangong amoy ng kapeng barako at maririnig ang pagbubuklat ng diyaryo ni Tatay na ibig sabihin ay nasa lamesa na siya at hinihintay kaming lahat para sa agahan. Naglalaway na nga kami dahil ikinukuwento ni Utoy sa akin ang nalalanghap niyang simoy ng bagong-lutong pandesal mula sa kanto. Bababa kami ng kuwarto’t nag-uunahan. Walong hakbang ang hagdanan at sa ikalimang baitang ay kailangang magdahan-dahan dahil ang pako nito ay maluwag kaya’t umuuga ang kahoy. Madalas ko nga itong makalimutan at daig pa ako ni Utoy na hindi kailanman nadudulas doon. Matapos makababa, sampung hakbang sa kanyang kanan

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ay mararating na niya ang kanyang upuan sa hapag-kainan. Bilang na bilang ni Utoy ang kanyang mga hakbang papunta sa kusina. ‘Pag nagluluto naman ng tanghalian si Nanay, nakaupo sa kusina si Utoy. Sisinghutin niya ang bango ng ginisang bawang sa mantikilya. Ipinatitikim ni Nanay ang kanyang sinigang na bangus sa kamias kung tama na ba ang asim nito o kung kulang pa ng ilang kutsara ng toyo ang adobo. Siya rin ang nagsusukat kung tama na ang linamnam ng dayap sa leche flan. Siya lang kasi ang nakakakuha ng lasa noon bukod kay Lola. Sa hapon, yayayain ni Utoy ang mga batang kapitbahay sa aming hardin para makipagkuwentuhan at makipaglaro. Pinakagusto niyang laro ay ang shut-da-bol. Sinisikap nilang itapon papasok ng lumang arinola ni Lola ang maliliit na bato. Pakikinggan niya ang kalansing ng bato sa arinola kapag naghagis ang kanyang mga kalaro upang malaman­ kung saan ito nakapuwesto at itatapon na niya ang kanyang mga bato. Lagi nga siya ang may pinakamaraming batong naishu-shut sa arinola. Kahit ilipat ang puwesto ng lumang arinola, marinig lamang niya ang kalansing ng mga bato ay maishu-shut na niya ang mga bato. Hindi nahuhuli si Utoy sa gabi dahil malalaman niyang gabi na ‘pag naririnig niya ang takbuhan ng mga bubwit sa kisame, ang tunog na tsk-tsk-tsk ng mga butiki o ang tu-ko ng mga tuko. Hihintayin na niya ang mabibigat na hakbang ni Tatay at sasalubungin na niya ito sa may tarangkahan. Tatlong araw bago ang kanyang ika-pitong kaarawan, hindi na makatulog si Utoy. Hinihintay na niya ang kanyang mga matatanggap na regalo. Sa pangungulit niya kay Nanay, nabanggit tuloy nito ang ibibigay. “Anak, para sa iyong kaarawan, magsusuot ka ng isang matingkad na polong pula. Bagay na bagay sa iyo iyon.”

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“Ano ang kulay pula?” Tanong niya kay Nanay. Hinawakan niya nang mabuti ang polong nakasabit sa hanger at tinanong, “’Nay, kasinlambot ba ng kamiseta ni Tatay ang polong ibibigay mo sa akin? Kakulay ba niya ito?” Sumagot si Nanay, “Anak, hindi ba ang sabi ko na palaging puti ang kulay ng mga kamiseta ni Tatay?” Napatango na lamang si Utoy. Nilapitan ni Utoy si Lolo habang nagmemeryenda. “’Lo, pula po ba ang pinyang inyong kinakain kung matamis o maasim?” “Apo,” wika ng Lolo, “kahit matamis o maasim ang pinya, hindi ba nabanggit ko na na ang kulay nito ay –” Sumagot siya, “Opo, Lolo, kulay dilaw po ang pinya.” Lumabas siya ng hardin at naamoy ang bagong tabas na damo. “’Tay, pula ba ang kulay ng damong pinuputol ninyo?” mariing tanong niya kay Tatay. “Nakalimutan mo na ba, Anak, ang sabi ko sa iyo kung anong kulay ng damo?” nagtatakang tanong naman ng aming Tatay. “Hindi po, ‘Tay,” sagot niya, “iyan po ay kulay berde.” Pumasok na si Tatay sa loob ng bahay para maghugas ng mga kamay nang ako naman ay palabas. Nadatnan ko si Utoy na nakaupo sa may damuhan na kay lungkot ang nararamdaman. “Utoy,” panggugulat ko, “bakit parang nilamutak na papel ang mukha mo!” “Wala!” Sabay talikod. “May bumabagabag ba sa iyo?” sambit ko naman. “Ate, ilang araw na lang at kaarawan ko na, hindi ba?” Kuwento niya, “Tinanong ko si Nanay kung ano ang ireregalo niya sa akin. Sinabi niya na isang pulang polo raw ang ibibigay niya sa akin. Ipinagtanong ko naman kung katulad ng anong mga kulay na alam ko ang kulay pula. Hindi ko pa kasi alam kung ano iyong kulay na iyon.”

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Isang mahinang buntong-hininga ang aking narinig. “Ate.” Hinila niya ang manggas ng blusa ko na lagi nyang ginagawa kapag humihingi siya ng tulong. “Ano ba ang kulay pula?” “Mahirap yata iyang pinagagawa mo, Utoy, ah.” Ngunit, nag-isip na rin ako ng paraan. Tumayo ako at pumunta sa hardin. Pinitas ko ang mga pulang rosas ni Nanay. “Utoy, ito ang amuyin mo,” masiglang wika ko. “Ate, kay bango naman ng mga bulaklak na ito!” Nakangiting wika niya habang nilalanghap ang amoy ng namumukadkad na bulaklak. “Ang kulay ng mga rosas ay pula. Pero, mag-iingat ka,” pasintabi ko sa kanya. “Baka masugatan ka sa mga tinik niyan na nasa tangkay niyan.” “Oo nga, ano,” dahan-dahan niyang kinapa. “Kay tulis ng maliliit na tinik.” “At, pag nasugatan ka, lalabas ang dugo mo na kulay pula rin!” habang tumatawa’t kinakantiyawan ko siya. Patuloy kami sa paglakad at naghanap pa ng mga bagay-bagay na pula ang kulay nang biglang nakita ko ang mga hinog na prutas sa puno. Pumitas ako ng mga prutas na kasinlaki ng mga holen at binigay­ko sa nakababatang kapatid. “Kay tamis!” habang tinitikman niya. “Pulangpula ang mga aratilis na iyan ‘pag panahon ng kanilang pamumunga.” Nakikain na rin ako dahil nagutom ako habang pinanonod ang kapatid. “Pero, mag-iingat ka, Utoy,” habang tuwang-tuwa kami sa aming mirindal, “‘pag nasobrahan naman tayo sa pagkain ng mga ito –” “Sasakit ang mga tiyan natin!” Wika naming dalawa sabay halakhak habang punung-puno ang aming mga bibig. Pero lalo kaming nagutom nang may naamoy siya. “Ate, mukhang may nag-iihaw sa may likuran ng bahay. Ipagpatuloy na natin ang ating pagkain dun!” Sabay pagyaya niya dahil umandar na naman ang aming katakawan. Tama si Utoy, nag-iihaw ng manok si Lola. Ngunit bago tuluyang mahumaling sa amoy ng niluluto, inilapit ko siya sa nagbabagang uling. “Kay init! Nakakatakot ang pakiramdam.”

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Wika niya. “Oo, ang kulay ng nag-aapoy na baga ay –” Hinintay ko ang sagot niya. “Pula!” Dagdag niya, “Ate, sasabihin mo na pag lumapit ako nang lumapit sa baga, baka mapaso ako, hindi ba?” Tuwang-tuwa ako dahil tila natututunan na niya ang kulay na aking sinisikap na ipaliwanag­habang hinahainan kami ni Lola ng bagong lutong-ulam. Narinig niya na may kumakaluskos sa lupa at nagpapagpag ng pakpak. Nakita ko ang kulay pula sa katawan nito kaya kinuha ko para ipahimas kay Utoy. “Alam ko na! Pati ba ang tandang ni Lolo na gumigising sa akin tuwing umaga ay kulay pula?” “Iyong palong lang niya sa itaas ng kanyang ulo ang may kulay na pula, Utoy.” paliwanag ko. Tapos, tinukso pa siya ni Lola. “Huwag kang masyadong matuwa sa tandang, baka tukain ka niyan!” Nabitawan niya ito nang biglang tumilaok! Tumilaok na rin kami tulad ng tandang nang tatlong beses! Naramdaman na namin ang init ng hapon sa aming balat. Napahikab ako. Oras na para sa aming siesta. Napagod ako sa ginawa namin buong umaga. Sa pag-aakalang natulungan ko si Utoy, niyakap ko siya nang mahigpit na mahigpit. Napangiti siya. Niyakap din niya ako nang kasinghigpit, kundi man mas mahigpit sa makakaya niya. Hinagkan niya ako sa namumula kong pisngi. Wika niya, “Salamat, Ate. Nalaman ko kung ano ang kulay pula.” Napatigil ako. Hindi ko alam kung bakit pero may namuong luha sa aking mata. Muli ko siyang niyakap at napangiting sinabi,  “Utoy, ­salamat din. Ikaw ang nagpakita sa akin kung ano ang tunay na kulay pula.”

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Corner House Vincenz Serrano

A couple is waiting for their meal. There’s a drawing on the wall nearby. A family of six rides a motorcycle. Three children on the curb watch them pass. There’s graffiti behind the children: the Statue of Liberty, but instead of a face—eyesockets, a hole not a nose, teeth. The man reads a magazine. The woman reads a book. The meal arrives: sandwich, soup. In my city, often, families ride motorcycles too, even on highways, where buses speed past. In provinces, to accommodate more, the motorcycle driver adds planks. The driver has difficulty balancing. Still, everyone moves forward, as wobbly as a country with too many children and not enough books, too many breaths and not enough meals. The man looks at his sandwich; he looks at her; he nods. The woman looks at her soup; she looks at him; she nods. On a seat next to the couple are magazine and book. Stasis is balance in disguise; it is wobble holding its breath: woman, teeth, sandwich, eyesocket, motorcycle, country, man, soup, book, chair, magazine, children, table, curb, face. One moves. The other withdraws. Someone shifts. A motorcycle tilts. The curious gather and watch.

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At the Amoy Lumpia House Wyatt Caraway Curie L. Ong

The conversations of spoons and forks say much of the home specialty of Amoy Lumpia house; they gossip gaily about today’s pork and the freshness of duck, puttering about to feed the hungry mouths of their temporary masters while steam rising from the marriage of vegetables rumbles in the belly of rotund crock pot, whispering promise of unparalleled delight.   In one corner, the Spinster Sisters huddle to critique today’s offerings. Ah Soh, long and lithe, positions her beakish nose over her oyster cake,  busily sniffing for signs of over-seasoning  while Di Soh, pert and plump, investigates the pato misua for renegade pig parts to make sure she gets her money’s worth: who wants pig for price of duck? Under the guise of chatter, they pretend not to listen to the altercation involving the mystery of unpaid dinner bills and the culprit Ah Piak, who swats poor Marimar

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for hurrying her to the wheelchair all too soon. Deeper still into the heart of Amoy Lumpia House we have Joboy and Jamby rowing the sea of lo-mi in unison  like the heroes from Team China, while Luz and Maribelle hold their pechay chopping tournament, giggling silently as toothless Benito shouts for quiet from outside while he courts Madame Shiu Ying for love and lumpia.  Don’t you know today is an auspicious day for love and lumpia?    All of Amoy Lumpia house celebrates the kick and spice of today’s lumpia rolls, and at the first bites everyone boards the ship of shrimp back to Amoy, where all will toast the specialties of homeland they will never know except from stories told by Ma and Pa and this sign that says home of original Amoy lumpia under which a wriggling Mickey, current rodent in resident fed to fullness from pork fat fallen unnoticed, curls up to sleep.

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Ang Banidoso at ang Imahen Joseph Garcia Casimiro

Ikaw ang akong humaharap Sa ako ako ang ikaw Na humahanap sa tayo Ako at ikaw ang tayo Tayo ang naghahanap sa ako–

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Ang Imahen at ang Banidoso

Kung handa kang tumalikod sa mundo Upang masarili ang sarili Sa salamin tumalikod kaHapon ang isang binata sa mundo Dahil sa pag-ibig nagpatihulog siya Mula sa tulay ang tulay Ngayon sa pagitan ng iyong mga mata At mga mata ng iyong sariling sa iyo nakamata: Huwag ka sanang mahuhulog

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Treasure Chest Margarita Pesons Rafols

During the first ten years of my life, I was always zipping around from one place to another, never content to sit still for even a few minutes. I climbed cabinets and trees. I wandered off to random places that piqued my curiosity, and often came back with evidence of my adventures: torn clothes, scraped knees, bruised arms, messy hair, and a sweaty face. I talked to anyone who would listen, and oftentimes, even to those who wouldn’t want to listen about spaceships, cowboys, and wizards. I asked seemingly endless questions and threatened to use my fists if I didn’t get answers right away. My mother used to worry that I wasn’t being feminine enough, but I couldn’t be bothered by that. I wanted to know everyone and everything. I wanted to go everywhere and become anyone I wanted to be. And then suddenly, things changed. I grew breasts – a little bigger than the usual ones, too. — At first, it didn’t matter to me that much. I knew from school and from television that it was bound to happen anyway. So I went on with my usual routine of zipping around until one day, my classmate pointed out that the breasts of other girls our age stopped growing upon reaching a certain size. But mine, apparently, just got bigger and bigger. Distressed by such news (because I might be exhibiting signs of abnormality), I decided to consult my mother, the doctor, that night. “Mama,” I began while gesturing shamefacedly at my breasts, “these things are… big. And my friends all have smaller ones. Is there something

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wrong with me? Am I going to die?” Silence. My mother stared at my chest, stood up, and viewed it from different angles. She started sobbing. I gasped,“It’s true! I’m dying!” Then, laughing amid her tears, my mother shook her head and said, “No, baby. I’m just glad that my little angel finally has breasts. You’re becoming a woman.” After that conversation, my proud mother would brag about the size of my breasts to my aunts. In both sides of my family, the females (including my older sister) tended to have small breasts or no breasts at all, something which they regarded as a source of frustration. So when my body defied this aspect of my family’s typical biological make-up, it was as if I had won a battle against Fate on behalf of my female kin. And they reveled in it at my expense. I remember that during one family reunion a week after our conversation, I noticed my mother and aunts excitedly talking among themselves while I was fetching dessert for my sister. With a huge smile on her face, my mother beckoned for me to go over to where they were sitting. Suspicious though nonetheless obedient, I did, and as soon as I arrived my aunts started exclaiming, “Oh, Elaine, you were right! They’re gorgeous.” Then laughter tinged with pleased disbelief. I blushed, and my aunts each stood and then approached me. “Wha – what are you doing!” I stammered as Tita Lolit first took hold of them. “Relax,” she replied, “we just want to get an idea of how big they are.” I spouted protests. I tried to get away, but I was surrounded. I never knew that having these things could make me feel so helpless. — Baby bras. Wired bras, push-up bras, and padded bras. Bras with no wires. Strapless bras. Bras with transparent straps, with removable straps, with straps that could be crisscrossed at your back. Sports bras. Lacey bras, silk bras, cotton bras. Bras of varied colors. The world of bras. My mother gleefully dragged me through a store full of those contraptions.

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A saleslady took the measurement of my breasts and later came back with different bra samples. In less than two hours, I begrudgingly became an owner of two cabinet drawers full of them. Some clan members made a fuss over this collection. Sometimes when an aunt or an older female cousin would visit our house, I would be entreated to show them the prettiest pieces. Meanwhile, I never quite comprehended their fascination with bras. To my young body, which was so unused to the feel of them, I regarded bras as torture devices, the cruelest among them being lacey wired bras. Apart from feeling like my chest was perpetually being sat upon by a hippo, this kind of bra really itched. Unfortunately for me, this was also my mother’s favorite type. Upon her insistence, the first bra I wore to school was an aqua blue lacey wired bra with white polka dots. I could hardly pay attention during first period, so that in the middle of my teacher’s lecture, I dashed to the ladies’ room to scratch myself silly. For the rest of the day, I used posts and doors – so much, in fact, that some of my classmates assumed I was having some awful skin disease. That day, they took care not to come into too much contact with me. — I had a crush on someone while I was attending a summer tennis camp. I thought he had the loveliest eyes: light brown and fringed with long, dark lashes. I often wondered if he would ever focus one of his intense gazes on me, but as the hours stretched into days, and days into weeks, I gradually gave up on that idea. On one morning though, our coach decided that it was time we started playing an actual tennis game instead of just doing forehand and backhand drills. When it was my turn to play, I noted Marco* observing me from the benches. I tried to impress him with my so-called tennis skills. After a few more minutes, other boys sat on the benches with Marco, and they cheered whenever I ran very fast, spun quickly, or leapt really high. So I repeated these moves as much as I could. My ego was very pumped up, and I grinned

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at my particularly attentive audience. They were hooting. “Nice game!” Marco’s friend called out. More hooting. “Nice rack!” Marco added. More and more hooting. Nice what? At that time, I wasn’t familiar yet with that kind of lingo. I thought I probably heard wrong, and that he was actually complimenting my tennis racket. “It should be,” I replied with a gratified smile, “it cost a lot of money.” When I returned home that afternoon, I related the incident to my sister. She promptly burst into laughter. That same afternoon, I found out the real reason why I received so much male attention: “boobdars,” my sister called them. She explained that boys have an innate homing device targeted at female breasts. Whenever there’s a pair of bobbing mammaries--or according to Marco, a bouncing “rack” – in the vicinity, their eyes are naturally drawn to the sight. I never returned to tennis camp. I lost much of my interest in sports. And every time I remember Marco, I think of his lovely eyes and how much I wish I could just scratch them out. — For the past few years since I’ve had large breasts, I’ve had to contend with many other problems, like: wardrobe malfunctions, fashion and activity restrictions, sexual harassment, etc. As such, I find it laughable to have women with small or no breasts constantly trying to convince me of the value I should accord to my so-called female treasures. “You don’t know what it’s like to want having breasts all your life. They play an important part in defining your femininity,” my mother said when I lamented about another bosom-related mishap. “They are blessings from Heaven.” True, I didn’t know what wanting to have breasts felt like, but I do know what it’s like to actually have them. And yes, because I have these things my gender can never be mistaken for

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anything else. And all right, having them has forced me to act more and more like a girl. But I still couldn’t shake off the conviction that it was a curse. Seeing my unconvinced expression, she gestured to pictures of my grandmother when the latter was younger. “Look at your grandmother. She had almost the same breast size as you do now, though of course, hers weren’t as big as yours. See how beautiful and fully female she appears?” I’m sure my mother was trying to make a point with that comparison, but at that moment my grandmother walked into the room. Without really meaning to, I glanced at her chest, to where her breasts were supposed be. And my gaze just kept dipping down, down, down. I knew it was probably disrespectful, but I just couldn’t help feeling that that wasn’t a very good example.

* name has been changed

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Warmer Isabel Yap

Since summertime, no memory of you filters into my mind. What I do remember: cold watermelons cut into triangles, seeds and spit in my hands. The tang of salt in my eyes and beneath my toes, whipping through my hair. Crabs scurrying into holes. Crabs scurrying out of holes.      Crabs roasted over fire and their hot white meat      in my mouth.      The tide pulling away from my shadow, the last friend of a fading sun. Coconuts. I’m singing, my single voice      drowned by running water,      as I bury my naked self and everything that has touched it      under a million sands. Showers. Moons setting, rising, melting away.   Then suddenly, like something      scuttling over my chest, or grazing      the back of my hand as it swims past – you, buried, consumed.  Spat out and dreamed of;      echoed, filled with, shackled to.

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Here is my memory. Â Leave your hands on my skin as we hit the water.

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Moving

We lose a city that is never really lost. The tongue of the sun between buildings. The wet stones of a fountain. Peddlers and the fruit-smell of market stalls, all the people behind them with salt in their blood, their hands dark and wrinkled as seeds. I lose the name I gave your skin, that your skin poured into my palm to address you with. Like traffic   crawling at a pace worthy of broken knees, the clouds trundle across this last sky where the flickers of your face are eaten up by rain. Gray. Cold like fountain water against a bruise, then your fingers. What did we name it, now sunken in that space we made between us: a beautiful city               with no one inside it.   After Atlantis: A Lost Sonnet, by Eavan Boland

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Chimaera Riegele Agnes F. Arceo

You’re having one of those dreams again. You’re running barefoot in a forest – all around you there is nothing but tall, tall trees, (pines? you wonder) with damp leaves and a barely-trodden path underneath your feet. There are pebbles, and you think your left foot is bleeding but you’re still running, the wind in your face and your hair - and it’s so windy and free and it’s the freedom that you want, it’s the freedom you’re running after. Or is it? Your foot has to be bleeding, there’s no other reason for the iron tang in the air (who knew you could smell in dreams?) so you slow down, slow down. As you bend the smell of iron is stronger. And with a howl, the wolf’s paws land on your back, its sharp teeth close to your neck. — Your first art class assignment, “A Landscape of a Dream,” comes back with an A. You used so much color and texture – purple pastel hills powdery soft under your fingertips, the structured mess of crackly oil paint. Your second assignment, which you passed late – “A Minimalist Dream” – comes back with an F. So maybe you should’ve spent more time on making it look like a comic, instead of drawing random stick figures in India ink, that don’t even talk. You take it impassively, not

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even bothering to hide it from curious, smug eyes. At the top he’s scribbled a note. See Me. It could be Zen, you think. It could be like the sound of one hand clapping. Through the period you don’t look at anything but the stark white animal skull on white silk that you’re supposed to be painting without white paint. You use blue for the shadows and yellow for the light - you add in purple because it looks interesting and pink because somehow there’s a reflection within the light and voila, the animal skull stares at you from your canvas. (Somewhere, Georgia O’Keeffe rolls over in her grave.) It’s too much like your dream, the visceral, animal quality of it without looking at him you run to the bathroom and dry-heave, cruel cramps around your midsection, bent over the toilet bowl like you expect something to come out. After class, everyone files out, the Goth girls who fawn over him and the geeks who worship him, and you, the one who doesn’t really fit in either clique, are the one who stays. He talks to you, saying that he can give you an extension, but you have to show him what you see. With your hands, you make eyeglasses around your eyes and blink at him, owlishly. Then you march out and pretend not to feel him looking. — You miss Josh. Since he moved away last summer you’ve only seen him twice. It is summer now, air crisp and humid at the same time, and yours

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is the only sleeping bag on the grass. You lie on your back and pretend Josh is with you, naming the stars. Nine years ago: “And that’s the big tent, anna ringmaster –” “And a seal with a ball on his nose anna clown –” “And that’s a dinosaur, see!” “They don’t have dinosaurs in a circus, silly.” Four years ago: “Dancing Lady, Girl with the Hula-Hoop,” “Guy with a Hoop Earring, like the one we saw at the cinema with that jacket and the sneakers –” “Oh YEAH RIGHT.” Two years ago was when Josh decided he liked boys and spent the first day of summer making out with one instead. Later that night he’d sent you a text saying that he had spotted a new one and he’d called it Butterfly Kiss. You thought for a bit, before texting back: opened a book on constellations and then told him it was probably Scorpio. This year is the year when Josh stays over, and nobody complains because you’ve known each other since paddling pool summer days and in the backyard he doesn’t cry but he tears up and eventually he tells you that the boy he was seeing – “It didn’t work out,” he pouts. “But it never works out,” you say, not really thinking, and he sighs and leans his forehead on your shoulder. You don’t tip over but it’s a close call.“What’s up with you,” he says, almost absent-mindedly. He pokes you in the stomach. You clamp your lips down on your secret. —

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The next day you come down with a cold and skip art class. And the day after that. The day after that the cold is officially the flu, and you stay home for one more day. Josh is supposed to drive back to college already but. He’s still here, trying to force feed you miso. You look at the meds in the cabinet and take three blue ones and a yellow and a green-striped and white one and Josh goes to 7-11 and brings home for you violentlycolored strawberry Kool-Aid and a Blue Slushie. And for himself he has a tall, very pretty, extremely lost French tourist whose name is Yves. You think. You throw up rainbows. — In the dream you’re flying. In the dream you’re flying with him. You look like Amelia Earhart (aviator cap and scarf and jacket). He just looks like he’s freezing, but he’s also happy. He reaches out and you hold hands as you crash through a cloudbank. Freud says flying in dreams means you’re dreaming about sex. Does that mean you can never dream just about flying? Are you not allowed even a dream of his love? — You’re still sick when the poem writes itself in your head. You listen and you think, dormant volcano inside, threatening eruption. Fire and fear. Also, warmth and worship. When you’re well enough to stand you read Sylvia Plath with your ankles balanced precariously on the window frame, elevated.

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— A week later you walk back into art class and you hand him your assignment, the comic book scenario of a dream. It’s untitled, but in the border of one of the panels, you put in tiny letters reading, “the rise of the social hygiene movement.” Square by square, the story of your life. You drew bare feet on grass, on leaves, feet in red and lady-bug patterned socks on a somber wine-colored carpet tiptoeing, touching toes with two sensible grey socks. You drew a bird’s wing, anatomically. You spent a lot of time getting the torsion axis as exact as you wanted it. With your pencil you tried to describe wordlessly the hollow quality of the avian aerodynamic. How you could slice their bones in half and use them as miniscule telescopes, like what you and Josh used to do with used toilet paper rolls, taped together. You drew a small heart, labeled in the Gothic script you’re so good at, with veins and ventricles, underneath a tiny, tiny fist, with its thumb in a miniscule, perfect mouth. And in the very last square are the two of you, right in this moment, you standing just beyond his reach, in front of his desk while he looks at your drawing and you say the words you drew in the speech bubble. “You should’ve protected me.” — That night you dream of naming the universe with your son, who falls from you like fruit from a tree: perfect, unbroken, ripe.

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Pagsasakatawang-tao ng salita Hermund M. Rosales

Sa koleksiyon ng mga tula ni Marc Escalona Gaba na pinamagatang How Sound Becomes a Name, naipakita ang pagkamalikhain ng makata sa paglinang sa gamit ng wika, kung paano nakapagluluwal ang salita ng mayayamang katangian nito, kung paanong sa pagpapahalaga sa tunog, nabibigyang indayog ang daloy ng teksto at kung gaano kahitik sa potensiyal ng pagpapakahulugan at pagpapakita ang lengguwahe. Sa akdang ito matutunghayan ang isang proseso, ang isang paggalaw na may pagsangkot sa mga pangyayari sa kasaysayan na kaugnay rin sa kasalukuyan. Isa itong katha na nagpapahayag ng transpormasyon, ng pagpapalit-anyo – kung paanong mula sa tunog nalikha ang pangalan (sa salita nabigyang-depinisyon ang sarili) at kung paanong sa kaguluhan, nagkakaroon ng kaayusan, at sa huli, kung paanong nagbabalik at sadyang tumutungo sa kawalan ng regularidad ang may pagsasaayos na, bunsod ng kalikasan ng lahat ng bagay. Mahika ng wika, pagkamaginoo ng teksto Sa pagsipat sa teksto ng akda ni Gaba, mapapansin na sa una’t katapusang tula (“Study of Copernicus, 1514” at “Partiality”), komplikado ang pagkakaayos ng mga salita. Wari naliligaw ang mga ito at isinisinsay ang mga mambabasa sa di-iisang direksiyon o patunguhan sa paraan ng pagbabasa. Inilalagay nito sa pagka-alangan (kung hindi man binabasag) ang kinasanayang gawi ng pagbabasa na mula sa kaliwa pakanan sapagkat may udyok ito (ariing dulot ito ng enerhiyang nagmula sa makata at naipasateksto) na magbasa mula sa taas pababa kaagad. Maaaring sinadya ito ng makata upang paigtingin ang kaniyang paglalaro sa mga salita at mabigyang-diin ang pagiging dinamiko ng

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wika, na buhay ito’t may kakanyahang pagalawin ang mga mambabasa, mambabasa bilang siyang nakokontrol na ng salita sa teksto. Isa pa, maaaring mahiraya ang salita sa ganitong kaayusan na nangagsasayaw, dulot ng ritmo o indayog na naibubunga ng inobasyong ito sa mga salita. Gayundin naman, mapapansin sa teksto ang mga salita, parirala o linyang pawang mga nakahilis na tinataglay ng lahat ng tula sa koleksiyon. Bilang bahagi ng pag-eeksperimento sa kilos ng salita at sa pagpapatingkad sa potensiyal nito, maaaring kaparaanan ito ng makata upang maipahayag ang pangangailangan sa pagbibigay ng diin sa mga inihilis na salita, parirala o linya. Naghahatid-implikasyon din ito sa iba pang maaaring pagpapakahulugan sa mga inihilis na bahagi, sa marami pang pagpapakahulugan dito. Maaaring nauutusan ng mga paghihilis na ito ang mambabasa ukol sa dapat na pagbigkas sa salita, sa pagpapalumanay sa daloy ng pagbabasa’t pagtingin dito. Mapapansin din ang magulong sintaks sa teksto ng ilang mga tula sa akda bilang manipestasyon muli ng paglalaro sa wika. Here’s a sour clang of light down the corridor suffocation while Here is | Its law | shuts the far door leaves a stare asking What | to leave you with

Subalit sa kabila ng kaguluhang ito na waring mga pinagpipilas na bahagi ng kabuuan, naroon pa rin ang kakanyahan ng mambabasa (marahil sa paniniwala na rin ng makata sa pagiging malay ng mababasa) na makuha ang diwa ng sinasabing kabuuang ito sa pamamagitan ng pagtatagpi-tagpi sa kanilang kaisipan ng mga naturang pilas ng salitang balagbag ang pagsasaayos. Hindi naman baligho ang proseso ng pagsasaayos sapagkat nasa mismong kaguluhan ng mga salita ang mga tanda ng maaring tamang pagkakasunod-sunod ng mga ito, at higit sa madalas kaysa hindi, likas sa mga mambabasa ang kakayahang mapagtanto ang naaayong sintaks ng mga teksto. Sa maiging pagtuon sa teksto, sa pag-iral ng nasabing iregularidad, mahirap subalit hindi malayong maisagawa ang tangkang pag-unawa. Maitutulad ang lapit na ito sa kilos sa larong siklot na sa hamon ng posibleng

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pagkakawatak-watak o paghihiwa-hiwalay ng mga salita (ng mga batong itinatalang sa laro), hindi nawawala ang posibilidad na masalo (maunawa) ang mga ito sa iisang kababagsakan (sa likod ng kamay), ang diwang isinusulong ng mga salita, parirala, o linya. Sa mga magulong sintaks na ito, maaaring nalilikha rin ang ritmo ng mga teksto, na hindi man umaayon sa nakasanayang anyo o porma, nabubuo naman ang himig na nais ipadama ng makata sa pagbabasa ng akda. Sa kabilang banda, potensiyal din ng mga mapapansing di-iilang pagkakataon kung kailan mayroong mga pag-uulit ng mga salita, pantig o ng mga letra ng mga magkasunod na salita sa teksto ang magdulot sa pagkakaroon ng ritmo rito. Sa dulog na ito ng teksto, naipatataglay rito ang kaayaayang ritmo ng mga iniiwang tunog ng salita, ng may pagkadalisay na pagbigkas sa mga nagtutugmaan at nag-aayunang mga salita, parirala o linya, isang kayamanan muli sa kalikasan ng lengguwahe. the bridges to the bridges back And therefore thereafter was  Thus turns to step back in  remembering nowhere but Nowhere Is it attach plot subplot character rising risen

Sa pag-uulit ding ito, maliban sa hatid nitong himig sa pagbigkas at pandinig, naroroon ang pagbibigay-diin at pagsisikap (ng tinig) na maikintal ang mga salitang inuulit sa mga mambabasa. Maipapara ito sa pagkakabisa ng mga salita na kadalasang binibigkas pa (o para sa iba isinusulat pa) nang makailang ulit upang maipatimo sa isipan ang salita sapagkat nalalamang may kahalagahang taglay ang nais tandaan. Maaring manipestasyon din ito ng pag-iisip na hindi mapanghawakan ng mga mambabasa ang wika, kaya naman naroon ang pangangailangan pang ulitin upang maipasaisip. Sa ganoong kaparaanan, bagaman hindi pa rin mailalagay sa kontrol ang salita, maari namang makamit ang kaunawaan sa ipinakakahulugan ng ganoong pag-uulit. Udlot na diwa, tulay sa higit na pag-unawa Nabanggit nang dulot sa di-iilang di-kumbensyonal na sintaks kaya mahirap maunawa ang diwa ng ipinahahayag sa teksto. Masusuri rin

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ang ganitong suliranin sa pag-unawa sa pagkakaroon ng mga pahayag na hindi buo ang diwa sapagkat may pagkukulang sa salita, may pagpuputol at hindi pagpapatuloy, may pambibitin at pagwawaglit sa mga impormasyon bilang panapos o pagkumpleto sa nais maipahayag. Maaring taktika ito ng makata upang paarukin sa mga mambabasa na sa mga hayag na pag-aantalang ganoon, nakapaloob ang nais na maipahayag. Isa ito marahil paraan ng pagtalos sa sikolohiya ng tinig sa mga tula, pagbatid sa daloy ng kaisipan ng persona at gawi ng kaniyang pagpapahayag – na isa iyong tanda ng hesitasyon ng makata, ng hindi pagbibigay ng kaukulang pagsasara nang sa gayon, maitalang patungo sa mga mambabasa ang paghuhusga, ang pagpapatuloy ng mga dinaipagpatuloy. Sa ganitong pagsusuri, mainam na sipiin ang pagtatasa ni G. Allan Popa, isang makata, ukol sa sinasabing kahirapan (sa pagbabasa) ng tula bunga ng kalabuan nito. Aniya, dapat pag-ingatan ang panganib na dulot ng mga tulang mahirap dahil hindi sadya o sadyang malabo iyon (mahirap dahil salat). Nangyayari umano iyon kapag lubhang malihim ang makata o may winawaglit na impormasyon bilang pagtitipid sa salita at sa pag-aakalang ang pag-uunawa sa tula ay nasa paghuhula sa anyo ng itinatagong mga piraso na nasa kamay ng makata. Bilang pagsusog sa nailatag na ideya ng kawalan ng pagsasara, hindi gumamit ang makata ng ni isang tuldok sa teksto, manipestasyon na waring may pagpapatuloy pang mga huling salita sa bawat akda na maaring ituring bilang pansamantala lamang o hindi pa ang tunay na pagtatapos. Gayundin, sa ganitong kawalan ng nasabing bantas, nahihimok ang mambabasa na basahin ang teksto ng tuloy-tuloy, nang may pagpagkukusang tumuloy, na wari nakikisabay sa daloy ng pagsulpot ng mga salita o sa takbo ng isipan ng persona sa akda. Sa malaon pang pagsusuri sa teksto, masasabing maluwang ang mga espasyo at mayroong mga pagbabago-bago sa patlang at sa guwang sa pagitan ng mga salita, parirala, strophe o sa saknong. Nagsisilbing transisyon ang mga espasyong ito sa teksto, maaring pagpapatuloy lamang ito ng sinusundang salita o pahayag o hudyat ng panibagong pagsisimula ng ibang paksa. Bukod sa maari ring pagturing dito bilang

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paghinga, pagpapahinga ng makata, nagsisilbi rin tiong istilo ng huli sa pag-aantala sa mga mambabasa, pansamantala man ang pagwawaglit na ito ng mga salita o ganap na. Kung walang espasyo, tuloy-tuloy ang pagbasa sa teksto. Sa mga espasyo ring ito, nananahan ang mga naikukubling pagpapakahulugan na sadya rin namang nais ipakahulugan ng teksto. Nabibigyang-diin sa ganitong paggamit ng mga espasyo ang pagkamahiyain at pagkamahinhin ng akdang ito ni Gaba. Sa huling nabanggit, dumadako ang pag-aanalisang ito sa pagpaparanas ng akda ng pananahimik, pag-iwas na sabihin na lamang ang nais ipahayag nang hayag, bagay na maaring nakaangkla rin sa daloy ng pag-iisip ng makata o ng tinig sa mga tula. Muli, sa pagsusuri ni Popa, binanggit niyang ang katahimikan sa pagitan ng tulang naisulat, (pintas sa kadalisayan ng tahimik na pahina) ay dapat na ipamalay bilang aktibong Elemento na siyang binibigyang-saysay ng pahayag at nagbibigay saysay sa pahayag. Sa patuloy pang pagtingin sa mga espasyo, mababatid na naitatakda rin nito ang ritmo ng akda, sapagkat ito na rin ang nagdidikta sa pagtigil muna ng mababasa, sa pagtalon nang mabilisan, sa pagbabagal, sa pagtatapos at pagsisimulang muli. Kaayusan sa kaguluhan, pag-iral sa kawalan Kagaya ng nabanggit nang pagiging himpit ng mga tula sa koleksiyon dulot ng espasyo, manipestasyon din ng pananahimik ang pagkakaayos ng mga salita sa pagitan ng una at huling tula. Mapapansin na kaiba sa pagkakalagay ng mga salita sa “Study of Copernicus, 1514” at “Partiality”, may kaayusan sa paghihilera ng teksto sa iba pang tula. Kung ilalapat ito sa mga instrumento sa pisika na nagsusukat sa intensidad ng ingay (noise), masasabing may regularidad na ang guri ng instrumento. Hindi nito taglay ang ingay dulot ng kaayusan. Mapapansin din na sa mga tulang “Study of Copernicus, 1514” at “Partiality” ang sukat (may pagtatantiya kung hindi man eksakto) na paglalagay ng mga espasyo sa pagitan ng mga salita o ng linya. Mapapansin na kung may bitak sa pagitan ng mga salita sa mga tulang nabanggit, wari napupunan pa rin ang bitak na ito ng salita (o ng anino o pag-iral pa rin nito) sa itaas o ibaba ng linyang kinabibilangan ng

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mga salitang may puwang. Maaring isiping sadya ito ng makata upang ipadama na may pag-iral pa rin sa kabila ng kawalan, na sa kabila ng tambisan o tensiyon ng mga salita sa kanilang pagsasama, may nalilikha’t nahuhugot pa ring mga bagong salita at hindi lamang ang guwang sa pagitan. Sa ganitong istilo, hindi maituturing ang espasyo bilang kawalan lamang o bagay na hindi kinakailangang pag-ukulan ng pansin at daanan lamang ng paningin sapagkat ang espasyo ang nagbibigay-daan sa pagtataglay, ang kawalan ang nagbibigay-larawan at tingkad sa kabaligtaran nito – ang pag-iral. interrupting his turning to the altar for a cue

to tell: The told:

... rosary held still as Commentariolus

And the creed stole the same place flat

A garden simplified by winter what is it then

But arabesques

Sa pagkakaayos din ng mga salita, maaaring naipaparamdam din ang kalagayan ng tensiyon sa teksto, malabis kung sakdal ang kaguluhan, kakaunti kung litaw ang kaayusan. Maaring nakakamit din naman ang kagandahan o kadalisayan sa pagbabasa kahit na magulo ang teksto dahil nga sa paglilikha sa ritmo. Kung ilalapat dito ang kaalaman sa Kapnayan, mula sa batas ng thermodynamics, tumutungo ang lahat sa kaguluhan, ang sistemang inilalarawan ng terminolohiyang entropy. Kasama sa katangian ng teksto ng mga tula ang pagkakaroon ng biglaang transisyon. Sa kadalasan hindi kahuhugutan ng kaugnayan ang isang salita sa sinundan nitong salita o ng pahayag sa isa pang pahayag. Maaring nananahan na sa puwang na namamagitan sa mga ito ang tulay ng pag-intindi o dili kaya naman ng pagpapahayag na ng bagong pagpapaksa. Isa pa itong pagpapakita ng paglalaro sa espasyo sapagkat may mga pagkakataong hinuhubog ang mga paksa, susuportahan ito ng mga susunod na pahayag, bibigyan ng pagsasakonkreto, subalit sa kadalasan masusundan naman ito ng pahayag na kaibang-kaiba sa nailatag nang paglalahad na siyang babasag sa pinanghahawakang

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“may-pagkakonkreto” nang ideya ng mambabasa at magiging abstrakto o walang kalinawan muli ang lahat. At sa mga transisyon na malayo ang kaugnayan sa isa’t isa (na hindi wari natatawid maging ng talinghaga), tila nawawala na o hindi na nauunawaan ang banghay na nilikha ng mga tula. Isusog pa rito ang mga pahayag o salitang maituturing na non-sequitor (hindi sumusunod o umaayon). Kaya naman hindi madalas maunawaan ang lohika ng wika, ng pahayag. Gayumpaman, maaaring ariing ang mismong kawalan ng lohika ang siya nang lohikang isinusulong ng makata. Mayroon ding mga pahayag ang tinig o salita sa teksto na hindi kaagad mahahagap ang kahulugan sa isipan, na kinakailangan pa ng kaukulang pananaliksik upang matarok ng paguunawa gaya ng Commentariolus, diptych at ilan pa na bunsod na rin ng kasalatan sa nalalaman ng mambabasa. Kalatas ng bantas, makatang nananalastas Sa pagsusuri naman sa mga bantas na ginamit sa teksto, inaaring hindi pangkaraniwan (para sa manunulat ng papel na ito) ang madalas na paggamit ng linyang patayo sa magkabilang dulo ng salita o ng mga salita sa parirala o linya. Mahihinuha sa paggamit nito ang pagkukulong sa mga salitang binabakuran ng nasabing pananda ng pagbibigay limitasyon sa mga itong maiugnay o maikabit kaagad sa sinusundan at susundan na salita, tanda ng kakanyahan nitong makapag-isa at mabigyan ng sariling pagpapakahulugan. Gayumpaman, sa kabila ng pagsasarang ito sa mga salita, maaaring isa ring pagpapalawak ito ng “ibig-sabihin” ng mga naikahong salita, na humuhulagpos ito mula sa pagkakakulong at higit pang nabibigyang-diin ito sapagkat maipatitimong may pagtatangi sa mga salita ang ganitong lapit – na kinakailangan ang pagtutuon sa mga ito upang mabigyang-paliwanag o kadahilanan ang ginawang paghihiwalay gamit ang mga linya. Manipestasyon din ang ganitong istilo ng paghahati, pagbibigay ng sesura sa teksto, ng patumpik-tumpik na daloy (kung nagagamitan ng ganitong pananda ang mga salita) o mabilis na transisyon sa pagbabasa (kung wala naman nito) kaya sa huli, potensiyal na tagapagsilbato rin ito ng ritmo sa akda. Bahagi pa rin ito ng paglalaro sa lengguwahe sapagkat

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sa paghahati, nagkakaroon ng pagbasag sa mga pangungusap, naaagnas ang kaisahan nito bagaman mayroon pa ring ideya ng pagiging buo. Kung iisipin, maaring pinagugulo lamang nito ang mga pagkakaayos upang maging komplikado ang mga pahayag dahilan upang hindi lubos na masundan ang teksto, subalit kung ituturing ito bilang isang “pag-aabstraksiyo� (akto ng pagkuha at pag-iiwan mula sa kabuuan), taliwas ang nangyayari. Ginagamit ang abstraksiyo upang maintindihan ang di-maunawaang kabuuan sa pamamagitan ng pagkuha ng bahagi nito (na siyang ginagawa ng sesura at pagpapangkat ng mga salita gamit ang panandang pinag-uusapan) at iyon ang pinagtutuunan ng pansin upang madalumat ang kahulugan ng kabuuan, sa pag-iisip na mayroon itong kaugnayan sa pinagkuhaan (na pag-amin na mayroong iniiwan). Kaya naman paraan din ng pag-unawa (sa halip na pagpapakomplikado pa) ang paggamit ng sesura gamit ang pananda ng dalawang linya. As fear | swift | as another prayer meant both ways| Who refers to you and what? God | enough room in you for pleasure | the sense not to be shared | The quiet trees | sway and glitter

Sa paggamit naman ng panandang kuwit nagagawa rin ang sinabing pagbibigay-diin, paghahati’t pagpapangkat sa mga salita, maging ang paghinto sa pagbabasa ng teksto. The court, the clergy, the peasants chose The king, too, chose Only the queen remained, and she gave birth to God, who watched die of silence.

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Sa kabilang dako, isa pang katangian ng hindi paggamit sa tuldok sa teksto ang tila nagpapabalanse sa koleksiyon sa aspekto ng bilis at bagal ng daloy ng pagbabasa, at takbo ng kaisipa’t kamulatan ng tinig sa mga tula. Sa hindi paggamit ng tuldok, napabibilis ang transisyon sa pagbabasa (sa mga pagkakataong patlang lamang ang nagsisilbing paghinto). Sa kawalan ng tuldok humahalili naman ang mga bantas na kuwit at dalawang linyang pananda upang pabagalin, antalain ang dinamiko ng teksto. Sa mga panandang panipi naman nananahan ang paglalagay ng diin sa salita. Samantalang manipestasyon ang paggamit sa retorika ng pagtatanong sa pakikipag-ugnayan sa mga salita o ng tinig sa mga mambabasa, isa rin ang huli sa maaaring istilo ng paggitla sa mga mambabasa ng makata bilang pagpapahayag na kabahagi siya ng kaniyang binabasa, na wari walang balakid sa pagitan ng teksto at nagbabasa nito upang makapag-usap ang dalawa. Kung minsan pa, sususugan ang mga tanong ng mga panghalip na nagsasabing kaisa ng nagsasalita sa akda ang nagbabasa na may interaksiyong nagaganap, gaya ng paggamit sa “you” na ikakabit sa “us”. | Do wish us that | Do you forget the self in you like time no heart can keep | from blood however forgiving or too hid | by whose?

Nagpapahayag naman ang mga panandang tutuldok at mahabang gitling ng isang pansamantalang pagsasara, pag-anyaya sa mga mambabasa na magpatuloy, ng paghahanda sa kanila ng isang pahayag na may isisiwalat (na kung minsan bibiguin lamang pala at muli na namang bibitinin ng teksto).

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Taga ng talinghaga, birheng pag-iimahen Mayroon ding ibat-ibang talinghagang ginamit sa teksto. Nariyan ang alusyon sa Bibliya sa tulang “Exodus Diptych” sa tagpo sa Lumang Tipan sa aklat ng Exodo. Isama pa rito ang pagkilala sa karakter sa Bibliya at personalidad sa kasaysayan na sina Hudas sa tulang “Partiality” at kay “Nicolaus Copernicus” naman sa “Study of Copernicus, 1514”. Mayroon ding mga pagsipi ang akda sa ibang teksto gaya ng pagkopya nito sa winika ng Diyos kay Moses sa Bibliya (Stretch out your hand over the sea that the water may come back upon them &). Gayumpaman, sa mga alusyong ito at sa pagsipi, mayroong bagong naibibigay na ideya ang tinig, kaya naman nagpapatuloy ang pagiging masikreto ng tula, ang pagtulak sa mga mambabasang magpatuloy pa sa pag-asang may bago pang masasambit. Sa madaling sabi, may pagdaragdag pa sa orihinal na sinipian ang teksto. Believe | Be loved ashore, unfollowed I | in the eyed world cut such a hand off | have read–known, and turned

the TV on | And the thousand fourth walls fall

Hindi rin naman nawawala ang paggamit ng mga talinghaga ng pagwawangis, pagtutulad at personipikasyon o ang tambisan ng mga talinghagang ito sa isang pahayag (the horses screaming like man “as the Lord has spoken”.) Mayroon ding mga talinghaga ng pagmamalabis sa ilang teksto na ekseherasyon man, nabibigyang-hustisya pa rin ng kagandahang kinahinatnan ng paglalarawan. Here’s a soldier by a river spitting out the lists he chewed while here’s another down the river, oh-he will swallow it If you listen hard by midmight you will hear them sleep like keys and here’s a good one

Gumamit din ang akda ng mga panghalip na “I”, “you” at “us”. Sa ilang tula sa koleksiyon gaya ng “Swift”, hindi kaagad matutukoy kung sino ang hinahalilihan ng panghalip na “you.” Isang pagpapakita rin ito ng paglilihim ng tula upang magkaroon ng pag-uusisa sa bahagi

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ng mambabasa. Sa kaniyang hindi agarang pagbubunyag, nauudyukan ang mambabasang magpatuloy dulot na rin ng pangangailangang makabatid, makaalam at maipagpatuloy ang naantala, mapunan ang siyang nagkukulang na impormasyon. Kaugnay sa paglalaro ng mga salita, nariyan ang pagtatambis ng makata sa mga pandiwang magkaiba ang anyo (nang may pagbabatay sa gamit nito sang-ayon sa panahon) gaya ng to tell: the told, rising risen at iba pa. Isa rin itong alusyon na mayroong pagtukoy ang mga nasasambit na impormasyon sa teksto sa nakaraan, nangyayari sa kasalukuyan at maari pang mangyari sa hinaharap. Nananahan sa pag-eeksperimentong iyon sa wika ang pagsasalubong ng mga panahon. Maaring ituring ito bilang paglikha’t paggamit sa mga artipisyal na salita at pagsasalita. Gumamit din ang makata ng mga imahe sa akda, kung minsan pa, ng metonimiya, ng mga salitang sumasakatawan sa iba pang pakahulugan gaya ng simbahan (o ng kaparian o rosaryo), ng hari at reyna, ng pilak at iba pa. Sa paggamit ng imahe, mapapansin ang tambisan ng mga abstrakto at konkretong paglalarawan, na nakalilikha naman ng tunggalian sa pag-unawa sa ipinahahayag ng teksto. Manipestasyon din ang ganitong paraan ng makata sa kaniyang paglalaro sa mga larawan, at pag-uugnay-ugnay ng mga ito. Kneeling so he leaned through a story sunlight pressed past the stained glass windows their velvet lights like Curtains spilled interrupting his turning to the altar for a cue to tell: the told

Sa mga imaheng ginamit sa teksto, lutang dito ang mga paglalarawan na siyang nagbibigay-tingkad sa ideya ng galaw ng pag-adya at pagbaba, paglipad at paglagpak o sa konsepto ng mataas at mababa sa aspekto ng kalagayang panlipunan o kapangyarihan. Makikita ang nasabing galaw sa kaunahang tula pa lamang, na may pagbabanggit sa mga sumunod pang tula hanggang sa katapusan, tanda ng kaayunan sa imaheng itinataguyod ng may-akda.

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then the church towers surged ... the second glorious mystery is the ascension of the lord ... and the thousand fourth walls fall ... As the birds fled out touched north fall within self-watching

Sa kabilang dako, ang pagbabanggit sa katayuan ng Diyos, ng hari, reyna, korte, kaparian, simbahan at pesante ang siya namang nagpapakita ng konsepto ng mataas at mababa. Maganda rin ang naging paghahati sa linya na may pagtukoy naman sa paggamit ng mga imahe. Nabibigyang-hustisya ng mga paghahati ng makata ang pagkakaroon ng ritmo, kasabay ang kagandahan sa paghubog ng isang imahe at mapaigting ang paglalarawan gaya ng mga sumusunod na linya. accrued beneath his feet until it’s spring and something wanders outside the calculation lost ... And therefore thereafter was Thus turns to step back in

Alangang pagsasaalang-alang, husay ng kinahihinatnan Mayroon ding mga pagsisimula sa mga tula na nagpapakita ng medias res, pag-uumpisa sa aksiyong mayroon nang mahihinuhang sinundang kilos o pangyayari gaya ng pagsisimula sa tulang “Study of Copernicus, 1514�. then church towers surged

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Kaugnay rin sa mga ganitong simula nang may pagkaalangan ang pagsisimula ng ilang mga tula sa maliit na letra ng unang salita. Sa ganitong istilo, maaaring mahinuha na marahil hindi nga iyon ang tunay na panimula ng tula, na may nauuna pa ritong pahayag subalit minabuting dito na rin pasimulan upang sa simula pa lamang, maipakita na ang kakalasan, ang tunggalian. Dito rin muling makikita ang hayag na paglilihim ng tula sa akda sapagkat nagbubunyag ito, kaya lamang hindi hayag ang pagsisiwalat. Mula rin sa katulad na mga linya sa itaas, mapapansin ang magandang pagpuputol ng mga strophe. Nabibigyan ng higit na tingkad ang paglalarawan sa isang kilos sa ganitong istilo ng makata ng pagpuputol at paglalahad ng isang aksiyon. Kaakibat sa pagkakaroon ng ideya ng pagdaan ng panahon sa mga tula, mayroon ding pagtitiyap o pagsasabay ng mga kilos o pangyayari sa akda. Isang halimbawa rito ang nasa tulang “Partiality”. What silvers flash and As the birds fled out touched north  fall within self-watching for now and scattered it Judas, Tossed coin, toss a piece back up and catch it

Gaya ng nasabing pagtitiyap, naroroon ang pagkilala ng mga tula sa kasaysayan, sa pagiging historikal nito, sa mga bagay at pangyayaring umiral at napaiiral pa rin gamit ang salita sa mga alusyong ginamit sa mga akda. Kung susundan naman ang daloy ng pag-iisip ng tinig sa tula ring ito, mayroon siyang pagbabatay ng mga nahihiraya’t nilalaman ng isipan mula sa mga haka-haka at sitwasyong sa potensiyal pa lamang nagaganap (if sign if ever if error if lost). Kabihasnan ng salita, umpisa’t katapusan sa kaguluhan Sa pagkakaayos naman ng mga tula sa kabuuan, na kaugnay na rin sa daloy ng kaisipan at paghinga ng makata, inihilera ang mga tula sa paraang pasalit-salit ang haba na may pagtuon sa bilang ng pahina nito.

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Matapos ang isang pahinang tula, susundan ito ng dalawang pahinang tula na susundan naman ulit ng tulang isang pahina ang haba at matapos noon, ng dalawa: ganito ang pagkakaayos ng mga tula mula simula hanggang sa katapusang bahagi. Sa pagsasaayos pa rin ng mga tula sa koleksiyon, gaya ng nabanggit na, magkahawig ang pagkakahilera ng mga salita sa tulang “Study of Copernicus, 1514”, kung saan nagsisimula ang koleksiyon, sa pagkakaayos ng “Partiality”, ang kahulihang tula naman sa akdang ito. Kung pagsusumikapang bigyan ng hustisya ang ganitong pagsasaayos ng mga tula sa pagbababatay sa pinagdaanan at pinagdadaanan ng wika, hahantong ang pagsusuri sa sumusunod na pag-iisip: sa simula, naroon ang pagiging makalat ng salita, ng pagiging komplikado nito, hanggang sa “pag-aralan” ito’t pangahasang “isaayos” o “itama”. Naroon ang paggamit ng “lohika” bilang isang kaparaanan ng pagsasaayos nito at pagdatal ng panahong magkakaroon na ng mga “pamantayan sa kaayusan”, ng ibayong pagsasaayos, ng “pagkakahon sa mga salita” hanggang sa pagkakaroon ng mga pagbabago’t “paghulagpos nito mula sa mga paglilimita.” “Mabilis” ang pag-unlad ng wika at mga pagbabagong nakakamit nito (radikal man o sadyang malikhain). At sa pag-usad pa ng panahon, “nasaksihan” ang higit pang potensiyal ng salita, pag-usbong at paglinang sa kakayahan ng wikang magpahayag. Hanggang sa pag-iral ng mga “pagkiling” sa katayuan ng wika na siyang nangingibabaw na sa atin, bilang siyang nagsisilbing tagapagturo sa mga umiiral, sa pagbibigay ng pagkilala sa kawalan. At gaya ng kung ano ang kalikasan nito sa simula’t sapul pa lamang, (tulad ng nabanggit na), hindi balighong pangyayari ang dumako muli ang wika sa kaguluhan sa kaniyang kawalan ng kaayusan na mapapansin sa huling tula sa akda (entropy). Sa uri naman ng panulaan o berso ng akdang ito, masasabing may pagsalig ito at higit na pagpapahalaga sa pagbibigay ng kaayusan sa pagbigkas ng mga salita (malinaw na pagsambit nito) kaysa bilang ng mga pantig sa bawat linya.

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Pagka-ako ng wika, pagsasakatawang-tao ng salita Sa pagtuon naman sa pa konsepto ng sarili at pagkilala sa kaakuhan ng koleksiyong ito, mainam na pagtuunan ang pamagat ng akda, How Sound Becomes a Name, sapagkat hindi maiaalis na nananahan sa titulo o sa mas maingat na paglalahad, kinikilala ang pamagat bilang siyang nagbibigkis sa kaisahan ng pinamamagatan nito, ang buong koleksiyon. Sa pagsipat sa maaring ipakahulugan ng mga salitang bumubuo rito, mahihinuhang nagkaroon ng isang proseso (gaya ng nabanggit na sa panimula), ng pagtukoy sa tanong na “paano”.Maaring tukuyin sa salitang “sound” (tunog), ang pinanggalingan ng wika, tunog na tumutungo sa pagbuo ng salita. At mula sa salita, na maituturing na produkto ng konsepto, ng isang kaisipan na may nilalaman (pinatutukuyan) at hanggahan (kinahuhulugan), humahantong iyon sa apirmasyon sa pag-iral ng sarili – sapagkat sa pagtatagisan ng salita at ng hindi salita, ang huli bilang ang pangalan na tutukoy sa sarili (sa ako) na siyang nakapag-iisip at ang salita sa hindi ako, nalilikha ang konsepto. Mula rito, mapagtatanto at masasagot ang tinutukoy na proseso sa pamagat ng koleksiyon kung paanong naging (humantong) ang tunog (ang wika, salita) sa pangalan, manipestasyon ng pagkakaroon ng pagkilala sa kaakuhan. Sa kabuuan naipakita kung paanong nakapaloob ang sarili sa tunog, bilang siyang tagapagturo nito, liwanag upang kilalanin ang sarili o sa higit na pangahas na teorya, kung paano naging iisa ang dalawa kasabay ng tensiyong nalilikha ng ganitong kaisipan. Kaya naman sa pagsasaayos ng teksto, naroon ang pagpapahalaga sa tunog, sa diin ng mga salita, sapagkat sa pagpapatingkad nito, nabibigyangpagkilala ang sarili. May pagbabanggit ang teksto sa nabuong kaisipan, na matatagpuan sa tulang “To have Witnessed”. how sound becomes a name | how human is a cry | If all cries are human |Then must we have gotten it |“right”| and other words |how fail again! without them

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Kung ilalapat naman ang kaaaman sa Bibliya sa pag-unawa sa naging pamagat ng koleksiyon, maaaring sapantahain na sa pamagat pa lamang gumamit na ang makata ng alusyon sa Bibliya, sa proseso ng paglikha ng Maykapal sa kaniyang kinapal, na nagsimula ang lahat sa salita. Nakatala iyon sa aklat ni Juan, ng unang kabanata, kapitulo 1-5: In the beginning there was the Word and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.

Gayundin, maaring tumukoy naman ang pamagat sa isa pang alusyon sa Banal na Aklat kung paanong nagkatawang-tao ang Kaniyang salita sa katauhan ni Hesus, na siyang kawangis ng sangkatauhan, ng ako bilang nakapaloob na rin sa Kaniya. Sa pangwakas nga ng tulang “Partiality”, masususugan ang ganitong pagbasa (I hid me in You completely, we heard You talk to Yourself like us.) Sa pagturing sa tunog o salita bilang siyang pinagbuhatan ng pangalan na tutukoy sa sarili at sa pag-aapirma sa kaakuhan bilang bahagi ng sangkatauhan (kagaya ng tunog sa kalikasan), maituturing ang “ako” bilang kaisa at nakapaloob sa kaniyang kinagagalawan, bilang isa ring katotohanan, ng pagpapakita, ng pag-iral. Malikhaing kapangahasan, kaangkupan sa Kanluran Kung ihahambing sa akdang Ariel si Sylvia Plath ang koleksiyong ito ni Gaba, maaring may pagkakatulad ito sa aspektong may pagtataas ang tinig sa kaniyang sarili, na mayroon itong pagturing dito bilang isang mito na dinadakila ang sarili bilang Kinapal ng Maykapal, sa pananahan sa kalooban nito. Subalit kaiba naman ito sa huli kung pagbabatayan ang pagiging makatotohanan ng Maykapal, at ang pag-iral ni Kristo bilang tao at kawangis nga ng tao (umiral si Hesus sang-ayon sa kasaysayan). Sa akdang Sun naman ni Michael Palmer, magkatulad ang dalawang akdang ito sa pangingibabaw ng lengguwahe sa akda, ng

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pagbibigay-halaga sa kilos at diin ng mga salita. Ipinakikita ng dalawang akdang ito ang pagiging komplikado ng wika, ang pangangalaga sa kahirapan sa pag-unawa sa misteryo at kayamanan sa potensiyal ng salita. Subalit nagkakaiba naman ang dalawa sa kadahilanang higit na lutang at may pagtuon sa konsepto ng pagbubuo ng sarili/kaakuhan/ kalooban sa wika at karanasan ang koleksiyong ito ni Gaba samantalang kay Palmer, nakatuon na lamang ang kaniyang akda sa mga taktika, sa pagturing sa tula bilang sangkap na lamang. Bagaman mayroon pa ring pagkilala ito sa “ako�, hindi iyon gaanong nakaangkla sa mabusising paghubog doon. Sa akdang ito ni Gaba, madadalumat na sa pagkilala sa kahalagahan ng tunog, sa potensiyal na maipadama ng salita ang katotohanan sa sarili, sa kaakuhan at maipahayag maging ang mga di-nagpapahayag sa mga patlang, masasabing nagpapakita ng pagtangkilik at pag-aangkop ang koleksiyong ito ng mga tula ng isang kontemporanyong makatang Filipino sa katauhan ni Gaba sa impluwensiya ng kontemporanyong panulaan ng Kanluran. Sa kabuuan, maituturing na mapangahas ang akdang ito sa pag-eeksperimento at pagkamalikhain sa salita subalit nabibigyang-hustisya naman iyon sa kagalingan at kagandahan ng kinahihinatnang katangian ng teksto at lohika sa paraan ng paglalahad ng makata – katangian ng koleksiyong humuhulagpos sa kaliitan ng aklat bilang chapbook lamang. Hitik sa kahulugan, nangingibabaw sa kahusayan.

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Artists Gian Lao

You are painting a field; a rice field that stretches out into the blankness that begs for your imagination. It’s been three weeks, three weeks sketching blades of grass; studying their movement in the park down the street; having them move back and forth. It’s been three weeks looking at the wind, drawing it with your pencil. “What color is the wind?” I am writing a poem; a poem about things that don’t change. I write in bed, beside unfinished paintings; colorless sunsets and faces without eyes. I begin: “It was a tree,” I end. I begin: “a chair; hands groping at its arms,” I end. I cannot begin – it’s been an hour. I tear several pages; it’s progress. “What’re things that don’t change?” I make a trip to the grocery, you ask me to buy cup ramen for the night. We can’t cook. I buy beef, chicken, and seafood, four of each for good measure. I take a side-trip to the book store and buy a new notebook. I tear too many pages. We boil hot water and pour them into our cups – and it strikes me as it does everyday; we are living together – in an urban home. It is the sound of water filling a cup that tells me so, for some reason. You’re having chicken tonight. “How do they make these?”

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We finish. We’ve got television and each other for tonight, as always. You will dream of your field and how you want your sun to shine down on the back of the earth. I will dream of things that do not change, but my dreams always change. Before sleeping, I attempt to write again. I begin, “Under the rusty fan,” I end. I begin, “You drew a decaying city,” I end. I go to sleep. “Where do dreams come from?” I wake up in the same jeans I slept in. It’s raining. “The weather’s changed again,” I whisper to myself. I decide not to wake you up; it’s one more day without the sun for you, there are blades of grass waiting to be drawn. It’s cup ramen for breakfast again. I ponder writing about soup in the rain, about those strange little things that sound profound. I decide not to, convinced I’ve never been skillful at those. “Why does soup taste better during rain?” You wake up and go straight to the bathroom. The paintbrush isn’t the first brush you hold today – and paintings aren’t the first work of art you make. The rain disappoints you, but you draw your blades of grass as faithfully as you did when you began three weeks ago. You put folk music on the stereo to remind you of sunny days. “What’s music got to do with the weather?” I look at your painting and you ask me what I see in the blank areas. I told you I saw your sun and your sky, and more of your faithful blades of grass. You’re frustrated; and I say again how I could describe them as a poet would, but I refuse to do so. “How the hell does that make sense?”

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We have afternoon tea. You used to think it was pretentious until you had your first cup and found it relaxing. We discuss how we don’t make sense; how the wind does not have a color; how everything changes; how they use MSG and other additives to manufacture the cup ramen we pile shamelessly into our stomachs; how dreams are a result of R.E.M.; how the relative warmth of soup increases during cold weather; how our heads analyze the musical notes and relate them to past experiences. We discuss how we ask questions we already know the answers to; how the answers have never properly explained things to us. We conclude that we never grew up. We draw on walls, wantonly tear pages apart because of bad ideas, watch the wind and eat cup ramen everyday. We’re nuts. You ask me what I see for us in the future. I say that I used to see a painting of us getting married in that field, under your sun and your sky, but as I saw how things changed so rapidly I tore that painting down and now I see nothing but your blades of grass sprouting up one after another everyday – everything else is a blankness that begs for your imagination. You giggle and call me your “little poet boy.” I am not amused. It gets dark and I begin wondering what tomorrow will bring, and I keep all my questions in my head. Maybe tomorrow you’ll finish your blades of grass and start with drops of rain; or maybe you’ll erase them as you do sometimes. Maybe you’ll see the sun tomorrow and finally start sketching, and you will definitely paint your sun and your sky, and I will tell you that I knew they would look the way they will all along.

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As for me, tomorrow things will change again and I will be closer to giving up on my poem. But perhaps things will change, and I will get to finish it. Tonight, I begin: “You are painting a field; a rice field that stretches out into the blankness.�

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Salaysay Allan Popa

Gusto kong maging monghe ang madalas kong masabi sa sinuman na nais kong maging kaibigan. Iyong tipong hindi nagpapakita sa iba dahil dasal ang pag-iisa. Hindi na ako nagtataka kung mabanggit din na minsan nang pumasok sa kanilang isip ang hangad na hindi nalalayo sa akin. Kung sa pasilyo man ng monasteryo kami unang nagtagpo, marahil, kapwa kami mapahihinto sa isang butil ng misteryong inuusal sa landas patungo sa kani-kaniyang munting silid sa bingit upang saglit na tumungo bilang pagkilala na minsan na kaming nagkakilala bagamat kamay lamang sa amin ang nakikita.

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kumpisal Edgar Calabia Samar

C

agabi,i, nang naquiquinig aco nang taimtim sa compisal nang isang indio, isang bagontao na babagong binyagan at pinangalanang Raimundo—isang dating alipin, acalain mo, at sa lacqui nang catouaan sa cañiang paglaya sa dating amo,i, ibig sumabac sa compisalan cahit na cacocompisal lamang niya nang omaga ring yaon—at sapagca,t, aayau co namang isipin niyang aco,i, napapagod na paglingcoran siyang sa ngalan ng Panginoon Nating Nagpacasakit para sa ating manga casalanan—cahit ang totoo,i, pagal na pagal na nga aco sa dami ba naman nang aquing bininyagan kahapon nang maghapon, umabot nang apatnapo,t, isa—ay di hinarap co nga siya at tinanong cung ano caiang manga bago niang casalanan na nagawa simula nang holi siyang macapangumpisal—na gaya nang sinabi co,i, di baga nga,t, noon lamang ding arau na iyon—at halos maloha-loha ang indiong ire sa taimtim na pagsisisi sa caniyang casalanan na kung bakit umano sa kabotihan nang Dios Ama sa Langit ay nagawa niya itong pagtacsilan at ipagcanolo agad— at dahil pa man din umano sa mismong among nagpalaya sa cañiang pagkaalipin at nagpacilala sa cañia sa Cañiang Cadaquilaan!—pagcauica

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niyo,i, bomonghalit na nga ng iyac ang caauaaua na pandalas din ang pagcacagcag sa cañiang balat na tadtad ng galis, nana at langib—sa baraso,t, leeg, at sa dibdib, at totoo namang aco,i, cinacati sa caniang pagcacagcag subalit aayau co naman siyempre pang sansalain, ay dahil ano baga naman aco, iyong pagcacamot lamang ng acquing kapoua,i, ipagcacait co pa sa caniya samantalang naghihirap na nga ang cañiaang catauan na maticas at matipono nga,y, halos nababalot at nababacbac naman ng sugat, na hindi na nga iba sa dinaanan ng Panginoon Nating Nagpacasacit, kaya’t hinayaan ko na siya, capagcoua,i, pumikit na lamang aco,t, taimtim siyang pinacquinggan, at talagang cahangahanga ang lacas na ipinagkaloob sa acquin nang Cañiang Cadaquilaan sapagkat nang montic na akong macatolog ay agad din acong pinagsaolian nang malay, at hindi naman napansin iyon nang indiong si Raimundo, bagaman alam cong hindi co iyon maililihim sa Panginoon Nating Nagpacasakit, subalit alam ko ding naoonaua na ng Cañiang Cadaquilaan na ako lamang ay pagod nang talaga cagabi sa aking manga ginaua nang maghapon na para din naman sa Dios Ama sa Langit—at nang magtoong moli ang acquing pansin at ibohos ang loob sa pinagsasasabi nitong indiong si Raimundo ay papara pa acong nagcamali nang pandinig dahil casabay nang pagcacagcag niya nang cañiang mga sogat ay ano itong pag-amin nang pagnanasa niya sa dating among babae na naona namang nabinyagan co na bilang Isabelita, hindi bababa sa quarenta y anyos at talagang mabilog na mabilog ang catauan, ay,

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na gaya nang maraming babaye sa bayang ito, at kung paano umanong naghohomindig sa kalangitan ang otin niya—napahesus ako,t, hindi na siya napigilang sambitin iyon, nanalangin na lamang ako sa Dios Ama sa Langit na houag nang bigkasin pang moli iyon ng indiong si Raimundo—subalit bago pa ako macatapos sa pananalangin ay naolit na naman niyang binigcas na tomotonghay sa kalangitan ang utin niya sa touing iniisip pa lamang niya na mahahauac niya ang kaliuang otong ni Isabelita na gaya ng paglamas at paglapirot sa bilobilong ihahanda sa pasálong bayan—noo,i, napabago na ako nang puesto nang opo at bahagyang tomichim—combakit idinadamay pa nitong indiong si Raimundo ang langit sa pagtuiric nang sa cañia!—subalit hindi pinansin nang indiong si Raimundo ang acquing pagtuichim at umaasa na lamang aco sa Cañiang Cadaquilaan na maoonauang uala pa ang catimpian ng uicang inaasahan sa isang biñagan sa indiong ito na di baga nga,t, babagong biñag pa lamang nang arao na iyon—nguni at momontikanan na akong mahulog sa quinaoopoan nang sondan pa niyang ipagtapat na pinagnanasaan din niyang sibasibin ang canang soso nang natorang Isabelita gaya nang paglimas nang bibig niya umano sa babagong biac na pagkapola-polang pacquan— at papatauarin ako nang Panginoon Nating Nagpacasacit subalit bahagyang kumislot ang sarili kong—PANGINOONG DIOS AMANG CADAQUILAAN!—pagmamayari, tila bagang naalimpongatan, at toloyang nagising na nga— at caya ngayo,i, homihingi ako nang tauad at

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compisal at pagtitica, gayondin para nang sa pagtolong co sa pagcamot sa catauan niong si Raimundo sa loob mismo nang compisalan caya,t, ngayon nga,i, nanlalansa aco sa caniyang manga galis at nangangati man din ang boo cong catauan. ~

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mula sa 15th Ateneo Heights Writer’s Workshop

it was the thirteenth night and Petra Magno

“we had plans to rent a room from an old Japanese couple and so we visited them in their tall narrow house made of cedar and bamboo, built on a hillside overlooking the Pacific, and they led us up a spiral staircase made of dimpled metal that rose through the center of each floor of the house, past the man in his cotton boxer shorts, his back to us as he rearranged photographs on top of a color television, past the dark women on the floor that was hung wall-to-wall with lines of laundry, the smell of starch, the sudden light, past the family that spoke to us in Nihongo, like everything they said was a question, the baby in the high chair, sexless, waving something of bright plastic our way, until we reached the top floor, which was, like the other floors, really just one large room of faux wooden parquet polished to a dull sheen, crammed wall to wall with cabinets, on top of which were more cabinets, inside of which were Russian dolls, old telephones, china cats, small dusty pillows with glass beads, rice grains, toaster ovens, large plastic jars with twist-off tops that, when opened, contained small plastic jars with twist-off tops that in turn held

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the dying breath of fishermen, and the cabinets were made of plywood and glass, and the owners of the house were old and proud of it all, there was barely enough space to move but we touched everything, the chairs built from rattan, stuffed with wool, upholstered in velvet, paperweights of resin, empty vases that could hold, at most, one floret, porcelain frogs, false teeth, violin strings, a bouquet of peacock feathers, jade and garnet studs on a horse’s saddle, and the floor began to creak and to sway, there was commotion from downstairs, the clatter of pots and suitcases rising up from the round hole in the floor we had clambered through, and Stanley walks to the one of the windows and looks out, and he says Landslide, and the house was breaking free of the rocky ground and began to simultaneously sink and drift toward the sea wall at the foot of the hill, beyond that the ocean, above that the firmament as clear and as bright as the marbles Jonathan let fall from a cupped palm, the clatter like miniature horses galloping across a tundra, dark manes blooming in the sharp wind, and one was caught under Mark’s tennis shoe, he kicked it to the side and replaced the sitar he had picked up, leaving fingerprints like half-moons of dark oil on the dark wood, someone else was yelling again and again, Beatrice was clutching her white laptop in its leather tote, no one attempted a head count, we saw the water in all its glorious intrusion, mud and foam and spongy twigs, thrashing fish, floating objects and objects that chose instead to sink, the waves were roiling at the door at the end of the room that previously only looked out at sky,

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and the greatest wave came and crashed through the open mouth of the door, seaweed and empty cans, rats with nylon thread for whiskers, great things tumbling around us, and we climbed out of the house without time to save anything and when we were standing somewhere safe, we watched the house tip over the sea wall and you were the house, I saw you drift away into the angry sea,� I told him, as he turned his face toward mine in the room filled with light, and the smell of peaches, and the empty shelves by the door with their rectangles of shadow, and then the window, the curtains shaking in the wind.

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mula sa 15th Ateneo Heights Writer’s Workshop

Marital Affairs Michelle T. Tan

On the last day in history, Mrs. Rodriguez looked out her kitchen window to watch the sunrise—a habit she had acquired when she got married. As always, the sun stained the sky a bright orange before it even appeared on the horizon. When it finally reared its crimson head, the last of the previous night’s clouds had already blended into the panorama, creating a perfect beginning to the last day of her life. Standing in front of the windowpane, her face framed by the early morning sunlight, Mrs. Rodriguez, for a moment, seemed young again. But then she tilted her head slightly to the left, and the moment was gone. As she turned away from the window, a light wind blew her short, uncombed hair into her plump face, and she instinctively pushed it back behind her ear. Knowing that her husband would come downstairs soon, she walked over to the cupboard and took out a loaf of bread. She set it down on the kitchen counter then opened the refrigerator door to get a slice of ham, cheese, and some lettuce. Humming softly to herself, she prepared a sandwich for her husband, following the very same recipe she had used for the past twenty-three years. Just as she was cleaning up the kitchen, Raul came down the stairs, his bright blue tie draped loosely around his neck. They greeted each other good morning—empty, perfunctory gestures, they both knew— as Mrs. Rodriguez wiped her hands on her apron and handed him the sandwich in a Ziploc bag. Murmuring thanks, Raul took it gratefully and stuffed it in his brown leather briefcase. Being the principal of a boys’ school, he had always placed a high value on appearances and prided himself with

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his professional demeanor. The school was located on the other side of town, and he would always use this excuse to leave very early in the morning. “I have to go. I’m going to be late,” he would say, although they both knew that he wasn’t expected until ten. Mrs. Rodriguez never pointed it out, of course, though she wasn’t sure exactly why. It had crossed her mind to remark on it once before, but she quickly dismissed the idea—she did not want to endure the petty dialogue they would surely have afterwards. She knew those conversations very well, when they would pretend to be talking about some ordinary issue but were actually discussing something else, something much deeper. Mrs. Rodriguez told herself that she let it pass not because she wanted the house to herself, or because she disliked his company; not at all, for Raul’s presence had been the only constant thing in her life for the past two decades. Both their girls had already gone off and married in the city, leaving her to take care of him alone. With the same sense of motherliness with which she had raised her daughters, Mrs. Rodriguez placed her husband’s needs above all else. She hardly decided anything without taking him into account: “Which one would Raul prefer?” or “I’m sorry, but I’ll have to ask my husband first.” But Mrs. Rodriguez didn’t resent him for it; she actually liked taking care of Raul because, despite everything, she had grown to love him more in their solitude. It was a strange kind of love though, something she believed that only two people who had spent many years with each other could understand. No, it wasn’t that Mrs. Rodriguez wanted him to leave early. She just chose not to ask him about it because she was afraid of what he would answer. Although she was well aware of the real reason—it hung over the house like the lingering smell of a storm long after it had passed— she did not fear this answer because she knew Raul would never say it; he cared too much for appearances. What she feared was the steady stream of lies that would undoubtedly rush out of his mouth if she mentioned it to him. It was this answer she dreaded, because she did

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not want to hear the brittle lies that Raul thought would hold their marriage together, like dry glue to a cracked plate. In any case, on this last day, Mrs. Rodriguez told her husband, “Go on, you don’t want to be late.” Still adjusting his tie, Raul looked up at her, his eyes reflecting puzzlement, realization, and finally, gratitude. “Yes,” he replied. “I’d better go.” Then, hesitantly, he kissed her swiftly on the cheek and walked stiffly out the door. Following his footsteps, Mrs. Rodriguez stood in the doorway and watched her husband enter their faded red car and drive off to the distance. After Raul’s car disappeared in the horizon, Mrs. Rodriguez took off her apron and folded it carefully on the kitchen counter. She glided up the narrow stairway in her pale nightgown and opened the door to the bedroom. She stopped in front of the dresser—a wedding gift from her mother—and slowly took off her clothes. Leaving them scattered around the floor, Mrs. Rodriguez looked at herself in the mirror for a long time. She stood perfectly still, letting her eyes wander over her reflection, which stopped just above her waist. Below it, she knew, were the familiar lines, wrinkles, and folds that she had acquired over the past forty-six years. As she bent down and balled the pieces of clothing in her hands, she told herself she did not mourn her body; it wasn’t that much of a sight to begin with anyway. As soon as the tap was running, Mrs. Rodriguez swung one heavy leg over the edge of the tub and settled herself comfortably. Half an hour later, she heaved herself up with her hands and slipped into a terrycloth robe as she waited for the water to finish draining. With one hand clutching the folds of her robe, she bent down and fished out thin strands of hair at the bottom of the tub. Dropping them into a waste bin, she mechanically dried her hair with a towel and changed into a green, flowered dress. As she combed her damp hair, she picked up their bedside phone and dialed her older daughter Rachel’s home number, which she knew by heart. After three rings, she heard a click as her daughter’s recorded voice came on the phone: “Hey, this is Rachel Harris. I’m not at home right now—” Mrs. Rodriguez hung up the phone.

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Mm, she must be on vacation with her family, she thought, her hand still clutching the phone. Rachel always loved the beach. Several scenes from their earlier family vacations flashed in Mrs. Rodriguez’s mind, but she shook her head abruptly and they were gone. Picking up the phone again, she tried Elsie’s office and was answered by Elsie’s secretary, who told her to wait a moment. “Mother?” Elsie’s voice was uncharacteristically affectionate. “Hello Elsie. How are you?” Mrs. Rodriguez twisted the telephone cord around her forefinger. “I’m fine, Mother. And you?” “Oh, good, good. Your father and I are well. Nothing unusual.” “I see.” “How about the kids?” Mrs. Rodriguez asked. “They’ve just started school, Mother. They’re both doing very well. Peter’s teacher tells me he’s the top in his class.” “Peter has always been a smart boy,” she replied. “I haven’t seen him and Katy in a long while.” A pause. “Would you mind coming over here sometime? I know it’s a long drive, but—” “Oh, Mother,” Elsie sighed. “You know—” “Yes, yes I do. But I just—I just want to see the kids, that’s all.” Silence. “Sure, Mother,” she said. “I’m sure we’ll see each other very soon.” Tears started to fill Mrs. Rodriguez’s eyes, but she was not unhappy. “I love you, Elsie.” “I know, Mother. I love you too.” After she hung up the phone, Mrs. Rodriguez sat quietly for a while, then spent the remainder of the morning listening to old music and preparing lunch. Although she only had to cook for herself, she was feeling particularly energetic, so she cooked up quite a few dishes, most of which she had learned from her mother. But after she finished cleaning up—she always tidied up the kitchen before she ate—she suddenly felt full and couldn’t bring herself to eat more than a few spoonfuls of mashed potatoes and half the stir-fried

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vegetables. The beef stew was left untouched. The remaining food, she decided, would be for supper. As she stowed away the plates inside the refrigerator, it suddenly occurred to Mrs. Rodriguez that she had not cleaned the entire house in a long time. With one hand still resting on the refrigerator door handle, she surveyed her surroundings and noted dust and dirt everywhere, as if they had only chosen to reveal themselves at that particular moment. Mrs. Rodriguez surprised herself with unexpected nostalgia. She was suddenly reminded of the time when Rachel and Elsie were still toddlers, when they would run around in their diapers and knock over pots of plants, spilling dirt onto the floor. Holding a broom with one hand, Mrs. Rodriguez would chase them around the house, occasionally stopping to pick up the plants and sweep the floor. Then she would resume her chase, guided by the sound of her daughters’ squeals. I’d give anything to go back, she thought wistfully. Fixing her hair up with pins, Mrs. Rodriguez marched across the kitchen with a broom in her hand and began sweeping every corner of the house. Despite not having eaten much, she surprisingly had enough energy to clean literally every surface of the house, even moving furniture around to sweep the floor beneath them. As she pushed their green futon towards the bedroom wall, Mrs. Rodriguez caught sight of something on the ground, amidst a thin layer of dust. Bending over a little, she picked up the tiny amethyst pendant and wiped it carefully with her apron. It was from the necklace Raul had given her on their third wedding anniversary. Strange, I wonder how it got here, she mused, recalling the night she had lost it during an argument with her husband. They had planned to go out for supper that night, and Mrs. Rodriguez was putting on her jewelry in front of the dresser. As she was adjusting the clasp of her necklace, Raul popped his head into the room and asked, “Are you ready yet?” “Wait just a second. I can’t seem to get this clasp done right.” Placing the car keys on the dresser, Raul stood behind her and tried to do it himself. Casually, he asked, “So how was your visit to the doctor?”

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Mrs. Rodriguez’s hands suddenly gripped the sides of her skirt. She felt her abdomen contract in anxiety as she nervously answered, “He-he said that…I might be pregnant.” Raul dropped the necklace abruptly, and it fell on the carpeted floor without a sound. “W-what?” “The doctor said—” “How could this have happened?!” He stepped aside to face Mrs. Rodriguez, accidentally stepping on the pendant in the process. Glancing at the remains of the shattered necklace, she replied nervously, “I—I don’t know. I took the pills like you said, but—” “Listen to me.” Raul knelt in front of her. “We cannot afford a third child.” “But I can’t do anything about it! What do you want me to do?” “Abort the baby.” Mrs. Rodriguez remembered that he did not even flinch as he said it, and this is what made her shudder even now. “No,” she had said firmly, although her lips were quivering. In the end, she had won the fight, but it didn’t matter anyway. The baby was stillborn. Mrs. Rodriguez closed her eyes at the memory. More than twenty years had passed since then, and she could not help but recall the irony of Raul’s successive promotions a few months after they buried the baby. Her heart ached at the memory of her only boy’s tiny coffin, so she chose to focus instead on wiping the cracked pendant with a wet cloth, struggling to erase the dirt and grime it had accumulated over a span of two decades. Aside from a brief rest at two o’clock, Mrs. Rodriguez did not stop cleaning for the entire afternoon. After she had swept both floors of the house, she scrubbed all the walls with soap and water, and after that she changed all the sheets and curtains. It was as if she needed to keep herself occupied all the time. It’s just like when Raul started… she thought, then changed her mind. She forced herself to think of other things, like which curtain looked better in the kitchen.

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Mrs. Rodriguez was surprised by her own energy. It was the first time she had ever cleaned the entire house so thoroughly in one day. Wiping the sweat from her brow with the back of her hand, she looked around the house and smiled proudly at her work. Her eyes scanned the gleaming walls until they reached the round clock opposite the window. It read five-thirty. Silently berating herself for neglecting the time, Mrs. Rodriguez bounded up the stairs, her heavy footsteps making the wooden boards creak in complaint. Paying no mind to them, she swiftly entered the bathroom and threw her dirty dress into the laundry basket. Without removing the pins in her hair, she scrubbed herself thoroughly with a wet towel then changed into a mauve house dress. By the time her husband arrived, Mrs. Rodriguez had already finished heating the food and was waiting for him at the table. They ate together mostly in silence, interrupted only by Raul’s obligatory compliments on the food and Mrs. Rodriguez’s questions about his day at school. Hardly ever responding sincerely, he usually answered these questions with a passive “Fine” or a dismissive mumble. On this night, however, Raul replied, “Most of the boys were a little uneasy today, on account of, well, you know…” His voice trailed off, but he quickly resumed speaking. “I had a couple of them sent over to my office today. The two had started a brawl in the playground…you know how feisty boys are these days.” He pushed a forkful of vegetables in his mouth and looked up at Mrs. Rodriguez. “Yes, I see. I…hope they didn’t hurt themselves too much,” she replied gingerly, as if she was treading over pieces of broken glass. “They’re both fine,” he replied. “How about you? How was your day?” Raul was unusually chatty. “I cleaned the whole house today. I hadn’t done that for a long time, and I suddenly had this urge to get rid of all the dust in the house.” She shrugged. “I couldn’t understand it myself.” Raul was silent for a while. “You’re a good wife, Helen,” he said suddenly, his voice trembling a little.

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She looked up at him, her mouth open, but he was already rising from his seat. Mrs. Rodriguez went to bed at ten-thirty, after she finished washing the dishes and stowing them away in the kitchen cupboard. Surprisingly, Raul was already fast asleep, his right arm flung across her side of the bed. Bending over a little, she lifted it gently and laid it on his chest. She sat down on the bed and watched her husband in his sleep. It had been a long, long time since she had last done that. When they were first married, she used to love staring into Raul’s gentle sleeping face and watching the rise and fall of his chest. She looked at him again now, and saw a weathered, beaten man. It never failed to surprise her how much he had changed over the years. Raul seemed so peaceful in his sleep that Mrs. Rodriguez did not want to disturb him. She slowly raised her legs onto the bed and edged herself under the covers. She had gotten the side of the bed near the window, and she looked out of it now to see the black, cloudless sky that she knew would not be there the next day. As her eyes flitted from one star to the next, Mrs. Rodriguez recalled how she had spent her last day, and wondered if there was more she could have done. Then she remembered the sight of her newly swept kitchen floor and gleaming cupboard, the tiny drops of water clinging to porcelain dishes, fresh curtains billowing in the afternoon wind, and she was content. An hour later, Mrs. Rodriguez was still awake. She wondered if Raul had felt like this before he fell asleep. She considered waking him up, but eventually decided against it. Feeling her way around in the darkness, she went downstairs and drank a glass of water. She had not been able to find her slippers, and her feet were cold against the wooden floor. After a few minutes, she quietly crept back into bed and turned to her sleeping husband. Knowing she would not be able to sleep for a while, she propped herself on one elbow and observed him. His breathing was light, and his eyelids fluttered a little. He was dreaming. Sighing, Mrs. Rodriguez settled herself back into the bed and stared up at the uneven ceiling, which sloped slightly to the right. She folded

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her hands across her stomach, wondering how her daughters had spent their day. As she turned her head, she noticed an open bottle of sleeping pills in their bedside table. She glanced at Raul’s peaceful face and decided to take some herself. Not for the first time that day, she thought about what would happen afterwards. Exactly seven minutes before midnight, Mrs. Rodriguez decided that it was out of her hands. Turning on her side to face the window, she closed her eyes and drifted off to sleep.

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Tatlong kabanata mula sa Ang banal na aklat ng mga kumag Allan N. Derain

3

Kung Paano Nalikha Itong Mundo BAGO PA ANG PASIMULA nitong mundong puno ng hapis at pait, madalas­ umalis ng bahay ang Dios Amang Kaama-amahan para asikasuhin ang paglikha sa uniberso. Tuwing umaalis siya, lagi namang naiiwan sa bahay ang Dios Inang Kaina-inahan para mag-alaga sa kanilang tatlong anak na sina Abe, Guada at Julian. Ayaw na ayaw ng Dios Inang naiiwan siya sa bahay hindi dahil sa isa siyang makabagong babaeng may paniniwalang hindi lang siya dapat na maging pambahay, ngunit dahil minimithi rin naman niyang makisali sa paglikha ng uniberso. Bukod pa rito, hindi rin naman madaling alagaan ang tatlong batang laging naiiwan sa kaniya. Mahirap kasi silang pakainin. Isang araw, lumapit sa kaniya ang tatlong nagugutom na bata para humingi ng makakain. Pero hindi basta kung anong pagkain lang ang kanilang hinihingi. Gusto nila ng itlog at gatas. Hindi naman alam nitong Dios Ina kung papaano ipaliliwanag sa mga batang ito na imposibleng maibigay sa kanila ang kanilang hinihingi. Oo’t nangingitlog ang mga halimaw at Dios, pero hindi puwedeng iprito o ilaga at saka ihain sa mesa ang kanilang mga itlog, at tungkol naman sa gatas, masyado nang tuyot ang kaniyang mga suso para magbigay sustansya sa tatlong batang nangunguluntoy na ang mga katawan dahil sa gutom. Kaya sa halip na itlog at gatas, isang kalderong sabaw na kasya nang pang-isang linggo ang kaniyang inihanda. Hinaluan niya ito ng

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sari-saring rekadong pinitas at pinulot pa niya mula sa Banging May Walang Hanggang Lalim. Pero hindi pa nabibigyang pangalan ang mga naturang rekado kaya imposibleng isulat ngayon dito isa-isa kung anoano nga ang mga iyon (isa pa, isa itong secret recipe ng Dios Ina na nakuha pa niya mula sa kaniyang lola). Matapos mapaghalo-halo ang misteryosong mga rekado, ipinatong niya ang kaldero sa isang patungang may apat na paa at ipinaibabaw naman niya ang patungang ito sa isang nag-aapoy na bola na kung tawagin natin ngayon ay araw pero kung tawagin naman ng Dios Ina noon ay kalan. Habang hinihintay ang pagkulo ng sabaw, nakaabang ang Dios Ina sa harap ng kaldero at sa pag-aakalang walang ibang naroroon na maaaring makarinig sa kaniya, inisa-isa niya sa harap ng kalderong iyon ang lahat ng mga sama ng loob niya sa buhay, pati na ang mga matagal nang sama ng loob niya sa kaniyang asawa’t mga anak. Dahil sa init na nanggagaling sa araw/kalan, nilabasan ng maraming pawis ang Dios Ina na tumutulo mula sa kaniyang noo at pumapatak papunta sa sabaw kasabay ng pagpatak din ng kaniyang mga tinitimping luhang bunga ng kaniyang mga hinanakit. Sa pagpapaalat at pagpapapait nang sobra sa kaniyang niluluto, sa ganito lang niya maipararamdan ang kaniyang pagtutol. Matapos mailabas ang lahat ng kaniyang sama ng loob, kumulo rin sa wakas ang sabaw na kaniyang niluluto. Inalis niya ito sa kalan at inihain sa harap ng tatlong bata. Pero dala marahil ng matinding pagkaaligaga at pagkataranta, nakalimutan niyang patayin ang kalan kaya naroroon pa rin ito hanggang sa ngayon, bukas at patuloy na nagliliyab. Sabay-sabay na nagsihigop ng mainit na sabaw ang tatlong bata at sabay-sabay din nila itong iniluwa sa harap ng kanilang nanay. “Pwe! Ang alat-alat! At ang pait-pait,” ang sabi nila at matapos itong sabihin, mabilis silang nagsipanakbuhan para magtago sa Banging May Walang Hanggang Lalim sa takot na ipaubos pa sa kanila ang natikmang sabaw. Dahil dito nagalit ang Dios Ina. “Ang mga walang utang na loob! Tapos na ang pagsisilbi ko sa inyo, mga senyorito’t senyorita!” sigaw niya habang nag-iimpake ng kaniyang mga gamit dahil matagal na rin naman niyang gustong layasan ang

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pamilyang ito. Walang lingon-lingon niyang nilisan ang kanilang bahay matapos mailagay sa isang maleta ang lahat niyang mga damit. Nang araw na iyon, tinalikuran ng Dios Ina ang kaniyang pagiging ina kaya’t simpleng Dios na lamang daw ang dapat na itawag sa kaniya na dati pa talaga niyang gustong itawag sa kaniya. Dahil sa ginawa niyang pagtatapos sa isang relasyon, dito na nagsimulang magkaroon ngayon ng konsepto ng ‘wakas’ at sa ganito naman magkakaroon ng kahulugan ang mga ‘simula’. Kaya puwedeng sabihing ang simula ng wakas ang tunay na simula ng lahat ng pasimula. Hanggang sa mga panahong ito hindi pa rin bumabalik ng bahay ang Dios Ina, este Dios lang pala. Pero sa kaniyang pagbabalik, doon lamang niya maaalala na naiwan pala niyang bukas ang kalan sa bahay at doon lamang din niya ito magagawang patayin. Kung mangyayari iyon, matatapos din ang buhay ng lahat ng uri ng nilalang na umaasa sa init ng araw at sa ganito naman sinasabing matatapos ang lahat, na posibleng huli nang katapusang mararanasan ng lahat ng may buhay at kung magkaganito, mawawalan muli ng kahulugan ang salitang ‘simula’ tulad noong unang sila-sila pa lamang mga Dios ang mga narito’t umiiral. Samantala, nang matiyak ng tatlong batang nakaalis na nga ang kanilang nanay, nagsilabas sila mula sa pinagtataguang bangin at muling nilapitan ang kaldero ng sabaw. Maingat silang lumapit dito na parang may banta pa rin ito laban sa kanilang kalusugan. Inisip nilang mabuti kung anong dapat nilang gawin dito. Sumagi bigla sa kanilang alaala ang tungkol kay Jojo, isa pa nilang kapatid pero sa ibang nanay. Bakit hindi nila ipaubos ang sabaw kay Jojo? Kung tatanggi ito, alam na nilang si Abe at Julian ang pipigil sa dalawa nitong braso habang si Guada ang hahawak sa sandok na puno ng sabaw at siya ring magsusungalngal nito sa bibig ng kanilang bastardong kapatid. Pero nakatira si Jojo kasama ng kaniyang nanay sa isang pasilyo ng malaking bahay na ubod nang layo sa kanilang kinaroroonang silid. Madalang na itong makipagkita sa kanila dahil sa kung ano-anong mga pinagkakaabalahang hindi nila maintindihan kung ano nga ba talaga.

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Kaya habang naghihintay sila sa baka sakaling pagdating nito, minabuti nilang magdagdag ng kung ano pang puwede nilang idagdag sa naturang sabaw para lalong sumaya ang kanilang laro. Dinuraan ni Abe ang loob ng kaldero. Sumunod naman sa kaniya ang dalawang nakababata. Bukod sa dura, nilagyan pa ni Julian ng sarili niyang kulangot ang sabaw. Inupuan ni Guada ang kaldero para doon umihi. Pagkaraan niya, sumunod naman ang dalawa niyang kapatid na lalaki na naupo rin sa kaldero at umihi dahil iyon ang inakala nilang tamang posisyon ng kanilang pag-ihi na tulad din ng sa kanilang ate. Tuwang-tuwa sila sa kanilang ginawa. Kaya kumuha sila ng tig-iisang sandok at saka hinalo-halo pa nang mabuti ang sabaw para matiyak na lalong kumalat at maglasa ang mga sangkap na kanilang idinagdag. Habang naghahalo sa paligid ng kaldero na tila tatlong mangkukulam na naghahanda ng isang makapangyarihang gayuma, nakikita nila sa magkahalong kulay dilaw at lumot na sabaw ang mukha ng kanilang kapatid sa ibang ina na masuwerte namang hindi talaga dadalaw sa kanilang bahay sa araw na iyon at sa mga susunod pang araw. Dahil habang abala sila sa paglalaro ng kanilang dura, kulangot at ihi, abala naman ang kapatid nilang si Jojo sa pagsusulat ng mga tulang tuluyan, at tuwing nagsusulat ito ng isang tulang tuluyan, nagtatagal ng isang buong buwan (o isang siglo sa sukatan nating mga mortal) bago ito lumabas para makipaglaro muli sa ibang mga bata. Matapos ang buong araw na pagtatrabaho, bumalik ng bahay ang Dios Ama. Dahil nadatnan niyang magulo ang buong bahay at wala pa roon ang kaniyang asawa, nagalit ito nang husto at ang tatlong batang nadatnan ang kaniyang napagbuntunan ng galit. Lalong nagpanting ang tainga ng Dios Ama nang makita pa niya ang ginawa ng tatlo sa kanilang pagkain na pagkain sana nilang lahat sa loob ng isang linggo. “Mga anak talaga kayo ng lintik!� bulyaw niya habang naghahagilap ng maipangkakastigo sa tatlong bata. Nakapa niya buhat sa sabitan ang isang bungkos ng lintik at ito ang kaniyang itinudla sa tatlong mga pasaway na nais niyang parusahan. Para makaiwas sa mga nanghahabol na kidlat, nagsipagtago ang tatlo sa ilalim ng kaldero. Kaya sa halip na sila, ang nananahimik na sabaw

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ang paulit-ulit na tinamaan ng kidlat na pinakakawalan ng kanilang galit na galit na Ama. Kinabukasan, nang matiyak nilang nakaalis na ng bahay ang Dios Ama para muling magtrabaho, doon lang lumabas ang tatlong bata mula sa ilalim ng kaldero. Tiningnan nila ang sabaw na kanilang pinaglaruan para kumustahin ang naging epekto ng paulit-ulit na pagtama ng kidlat dito. Nakita nilang lumulutang doon ang ilang rekadong inihalo ng kanilang ina kasama ang maliliit na piraso ng mga kulangot ni Julian. Namuo na parang makapal na sebo ang mantika ng sabaw at sa ibabaw nito nakita nilang tumubo ang tila kalat-kalat na mumunting asul, dilaw at luntiang mga himulmol na kung tawagin ngayon ay amag. Sa gubat ng mga tumubong amag nakakita sila ng tila mga gumagapang na mumunting mga batik na kung tawagin ngayon ay bakterya. Samantala, sa bahaging matubig naman, nakakita sila ng ubod liliit na tila mga kiti-kiting nagsisipaglangoy na kung tawagin naman ngayon ay larva ng mga naunang humunculus. Namangha ang tatlo sa kanilang nasaksihan. Bilyon-bilyong taon pa ang lilipas at sa sabaw na ito magmumula ang mga manok na magbibigay sa kanila ng itlog at ang mga bakang magbibigay sa kanila ng gatas gayon din ang mga taong magbibigay sa kanila ng aliw habang kanilang pinaglalaruan ang mga kapalaran at kasaysayan ng mga ito, dahil ang loob ng kalderong iyon na puno ng binalahura nilang sabaw ang siyang magiging kauna-unahang mundo. Nais sana nilang lumikha ng marami pang ganitong mundo pero wala na ang kanilang Ina na siyang nakakaalam kung paano tinitimpla ang ganoong klase ng sabaw na ubod nang pait at alat. Tuwing aalis ang kanilang Ama, sinusubok ng tatlong batang makapagluto muli ng ganoong sabaw na maaaring paglitawan muli ng iba’t ibang uri ng buhay pero lagi silang bigo dahil nangyayaring laging iba ang nagiging resulta ng kanilang mga eksperimento. Pero mahihinuha na agad ng mga matatalinong mambabasa na ang mga palpak na kaldero ng sabaw ang magiging mga planetang hindi maaaring tirahan ng mga tao, manok, at baka.

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Ang Matandang Ahas “Sapagka’t tumatanggap ang bawat humihingi; nakasusumpong ang bawat humahanap; at binubuksan ang pinto sa bawat kumakatok. Kayong mga ama, bibigyan ba ninyo ng ahas ang inyong anak kung humihingi ng itlog?” Tanong ito ni Kristo sa mga ama na ang inaasahang sagot ay isang maliwanag na hindi dahil walang matinong amang may matinong pagiisip ang gagawa ng ganitong karumaldumal na biro sa kanilang mga anak gaano pa man siguro kasutil ang kanilang mga anak. Ngunit minsan, no’ng katatapos pa lang na lalangin ng Dios Ama ang sansinukob, lumapit sa kaniya ang noo’y mga paslit pa lamang niyang mga anak—sina Abe, Guada, at Julian, para humingi ng gatas at itlog pang-almusal. Dala marahil ng labis na pagkapagod o kalituhan sa buong araw na paggawa, o ng labis na pangungulila sa kaniyang naglayas na asawa o sa kung ano pa mang dahilang udyok ng kaniyang malikaw na imahinasyong tanging siya lang ang nakakaunawa, isang ahas ang iniabot ng Dios Ama sa kaniyang mga nagugutom na anak. Kaya maaari pa ngang ipalagay na ang pangyayaring ito ang ginamit na alusyon ni Kristo sa kaniyang salitang naitala nina San Mateo (7:7-11) at San Lucas (11:9-13) sa kanilang mga ebanghelyo. Ngunit hindi karaniwang ahas ang ibinigay ng Dios Ama sa tatlong bata. Ito ang unang ahas sa mundo. Nagmula ito sa itlog na bunga ng bawal na pag-iibigan ng Lupa at Himpapawid. Ang Lupa na ina nito ang naglimlim sa itlog sa loob ng limang daang taon sa isang tagong yungib na malapit sa isang bulkan. Nang mapisa ang itlog, doon na ito sa loob ng yungib tumira at kailan lamang lumitaw sa liwanag ng araw nang ipatawag ng Ama upang maging regalong laruan sa kaniyang mga nagugutom na anak. Mayroon itong dalawampung piye nang dumating sa bahay ng Ama. Dahil sa matagal na pagkakatira sa loob ng yungib, tinubuan na ng mga

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halamang pako at orkidyas ang mga gilid nito at mga tulos naman ng matatalim na estalagmita ang ulunan at likuran. Upang bigyang pansin ang kaniyang katandaan, na siya nitong nais na laging mangyari, kahit kailan hindi nito nagawang maghunos ng lumang balat. Nagkukrus sa tatlong sanga ang kaniyang buntot: panipit na tulad ng sa alakdan ang nasa dalawang magkabilang gilid ng kaniyang buntot at tibo naman na ubod talim ang nasa gitnang dulo nito. Kaya nitong pakiluin ang bahaging ito ng kaniyang katawan at ang magkabilang panipit ay nagagamit sa pagdampot ng mga bagay-bagay. Sinikap ng magkakapatid na Abe, Guada at Julian na alagaan at paamuhin ang naturang ahas. Makalipas ang dalawang taon, naturuan nila itong sumunod at gumawa ng sari-saring mga palabas at pakulo na tulad ng nagagawa ng mga turuang tigre at oso sa karnabal. Nauutusan nila itong kumuha ng mga bagay na gusto nilang ipakuha: laruan, pamaypay, tasa at kung ano-ano pang mga gamit sa bahay. Kapag nagugutom sila at ibig nilang kumain, isang pugad ng mga itlog ng dakilang ibong rok ang dadalhin nito sa kanila. Ang dakilang ibong rok, ayon sa mga manlalayag na nakakita na rito ay halos kasing laki ng isang buong barko. Ngunit ang isang pugad ng mga itlog ng higanteng ibong ito ay sapat na sapat lang para mapawi ang gutom ng tatlong bata. Kapag nauuhaw, isang nagpapasusong elepante naman ang iuuwi ng ahas sa kanila. Tumigil lang ang pagpapakuha nila dito ng itlog at gatas nang matuklasan nilang ang pinakamasarap palang pagkain ay dumadaloy lang na tila mga patak ng nektar sa dalawang matatalim na pangil ng kanilang alagang ahas. Kaya tuwing nagugutom at gusto nilang kumain, nganganga lang ang tatlong bata na tila mga inakay na naghihintay bagsakan ng bulate, at itatapat naman ng mapag-arugang ahas ang kaniyang pangil sa bibig ng tatlo. Sa katas na iyon lumaki ang tatlong bata. Pagkalipas ng dalawang taon, naturuan nila itong manggagad ng mga boses ng hayop at iba pang mga tunog buhat sa paligid. Kaya nitong pumutak na parang mangingitlog na manok, umangil at kumahol na tila nahihintatakutang aso at umiyak na tila naliligaw na kuting. Madalas pa nga itong makapanlinlang ng ibang hayop sa pagtatawag

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ng makakaniig. Nagagawa rin nitong gayahin ang tunog ng kulog, kidlat, ipu-ipo, alon at boses ng tao. Nagagawa rin nitong gayahin kahit ang tinig ng Dios Ama. Kaya marami sa mga santo at bisyonaryong nagsasabing nakausap na nila ang tinig ng Dios ay napaglaruan lang talaga ng tatlong bata gamit ang kanilang alaga. Katunayan, nang lalangin ng Dios ang unang tao, ang lalaki at babae, kinausap ng ahas na ito ang babae para tuksuhing sumuway sa kaisaisang utos ng Dios na huwag pakikialaman ang nag-iisang bunga ng guabano sa hardin. Sumunod ang babae sa paanyaya ng ahas at dahil dito kaya napahamak at napalayas ang unang babae’t unang lalaki mula sa hardin. Ito ang parte ng kuwentong halos alam ng lahat. Ngunit walang nakakaalam na ang magkakapatid na Abe, Guada at Julian ang nag-utos at nagturo sa ahas kung papaano tutuksuhin sa pagkakasala ang unang babae. Itinuro nila dito ang mga dapat sabihin, at upang mas makatiyak na kakagat ang unang babae sa kanilang pain, inutusan nila itong kausapin ang unang babae sa tinig ng isang ina. Ngunit walang inang nakikilala ang unang babae kaya napilitan ang ahas na imbentuhin ang posibleng boses ng ina nito kung sakaling nagkaroon nga ito ng isang ina. Kaya nang marinig ng unang babae ang tinig ng ahas, mabilis siyang nakaramdam ng pangungulila para sa isang ina. Nang itakwil ng Dios Ama ang unang lalaki at babae, nakahinga nang maluwag ang tatlong bata. Batid kasi nilang ang mga bagong nilalang na ito na itinira ng kanilang Ama sa isang hardin ang susunod na tatawaging mga Anak ng Dios at hindi nila gustong magkaroon ng iba pang mga anak ang Dios bukod sa kanilang tatlo. Ito at marami pang masasayang alaala ng kabataan ang idinulot ng ahas sa buhay ng tatlo. Bilang pagpaparamdam ng kanilang pagmamahal sa alaga, hindi nila kinalilimutang pakainin ito sa tamang oras. Dati, nasisiyahan ang ahas sa pagkain ng buhay na manok. Ngunit nang lumaon, mga makikisig na binata’t maaalindog na dalagang labis kung mag-alaga ng kanilang mga katawan ang naging paborito na nitong kainin dahil sa lasa ng mga itong mas malinamnam pa nang kaunti sa manok. Ang mga ito ang kaniya nang pinagkukunan ng sustansiya limang beses sa loob ng isang araw.

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Ngunit habang tumatanda ang tatlong anak ng Dios, unti-unti silang nananawa sa pakikipaglaro sa ahas. May pitumpung piyeng haba na ang tumatandang ahas at lagi na lang itong naiiwang nagmumukmok sa isang sulok ng bahay. Lumilipas ang isang buong araw na hindi ito napapakain o nahihimas man lamang. Kung minsan pa, nagiging sanhi na rin ito ng pagkabuwisit ng mga nakatira sa bahay dahil sa madalas silang mapatid at mabangga sa pakalat-kalat nitong katawan. Dahil dito, napilitan ang ahas na lumabas ng bahay nang mas madalas para maghanap ng sariling pagkain at kaligayahan. Isang araw, sa pagtataka ng tatlo, umuwi ang ahas na tila hinanghina ngunit lumulobo ang katawan. Sinasabing isang buong nayon ng makikisig na binata at maaalindog na dalaga ang misteryosong naglaho sa ibabaw ng lupa nang mismong araw na iyon. Pagbalik sa bahay ng kaniyang mga amo, naghanap ang ahas ng isang madilim na sulok na mapagpapahingahan. Doon sa madilim na bodegang taguan ng mga bunot at walis natulog itong ahas at natulog siya roon sa loob ng isang daang taon. Doon na rin siya halos ibinaon sa limot ng kaniyang tatlong amo. Makalipas ang isang daang taon, nilisan ng ahas ang kaniyang sulok upang maghanap muli ng pagkain. Sa sulok na iyon, nakita nina Abe, Guada at Julian (na binata’t dalaga na sa panahong ito ayon sa sarili nilang pagbibilang ng mga taon) na mayroon palang nililimlimang itlog ang kanilang alaga. Dala ng pagkamausisa nitong tatlo, biniyak nila ang itlog ng alaga nilang ahas at pinagsaluhan nila ang laman upang matikman at mapurbahan ang lasa. Pag-uwi ng ahas sa kaniyang pugad, nabatid niya agad ang masaklap na kinauwian ng kaniya sanang panganay. Alam niyang ang tatlo ang nakialam sa kaniyang binabantayang itlog dahil nababakas pa niya sa kaniyang pugad ang amoy ng mga ito na tila magkahalong amoy ng alimuom at bulok na santol. Nilisan niya agad ang bahay ng Ama at bumalik sa yungib malapit sa bulkan. Maghihiganti siya, iyon ang kaniyang sumpa. Humingi siya ng tulong sa iba pang mga tulad din niyang Anak ng Lupa. Dumulog sa kaniyang panawagan ang mga ahas na may sari-saring laki at kulay.

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Sumanib sa kaniyang hukbo ang mga nyaga na sinasabing mga banal na ahas na may kakayahang magkatawang tao at magpasimula ng mga kabihasnan. Sumanib din sa kaniyang hukbo ang kambal na amphisbaena na sinasabing nakalalakad nang patayo na tulad ng tao. Sumaklolo rin maging ang hydra na may isang daang batik at isang daang ulo sa katawan, gayon din ang ouroboro na sa hugis bilog o walo ay nagagawang isubo ang dulo ng sariling buntot. Huling tinawag upang makibaka ang dalawang dragon, isang mula sa kanluran at isa naman mula sa silangan. Nang mahusto ang lakas ng kanilang hanay, nagdeklara ang ahas ng giyera laban sa mga Manunubos at samasama nilang kinuyog ang bahay ng Dios Ama. Sa ganito nakilala ang matandang ahas bilang pinuno ng mga rebeldeng ahas na naglakasloob lumaban sa pinakamakapangyarihang kamay na lumalang sa buong mundo. Sa ganito rin nagsimula ang isang sikat na kasabihan para sa mga walang utang na loob na tulad daw ng “ahas na tumuklaw pati sa kamay ng among nagpakain dito.� Sa kanilang paglusob, nakahanda naman silang hinarap ng hukbo ng Dios Ama. Kabilang sa kaniyang hukbo ang mga bayaning mandirigmang nagtataglay ng pambihirang lakas tulad nina Herkules, Samson, Kapitan Totoy at Kapitan Kidlat na nasa ilalim lahat ng pamumuno ng kaniyang tatlong anak. Lumahok din sa laban ang pitong arkanghel na sina Amaley, Arco, Arago, Azcarague, Apalco, Amalic, at Alpacar na pawang mga hindi binyagan. Sa isang hiwalay na salaysay, lima sa pitong ito ang magpapabinyag sana sa Panginoong Hesukristo ngunit hindi nga lamang natuloy dahil sa Biernes Santo noon at ipinako na sa krus ang Kristo. Hanggang ngayon, makikita pa rin ang larawan ng pitong arkanghel sa mga amuletong yaring Batangas at Cavite na mabibibili nang may kamahalan sa harap ng simbahan ng Quiapo at Baclaran. Bukod sa mga bayaning mandirigma at sa mga arkanghel, sumapi rin sa puwersa ng Ama ang mga Anak ng Himpapawid, ang laksalaksang mga ibong mandaragit tulad ng mga agila, lawin, at buwitre. Kabilang na dito ang ibong garuda na sasakyang pandigma ng mga Dios, ang ibong shang yang na tumatayo sa iisang paa lamang ngunit

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nakapagdadala ng baha, bagyo at iba pang sakuna, ang ibong Adarna na kinatatakutan dahil sa kapangyarihan niyang tulad ng sa mga gorgon, at ang dalawang ibong fenix—isang mula sa Ehipto at isang mula sa Tsina. Ang dakilang ibong rok na matagal nang nais makapaghiganti sa ahas ang namuno sa hukbo ng mga ibon. Upang lalong matiyak ang kanilang tagumpay, hinilingan ding tumulong sa hukbo si Jojo, na kapatid sa labas nina Abe, Guada at Julian ngunit lubha itong abala sa pagsusulat ng kaniyang mga tula para makisali sa kanilang giyera. Ito ang unang combate espiritual ng tatlong Manunubos. Marahil marami pang mga digmaang naghihintay sa tatlong ito sa malayong hinaharap ngunit hindi na ito masasaklaw ng ating Banal na Aklat. Sa gitna ng matinding palitan ng mga palaso, sibat at orasyon, unang hinanap ng matandang ahas ang dati niyang among babae, hindi dahil sa ito ang pinakamadaling puntirya para sa kaniya kundi dahil sa ang mapuputing sakong ng dalaga ang matagal na niyang pinapangarap na masakmal. Ngunit habang papalapit ang matandang ahas sa paanan ni Guada, isang kamay na tila yari sa bakal ang mabilis na dumaklot sa kaniyang ulo at pilit na pinatikom ang kaniyang bungangang handa na sanang manuklaw at magpakawala ng lason. Piniga ng Dios Ama ang ulo ng ahas gamit ang sariling kamao ngunit bago nito nadurog ang ulo ng kaaway ay nagawa pa ng ahas na maiikid ang sariling katawan sa braso ng Ama, inabot nito ang pumipigil na kanang kamay at saka doon itinarak ang lasong nasa tibo ng kaniyang buntot. Umaringking sa sakit ang Dios Ama at di sinasadyang nabitawan ang ahas na tuluyan nang gumapang sa lupa palayo sa panganib. Matapos ang digmaan, napabagsak din ang puwersa ng mga Anak ng Lupa. Nilunok ng ibong rok ang matandang ahas ngunit lumabas lang ito nang buhay sa kaniyang puwit. At kahit ilang ulit pa itong tukain at lunukin, lagi at lagi itong nakalalabas doon nang buhay. Ayon sa propesiya na mababasa sa Aklat ng mga Hula at Paghahanap ng mga Sarili (kung saan matatagpuan ang aklat na ito, wala pa talagang nakakaalam), kailangan pang maghintay ng isang daang libong taon bago dumating ang bayaning nakatakdang pumaslang sa matandang ahas. Ngunit ayon din sa propesiya, bago dumating ang nasabing takdang panahon, kung

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malalaman muna ng Himpapawid na tunay pala niyang anak ang ahas sa minsang pakikipagniig nito sa Lupa, ipahihinto nito ang pagtulong ng mga ibon para ibaling naman sa pagpuksa sa mga Manunubos ang buong lakas. Ang ahas sa wakas ang magsasanib sana sa puwersa ng mga Anak ng Lupa at mga Anak ng Himpapawid na kasalukuyang pinagaaway ng kanilang mapaglarong kapalaran. Kaya hindi na mahihintay pa ng mag-amang Manunubos ang paglitaw ng bayaning ito na binabanggit sa propesiya. Bago pa mangyaring magsanib ang Lupa at Himpapawid laban sa kanila, ibinilanggo na nila ang ahas sa piitang matatagpuan sa pusod ng Higok-higok. Inilugar nila ang bagong Higok-higok sa malayong isla sa silangan kung saan inakala nilang hinding-hindi titirahan ng mga tao kahit kailan. Pero nagkamali ang mga Manunubos sa kanilang inakala patungkol sa nasabing isla. Maling-mali. Dahil paglipas lang ng maikling panahon, bukod sa tinirhan ito ng mga tao, ang mga tumira dito’y naging mahiligin pa sa romansa at pag-iibigan ng mga binata’t kadalagahan. Ito lang at walang ibang pinagkakaabalahan ang utak ng mga nakatira dito kaya naman mabilis na lumobo ang kanilang populasyon. Mabilis na dumami ang mga binata’t dalagang nakakahawig sa mga kuwento ng romansa at sa ganito’y mabilis din silang nakagagawa ng pagkaing paboritong-paborito ng ahas, di man nila sadya. Dahil dito, kinalaunan, ang nasabing isla ang magiging pinakamainam na lugar kung saan maaaring magpataba nang husto at makaipon ng lakas itong matandang ahas. Hindi rin naglaon, nang dumami na nga ang mga tao sa naturang isla, lumitaw din na parang kabute ang mga siyudad na panay shopping mall ang itinatayo sa bawat kanto. Bukod sa mga romansa’t pag-iibigan, ang mga shopping mall ang ikalawa sa labis na kinahuhumalingan ng mga tao sa islang ito. Sa shopping mall kasi ang diretso ng karamihan sa kanila sa tuwing nabibigo sa pag-ibig. Dahil sa konstruksiyon at malalim na paghuhukay ng pundasyon para sa gusali ng isang itinatayong mall, hindi sinasadyang nabuksan ng mga gumagawa ang bilangguan ng matandang ahas. Kaya sa mall na ito, na nasa ibabaw lamang ng piitan lihim na gumagala ngayon ang dating

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puno ng mga rebeldeng ahas at naghahanap ng masisilang mga binata’t dalagang hinahanap-hanap ng kaniyang panlasa. Ngunit hindi dapat mawalan ng pag-asa ang mga nais maglagi sa nasabing mall, dahil anong mangyayari sa islang ito kung mauubusan nga ito ng mga kabataan? Dahil nasa mga kabataan pa naman ang pag-asa ng bayan at muli, kung maaalala ang nasabi na kanina, ayon sa propesiya, isang araw darating sa wakas ang isang bayani, isang pinagpalang babaeng nakatakdang pumaslang at dumurog sa ulo ng matandang ahas. Siya ang babaeng nagiging sinlakas at sintapang ng isang daang tigre at nagkakaroon ng kakayahang lumipad na parang limbas sa tuwing isinusubo ang isang mahiwagang bato kasunod ang pagsigaw sa kaniyang mahiwagang pangalan.

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Sa Pagkamatay ng Dios Ama MATAPOS ANG MATINDING DIGMAAN, sampung taon ang binilang bago kumalat ang kamandag sa kaniyang katawan at isa pang sampung taon bago tuluyang namanglaw ang kaniyang potencia. Pagsapit ng ikadalawampung taon, matapos ang away ng mga Dios at ahas, sumakay ang Amang Saclorode Deus Domine de Eleson sa bangkang salimbal at naglakbay pabalik sa dakong pinagmulan ng lahat, doon sa loob ng Ilong Na Nakaaamoy ng Lahat. Ngunit bago namaalam at naglagot ng hininga ang Dios Ama, naihabilin na niya sa mga anak ang pamamalakad ng kaniyang mga ari-arian at nasasakupan. Kay Abe na panganay at pinakamatalino sa apat na Manunubos inihabilin ang pag-aayos ng kaniyang libing. Si Abe rin ang hinirang na punong-abala sa taunang seremonya ng paggunita sa Ama. Ang panganay na anak ang magiging tagapagpanatili sa debosyon ng mga nasasakupan. Ibinigay rin kay Abe ang mga susi sa lahat ng panaginip, bangungot, dasal, alaala, wika, mito, kasaysayan, at haraya para lamang matiyak na mapapanatili nga ng anak ang takot at paggalang sa kaniyang pangalan kahit malaon na siyang patay.

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Kay Julian na kaniyang nakakahawig inihabilin ng Kaama-amahan ang kaayusan at katahimikan ng kanilang buong nasasakupan. Upang mapanatili at laging matiyak ang nasabing katahimikan, binuksan niya sa anak ang pandayang nasa ilalim ng lupa. Dito pamumunuan ng anak ang paggawa sa mga sandatang iaarmas sa kanilang mga tauhan mula sa pinakasimpleng tabak at espada hanggang sa pinakasopistikadong bomba. Kay Guada, na nag-alaga sa kaniya sa kaniyang pagkakaratay inihabilin niya ang mga bukid, pastulan at palaisdaan, gayundin ang pamamalakad sa mga gawain ng mga magsasaka at mangingisda. Upang magampanan ito, ibinigay niya sa anak na dalaga ang kakayahang ayusin ang takbo ng mga panahon, ang pagdating at pag-alis ng ulan, init at hangin, ang paglubog at pagsikat ng araw, ang agos ng ilog at gayundin ang galaw ng mga bituin. Kay Jojo na bastardong anak, na walang ginawa kundi ang tumambay at maupo sa dulo ng langit at magsulat ng tula, mamilosopo, at mag-aral ng iba’t ibang wika, nag-alangan ang Ama na magkatiwala ng kahit ano. Hindi niya maintindihan na kung tunay nga niya itong dugo at laman ay kung bakit naging ganito ito kawalang silbi sa kaniya. Katunayan, nang minsang pagbantayin sa bukid ang binata, nang minsan itong pinatayo roon sa gitna ng palayan upang magsilbing panakot at pambugaw sa mga ibon, ay hinayaan lamang nitong magsidapo ang mga pulang maya para pagpistahan ang kanilang mga butil. Pero dahil ayaw naman ng Dios Amang Eleson na masabing mayroon siyang kinikilingan kaya kahit paano’y inihabilin niya rito ang pangangalaga sa mga ipis, lamok, langaw at iba pang mga insekto, sa lahat din ng maliliit na nilalang na gumagapang sa ibabaw at ilalim ng lupa, lumilipad sa hangin at lumalangoy sa tubig. “Tanggapin mo itong kaloob ko sa iyo,� ang sabi ng Dios Ama kay Jojo at saka iniluwa ang isang itim na holen at isinalin ito sa bibig ng anak. Nang malunok ni Jojo ang pamanang bato doon lang tuluyang nalagutan ng hininga ang Dios Ama. Mula roon, nilisan ng binata ang Kinabuhayan. Sa kaniyang pagbaba sa Banal na Bundok, pinangunahan

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ng isang kawan ng mga pulang maya ang kaniyang daan habang sabaysabay ng mga itong binibigkas ang mga katagang PRAVA CORRIGERE, ET RECTA CORROBARARE, ET SANCTA SUBLIMARE—itama ang mali, bigyang lakas ang katuwiran, at iwagayway ang kabanalan. Itong mga pulang maya ang mga espiritung gagabay simula ngayon sa mga daang dapat tahakin ng Manunubos ng kumag. Nilisan ni Jojo ang kanilang tahanan upang makasalamuha ang lahat ng maliliit, upang mamuhay kasama nila, maunawaan ang buhay nila, maging katulad at kaisa nila.

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Rafael Antonio C. San Diego

this poem has a name. i lose it while listening to the rain. this poem gives itself time to walk across my life as though i were a lake, dark and warm with the reflections of stars. i believe in hope. i believe it is the origin of sin. and this poem listens sadly as it holds my face. come rise with me, it says, to the places you’ve forgotten: the carousel and its lifeless horses, grandfather’s afternoons spinning music on his turntable, music coming from nowhere. and i lose my face. or the idea of my face. i lose my terrifying body and turn in stead into water. ready to be walked upon by things more faithful than the human heart. this lie. this poem and its name. telling me what it is like to turn into the dark river of words, into a spinning wheel of memory. and loss. this poem has a name. a name like any other. a word. a sound. music.

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mula sa 15th Ateneo Heights Writer’s Workshop

Abakada Jose Fernando Go-Oco

sa ‘yo ako natuto kung paano magabakada at wantutri. anghel, para kang anghel, sarili kong anghel mula kina mama at papa. galing ka raw bacolod. nasa langit ba ‘yun? ang swerte ko naman. matapos ang ilang buwan, isa dalawa tatlo apat lima anim pito walo siyam natutunan ko mula sa ‘yo ang magbilang ng mga buwan na wala sina ma at pa. ang sarap pala magbilang. isang araw ibinulong mo sa akin na babalik na sila. kapag nakauwi na sila, pramis, hindi ka aalis ha? ang sabi mo noon, oo, hindi kita iiwan, hinding-hindi kita maiiwan sapagkat itinanim mo sa akin ang iyong alaala habang sinisipsip mo ang aking dibdib. ate, alam mo ba, sabi ni titser, ang husay ko raw bumaybay ang husay ko sa pagbaybay sa pagbay bay

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p.s. ate, sana muli nating aralin ang abakada. para mabalikan natin ang mga titik na bumabaybay sa langit.

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Ngayong Gabi Michael Rey Salazar Orlino

Inanod sa estero ang plastik at ang buwan tinititigan ako.

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mula sa 15th Ateneo Heights Writer’s Workshop

Mahirap nang sumulat ng tula para sa matalik na kaibigan Walther Neil L. Hontiveros

Ngayong gabi itinatagay natin ang pag-alis mo papuntang Maynila. Nakaupo tayo sa bangko nagkukuwentuhan ng ating mga araw at gabi, nakikisaliw sa mga kuliglig sa kantahang pinagiisa ng pangangailangan. Nakabibighani ang lawak ng langit. Marahil lagi-lagi kang nakatingala sa kalawakan tila inaabot ang mga napakalayo na, hinog na buwan, malayang mga planeta, mapa ng mga tala. Nagkakabit ka ng salamin sa mga bintana sa mga gusaling abot-langit lagi-laging abot-tanaw ang pinanggalingan Mauuwi ka sa bangko upang maibsan ang pagod itatagay ang hindi matapos-tapos na pagbabalik sa trabaho.

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Sonogram Christine V. Lao

My body loves you as I never will. In the darkness broken by sound, I see the wonders it has formed: The round of your head, the curve of your spine, fingers blooming toes fluorescent bones flickering kindling alive. Against my will, it pushes aside organs, pulls at my skin, makes room for you to swim and kick and grow as you please. It knows when to feed you, when to rock you to sleep. It does not dread the sound of your cry.  I am not as kind. I catch myself in the mirror wondering How much more of me shall you take? You, the question squirming at odd hours, turning all my thoughts to the pain of childbirth, the anguish that follows. There is no answer, only separations  preordained. Already I fear the stranger  you always will be; severed from the womb,  your each sob and whimper, a cogito ergo sum.

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And must I let you gnaw on my teat, serve you myself at your feast? Must my world must shrink to the size of your need? What’s left when you’re done? I listen to your heartbeat. It pulls me asunder. I find in its cadence this poem.

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Tropical Depression

I made my way across the swelling river on the bamboo bridge that connects our islands to bring him flowers, yesterday’s stories, words in a bouquet. But he took me where I had not planned to go. Now you would not know what to make of me. Skin the color of a nimbus cloud in razor-thin shreds like rain. You will find me in tomorrow’s debris: A lock of hair a broken finger a string of adjectives the letter L.

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Holiday

A man the color of dirty snow his hand around his girl’s wrist. A woman with skin like muddy monsoon waters. Her nipples strain against the ribbed halter. Underneath her creaseless cotton mini, the suggestion of a thong. A bright blue shopping bag swings by her side. He said they were lovers on holiday. But if they were, he wouldn’t be twisting  her arm like a cop. Her clothes  wouldn’t have to work so hard.

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Ambroxol Rachel Valencerina Marra

Nanikit sa lababo ang plemang may bahid ng dugo. Gaano nga ba kalayo ang baga sa puso?

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Alas Tres ng Hapon

Gumulong sa kanal ang limang piso habang patuloy na nagpapaikotikot parang trumpo ang iba pang tatlong piso sa kalsada. Tumayo ang tricycle driver mula sa pagkakaupo sa motorsiklo upang pulutin ang nahulog na pamasahe ng pasahero. Tangina, magbabayad na nga lang ‘di pa ayusin, tahimik na pagrereklamo ng mama. “Manong, pasensya na ho. Nagmamadali na po ako.” Hindi pinansin ng mama ang paumanhin ng dalagang pasahero. Nakatuon ang kanyang buong atensyon sa paghahanap sa mga pisong nahulog. Hindi rin naman hinintay ni Lani ang tugon ng tricycle driver. Talagang nagmamadali na siya. Medyo malayo-layo pa ang lalakarin niya dahil hindi na kasya ang mga tricycle sa kalsada kung saan naroon ang bahay niya. Tumingin siya sa kaniyang relos. Limang minuto pa bago mag-Daisy Syete. Tanghali pa siya dapat nakauwi, tulad ng gawi niya araw-araw kapag may klase sa eskuwelahan. Subalit nagkaroon ng biglaang pangkatang proyekto na kailangang ipasa kinabukasan, kaya taliwas man sa kanyang kagustuhan, hapon na siya nakauwi. Nanatili siyang nakayuko at nakasimangot para walang mag-isip na pigilin siya sa paglalakad. Halos hawiin na niya ang mga batang nakaharang sa daanan. Sa mga dinaanang bahay, dinig na niya ang patalastas ng Daisy Syete. Lalo niyang binilisan ang paglalakad. Pagdating niya sa bahay, umaalingawngaw ang boses ng isang lalake na nagdarasal ng huling bahagi ng Prayer to the Divine Mercy: the Three O’clock Habit. Inabutan niyang nasa harap ng telebisyon ang nanay niya.

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Pasimple naman ang kaniyang pinsan na sumisilip sa palabas habang nagplaplantsa ng mga damit. Pieta na ang susunod na drama, sabi ng voice-over sa telebisyon.

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mula sa 15th Ateneo Heights Writer’s Workshop

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Maingat na inilapag ni Mila ang mga damit sa kama. Pinagmasdan niya kung gaano kaselan ang pagkakatiklop niya sa mga kamiseta at jersey ng sikat na basketbolistang si Chris Tiu. Ngumiti siya, waring kuntento sa maayos na pagkakapatong-patong ng mga damit – karamiha’y asul o hindi kaya’y puti. Isa-isa niya itong isinilid sa kamagong na aparador. Pagkatapos ay sinulyapan niya ang wall clock. Alas-kuwatro pa lang. Kinapa ni Mila sa loob ng kaniyang bra ang dalawandaang piso na inutang niya sa isang katrabaho sa tahanan ng mga Tiu. Mahabang pakiusapan ang dinanas niya bago mapapayag ang kapwa katulong na pahiramin siya ng pera. Sige na naman o, birthday kasi ng dalaga ko. Maski pang-ispageti lang, pagmamakaawa ni Mila rito. Nang masiguradong ligtas at hindi nawawala ang pang-handa sa kaarawan ng kaniyang nagiisang anak ay hinagod niya ng tingin ang buong kuwarto, naghahanap ng maari pang gawin. Ibang-iba talaga kapag naroon ang binatang amo sa bahay. Ngayon kasi ay nasa ibang bansa ito at nag-eensayo para sa kaniyang paglahok sa 2012 London Olympics. Dahan-dahan niyang nilapitan ang bookshelves ng binata. Punong-puno ang mga ito ng mga iba’t ibang medalya at tropeo. Isa-isa niyang pinunasan ang mga ito ng basahang laging nakapamulsa sa apron ng kaniyang uniporme. Sinunod naman niya ang mga libro. Sari-saring mga libro ang naroon. May mga pang-eskuwela, mga nobela, at may Bibliya rin.

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Dahil sa dami ng mga inuuwing parangal ni Chris Tiu at sa dami rin ng mga libro nito, hindi nauubusan ng trabaho si Aling Mila. Limang taon na rin niyang naging libangan ang maghapong pagpapanatili ng kintab ng mga sari-saring medalya at tropeo at tanggalin ang mga tupi sa bawat dulo ng mga pahina ng bawat libro kung wala nang ibang gawaing bahay. Limang taon na rin siyang kinukulit ng anak na mag-uwi ng isang brip ni Chris Tiu. Maski isa lang daw, para maipagyabang sa mga ­kaibigan. Kung ano’ng kulit ng anak ay ganoon din katigas ang pagtanggi ni Aling Mila. “Masama ang pagnanakaw,” lagi niyang ­sasabihin. Ngunit ngayon lang siya nagkaroon ng pagkakataong pagbigyan ang anak. Wala ang binatang amo, abala ang mga tao sa bahay. Mabait naman ang anak kong ‘yun kahit na malandi, kaarawan pa niya ngayon. At sino nga naman ang makakapansin na nawawalan ng isang brip si Chris Tiu? Binuksan niya ang aparador ng binata at kinuha ang isang brip. Ngunit sandali siyang natigilan. Naaninagan niya ang Bibliya na kanina’y pinunasan. Ibinalik niya ang brip sa cabinet at nagmadaling lumisan sa kuwarto. Maya-maya’y bumalik ito at kinuha muli ang brip, pati na rin ang pinakalumang asul na jersey ng binata. Isiniksik niya ang mga damit kasama ng basahan sa apron ng kaniyang uniporme.

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Linya Brandon Dollente

Paano ka mauubusan ng salita? Sabi mo sa akin habang pinapanood ko ang usok mula sa iyong bibig, binabaluktot ng hangin, pinipiga ng sarili nitong gaan, iyan na siguro ang kabiguan ng isang makata. Ngunit ang totoo, hindi ko mapigilang mahalin ang katahimikan ngayon. Pakinggan mo, palihim na tumitibok ang langit. Pakinggan mo, nagmamakata sa kaniyang isip ang katabi mo sa bus. Pakinggan mo, puwang na lamang ang nakalatag sa aking dibdib. Isa muling hitit at tila nau-upos tayong talinghaga at wala sa ating may sala, wala akong mahanap na salita. Nakaskas lamang ang ating lalamunan sa paghinga ng malalim.­ Alam mo, kung ano mang linya tungkol sa mga hungkag na puso ang naisulat ko noon – paano ba ako magpapaliwanag? Kung ano mang linya, wala na akong maituloy. Nais ko na munang malungkot, sabi ng isang kaibigan, at hindi ko siya naintindihan, at hindi ko naintindihan kung bakit ako sumang-ayon, tumayo at kumuha ng isang basong tubig at biglang may mga paninikip na hindi kayang lunurin. Napatitingin ka na rin sa malayo, di muna kita gagambalain.

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Assisi Marie La ViĂąa

This morning the prayer awoke in the dark and took off its nightclothes and walked to the bathroom, naked and yawning. It brushed its teeth, dressed, and went into the kitchen. A soft light flirted with the curtained windows as the prayer sliced an apple for the sandwich it was making. It knew it had better get going, put its shoes on in the hall and walked out the door, forgetting the lock. It walked to the metro and, at the station, bought a ticket to Assisi. The night before it had read a biography of St. Francis, had found it eerie and barely satisfactory, which sparked the notion of a journey to Assisi. Besides, the prayer was tired of the pomp of Rome. Waiting for the 7:03, it watched two children in white coats play with a puppy on platform 12. On the train, it sat beside a young man from Spain on his way to Perugia who had the book Los Deleites de Dios on his lap and whose unbuttoned shirt revealed an abundance of chest hair. The prayer looked out the window and closed its eyes. And the countryside rolled by and the trees and the grass rolled by and the mud and the cows rolled by and the sheep and the birds rolled by and houses with boarded up windows and houses with red, wooden windows and houses with shadows in the windows and houses without them rolled by. The prayer fell asleep and did not dream. When it awoke, it had forgotten its name and where it was going, but it soon remembered. When it awoke, it had forgotten its name and where it was going, but it soon remembered. The train pulled into Assisi at a quarter past nine and the prayer didn’t know where to go. It bought a map and guide, decided to skip the basilica and instead find its way to San Damiano, where the saint was said to have heard the voice that began his conversion. The prayer took the bus which stopped half a mile from

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the sanctuary. It walked the rest of the way downhill and lingered in a field of white and violet flowers no larger than its little finger, walked down the steep stone-paved road to San Damiano, past a grotto and two old women inching their way in the opposite direction. When alone, it listened to the sound of its boots on the stone. When it finally arrived, the sanctuary was closed. A group of girl scouts gathered in the shade of some nearby trees, and the prayer sat in the shade and ate its sandwich, wondering why it had come here, chewing a bit of bread and scattering crumbs for the birds it could hear but not see in the surrounding trees. It thought of the children and the puppy at the station while waiting for the doors of the sanctuary to open. When they did, the prayer walked into the darkness of the chapel and sat there quietly. Aware of its body within the wooden walls, it looked out the window at a patch of grass. Something in it asked to be spoken.

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The 15th Ateneo Heights Writer’s Workshop July 31 – August 2, 2009 Jamesville Resort, Antipolo City

Workshop Director Workshop Moderators Fellows

Panelists

Wyatt Caraway Curie L. Ong

Mr. Edgar Samar Mr. Lawrence Ypil Ysobel Andrada (II AB Economics) Keith Buenaventura (IV BSM Applied Mathematics,   Major in Mathematical Finance) Jose Fernando Go-Oco (III BS Computer Science) Walther Hontiveros (IV AB Economics – Honors) Miguel Llona (IV BFA Creative Writing) Petra Magno (IV AB Literature – English) Rachel Marra (III BFA Creative Writing) Michael Orlino (III BS Electronics and   Communications Engineering) Alyza Taguilaso (IV BS Biology – A) Michelle Tan (III BFA Creative Writing) Mr. Carlomar Daoana Mr. Adam David Mr. Allan Derain Ms. Daryll Delgado Mr. Edgar Samar Dr. Benilda Santos Mr. Alvin Yapan Mr. Lawrence Ypil


Sining


Mula sa Patnugot ng Sining

Magsisimula ako sa pagpapaliwanag ng dalumat ng art gallery sa tomong ito. Ilan sa mga naging paksa nito sa nakaraang mga isyu ang “Man and Machine,” “Travel” at ang “Guilty Pleasures.” Nagsisilbing komentaryo ng mga manlilikhang-sining ang mga nabuo na likhangsining sa ilalim ng ganitong mga tema, tugon sa mga gumagambala sa kamalayan batay sa naitakdang tema. Nahamon man ang kakayahan ng mga manlilikhang-sining upang maisalin ang kanilang mga ibig sabihin sa imahen at wika ng sining biswal, naging balakid naman ang pagkakaroon ng tema sa maraming ibig magpasa ng kanilang mga likhang-sining sa Heights. Kaya, sa kasalukuyan, ibig sana naming mapatikim sa mga mambabasa ang sining mula sa Ateneo de Manila na hindi nalilimitahan ng anumang tema. Sa ganitong paraan, sabay matutuklasan ng manlilikha at mambabasa ang musang nananahan sa anumang hinubog at nilikha, sa musang pinag-aalayan ng sining. Sa ganitong paraan, nabubunyag din ang anupamang pinaghuhugutan ng sentimyento ng mga kulay at linya, ng karimlan at liwanag, ng “pagsasasining” ng anumang damdamin o sandali. Kaya walang tema ang art gallery sa tomong ito. Upang tuluyang mabaklas ang mga limitasyon sa pagpapasa ng likhang-sining, binuksan din ang art gallery sa ibang medium na hindi pa kailanman naitampok sa Heights. Hindi lamang mga statikong sining biswal na matutunghayan sa two-dimensional plane tulad ng mga dibuho at ilustrasyon (mapa-tradisyunal o digital), litrato, at photomanipulation kundi maging mga eskulturang umiinog sa threedimensional space ang tampok sa isyung ito. Tampok din sa art gallery ang mga likhang-sining na de-serye, ang graphic novel, mga imaheng

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pinagtabi upang sabay na malasap ang bawat sandali at ang kabuuan nito. May nakalaang bahagi para sa graphic novelette (ang inimbento naming pangalan sa maiksing graphic novel) tampok ang Atlas ni Yap, kuwentong magkahalong tamis at pait ang handog sa mambabasa. Nariyan din ang Plague na bunga ng kolaborasyon ni Tan at Ocier. Sa ganitong karuwagan, nagiging suliranin ang kaisahan ng naturang koleksyon ng mga likhang-sining. Marahil, mas mainam na pag-usapan ang mga umuusbong na kalakaran sa halip na humanap ng iisang tema sa mga naipasang gawa. May angking kapusukan ang karamihan sa mga nailathalang likhang-sining sa tomong ito, may tuwirang ibig sabihin at ilantad. Pagmasdan ang pagtitig ng mga likhang-sining sa mga mambabasa sa mga dibuho ni Bauza, Esquivel at Anastacio. Madalas na ginagamit ang eye contact sa mga portrait upang bigyan ng diin ang presence ng subject subalit, sa A Portrait of Crispin ni Lalisan na isang portrait, sadyang ipinapamalas sa mambabasa ang presence ng subject sa masinsin na depiksyon nito ng isang matandang nakatingin sa ibaba, iniiwasan ang pagtingin sa mambabasa. Umiinog din sa babae ang karamihan sa mga likhang-sining sa art gallery. Nagtatalaban ang I am a Woman ni Anastacio at ang Fire Serpents ii ni David habang mapaglarong pinaghahalo ni Mercado sa kanyang Osier ang ilang mga di-inaasahang elemento upang makabuo ng imahen ng isang batang babae. Nangungusap din ang Eves of Eight ni Chua, nagbubunyag ng iba’t ibang mukha ng pagkababae, mula sa maaliwalas na kasibulan ng isang dalaga sa Serenade hanggang sa pagiging huwarang ina sa Everlasting. Pansinin din kung paano tampok sa mga likhang-sining ang iisang subject na may kakaunti lamang o walang background imagery na pumapaligid sa mga ito. Mistulang hinugot mula sa konteksto ng mga ito ang mga subject. May sinasabi kaya ito ukol sa papel ng sining biswal o bunga lamang ba ito ng kahilingan ng sariling estetika ng manlilikhang-sining? 

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Maurice Wong

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Watching You Watching Me Jessica Amanda Bauza Watercolor and pencils

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Burn Monica Esquivel Colored pencils

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Judas Cow Natasha Ringor Digital

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I am a Woman Dave Anastacio Ink

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A Portrait of Crispin Patricia Lalisan Inks

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Ah Alyza May T. Taguilaso Colored pencils, sequins, acrylic paint, and ink

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Osier Miguel Mercado Watercolor

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(Series – Birds of South Africa) Patricia Lalisan Inks

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(Series – Birds of South Africa) Inks

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(Series – Birds of South Africa) Inks

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Sea Turtle Hazel Anne Tan Oil on canvas

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Breath Dale Liwanag Photography

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Fire Serpents ii

(An Ode to Gustav Klimt) Regine Marie B. David Photography

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The Morning After Photography

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Lightheaded Ria Rigoroso Photography

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Arisia (Series – Eves of Eight) Eusebio Kylo Chua Sculpture (cast marble)

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Serenade (Series – Eves of Eight) Sculpture (cast marble)

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Everlasting (Series – Eves of Eight) Sculpture (cast marble)

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Mga May-Akda


Dave Anastacio III AB Communications “it’s not who i am, but what i do that defines me”.- BATMAN

Riegele Agnes F. Arceo III AB European Studies And when they tell you life is not like this, life is never like this, life will never be like this, insist that the sun has always found a time and a place, the moon too knows when and where to enter, and you too have your stories, and you too have your place. How to Tell a Story - Shira Erlichman

Jessica Amanda Bauza III BFA Information Design “Sometimes I like to hold tiny objects and pretend I’m a giant.” - Chandler Muriel Bing For Brandz, Mary, Lles and Peep.

Joseph Garcia Casimiro II AB European Studies Si Joseph Garcia Casimiro ay fellow ng 14th Ateneo Heights Writers Workshop. Kasalukuyan siyang fellow ng LIRA.

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Eusebio Kylo Chua IV BFA Information Design Life is Grand. :) Make the best of everything.

Mikael de Lara Co BS Environmental Science ‘03 Si Mikael de Lara Co ay tubong Sta. Cruz, Maynila.

Regine Marie B. David II BFA Information Design I will always keep these words in mind: experimental | beautiful | intense (and please, don’t call me commercial! hahaha)

Jan Brandon Dollente AB Interdisciplinary Studies ‘09 kay jamie. at kay ron. sa ‘yo rin, kahit

Boom Enriquez AB Economics, ‘04 Si Boom ay nagtapos ng Ekonomiyang Pangasiwaan (2004) at kasalukuyang nagpapakadalubhasa sa Sosyolohiya sa Pamantasang Ateneo de Manila. Naging fellow siya ng Barlaya Writing Workshop (2004) at nakatanggap ng mga parangal mula sa Philippine Board on

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Books for Young People (2005) at Filipinas Institute of Translation (2007). Kasapi siya sa LS Office of Student Activities at siya ang tagapagpayo ng Sanggunian ng mga Mag-aaral. 

Allan N. Derain Kagawaran ng Filipino Masayang masaya dahil natapos na rin niya sa wakas ang kanyang tesis.

Monica Esquivel I BFA Information Design Staring at people like a maniac just to make them feel self-conscious or uncomfortable is a really amusing way to pass time. Seriously.

Joven Angelo Flordelis III BS Management Hindi lang mahuhulog—babagsak. (inagaw ng tshirt ng babae sa MyPlace ang linyang para sana rito) Salamat, a.

Genevieve Deniece D. Go IV BS Management, Major in Communications Technology People who drink to drown their sorrow should be told that sorrow knows how to swim.

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Jose Fernando Go-Oco III BS Computer Science sa mga kuliglig noong 15th ahww, sa mga may mata’t tainga na nais ko pang makilala: salamat.

Walther Neil L. Hontiveros IV AB Economics-Honors and I was only thinking about the shakers of salt and pepper that were standing side by side on a place mat. I wondered if they had become friends after all these years or if they were strangers to one another like you and I who manage to be known and unknown to each other at the same time - sipi mula sa “You, Reader� ni Billy Collins Sa mga kaibigang napakalayo na: kay Neilsen, Reno, 4A, Thomas, Howell at mga blockmates Sa aking mga kalangoy: kay Jojo at Marie Sa kahati sa pasanin araw-araw, kay Wy Sa mga bagong naging kaibigan, kay Sir Yapan Sa aking kaibigang kaibigan talaga, kay Peter Sa mga kaibigang nalimot at nakalimot

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Eliana Laurice Javier AB Economics Elie often finds it strange that interesting people find her interesting too. She believes that she’s just a normal twenty-something girl, but people who know her better, well know better. *wink* For one, friends always find it amusing whenever she takes offense at people calling her short. She would also like to take this opportunity to greet her friends in Heights. Graduation has definitely not hindered her from contributing again...and maybe again in the future. Hi friends!

Marie La Vina IV AB Philosophy Marie wrote “Assisi” while on a term abroad in Europe. She is now back in AdMU struggling, with great difficulty, to complete her thesis.

Patricia Lalisan IV BS Management, Major in Communications Technology “We are cups, constantly and quietly being filled. The trick is, knowing how to tip ourselves over and let the beautiful stuff out.” - RayBradbury.

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Christine V. Lao AB Philosophy ‘95 Christine V. Lao is Leland’s wife and Sinta’s mom. She is also one of 100 Filipino women poets featured in the international section of the first web-based Women’s Poetry Conference (Wompherence) held last November 2008. She received Ateneo de Manila University’s Dean’s Award for Literary Excellence (now the Dean’s Award for Literature and the Arts) in 1995, and was editor of the Heights Filipino staff in 1993-1994. Her work has appeared in the Philippine Daily Inquirer, The National Book Review, The Sunday Times Magazine and The Manila Times. 

Gian Lao IV BS Management, Major in Communications Technology I would like to thank Sir Larry Ypil for recommending Frank O’Hara, whose work inspired me to write. Chantal, please start painting again. Howell, Thomas, Justin, Tak, Adrian -- You’ll never walk alone.

Riche Lim I BS Management Engineering I would like to thank my family and the few Heightsers I’ve met, particularly Wyatt (I think she’s the only Heightser I actually know) for her encouragements. I would also like to thank my high school friends from Saint Jude, who have always supportive in my pursuit for writing, especially my close friends P, G, and Audrey Ng of Block T2 I-BS ME, the ONLY goddess of beauty I know.

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Dale Liwanag I BS Management Engineering We live in an enclosed space. Sometimes, we forget that there is more to our lives than what we are used to. When this happens, look up at the skies. Take your time. Feel free. Breath.

Andrea N. Macalino IV AB Literature – English “First the fable, and now a truth. But one Is as strange, has as much charm, color, and beauty As the other. What matters is the energy of Its telling, else why do the heathen rage, The godly rant? In truth, they are the same If based on what we see (even through our Instruments) and most of all, feel, or expect One day to prove on the senses...” --Gerald Barrax, Greenhouse Special literary thanks to Sir Max and Sir Vince; critical thanks to Lit Block B 2010, circular thanks to the Circle Friends, and Dantean thanks to my family and to God.

Petra Magno IV AB Literature – English I acknowledge there is no sweetness that doesn’t leave a stain, no sweetness that’s ever sufficiently sweet...

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Often a sweetness comes as if on loan, stays just long enough to make sense of what it means to be alive, then returns to its dark source. As for me, I don’t care where it’s been, or what bitter road it’s traveled to come so far, to taste so good. -- excerpt; Sweetness, by Stephen Dunn

Rachel Valencerina Marra III BFA Creative Writing Sa aking pamilya (Mama at Daddy, Kuya Dar at Ali), sa aking mga kaibigan mula high school, sa pamilya ko rito sa Ateneo (Gel, Jamie, Paulo, Miggy, at Ybonne), sa Writerskill at Block E CW people, sa Heights EdBoard 2009, sa kasalukuyang EdBoard, sa Bagwisan (Brandz, Kevin, Ali, EJ, JC, Jaja, atbp.), sa fellows ko sa 15th AHWW (Billie, Mich, Pepito, Mike, Iggy, Lyza, Keith, Petra, at Walt) at sa mga panelists (Sir Egay, Sir Derain, Sir Yapan, Sir Ypil, Sir Adam David, Ma’am Beni, Miss Daryll, at Sir Carlomar), kina Sir DM Reyes at Sir Krip Yuson, kina Sir Salazar at Sir Tenorio, kina Missy at Xander ng FA dept., sa Heights at sa mga bago nitong kasapi (partikular ng Bagwisan), at sa iyo na binabasa ito ngayon payakap naman. At maraming maraming maraming salamat.

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Sasha Martinez V BFA Creative Writing You’ve grownup now, and lovely. You’re a beautiful drunk, daughter. But you’re a drunk. – from “To A Daughter,” poem by Raymond Carver. I need more cowbell. I gotta have more cowbell.

Miguel Mercado IV BFA Information Design Knock knock...(who’s there)...I eat mop...T^T

Isabelle Ocier III BS Management, Major in Communications Technology got high on so many markers. But finally got published! Woohoo! Thanks to all who believed in me :)

Wyatt Caraway Curie L. Ong IV BS Management Thank you and much love to the fellows, panelists and workshop team of the 15th Ateneo Heights Writers Workshop, and to Candy and Doug Candano for all their help. For the Heightsers, who are family as well as friends, for Marie, for loving Prufrock with me, for Walt, my partnerin-crime. For Mau, who knew it was “Ursa Major” before I did. For Mama and Papa.

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For real-life angel-balloons, who require no words. And for Laurel Clark and Kalpana Chawla, and the five other crew members of Space Shuttle Columbia, who were sixteen minutes away from home, and continue, even now, to breathe fire.

Michael Rey Salazar Orlino III BS Electronics and Communications Engineering Si Mike ay taga-Alabang. Lubos siyang nagpapasalamat sa Heights lalo na kina Brandz, Walt, Chan, EJ, JC, Rachel, Pepito at sa iba pang tagaBagwisan. Gayon din sa IVCF-Ateneo lalo na kila Ate Yan, Steph, John, Justin at Bryan, sa mga blockmates at coursemates lalo na kay Makis sa maraming kuwentuhan. salamat din kay Jaja, sa mga pagpuna at iba pang bagay, sa pamilya ko na laging sumusuporta at higit sa lahat kay Lord, sa napakaraming bagay.

Allan Popa Kagawaran ng Filipino Si Allan Popa ay autor ng pitong aklat ng mga tula kabilang na ang Basta (ADMU Press, 2009) at Maaari: Mga Bago at Piling Tula (UP Press, 2004). Editor din siya ng antolohiyang Latay sa Isipan: Mga Bagong Tulang Filipino (UST Press, 2007). Ilalathala ng High Chair ngayong taon ang Libot ng Durungawan, ang una niyang chapbook. Naparangalan na siya ng Manila Critics Circle National Book Award at Philippine Free Press Literary Award. Kasalukuyan siyang nag-aaral sa Washington Univesity in St. Louis. 

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Margarita Pesons Rafols IV AB Literature – English My father said that I’m not even supposed to be a writer. So, to Exie Abola, Danton Remoto, Alfred Yuson, family, friends, and especially Andrew Escaño: thank you for encouraging me to write; for teaching me what every writer is supposed to know; and for believing in the power of what I have to say.

Ria Rigoroso III AB Psychology How to Be Alone Remember that at any given moment There are a thousand things You can love – David Levithan (The Realm of Possibility)

Natasha Ringor II BFA Information Design In Soviet Russia, prostitute pay you.

Hermund M. Rosales V BS Chemistry with Materials Science Engineering Si Hermund Mercado Rosales ay initsang Batangueño pero dinampot na Pasigueño. Inaalipin ngayon ng Kimika, nangangarap palayain

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ng literatura. Nang sa gayon makagawa kahit isang tula, tuwina nananalangin kay Santo Popa. Kasalukuyang kinukupkop ng publikasyon at organisasyong Matanglawin bilang manunulat, nagpipilit maging litratista kahit walang pag-asa, pinagtitiyagaang editor kahit sa pagpapasa ng late, isa sa promotor. Tadtad ng utang kay Bek, kaya sakaling ‘di maging Kemist o makata, Kemis-is aasa.

Rafael Antonio C. San Diego AB English Literature ‘05 Waps recently quit his high-rise Makati job and started a webcomic. He has never been happier in his life.

Edgar Calabia Samar AB Psychology 02, MA Literature (Filipino) 04 Instructor, Kagawaran ng Filipino Inilathala ngayong 2009 ang nobela niyang Walong Diwata ng Pagkahulog (Anvil Publishing). Isinalin ito sa Ingles nina Mikael de Lara Co at Sasha Martinez, at nakasama sa longlist ng Man Asian Literary Prize 2009. Isinusulat niya ngayon ang ikalawa niyang nobelang Sa Kasunod ng 909 at tinatapos ang ikalawang koleksiyon ng tulang Samantalang Sakop at Iniibig.

Vincenz Serrano English Department Vincenz Serrano is a PhD student in Creative Writing and English and American Studies at the University of Manchester. At the moment, he

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is writing poems and working on a study of Nick Joaquin’s Almanac for Manileños.

Ramón C. Sunico AB Humanities ‘72 Ramón C. Sunico graduated as part of the last batch of Humanities majors in 1972. Under Rolando S. Tinio, he was part of the staff that revived Heights after it was suppressed during Martial Law. As a senior, with Eddie Boy Calasanz and the Philosophy Club, he organized the first of a set of poetry readings that would later be hosted by the Humanities Club that he founded and later moderated. These poetry readings would be held at least once every semester and last for over ten years. He now manages Cacho Publishing House. He writes, edits, translates and was the first to publish bilingual parallel books of poetry and books for children. He was also one of the first book designers to use the personal computer and with Karina Bolasco, helped design and conceptualize the Contemporary Philippine Poetry and Contemporary Philippine Fiction series of Anvil Publishing.

Alyza May T. Taguilaso IV BS Biology – A “I felt suddenly shy. I was not used to shy. I was used to shame. Shyness is when you turn your head away from something you want. Shame is when you turn your head away from something you do not want.”  – Jonathan Safran Foer (Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close) For all the shy kids out there, and to facing the things you want.

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Fidelis Tan AB Psychology ‘09 Fidelis Tan graduated from AB Psychology. These days she writes articles for thepoc.net, and stories and comics scripts in her spare time. Nothing to do with Psychology (except for when she tries to figure out her workmates, but they don’t know that).

Hazel Anne Tan I BFA Information Design “Everything you can imagine is real.” – Picasso

Michelle T. Tan III BFA Creative Writing would like to thank the fellows, panelists, and coordinators of the 15th Ateneo Heights Writers Workshop for helping me refine this story, my family, friends, and trusted readers (Eandra, Mike, Isen, Iggy, DA, Geoff) for believing in me, ACheS (and sige na nga, ANSAMA) for making me feel like I belong, my one and only self-confessed fan, Aea for encouraging me, and God, for all the blessings I cannot count. For my mother, the real Helen of my life.

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Denise Yap IV BFA Information Design Just because you’ll always be Miles ahead of me I don’t see why I shouldn’t try To catch up with you –“1,000 Times”, Tahiti 80 Thanks to my friends, fellow Heighters, and to Mellish. (^3^)

Isabel Yap II BS Management “Not loving is but a long dying.” – Wu Ti Thank you to: T, L, K, and M, who taught me 90% of what I know about writing and don’t even know it; my co-fellows and the panellists at the 10th UST National Writers Workshop, for your valuable comments and that memorable week we spent together; Heights, especially the editorial board and the English staff; Sir Larry and Sir Carlomar for their insights, and for being so accommodating; P5 (let’s get through this year!); and all the mellishes, especially Maddi, Mara, Sara, Isha, and Pilar. I miss you guys. For Mommy, and the rest of my family – thank you for be(ar)ing with me.

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Lawrence Lacambra Ypil BS Biology ‘99 Lawrence Lacambra Ypil is an alumni of Heights and a member of the English department. His first book of poems, The Highest Hiding Place, has just been released by the Ateneo Press.

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Pasasalamat Fr. Bienvenido Nebres, SJ at ang Office of the President Dr. Ma. Assunta Cuyegkeng at ang Office of the Vice President for the Loyola Schools G. Rene San Andres at ang Office of the Associate Dean for Student Affairs G. Eduardo Jose E. Calasanz at ang Office of the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs G. Chris Castillo at G. Morny de Guzman at ang Office of Student Activities Bb. Marie Joy Salita at ang Office of Administrative Services Bb. Leonora Wijangco at ang Central Accounting Office Bb. Christina Barzabal at ang Purchasing Office Bb. Consolacion Concepcion at ang Ateneo Placement Office Dr. Ma. Luz Vilches at ang Office of the Dean, School of Humanities Dr. Jerry Respeto at ang Kagawaran ng Filipino Dr. Lulu Reyes at ang English Department


Dr. Benilda Santos, Mr. Xander Soriano, at ang Fine Arts Program Bb. Christine Bellen at ang Ateneo Institute of Literary Arts and Practices (AILAP) G. Rodolfo Allayban at ang University Archives Hermund Rosales at ang Matanglawin Raymond Ang at ang The Guidon Jose Miguel Zaballero at ang Council of Organizations of the Ateneo Sa MUSMOS at ACIL Haranya ng UA&P at ang Thomasian Writers Guild (TWG) ng UST Sa mga naging panelists ng 15th Ateneo Heights Writers Workshop Kay Douglas Candano Ang MVP Maintenance and Security Personnel At sa lahat ng mga tumatangkilik sa mga proyekto ng Heights, sa mga patuloy na nagpapasa ng kanilang mga likhang-sining at nakikiisa sa paghubog ng pambansang panitikan!


Patnugutan 2009-2010 Punong Patnugot Katuwang na patnugot

Patnugot sa Ingles Katuwang na Patnugot sa Ingles Patnugot sa Filipino Katuwang na Patnugot sa Filipino Patnugot sa Sining Katuwang na Patnugot ng Sining

Patnugot ng Disenyo Pangkalahatang Kalihim Tagapangasiwa ng Kalakal

Mga Tagapamagitan

Walther Neil L. Hontiveros Wyatt Caraway Curie L. Ong

Victoria Isabel Yap Christina del Rosario Emmanuel John Bagacina Joseph Garcia Casimiro Maurice Y. Wong Alyza May T. Taguilaso

Gisela Banaag Rachel Valencerina Marra Selene Erica Sarmiento

Mr. Edgar Samar Mr. Lawrence Ypil Mr. Wilford Almoro


Mga Kasapi Ingles Kaks Alampay, Riegele Arceo, Marion Aunor, Kyra Camille Ballesteros, Mariana Santiago Bantug, Nica Bengzon, Deirdre Camba, Tonibelle Chan, Jenica Chuahiock, Jasmine T. Cruz, Gian Dapul, Miggy Francisco, Jonathan Gonzales, Marie La Vina, Gian Lao, Mari Kaira O. Leal, Miguel Llona, Petra Magno, DC Mostrales, Katherine Ong, Wyatt Caraway Curie L. Ong, Noelle Cherie F. Pabiton, Hannah Perdigon, Pia Ranada, Anna Katerina Rara, Chris V. Reyes, Nicole Reyes, April Sescon, Ryan Trinidad Santiago, James Soriano, Miguel Sulangi, Cedric Tan, Ernest Aaron P. Valdez, Gianna Villavicencio

Filipino Walther Hontiveros, Rachel Marra, Mike Orlino, Jan Patrick Calupitan, Joven Angelo Flordelis, Irae Jardin, Chan Mamforte, Pepito Go-Oco, Chester Valdellon, Abigail Uy, Nicko Caluya, Miguel Enrico Paala III, Paolo Miguel Tiausas, Miles Domingo, Miguel Serapio, Miguel Castriciones, Jan Kevin Galicia, Geneva Guyano, Ramon Damasing, Lorenz Revillas

Sining Dave Anastacio, Alexis Baleguer, Jessica Amanda Bauza, Alessa Margarita Benipayo, Justine Cabrera, Beatric Alanna Celdran, Eusebio Kylo Chua, Regina Marie David, Monica Esquivel, Ana Gabriela Gatchalian, Dexter Koa, Stefanie Macam, Nicole Maguyon, Alfred Benedict Marasigan, Aziel Mendoza, Miguel Angelo Mercado, Isabelle Ocier, Valerie Ong, Jan Eli Padilla, Patrick Padla,


Duane Primo, Mary Frances Ranises, Ria Rigoroso, Natasha Ringor, Jose Luigi Gabriel Torres, Rai Villanueva, Andrew Yap, Denise Yap, Michael Jay Yatco

Disenyo Lester Cruz, Sara Erasmo, Aikaye Bollozos, Pepito Go-Oco, Jake Nallas, Kristine Caguiat, Regina Marie David, Jessica Amanda Bauza, Paola Lizares, Alfred Benedict Marasigan, Pamcy Fernandez, Gaby Alegre

Mga Natatanging Proyekto Aianne Bernadette Lim, Harvey King, Myta Santiago, Dino Tariman, Benj Espiritu, Irain Wang, Sarah Mai, Virgil Banta, Izza Castelo, Miguel Marbella, Chuck Marin


HEIGHTS WANTS YOUR WORK! Open to all Loyola Schools students, professors, and alumni 2nd regular, non-themed issue

DEADLINE: December 7 Written works in English and Filipino Poetry Short stories Essays Literary criticism One-act plays/screenplays Visual Art Drawings Paintings Photographs and photomanipulations Photoessays Visual art in any other medium

Send your contribution, name, course and cellphone number to: Works in Filipino: heights.filipino@gmail.com Works in English: heights.english@gmail.com Artwork: art.heights@gmail.com

Contact us: Publication Room, MVP 202 ateneo.heights@ymail.com

Volume vii number 1 issue  

Volume vii number 1 issue

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