a year after yolanda

Poetry by | January 4, 2015

Let me say Goodbye
Let me say goodbye- properly.
But how do I do it if you don’t see me
Although I see you?
How do I say goodbye without words and
waving hand?
If I kiss your forehead- would you feel it?
It will just be like a touch of soft air on your hair.
How would you know it’s me?
You must know, that now, I can listen to your silent prayers:
Before you go to sleep (whenever you can),
when you are alone anytime of the day or
even when you are in a group
when suddenly you broke into silence and whisper a silent prayer.
I hear all these my love.
Even when you have said goodbye – I can’t count how many times-
In truth, and I’m grateful and amused, you are keeping me.
And you’re not contented keeping me in your heart-
I hear you say, ‘you want to keep and hold me physically’.
Amazingly, and this makes me smile,
Your ardent longing to hold me, keep me and never let go- doesn’t show on your face.
Some friends say, and I also hear them say, you have moved on and accepted
Our fate when Yolanda made us apart.
My love, how can I tell you I never left you?
For even if you don’t see me- I am with you.
How can I tell you that we both have survived the wrath of Yolanda.
That I did not leave you and there’s nothing to let go or move on to.
While you survived and continue to live
I, too, survived and have another life.


Blessed with two lives
My love, if there is one thing that Yolanda
Made it clear- it is that
we are blessed with two lives.
One that I still live now
And one that, I dearly pray, I will live- with you.
My love, my love… wherever you are
Please know that I hear you
Every minute of the day
Ever since my hand slipped loss with your hand
When the third wave separated us.
For two weeks, and even after that when I no longer counted the days-
For days are the same,
I never thought that our separation would be
between heaven and earth.
Often, just to make us closer,
I started believing
That heaven is here on earth.
So that- if you are in heaven
You are also here with me.
My love, my love..I hope it’s painless to be in heaven.
For I don’t like you to be in pain
When you see me struggling-
Palms above each other pressed to my chest-
Longing, my love…longing, my love…
For it’s really a magic
How absence makes one closer.
Now I must admit
that you are
ever more present
Than when you share
your life- here with me.
Oh, my love..Is it crowded in heaven?
Is there a place for Yolanda victims?
There must have been a sudden surge of migrants
From here to where you are right now.
With the number who, like you, have migrated,
Are you in one Barangay?
Please tell me all these.
If you have an address- please tell me about this-
Please whisper this in my dream tonight.
Or since I still have your number, please text me your address.
Please, please my love, tell me where you are?
For I will surely look for you in heaven.
And I will make it certain I will go to heaven.
Yolanda made me a better person. God surely knows about this.
I also told our kids to be good children
So that when our days are gone here
We will be together again
In a place where no Yolanda can ever separate us.
Please guide us along the way.
And keep us in the right path-
The path that will bring us to you-
For certain, we will follow.


Children are angels
My love, I hope I can tell you this,
For it is amazing and surprising.
And I will do my best to whisper this into your dreams.
Please tell this as well to our friends,
Especially those who lost their sons and daughters.
Please tell them this:
Truly, children are angels
On earth as it is in heaven.
Truly, children are angels
On earth as it is in heaven.
Believe me my love, children don’t need to have wings
To be angels.
They also do not need to wear white robes or a halo above their heads
They are, as they are, angels.
Through them flows real light of love
They speak with love.
They walk with love.
They eat with love.
They play with love.
They dance and sing with love.
They cry with love.
They pray with love.
They sleep with love.
And they have no need in defining love.
To them, life is love.
Please tell our friends,
Grieve enough but not too much
For there is no need to worry
There sons and daughters are ever happier now.
Tell them, the mass graves buried the flesh but not love.
Please tell them that it is not possible to bury love.
And its love that brings another life.
Their children live as angels on earth as it is in heaven.
To you my love,
I hope I can share a piece of heaven
While living with our angels.


Rest (assured) in peace
My love, today I remember you
More than I remember Yolanda.
Your turf is the kitchen
And I see you cooking.
Your dance, though awful,
Makes us burst to laughter.
Your ‘privilege speech’ (as you call it)
Here, while doing breakfast remains-
Of which you never miss
To speak about ‘good manners and right conduct’
Or at times a phrase
From the ‘Ten Commandments’.
And I’m keeping what you said:
“It’s not enough to love your neighbour.
It is also important to receive love
and give thanks to the one giving it.”
This to you is the eleventh commandment.
And now- I know you’re right.
Thank you for giving me love.
It keeps me going.
And keeps you alive.
Thank you for this love.
It is now a never ending spring.
It gives me hope and lightens my load.
My love, I hope I have given you love.
I hope it is now a never ending spring
That keeps you in peace.
Let me hug you, my love, like I drink water.
Let me hug you, my love, the way I breathe air.
Let me hug you, my love, like I keep you in my heart.
Let my hug, my love, rest you in peace.

October 2014

Yul works for peace and the right to education of children.

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